With evolving lifestyles, limited time to cook and availability of choices at all price-points, people are dining out more and more. Restaurants are competing to attract patrons and they now have become outlets for some of the most creative interiors in the world. Designers have brought together technology, art, various styles (like rustic, chic, etc), to create spaces for diners to escape to.
Opening a restaurant is a major event that calls for great deal of investment in financial and human terms combined with attention to the minutest details. Restaurant furniture occupies an important place in creating an identity and ambience for an interior. The time when tables and chairs were simply functional pieces of furniture is long gone. Designing or choosing the right furniture to go with your interiors has become a discipline for several years. E.g. there is an extensive choice of chairs on the market nowadays. We have to choose a particular style of chair to be able to give an “effect” or “touch” to an interior.
Having designed furniture for various eating houses and being an avid foodie myself, I share my perspective on how to think about styling a restaurant with the right kind of furniture. Below are examples of how to select furniture based on certain interior themes or styles.
Classic style connotes sophisticated and sometimes even dated and old. It is based on order, symmetry and balance. In furniture design it is a contemporary blend of traditional and modern styles. Classic choices keep things comfortable and familiar. Classic furniture is welcoming and has a rich overall feel. In an old style interior one can decide to opt for unity by preferring a classic model of wooden chair, upholstered sofas or play the contrast card by opting for a modern line with metal legs for instance. We can also go for a surprise by mixing colours.
Upholstery selection should be sophisticated, plush fabrics such as velvet, rich silks, or leather. Fabrics can even have tone on tone small motifs to give it a rich look. The colour palette common to classical interior design style is often inspired by nature. A variety of yellows, blues, greens, browns as well as softer, muted hues like terracotta’s, greys and pinks are commonly used, accentuated with whites and off whites.
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Modern as a style in interiors refers to “Mid Century Modern”. Modernism was a rejection to ornate design styles like Gothic, Victorian and Renaissance. Therefore most components of modern style have clean straight lines with no additional details. Furniture in this style is visually light and functionally motivated. One of the best ways to create a modern restaurant interior with the desired ambience is by using the right types of materials and form. These are usually industrial materials which are perfectly stylish as well like stainless steel, chrome, aluminium, glass and plastic.
Furniture is very open and raised off the floor allowing for an airy feeling. Glass tabletops, moulded plastic chairs hike up the modern restaurant interiors. A modern, refined interiors, can have light chairs with straighter contours. Some modern restaurants may go for wooden tables and chairs, but they should be painted or polished smoothly and evenly. Option of using metal and wood also creates the ambience.
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Minimalism in design is becoming more and more popular. The main elements of this style are sharp lines, solid surfaces, low furniture, and pastel shades. Although, as modern minimalism we have experimented with softer shapes, more colors and textures.
Furniture must have streamline shapes and upholstered with neutral colors such as beige, greys, even though white is the main colour of this style. White could probably go on the walls. This style of furniture can be accented by a bright colour, such as red but only one. Shiny surfaces and straight lines look amazing in this interior. Furniture details should have stainless steel or chrome or MS powder coated surfaces, to give them a more sleek look. Furniture should be made of materials that are easy to clean and take care of – wood, Metal Or Upholstered leather or leatherette.
This style is for creative people who value the combination of simplicity, sophistication, beauty and practicality. Minimalism allows expressing yourself without using any screaming accessories or unusual furniture.
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Coinciding with the modern progression toward ethically produced and locally sourced food, many restaurants are communicating their dedication to high quality food through rustic restaurant interiors. In creating an atmosphere that recalls images of a rural lifestyle, whether through wooden fixtures or murals that mirror vintage drawings, restaurants are able to align their brand with values held by artisan producers. The pattern of rustic restaurant interiors also falls in line with a progression toward sustainable construction practices and materials, which has made timber the go-to resource for fixtures, facades and furniture. Industrial style or industrial chic refers to an aesthetic trend in interior design that takes clues from old factories and industrial spaces that in recent years have been converted to lofts and other living spaces. With a blend of exposed steel and rustic wood, industrial decor is one of the favourite design styles for its ability to achieve aesthetic balance. It is simultaneously organic and engineered, bold and refined, masculine and feminine.
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In all, opening a restaurant is more than just making good food. You also need to have an identity. Once you choose your concept and service style, you can focus on your restaurant concept development and taking your business to the next level. Remember to be consistent! and ask yourself what your customer would prefer.
This was more on styles of furniture. Next time we will talk about how to choose your tables and chairs carefully for a restaurant, depending on their comfort, material and quality.
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