Alison Victoria is a bit of a Renaissance woman. The HGTV and DIY Network star has many credits to her name—interior stylist; furniture designer; and the latest as interior designer and creative director for Casa Añejo, a vibrant new Mexican eatery located in Phoenix’s Seventh Street dining district.
“There’s so much creative freedom that comes with designing a Mexican restaurant, and I wanted to create really cool and kitschy moments that people would remember,” says Victoria, whose title as creative director means her flair is in every detail of the restaurant, from the authentic Saltillo tile to the quirky bingo-inspired build-your-own guacamole menu, and the pièce de résistance: an avocado-shaped hostess stand.
Even the staff is outfitted in her vision. Working with her own personal stylist, Mel Muoio, Victoria hand selected and customized all uniforms right down to the custom aprons inspired by Mexican Serape blankets. Layered on top of a design foundation that’s largely Old World—there are real leather booths and rich wooden accents throughout—these tongue-in-cheek garnishes make for a wonderfully playful foodie experience. It’s an aesthetic Victoria calls “vintage modern Mexican.”
At Casa Añejo, she’s purposefully mixed classic with contemporary. Many of the accessories encased in the sprawling wooden built-ins—oil paintings and handcarved crosses, for example—are sourced from area antique shops, but punctuated by hints of trendy decor (hello, tiny potted cacti!). It’s a fitting mashup of visuals for a restaurant where traditional Mexican street tacos are served alongside more brow-raising bites (chapulines, or grasshopper, is on the list of guac toppings).
Victoria is already off and running in her next role, this time appearing on HGTV’s Windy City Flip, where she offers viewers a raw look at her work flipping houses in the Chicago real estate market. The show premieres in July. 5600 N. Seventh St., Ste. 100, Phoenix
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