Robyn Hammond Design

Mural design for Contessa in Balmain


My local cafe in Balmain, Bar Contessa, owned and run by Marco for the last 18 years decided to take over the vacant shop next door when it became available. Bar Contessa is a well established, very popular destination for foodies and locals alike. The original cafe has an enormous mural in warm browns and orange of a woman’s face, crowned in waves of flowing hair. Marco’s only brief to me was that he wanted ‘something’ unique, eye popping without copying his original Contessa! Open briefs can be the hardest! Marco visited New York looking for inspiration for his menu and decor years ago and came back with uber cool ideas for the original cafe. Big shoes to fill but it’s good to be challenged!

The 3 Contessa’s were born. I showed Marco about 10 sketches, all drawn up and dropped onto a photo of the blank wall. He was blown away. The concepts really looked like they were installed in the cafe already. I use Procreate and it’s incredible software. The Contessa’s were painted on an enormous board, specially made for the space. It took 5 days and litres of beautiful Porters Paints in 3-4 coats per colour. Porters were kind enough to supply the paint at no cost as they love encouraging local art project. THANK YOU Porters!

The Contessa’s sit proudly on their wall. They fill the room and add vibrancy to what was a dark space of black walls and wood paneling. Everyone comments on the gorgeous palette. We couldn’t be happier with the end result.

Pop in for an excellent coffee, eat from the delicious menu and take a look at my ladies, looking resplendent on their wall.