In these days of intense competition, having a brilliantly thought-out and perfectly executed interior design is almost more important in determining an establishment’s success than the quality of food it serves. That puts a fair bit of extra pressure on proprietors, of course, but the good news from a design point of view is that it means more and more interesting and unique commercial interiors are being drawn up and brought to life each day. These range from the conventional to the quirky to the straight-up gimmicky. Here, we collect a few inspiring examples of eateries with decor worth exploring.
In the 60s people imagined the future would look, well, a lot like the 60s, but possibly with more shiny surfaces and flashing lights. Think original Star Trek, for example. This multi-faceted serving station seems to capture a little bit of that sense of the future as seen from the past. It resembles a few different things: the control console for a fake spaceship; a giant Pacman opening its mouth wide; even an iceberg. None of those are particularly welcoming associations, so it’s a good thing that the wood walls and warm colours seen in the background are there to lighten things up.
This pleasant, soothing interior mixes modern simplicity with vintage-style charm. The wrought iron centrepiece brightens up the otherwise fairly uniform wood surfaces of the room and adds softness, character and a natural focal point to this unfussy space.
Like the unusual tables seen here. Their legs have been made out of unfinished branches, creating a pleasing natural contrast with the structured minimalism of the chairs.
The same unfinished wood has been used as decoration around the counter area too, carrying the theme throughout the entire space and creating a sense of consistency.
This laid-back interior is perfect for casual afternoon coffees, with its cluttered shelves and large, bright windows. The many personal touches around the place make it seem more like a home than a commercial space. To see the most noteworthy design features of this cafe, however, you would have to look up, which it’s unlikely most of the cafe’s patrons actually do all that often. The beautiful polished wood of the ceiling, paired with the pretty lighting design, are some of the loveliest elements of this room.
It’s hard to picture how a room could be any brighter and lighter than this one. The combination of huge side windows, copious skylights and lots and lots of white paint make this area into a space where sunglasses might well be required indoors. But far from seeming cold, as can often be the case with very white rooms, the cafe is very cheerful and welcoming. This is in part due to the use of plenty of greenery, which adds colour and life to the room. The decision to use old-fashioned wooden chairs instead of modern minimalist ones helps a lot as well.
Contrast is the key feature of this bright, brash interior, with the orange and green booths, pink patterned wall, and multicoloured candle holders and lighting all competing with each other to shout the loudest.
Once again the ceiling steals the show in this bar/restaurant that places its most wonderfully intricate and sculptural feature up top. The lowness of the beautiful roof helps create a cave-like sense of warmth and security.
The sheer number of candles in this room – seen both dangling over the bar and sitting high up near the ceiling – should make this the best possible venue for a date. There is no light more flattering – or more romantic – than candlelight, after all.