The design team behind some of Manhattan’s buzziest restaurants is going global. Here, they reveal their secret ingredients for traveling light.
Credit: Davies + Starr

“We find inspiration in the oddest places,” says Kristina O’Neal, part of AvroKO, the design firm that rewrote the brief for great-looking restaurants with Manhattan hot spots like Public, Stanton Social, and Double Crown. “So we spend a lot of time exploring the back alleys of the cities we visit.” Now that O’Neal and her partners, William Harris, Adam Farmerie, and Greg Bradshaw, have projects in both hemispheres—restaurants in Santa Monica and Singapore, hotels in New York and Bangkok—the four have mastered the art of smart packing, bringing products that are as functional as they are stylish. T+L takes a peek at what they’ve dubbed the “AvroKO travel kit of necessities.”

  • “We got tired of using plastic baggies,” Harris says. Instead, the designers put their toiletries in a Nomadic Inc. for Container Store case. Products from abroad—Borotalco powder, Berocca tablets (“great for fighting jet lag,” O’Neal says), and Euthymol toothpaste—fit inside. Rather than liquids, they pack Paper soap and shampoo.
  • “It’s flat and compact,” Farmerie says about the Ro “Torino” shoulder bag, “but expands when you need more space.” This is key on AvroKO scouting trips.
  • The Solio solar charger powers PDA’s on the go. According to Bradshaw, “it’s as easy as it gets.”
  • Flight 001 gets high marks for the design of its plastic pill case and travel chopsticks (“We’ve used utensils all over and these are the best,” Harris says). To jazz up in-flight meals, the designers take Maldon sea salt and Choward’s Violet Mints.

Sweet Souvenirs

Their favorite international food finds: Olive jam from Siwa Organic, in Cairo; sugarcoated peas from Funahashi-Ya, in Kyoto, Japan; spiced, candied guava from Bangkok’s Sukhothai hotel.