Hot restaurant design trends for 2016

Each new year brings exciting new developments in the world of restaurant design. 2016 is no exception and interior design trends this year will be giving a new twist to themes we’ve already seen developing. While some trends come back year after year, others are as fresh and good as the day’s catch.


Upcycled, recycled and repurposed

From wooden shovels used as plates to bicycle wheels turned into chandeliers, some of the hippest restaurants around look like they’ve shopped at the junkyard. While hygiene standards mean that not all the distressed looking items on show will actually be old, there are several good reasons for embracing the thrift shop look. Reusing old materials and buying second hand is usually much cheaper as well as being great for the planet. It all needs to be done with impeccable taste though, and that’s one thing money can’t buy.


Raw and naked

While we expect staff and diners to remain fully clothed, beams, ducts and wires are all exposed. Many restaurants are using a design style that looks unfinished, with concrete or brick walls uncovered, no false ceilings and other usually hidden building features on display. This is typically used for trendy, casual places aimed at a younger crowd, but is creeping into the edgier high dining facilities. It’s a tricky trend to work with as all the exposed materials tend to be reflective, creating a loud, harsh atmosphere.


Homey, cosy and organic

In sharp contrast to the exposed pipework trend, many smaller, independent venues are creating a very home-like and friendly feel. In many cases, this farm-kitchen look and atmosphere is paired with a strong food-focussed cooking style, often with environmental or ethical concerns. Chefs may well know the producers of their ingredients by name, shopping locally or direct from the supplier. The interior design reflects this focus, often having the eclectic mismatched chairs and quirky wall decorations of someone’s actual home.


Street food comes indoors

From burritos to kebabs, traditional street food from around the world is coming indoors and going upmarket. Interior design matches the food so you’ll see plenty of restaurants sourcing their interior décor internationally. Influences should be enough to remind diners of the origins of the cuisine they’re eating, but won’t always be full throttle. While some places will still go all out, more and more themed restaurants are using more subtle decoration as a hat tip to their origins while creating a cleaner, more minimalist look.


Natural and growing

Wood, stone and other natural materials are set to continue to dominate in 2016. They chime well with the increasing care and attention diners are paying to the quality and provenance of their food. Use of growing plants is a new trend. Forget the sad aspidistra in the corner, fashionable restaurants are putting live herbs on the table, so diners can season their own dishes, and creating feature walls of living greenery.

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