Theory Bar & More - Athens

Colonial revival meets fusion style in the north of Athens

The restyling of a well known venue in Chalandri, a northern suburb of the Greek capital, provides the perfect opportunity to express an original, vintage-oriented idea
Claudia Capperucci
Year of completion

On the northern outskirts of Athens (just outside the city, along the River Kifissos), the municipality of Chalandri is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and the many bars, cafés and restaurants that buzz with life both day and night. People head to Chalandri to linger over a glass of wine, enjoy a typical Greek dish (sometimes with an international slant), throw some shapes to the dance music played in the night clubs or just meet up with friends. The area is also widely frequented by tourists. One of the most fashionable venues there is the Theory Bar & More, which was renovated at the end of February. Offering 180 square metres of floor space, it features an original juxtaposition of materials (wood, resin, corten steel and porcelain tile) that give it a distinctly industrial feel, without compromising on the warm, welcoming atmosphere generated by the extensive use of natural materials, such as wood. “The main aim was to create a different atmosphere, because the interior design before the renovation work was primarily playful, and we wanted to give it an extra touch of elegance. That’s why we chose materials like marble and oak”, explain the architects from the Athens-based design firm Ninedesign (, which gave the Theory Bar & More a complete makeover. One of the bar’s owners is also a designer at Ninedesign, so the restyling was approached with complete freedom, in terms of both the architectural layout and the choices more specifically relating to the interior design (furnishings, complements, decor and finishings). To give the interior its own distinctive hallmark, the designers opted for the Dream Woods collection of large-format porcelain tiles by Fondovalle, which adorn the walls to considerable decorative effect. The chosen motif is an unspoilt forest, featuring the iridescent tones of sky and wood, that forms an integral part of the architectural structure, and endorses the fusion of natural and urban style. The texture of the Dream line draws inspiration from the natural weave of linen and is in perfect harmony with the styling of the seats, the counter and the ceiling, which is also made of wood. All the wooden surfaces are handmade by a local carpenter, while the chairs and stools are made by Mexil (, a Greek company established as a small-scale manufacturer in the 1960s, which now boasts 250 employees. While the venue itself has a fairly minimalist look, the widespread use of wood gives it a warm, welcoming character, and a vintage style that’s reminiscent of certain colonial settings from the early 1900s. Sculptural luminaires specifically chosen for their exotic styling and the suffused light they emanate, plus a few late Modernist furnishing complements, complete the profile of this bar serving fusion dishes in line with the latest trends. “Apart from the fact that we wanted to bring a touch of elegance to the venue, there were no other specific requirements except that it all had to be completed within a very short time – three days at most. And that’s exactly what happened”, explain the designers, smiling broadly. Ninedesign is a Greek company founded by Panagiotis Fountas and Thanos Tsounakas, both of whom are interior designers and creative specialists. They formed the company in 2009, and it is now very well known in Athens, especially in the contract furnishing and public building sectors, spanning restaurants, bars and cafeterias.

Fondovalle, serie Dream Woods
porcelain stoneware
120x240 cm
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0.1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GA;GLA;GHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 130 mm
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50 N/mm
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): B
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
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