Warm Monochromatic Washes and Contemporary-Inspired Comforts at South of Beale

Fall in love with the warm colors and plush furnishings that help to craft an inviting and friendly environment in this Memphis, TN restaurant.

By Brandi Koloski

Photography by Andrew Welch

Row of Ferdinand Chairs in restaurant.

In the heart of Collierville, a suburb of Memphis, TN, a vibrant and contemporary restaurant oasis has emerged. Courtesy of the creative minds at Collect + Curate, a small interior design studio with a hyper-focus on hospitality, South of Beale's third location has become a destination within the community. We sat down with Natalie Lieberman, founder of Collect + Curate, as she shared the details of bringing the third location of South of Beale to life.

Far from claiming to be a "jack-of-all-trades",  Collect + Curate prides itself on being a niche design firm that excels in what they do best — crafting memorable hospitality-focused spaces. Natalie Lieberman, an NCIDQ-certified designer with nearly twenty years of design industry experience, further emphasized their specialization in hospitality design. With a career dedicated to restaurant and hospitality projects, Natalie's team thrives on creating environments that seamlessly blend aesthetics with functionality.

A Blank Canvas to Reimagine a Brand

With two pre-existing locations, one in downtown Memphis and one in Memphis proper, South of Beale is known for their Asian influences global menu, and strong bar program. Previously collaborating on a refresh of one of the Memphis locations, it was a goal to incorporate existing brand pieces into the new space. As a smaller suburb of Memphis known for its traditional values, the client wanted something unique for Collierville.

As a ground-up construction, the Collierville project marked a departure from the adaptive reuse projects that the Collect + Curate usually encountered. Without the restraints of existing conditions like furniture or finishes, the space featured good bones paired with a nod to modern architecture, allowing the team more flexibility to implement a "full monty" design. Seeing this as the perfect canvas, Collect + Curate leaned into a contemporary design with warm tones. The challenge was not just to design a restaurant — but to redefine the brand and vision for an evolving SOB.

Crafting an inviting and friendly atmosphere, the team used a strong color palette: an inviting blend of warm pinkish-red monotones combined with plush furnishings like the iconic Ferdinand Chair. Collaboration with vendors played an important role in shaping the unique character of the space. Based on the studio's drawings, Calico Wall Coverings created custom murals, while the infusion of lighting elements from the Philippines reflected the owner's background, adding a personal touch to the space.

Plush Comfort and Warm Customizations

Arising as a natural fit in the design of the space, Ferdinand Chair with its strong contemporary design, yet plush and welcoming upholstery offered an aesthetic appeal and comfort. To create a more "custom" look throughout the space, the Collect + Curate team avoided finishes that felt too "standard" or expected. The team embraced the ability to play with powder-coated frames and unique upholstery options. Extending details to the bases of the Jerome Tables, a complimenting Rugged Brown metal finish was utilized. The outcome was a striking monochromatic wash of pinkish-terra cotta hues, creating a customized and elevated look throughout the space.

Specifically, The Ferdinand was a modern chair, but it was like also very plush because of the upholstered back and seat cushions. It was a nice marriage of plushness and a more contemporary form. — Natelie Lieberman, Founder of Collect + Curate

A Fresh Experience for Residents of Collierville

Primed as the next destination hotspot of the area, SOB opened the doors of the Collierville location in October of 2023. Bringing a refreshingly sophisticated space to the area, Natalie and her team were thrilled with the opportunity to have free range on a space, while allowing them to create an "uber-contemporary" feel with an "out-of-the-box color palette". With positive feedback pouring in, Collect + Curate has successfully crafted a space that not only fulfilled the evolving vision of SOB, but also elevates the local dining experience in Collierville.

Did you love seeing the Ferdinand chair in this space? Check out Getaway Motor Cafe, which features the Ferdinand Barstool in a Scandinavian-inspired space.