Restaurant Design Trends for 2017
Feb 9, 2017 Featured, Hospitality Businesses

Restaurant Design Trends for 2017

After a long week, where do you find yourself enjoying Friday night dinner and drinks? What draws you to this spot? Is it the great happy hour deals, the food or the ambiance? These days, Restaurants work to make dining an experience that draws in all of the senses. Restaurateurs are spending more time planning and designing their restaurants with a focus on innovative, unique and aesthetically pleasing designs that catch the eye of restaurant-goers, along with the quality food and drinks.


Here at Sensory Six, we strongly believe that the spaces we create should be in harmony with all our senses thus, creating a total sensory experience. Read below to learn more about what’s trending in the restaurant design space, and how these trends are important to creating a sensory experience:


Concept and Theme Based Design

There is a growing trend in conceptual design in the restaurant industry today. People enjoy going out to a restaurant that has a theme because there is a story that unfolds while they dine. When interior design and food come together, it creates an individualized feeling to the restaurant that is energizing and inviting. Concept and theme based designs are used in many different types of settings and can vary from ice cream parlors and coffee shops to casual and high end bars. Check out this café in Opole, Poland, by interior designers Bro.Kat that serves chocolate, smells like chocolate and has chocolate “dripping” from their ceiling.  



Raw Materials 

Sustainability and eco-friendly materials are becoming a popular choice in the restaurant industry. We are seeing raw materials becoming more and more visible in restaurants to create a rustic or industrial look. Designers are using metal, exposed bricks, wood and concrete for walls, ceilings and flooring to create spaces that are dramatic and visibly appealing for it’s diners. Combining these raw materials together creates a vibrant mix of textures that truly make a space more dramatic.


Minimalist Design 

Another design trend catching our eye focuses on simple, clean lined, minimalist furniture. This look is designed with functionality in mind, because heavy and ornate furniture is difficult to navigate around in a busy restaurant dining room. While we don't expect the traditional, fine dining experience to ever go away, we are excited to see more modern, minimalist furniture find it's way into fine dining restaurants.


Ambient Lighting and Ceiling Design 

Lighting design has come a long way since the traditional chandeliers and vintage lamps. We are seeing more of an emphasis on customized pendant lighting and recessed mood lighting. People are viewing lighting as more than just a lighting source, but as artwork! If a restaurant has a ceiling that isn't the most aesthetically pleasing to look at (due to pipes or any unwanted materials on the ceiling) there are ways to hide it through lighting. For example, Vagabond Wines in Old Spitalfields Market, London incorporates an interesting mix of materials on the ceiling with lights built in is an easy way to create a dramatic design while hiding unwanted materials. 


Open Kitchen Designs 

Open kitchens are continuing to gain popularity in the restaurant world. It provides the ultimate dining experience for diners as they become more and more intrigued with cooking and celebrity chefs. Where "chef’s tables" were once the hype, open kitchens seem to be on the rise. Opening up the kitchen like at Scena, Carlton Hotel Shanghai, rather than closing it off to diners, keep the design and floor plan of the restaurant light and airy and allows the smells of delicious foods to carry throughout. 



Integrating Indoor and Outdoor Space

Everyone loves options. A restaurant that offers its diners both indoor and outdoor dinning options are ranking higher on their list of top spots. Who doesn’t want to eat outside in the fresh air and enjoy nature? Restaurants that have accessibility to a patio or rooftop area are taking full advantage of this space. Restaurants that don't have access to outdoor space are using large glass windows, glass walls and oversized overhead doors that can remain open to bring nature within.  


The Sensory Six Team loves working with restaurants to create a truly unique space that draws in the crowds. We are excited about all of the trends happening in the industry today and we would love to help you achieve them in your own space. To contact us:


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