romantic restaurant design

In the history of romantic restaurants, perhaps no place stands out in the minds of Modern lovers more than Seattle's Canlis. In 1950, Peter Canlis hired architect Roland Terry to realize his vision of building "the world’s most beautiful restaurant." These historic photos tell the love story. 

canalis architectural elevations

Canalis Exterior Seattle

The result was an eclectic mix of modern motifs that, despite a fair share of redesigns over the years, was recently named a Top 100 Romantic Restaurant by the reservations website We love how you can use nail head trim chairs to instantly make dinner in a public space feel like a private admission to someone's personal library.

Canalis Banquet Hall

Much of the restaurant's charm was in the sweeping candelabra and one-of-a-kind lighting fixtures. The romantic touch, it seems, has a simple formula: find a modern chandelier and put a candelabra bulb on it.

modern candelabra chandeliers

You could call it quirky, funky, left-of-center, but Canalis in its earliest days was a reminder that modern design, at its best, isn't about imitation--it's about being true to one's self.

Having said that, here's how we imagine imitating Canalis at home:

Modern Chandelier

Possini Corinthian Bronze Twist Multi Chandelier

Modern Sconce

Uttermost Kane Polished Nickel Wall Sconce

Modern Dining Chair

Set of 2 Wishbone Y Natural Wood Side Chairs  

We'd like to thank the University of Washington Libraries, from whom these fabulous historic photos were borrowed.

Images: University of Washington Libraries