Latest Trends in Restaurant Interior Design

From bold wallpaper to mid-century modern decor, it seems like restaurant interior design trends are more wide-ranging than ever. So, what trends are catching on like wildfire this year? Restaurant interiors in 2018 are being designed to not only encourage repeat customers, but to draw in new diners to stay a while (and snap a few Instagram-worthy photos) with exciting prints, greenery and cozy atmospheres. Read on to see what interior design trends you should expect to see at your favorite restaurants this year.

Bold, Graphic Wallpapers

Delicate flowers and jungle-like plants are popping up on wallpaper in restaurants across the country. What’s fueling this trend? Flowers and succulents are taking over social media feeds right now, and restaurants are capitalizing on it. While adding a bunch of live plants in your dining room can be expensive and time-consuming to manage (especially if you don’t have a green thumb), wallpaper is an easy and cost-effective way to transform the look of your restaurant. Your customers will feel like they’re dining outside in a garden or jungle, without any of the downsides that come with eating outdoors. Wallpaper also provides a great backdrop for photos taken in your restaurant, which means more exposure for your space.

Top Photo: Frenchie

Cozy Seating Options

Many restaurants are swapping out tables for two with picnic-style seating that can seat more guests. Why? Long, communal tables encourage meeting and mingling, and also maximize the square footage in your space, allowing you to seat more guests at a time. Another seating trend you’ll notice in some restaurants this year is living room dining.

Some restaurants are adding additional rooms outside the dining room that they fill with comfortable couches for guests to enjoy appetizers, after-dinner drinks or even their main meal. It’s simply about making diners feel like they’re at their home away from home, and it allows these restaurants to take their desired ambiance to the next level.

Retro Finishes

Brass and chrome are making a comeback as furniture accents in restaurants this year. Everything from countertops, tables and stools are featuring these metals to give their eatery a retro look. These metal touches go well with the other retro trend that is impacting flooring: linoleum instead of wood or concrete. Not only is it cheaper than other materials, but it’s very easy to install and maintain. Last but not least, neon signs are popping up on walls as decorations. They allow for that perfect Instagram backdrop, especially if they say a favorite quote or punny quip.

Photo: The Hampton Social

An Emphasis on Lighting

Tired of going to restaurants where the lighting is so dim you can’t read the menu? Good news: that trend is going away and in turn, restaurants are transitioning back to bright and more inviting lighting. But, they won’t be shining bright on you like a spotlight. It will all be purposeful. Lighting that illuminates particular areas is increasing in popularity.

Restaurant owners are also gravitating towards lighting fixtures that feature dimming and color options, that they can control right from their fingertips with a remote control.

Handcrafted, Local Pieces

The concept of farm-to-table menus and using fresh, local ingredients has become a hit with diners across the country. So it makes sense that the trend of incorporating local products into restaurant design has become so popular this year.

Photo: The Restaurant at Meadowood

Restaurant owners have started working with local designers to create everything from tables and chairs to plates and artwork to help their dining rooms stand out. Having one-of-a-kind pieces in a restaurant’s dining room gives off a homey feel to diners that they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.