A DESIGN-FOCUSED ARCADE (AKA A PLAYGROUND FOR GROWNUPS)

Written by Kat McEachern, Photography by Luke Beard | 02/16/17

"A favorite would be the vintage TV die wall around the main Octagon bar. We scoured the country for those TVs."

"A favorite would be the vintage TV die wall around the main Octagon bar. We scoured the country for those TVs."

We love meeting friends at an adorable coffee shop or for dinner at a gorgeous restaurant… but sometimes you just want to get together and have a great time, you know? Enter Coin-Op, an arcade for the design minded and/or arcade obsessed. Of course, since the designers formerly worked for Ken Fulk, you know they can blend high design with a whole lot of fun. Eva Bradley and Alicia Lichtenstein of sfHEIMAT share the story behind their design.

What a fun project! As we assume an arcade is an unusual request, how did you get started?
In talking with our client about arcade culture, and games with cult followings, the game and movie Tron came up. We watched both the 2010 remake, and the 1982 original. We drew inspiration from the journey that the main character, Sam Flynn, goes through as he tries to find out what happened to his father. There are cool loft spaces with De Sede sofas, retro TV montages, an old arcade called Flynn’s, and of course, the digital frontier, the Grid. In addition to including themes from the movie, we also wanted to create quirky spaces that game lovers would appreciate – and searched far and wide for special items – like the original set of 1977 Burger King Star Wars posters, in the hallway upstairs.

You two launched your own collaborative fairly recently. What defines the sfHEIMAT style?
We don’t have a signature style, like our old boss Ken Fulk does, yet. We are approaching our 2 year mark as a company, and so our style is still evolving and somewhat fluid. We love collaborating with our clients and extracting their style, mixing it up with ours, and creating something new every time. Some mainstays of our style: we like a clean look, without compromising comfort. We have to have some fun with patterns and texture, a dose of metallic, and a touch of something organic. Ultimately, our style is defined by a balance between form and comfort, texture and pattern, color and light, hard and soft. And you know you’ve achieved that balance when you utter a little sigh of happiness once the design vision comes together. Now you just have to execute!

What was the biggest lesson you learned working for Ken Fulk?
This is a tough one – there were so many good take-aways! Probably the biggest lesson that will stay with us is to DREAM BIG. Let there be no limits, constraints, or negativity, when you are working through the potential of a new project. Being a “dream realizer”, is, after all, why people seek us out – to make the magic happen!

See more of Coin-Op in the slideshow, including Eva and Alicia’s favorite details!

"The client even drove to Modesto to pick up the smallest, but arguably the coolest, TV. It's an Emerson."

"The client even drove to Modesto to pick up the smallest, but arguably the coolest, TV. It's an Emerson."

We love how there isn't a separate between "arcade area" and "lounge area" but it's all incorporated together.

We love how there isn't a separate between "arcade area" and "lounge area" but it's all incorporated together.

The perfect place for a birthday party, date night, or (yup!) ladies' night.

The perfect place for a birthday party, date night, or (yup!) ladies' night.

Hello, FROGGER?!

Hello, FROGGER?!

"In the Living Room, we have a car theme going on, because of the planned racing games that will eventually live there. You’ll see hand embroidered car pillows from Etsy, an old Mercury Lincoln bumper on the wall where the headlights are now lightbulbs, but my favorite touch, is the stair wall of model cars suspended on airplane wire. The doors on the model cars really open!”

"In the Living Room, we have a car theme going on, because of the planned racing games that will eventually live there. You’ll see hand embroidered car pillows from Etsy, an old Mercury Lincoln bumper on the wall where the headlights are now lightbulbs, but my favorite touch, is the stair wall of model cars suspended on airplane wire. The doors on the model cars really open!”

Without too much deviation from a classic arcade menu but a whole lot more delicious!

Without too much deviation from a classic arcade menu but a whole lot more delicious!

Eva and Alicia just before hitting up their favorite arcade games.

Eva and Alicia just before hitting up their favorite arcade games.

What else could a design-focused arcade’s menu look like?

What else could a design-focused arcade’s menu look like?

 
“As a bonus, you’ll soon be able to discover a new hidden bar. The blue LED lights in the mirror aren’t art, they’re the gateway to another dimension (wink wink).”

“As a bonus, you’ll soon be able to discover a new hidden bar. The blue LED lights in the mirror aren’t art, they’re the gateway to another dimension (wink wink).”