10 Trends in Bar and Restaurant Design


There are plenty of gorgeous ways to decorate a bar or restaurant, whether you’re going the elite and modern style, or aiming for the “off the beaten path” kind of look. Here are just 10 trends in bar and restaurant design that will inspire you and leave you in awe.

Living Wall

Forget hung-up art – take the same path Applebee’s NYC franchisee Apple-Metro took instead. Their restaurant cost about $4 million to fill the place with environmentally friendly innovations, including the “living wall.”

Art for Sale

Here’s a nifty idea: why not sell the art and décor in your restaurant? It’s something Southern California restaurant owner Tracy Borkum does, selling the lamps, chairs and accessories. She owns both Cucina Urbana in San Diego and CucinaEnoteca, and she would often get inquiries about all the amazing and stylish handpicked furnishings. As a result, she opened up the Urban Kitchen Shop right next to CucinaEnoteca.


Mixing Traditional and Industrial

There is a casual looking restaurant in Mexico called Sato, and it blends the industrial look of metal with the homey and traditional look of wood.


Simple Yet Lavish

You can also mix simplicity with extravagance. There is a restaurant in Beverly Hills called Hinoki& the Bird which does just that.



You could repurpose furniture and interiors, or totally use up an old building space and put something modern in it like the KNRDY restaurant in Budapest. The bar and steakhouse has an unexpected modern interior repurposing the 100-year-old building it’s located in.


Go Oriental

Choosing Oriental inspired designs is one of the classic ways to go non-traditional but tasteful. There’s a restaurant in Hawaii called the Morimoto Waikiki, and it has a pretty Japanese-inspired interior.


Bold Goes a Long Way

Bold colors and designs really catch peoples’ attention, and the Slovenian bar and restaurant called AS Aperitivo utilizes that. Black furniture against light walls and colorful décor make things stand out easily.


Light It Up

Interesting light fixtures can transform a space instantly. You can go simple or crazy, depending on what you want your customers to see. The Kampachi restaurant in Malaysia uses simple multiple lights to illuminate the inside of their restaurant, kind of like stars, enough so the place is bright but not too much.


Utilize Technology

Have something advanced in your restaurant that will make it stand out from the crowd. One such example is Bouley, a New York City restaurant that has the “Chef’s Pass” wherein up to 13 diners can reserve seating. The intimate space allows them not only to enjoy dishes in private, but also to have a Skype and multi-media session with artisans that answer foodie questions on the spot.


Follow a Theme

Themed restaurants and bars do not have to be cheesy. You can put a few simple indicators that don’t necessarily have to “scream” what your place is inspired by. Take Australia’s Alfred & Constance that boasts of a few stereo speakers turned décor, with a simple Elvis Presley poster to boot.