Food and Drink



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Interior design agency Studio Y have created a mouthwatering paint palette for Melbourne’s newest installment to the gelateria craze, Joylati. The boutique ice cream parlour is bringing all that we love about the frozen treat to life through artists like Yaron Kanor. Milk Bar Mag had a chat with the lead designer of Studio Y about their new exhibition, Joylati. 

What is the inspiration behind creating an art inspired ice cream store? The inspiration for the design of Joylati came from the beautiful pastels in the gelato itself as well as the styles, colours and materials from traditional Italian gelaterias. The Y team’s vision was an artist’s studio; a blank canvas for creativity, imagination and innovation and a place where artisan masters can craft their delicious architecture on cup or cone.

The centrepiece of the space is a chocolate cascade fountain that sits behind the counter, flanked by taps pouring out smooth chocolate. This particular piece takes inspiration from Piedmont, the home of the Joylati founders and also the birthplace of gianduia – a sweet chocolate spread containing about 30% hazelnut paste –  and is renowned as the best in the world!

What physically goes into creating a work that captures a frozen haven? We underwent a lot of gelato ‘research’: eating, scooping, and watching it melt. The design process from concept to documentation takes around 7 weeks and then another 16 weeks for the shop fitting. Every element of the store has been designed and curated to the millimeter; from the herringbone pavement tiles (which were a challenge to install) to the ‘chocolate’ epoxy flooring and the bespoke chocolate-dipped furniture.

In terms of design, did you literally get inspiration from frozen treats or did it come from elsewhere? A lot of our inspiration was directly taken from the look, shape and movement of gelato. This was the basis of our edible colour scheme which we hope gives the space a mouthwatering feel before eating the first scoop. With this in mind we also wanted to add a layer of authenticity to let people know that rather than being a ‘foodie fad’ – gelato is an art and a generational cultural tradition.

Do you think it will be the audience’s stomachs that will draw them to Joylati? A large part of the briefing was to create an interior that screamed gelato and we think we’ve achieved just that – so yes! To keep the gelato fresh and creamy, the owners decided to keep it in pozetti canisters, so customers are unable to see it upon entering the store. Therefore, the interior had to carry the colour palette of gelato – this is where the abstract mural came in to the picture. One of our designers, Sophie Metcalfe, was commissioned to paint it and we believe it’s a fun and exciting piece that encourages people into the space.

What was the goal behind Joylati? The goal behind Joylati was to create a space where customers can come and experience the atmosphere of a traditional Italian gelateria – a true taste of Italy but in a fun Melbourne setting. The owners wanted Joylati to be seen as both a fun and authentic place to enjoy delicious gelato!

Prahran Central Shopping Centre, 325 Chapel Street, Prahran
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