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Restaurant Design: Exploring Trends in Restaurant and Café Decor

With words such as ‘ambience’ and ‘decor’ featuring heavily in café and restaurant design of late, how can such simple elements help your business exceed its targets?

Size Matters
Space is a precious commodity these days, especially with rising business rental costs and rates. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that folding tables are currently leading the way in café and restaurant furniture. As one of the least expensive ways to cater for extra guests and additional food displays, they also feature a secure locking mechanism, giving them extra strength even when laden with heavy objects. They can also be transported easily, designed with a comfortable handle, and can be stored in convenient places like the boot of a car. As they are designed to cope with natural elements too, they lend themselves perfectly to outdoor areas, allowing you to cater for large scale events such as weddings and other private parties. Marinated meats and sumptuous salads will also have a suitable platform to create intrigue and tantalise your guests' taste buds.

Vintage Appeal
Preserving the family heritage and traditions of well-established premises is vital for customer loyalty, but it’s possible to enhance the decor and add flourishing touches whilst respecting its origins. The Lucky Penny in Chapel Street, South Yarra kept its ‘cool’ with a freshly renovated dining space, using reclaimed timbers and other rustic Scandinavian influences. Obtain this highly fashionable ‘outside-in’ effect with a few rough cut furnishings and lightly-coloured chairs.

Alternatively, for a classic indoor dining experience, vintage-effect chairs can give the same antique impression without the relative costs. Memorable dining has always been strongly influenced by the look and feel of a venue, but clearly now more than ever, decor is both enticing customers in and bringing them back in numbers.

Distinguishing features naturally help you stand out from the competition. On a typical bustling street packed with coffee houses and bars, individuality is the key to gaining a fair share of the footfall. Subtle and inexpensive additions include funky pavement chairs and flip top Ash tables, creating strong visual cues to attract potential customers walking past.

Cupcake seats can look particularly striking underneath spot lights and are a great way to liven up your seating area. A healthy ‘café culture’ is already well established in places like Potts Point in Sydney, and Lygon Street in Melbourne, where individual styling has helped to create thriving hotspots and encourage prosperity in the community.

Chilling Out
Last year we noticed the casual trend continue, with less ‘stuffy’ interior designs under the spotlight and more relaxed ‘hang outs’ visibly populated. Bars and cafés now tend to include softer lounge areas with comfortable tub chairs and sofas as customers savour the flavours and watch the world go by.

For a more formal tone to impress your more discerning diners, a new twist on classic furnishings continues to lure customers. Dining chairs with a rusted copper effect can give a subtle twist of colour which allows for attractive glinting even under ambient lighting.

Colours And Styles
Whether you desire a rich, Italian walnut finish or a fresh, vibrant beech effect to your table tops, Nisbets supply a mix of classic and contemporary furniture styles to reflect your unique business, whether indoors or outside. For further customisation, mix and match your table bases and tops to create an enticing atmosphere to boost your enterprise.

Old Vs. New
Merging vintage aesthetics with modern materials is a trend which has spilled into clothing and fashion for decades. A worn or distressed ‘shabby chic’ effect can be seen as commonly on a pair of jeans as it is on an old Chesterfield sofa or antique wooden coffee table.

With this in mind, you can relish the appearance of rustic furnishings with the benefits of newer, more reliable materials. For example, a set of classic, elegant dining chairs with rubber feet won’t damage your floor, whilst chairs in funkier styles and bolder colours may prove a more suitable addition to your dining space.

Alfresco Dining
Considering the benefit of maximising profit with extra covers, extending your business outdoors also encourages guests to interact and is gaining increasing support from local councils. Your alfresco dining areas will need umbrellas of commercial thickness to stand up against the forces of nature. Providing decent cover outside also brightens exposed areas with a splash of colour whilst giving necessary protection from harmful UV rays.

Looking Forward To 2016
Considering the lasting impression of ‘opposite’ materials fused together, such as raw timber with leather, we expect to see the trend continue as designers bid to catch the glare of inquisitive diners. ‘Deeper’ and richer tones are tipped to set the standard, with understated elegance, sleekness and geometric patterns to feature heavily both in décor and hidden in bar furniture. The popular tub chairs and mix of materials like natural wicker and aluminium are likely to prove just as popular as they have proved in 2015, and can only benefit further from progressive culture ‘fads’, with an increased demand for long lasting, practical and comfortable furniture.

For more furniture, tableware and catering equipment, check out our latest offers at Nisbets. 

By Jeff Gibson

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