BBA Design

BBA Design creates a modern dining destination

The design of the Courtney Room was inspired by the classic French bistro
Thursday, September 13, 2018

After an extensive renovation, the Courtney Room restaurant located in the Magnolia hotel is a bright, open and modern dining destination in Victoria, B.C.

The clients asked BBA Design Consultants to create a restaurant with a modern take on French bistro that would differ – but be timeless – in its approach and uphold the classic experience of the award-winning boutique hotel that it is associated with.

The desired theme: to create an elegant room where old world meets new inspired by Chef Sam Harris’ menu celebrating local and seasonal products with a classic French twist.

The existing restaurant was dark with dropped ceilings and had three levels creating a very enclosed space. To open the space up, the existing bulkheads were removed, creating a brighter space reminiscent of historic buildings with their grand, high ceilings.

Dark acoustic ceiling tiles and dropped ceilings were replaced with classically inspired white ceiling tiles and this theme continues through to the walls, bases, dado mouldings and ceiling crowns with refined and simplified detailing. Painting the wall and ceiling surfaces white adds to the elegance.

While the lounge and bar attract attention with their high top tables, feature oyster bar and back-lit bar shelves, the classically inspired tiled entrance, chevron wood flooring, and curved banquette create a casual dining experience on the lower bistro level.


The bar and lounge offer a lively, gathering space with an elegant marble bar showcasing a custom glass oyster station while the brasserie is casual and relaxed with its chevron patterned wood floor, bistro style banquette and vintage inspired lighting. A more intimate, elevated dining experience can be found in the carpeted space upstairs, with white tablecloths and a glassed in wine room.

The tall windows flanked by short ones were an overlooked feature in the previous restaurant. The design team transformed these windows with crisp, new paneling and full-length beaded curtains.

The beaded bronze window treatment add a rich textural element to the space evident in the early evening where the light dapples and dances off the furnishings creating a warm glow.

Opened in May 2018, the Courtney Room restaurant has already made the list of Top Ten Best Restaurants in Victoria by Diners’ Choice.

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