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Your restaurant brings people together over great meals. So design a unique space where customers feel invited to stay. Start by imagining decor as you write your restaurant’s business plan. Integrate a consistent aesthetic throughout, that creates a focused experience for your guests.
Make design choices that are smart for your business. Use the vibe of your restaurant, as well as the location, the building’s history, and the community as inspiration for creating a unique and memorable space.
The best decor is authentic to your brand and vision, so imagine your eatery’s full potential with these restaurant-focused ideas.
13 Restaurant Decor Ideas for 2022
1. Choose a brand and theme
Establish an overall vision for your restaurant. What makes it unique from the eatery down the block? Build on the experience you created with your restaurant’s floor plan.
2. Find unique wall decor
Choose wall decor that accents the character of your restaurant. Find art from local artists or commission someone to paint an original mural in the space. A carefully curated selection of modern pieces can help to elevate and define the brand. Spend some time at local thrift stores, pawnshops, and estate sales to find unique pieces with local flare. Melbourne Artist Rowena Martknch showcases these pieces that brighten the entire restaurant without pulling too much focus.
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3. Use basic color psychology
Colors trigger emotional responses in people. Since different people have different emotional responses to colors based on their culture, brands use color communication to get customers in the right mood. Choose cool colors that will relax your customers and entice them to stay awhile.
4. Keep up the energy in the room
It’s tempting to divvy up large spaces, but the Chinese art of feng shui can help you make intuitive use of your restaurant space. Keep everything open, so everyone feels like a part of the same community when they’re in your restaurant. Use mirrors to enhance small spaces and use windows to welcome in as much natural light as possible.
5. Let your customers experience the kitchen
Opt for an open-plan kitchen that allows guests a window into the process. Let your customers witness the care and creativity your staff puts into their service. Vestal in Lafayette, Louisiana has perfected the open kitchen – the wood-burning hearth that’s the restaurant’s namesake is also a feature of the design.
6. Pay attention to lightning
Lighting can make or break a restaurant. Place lighting strategically so that your guests can see each other and navigate the space with ease. Light fixtures have a lot of character – choose fixtures that play into the overall design aesthetic. A funky assortment of overhead fixtures lights the space with style, like at Good Eats Emporium in Sterling, VA.
7. Select tables, chairs, and stools
Furniture is a powerful driver of the guest experience– choose pieces that are sturdy and safe and match the look of the space. The pattern on tabletops is a chance for you to infuse your brand into the customer experience. Vibrant colors on chairs and stools make them inviting and easy to find.
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8. Install cozy booths
Create intimate spaces with booth seating. Some guests like to be seen, but others are looking for a quiet place to have a conversation over great food. Your guests will appreciate the opportunity to keep conversations private and intimate.
9. Highlight the bar
If you have a full bar in your restaurant, make it shine. Lots of restaurants place their bars front and center so guests can enjoy a cocktail while waiting for a table. Choose bar stools, glassware displays, and lighting that are true to the style of your restaurant. Consider this open-plan restaurant bar at Boulevard American Bistro in Metairie, Louisiana. Everyone sitting around this bar feels like part of the group.
10. Party on the patio
Extend the vision of the interior of your restaurant into any patio or outdoor space you have. Choose lighting, wall art, and tables that are suited for exposure. This restaurant patio at Coastal Flats in Fairfax, VA makes perfect use of the outdoors.
11. Realize the risks and rewards of vintage decor
Buying vintage decor can be a great way to infuse character into your restaurant. But buy vintage decor strategically – wall art and other aesthetic pieces are fine, but vintage furniture or light fixtures can cause more problems than they’re worth.
12. Imagine beautiful bathrooms
Bathrooms might not seem like a big deal, but they can be the reason customers decide to return to your restaurant (or not). Bathrooms should be well-lit and accessible for all your guests. This fun, bold print is reflected in the mirrors at The Friendly Society in Elora, Ontario.
13. Go fresh and green
Keeping live plants in or around your restaurant brings light and color into the space. Vining plants, pothos, philodendrons, and snake plants are easy to maintain and infuse life into any area. This wall of plants at The Juice Smith is the perfect vibrant centerpiece.
Restaurant decoration inspiration
Your restaurant provides a third space for friends, family, and the community to gather and share meals. Make them feel at home with comfortable furniture, colors, and lighting that combine to make the experience – and your brand – memorable.
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The Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Branding
Use this guide to get tips on how to create a restaurant brand that stands out, attracts customers, and drives repeat visits.
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