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How To Design A Nightclub: 10 Nightclub Design Ideas


Tessa ZuluagaAuthor

Why are people willing to pay $25 for a vodka soda at high-end nightclubs? Does it taste better when it’s overpriced? The fact of the matter is that people go to nightclubs for the experience, not for the cost-effective drinks. Nightclubs don’t adhere to rules or reason, they aim to be over the top. Unlike other restaurant types, there’s no real standard when it comes to what these businesses should look like. As far as nightclub design is concerned, the opportunities are endless. 

We’ve outlined 10 nightclub design ideas that can help you create an outstanding layout. This is key to creating a memorable atmosphere.

In this article about nightclub design, we’ll walk you through 

  • Real, attractive examples of nightclub design ideas in action 

  • Best practices to convey your brand through your design 

  • Suggestions on how to use your design as an efficient advantage for your business


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1. Lighting is key 

Lighting is essential in nightclub design, because the lights can commonly be seen from the outside. But there’s a reason why nightclubs aren’t lit up like your favorite brunch spot. LED lighting is preferred to fluorescent because of the vibe…nightlife is dark! You may be surprised to find out that there are many different types of nightclub lights. To name just a few:

  • Flat lights: a light source that can be used in areas where other lighting fixtures are unable to reach. This lighting looks similar to a large roll of tape and can fit into corners the way other lights can’t

  • Recessed lighting: lights found most commonly in a circular hole in the ceiling, making the bulb itself invisible to your crowd 

  • Track lighting: a type of lighting fixture that has individual, small lights on one long rail or track

Although it may seem like a small detail, consider your nightclub aesthetic when choosing your lights, as they can make a big difference!

LIV Miami, one of the most iconic Florida nightclubs, applies colorful LED lights that change to the beat of the music. It gets people going!  

2. Apply accent walls for the Gram

Cool prints, neon signage, massive mirrors…you name it, you can plaster it on a wall. Some of the coolest nightclub designs are collages of random materials and items. Nightclub goers love the craziest, shiniest attractions, and furthermore, they love to take and post pictures in front of them. Who doesn’t love free marketing?

1 Oak NYC  has endured continuous waves of competition and outlasted the rise and fall of countless nightlife trends. Located on 17th street in the heart of Chelsea, it remains at the center of New York City nightlife culture. This accent wall can be found all over 1 Oak’s tagged Insta pics, as people use it as the perfect backdrop. 

3. Utilize the outdoors 

If it’s an option, incorporating the outdoors into your nightclub design can be very effective. This is especially a good design idea if your club specializes in tropical drinks or is going for an exotic aesthetic. Bringing the outdoors into your club doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have a green thumb…fake leaves and greenery will also do the trick. 

Shots Miami, a nightclub located half indoors and half outdoors in Wynwood, incorporates different types of outdoor elements throughout the entire club. 

4. Strategically place your DJ booth 

Another important part of nightlife- what brings in repeat customers- is the music. Good music is dependent on your DJ, meaning that your DJ booth placement is more important than you may think. People love to be able to see the DJ, point at them, and show that they love their song choice. Make sure your DJ can be seen by everyone in the room, and that their equipment is not exposed to the crowd. The booth adds to your design because it gives you a focal point that most people will face. This way, you can strategically design around the location of the DJ. 

The Marquee in Vegas, located on the rooftop of the Cosmopolitan, places its DJ all the way in the back furthest from the entrance, and above the floor level so that everyone can see.

5. Decorate to suit your concept 

Although nightclub design is not restricted by rules, it’s still important to stick to your concept. Most nightclubs go for a neon, modern look but feel free to be unique!

Mariel Underground located in Boston, MA has a consistent vintage design layout throughout the entire upstairs restaurant and downstairs nightclub. 


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6. The dance floor

This is where the magic happens. People go to the club to dance, so the floor itself has to be sturdy, and as slip-proof as possible because people will be spilling drinks on it. All the elements of nightclub design come together for the dance floor—what hangs above it, what’s on the walls around it, where the lights hit it, how it faces the DJ…etc. People will be taking pictures and videos on your crowded dance floor, so go big or go home. 

XS Las Vegas, an award-winning indoor/outdoor nightclub inside Encore at Wynn Las Vegas has an electric dance floor from top to bottom.

7. Consider bar design tips

Crowds and lines will form around your bar, so it should be strategically placed. Set your bartenders up for success by making their steps of service as efficient as possible, while also making the bar visually appealing. For some examples of awesome bar designs around the globe check out our bar design post. 

8. Elevated surfaces 

Disclaimer: elevated surfaces aren’t for every club. But for those nightclubs that have the space and security to allow their guests to get up and dance- it’s a good time. Massive clubs usually have different types of elevated surfaces.This can add a lively look to your club and the furniture involved makes for a unique design. 

The Chateau NightClub is ideal for incorporating elevated surfaces, as it’s located in the Eiffel Tower Las Vegas, overlooking the Bellagio. The views are beautiful!

9. Add something unique

Consider the environment you’re working with and what you can add for some spice. 

 For example, Maya Day & Nightclub located in Scottsdale, AZ takes full advantage of its warm location. Maya stands out from its competition on a hot Arizona day with this massive pool in front of the DJ booth.  

10. Don’t forget about your bathrooms

Believe it or not, your bathroom has great marketing potential. This is thanks to the “mirror selfie” trend that keeps growing in popularity on social media. Nightclub bathrooms are where women fix their lipstick, men purchase cheap attendant cologne, and the greatest mirror selfies are taken. Best practices for bathroom design include:

  • Big mirrors- both close up and full body 

  • Fun wallpapers 

  • Unique signage 

  • Dim but not too dark lighting 

This artsy mirror selfie was snapped at Fabric, located in London. A strange trend- we know. But hey- that's organic marketing. 

Set up your nightclub for success

Applying these design tips will keep your nightclub business booming. Make sure you help your bartenders keep up with the crowds by integrating a fast POS system. Setting your team up for success with the right technology is another major key to running an efficient business. But there are no rules to nightclub design, except be over the top! 

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