Serve Your Food in Style With These Restaurant Design Trends

maximalist pink restaurant with pink decorations and neon sign

It’s no secret that the restaurant industry struggled through the pandemic. Now, with a new normal ahead of us, the demand for incredible restaurant interior design is higher than ever. Simply having a tasty menu and quality service isn’t enough anymore. Restaurant patrons are searching for dining experiences that transport them to new worlds and allow them, for a moment, to leave the realities of daily life behind. And that level of escapism can only be achieved with incredible restaurant design. Whether you’re opening your first brick-and-mortar restaurant or want to spruce up your existing dining area, these restaurant design trends will give you the inspiration you need to get started.

Luxe bathrooms

Despite what you may think, the bathroom in your restaurant can leave as big an impression as any other aspect of the dining experience. These days it’s not enough to just provide a few fluorescent-lit, well-cleaned stalls. Restaurant-goers expect to be transported to spaces that feel exclusive and luxurious. Yes, even when they’re visiting the toilet. That’s why upscale bathrooms featuring chic design elements are all the rage right now. In 2023, don’t be afraid to play with texture, colour, lighting, and design to create the kind of bathrooms people want to take selfies in.

Reimagined rattan

Rattan – it’s not just for your grandparents’ patio furniture anymore. In 2023 you can expect to see wicker and rattan furniture, hanging lamps, partitions, and more inside several popular restaurants. These pieces bring a natural softness to the restaurant interior design that will help visitors feel at peace as they dine out. In addition to its zen-like quality, rattan is an affordable and easy-to-maintain material with a big aesthetic payoff. To elevate the natural beauty of this material, try pairing it with plenty of green plants and a mix of other natural materials like wood and jute.

Vertical slats

Vertical slats can easily add depth to any restaurant interior. Install them on the walls to make your space look bigger or pair them with gray quartz countertops at the bar to add a touch of elegance! Available in varying widths and shades, vertical slats can also be used to create a boundary between the dining and bathroom areas. And, since they’re usually made from wood, you can use them to bring natural vibes to your restaurant.

Soft curves

Curvy is in! Restaurant design trends in 2023 will see more soft curves in the form of built-in shelves and rounded archways. This trend is a simple way to bring life to otherwise overlooked areas. You can use these rounded arches to help soften rugged materials such as exposed brick or cement walls. Or if you’re looking to add contrast to your restaurant, don’t be afraid to play with lighting and décor within these soft curves.

Metal accents

Likely inspired by industrial style, metal is carving out its own place in restaurant décor. Whether it’s a large ironwork piece or subtle metal embossing, look to metal accents to bring a whole new shine to your restaurant interior this year. Be on the lookout for metal lamps, doors, tables, and vintage pieces. Just remember that warm metals such as brass or gold pair best with warm colours while cool metals like chrome and silver look best with cool colours.

Cement tiles

From home bathrooms to the walls of your restaurant, cement tiles are making a splash in 2023. With their intricate mosaic patterns, cement tiles are an excellent way to highlight specific areas of your restaurant’s interior. Install them on the walls or floor surrounding your bar or create a beautiful tile accent wall leading into the bathroom. However, you decide to play around with these tiles, they will quickly add some personality to otherwise dull areas.

New room, new vibe

Privacy is on the menu this year, and everyone wants to order it. In 2023, using decorative elements to create separate, private dining areas will be a hallmark of restaurant design. Elements such as foliage, sliding doors, room dividers, and glass can be used to create “new rooms” within your existing dining space. If you’re not starting out with a large dining room, try using movable, artistic dividers to define each table/sitting area.

Eccentric wallpaper

With maximalism and nostalgia still driving the design bus in 2023, it’s no surprise that wallpaper is having a moment. But don’t fret – the days of floral prints and country-kitchen-style borders are over. Today, wallpaper is available in a wide range of eccentric patterns featuring unique geometric shapes, decorative leaves, art deco motifs, and more. With so many patterns and customizable prints available, finding a wallpaper style that fits your restaurant décor is simple. Because wallpaper is so versatile, you can use it to bring luxury to the bathroom, to define separate dining areas, or to highlight your bar.

Hanging décor 

If floor space is an issue, then hanging décor is the solution. Take advantage of your restaurant’s vertical space by hanging décor items like task or ambient light fixtures, macrame plant hangers, and floating gardens. Play around with purely decorative items such as hanging glass baubles or draped fabrics, or go for functional elements like a floating herb garden above the bar to garnish drinks.

Decorative ceilings

If you’re working with a relatively neutral colour pallet everywhere else, then your ceiling is the perfect spot to add a little excitement. After many years of plain white ceilings, your options for decorative ceilings are now seemingly endless. Unsure what to try? Consider these options:

  • Use draped fabrics to create an interesting focal point.
  • Play with various shapes and curves to create a sculpted ceiling.
  • Create an eye-catching ceiling mural using the fresco technique.
  • Hang art or decorative planters filled with beautiful vines.
  • Incorporate wallpaper or metal accents onto your ceiling to stay on trend.

Embracing extremes

In 2023, it’s time to go big or go home. When you’re choosing a design direction, whether it’s bold maximalism or subdued monochromatic palettes, people want to see you commit 100% to a theme. Post-pandemic restaurant-goers are craving décor that emulates optimism and good vibes, so don’t be afraid to take colours, patterns, and decorative items to the extreme. Now is the time to challenge traditional design rules and provide a dining space that’s memorable and happy.

Serving up success

The restaurant industry has changed rapidly in the past few years and so too have the designs for restaurants. Previously, the focus was mainly on quality food and quality service. And although that’s still important, post-pandemic clientele are craving a little extra when they’re dining out. With these restaurant design trends, you can start creating spaces that evoke a sense of escape and blissfulness, even if it’s your first time opening a restaurant. And don’t think the desire for more inviting spaces ends with the restaurant industry. As people return to in-person work, office design trends are also changing to keep up with the new needs and desires of workers.

If you’re interested in turning your restaurant dreams into reality, we’re here to help. Check out our past commercial renovation projects for inspiration. And when you’re ready, our Commercial Account Managers are here to answer all of your questions.

Amber Van Wort is a freelance content writer with a degree in journalism from Durham College. Amber’s work has been published in Narcity, Chicago Tribune, The Belleville Intelligencer, Best Reviews, and more. Her passions include food, travel, and real estate. When she’s not busy meeting her client’s expectations, you can find Amber in the kitchen, elbow-deep in a bag of flour.