Designing your restaurant is an exciting opportunity to showcase your aesthetic, your vision, and your values. The Early American period, from 1640 to 1700, was the first time a decorating style and distinctive furniture appeared in the Americas that did not focus only on the practicality of the design, and that benchmark in design history is what allows you to take as many liberties as you like with your restaurant design.
Of course, you will want to design it with functionality in mind as well, but the fun in restaurant design comes with following an aesthetic vision. Use these tips to inspire your unique restaurant design that perfectly incorporates your reclaimed wood tables.
Reclaimed wood, whether its used in table tops, paneling, or chairs, comes in shades of browns and sometimes grays. One great way to compliment these earth tones is with other shades found in nature. Using greenery as a design element in your restaurant is a gorgeous way to get those natural colors into your restaurant design. Fortunately, there are more options than putting a couple of plants on your reclaimed wood tables to inject your restaurant with natural vibes.
A leafy centerpiece on all of your solid wood table tops certainly isn’t a bad place to start. If you use plants as centerpieces, make sure that you pick a variety that isn’t too high maintenance or else you’ll spend all of your time tending to the centerpieces in fear of them wilting. Outfit them with attractive pots and complimentary mats for a completed look.
To go beyond basic, try hanging your greenery so that it appears like your restaurant’s ceiling is draped with leaves and vines. This will give the space a feeling of being immersed in nature and the green will compliment the wood tables perfectly. Another stunning option is to create an accent wall of greenery. Many modern restaurants have made a wall of moss or grass with a water feature that looks as if it is straight out of the forest. This option would require minimal maintenance while giving your restaurant an eye-catching focal point.
Accent with Antiques
A main feature of reclaimed wood is that it comes from recycled wood waste. There’s a history behind every piece of furniture made of reclaimed wood, so what better way of reminding your customers of that history than complimenting it with well-chosen antiques?
For more casual restaurants, hit up your local antique stores and pick out chairs that don’t match one another to go with your reclaimed wood tables. The tables will all match, giving you the uniting design element that you need. By picking out unique, antique chairs you can insert tons of personality into your restaurant design. When customers walk in, they’ll be immediately charmed by the individuality of these pieces, knowing that they wouldn’t be able to find them anywhere else.
You can also go the antique route by picking out special light fixtures. Whether you find antique chandeliers, lanterns, or lamps, these pieces will serve both a practical use and an aesthetic use. You will need lighting in your restaurant no matter what, and antique lighting fixtures can give you the exact right mood. Their visual appeal will be just right for those looking for something unique about your restaurant.
Whether you pick out chairs, lights, or any other element from an antique store, you can highlight their unique history by letting customers know where they came from. Create fun labels for each chair that tell how old it is and where it was originally made, if you know, so that customers can feel connected to the object on which they’re sitting. You could also put some of this information on the back of the menu or on small placards on the table tops, giving your customers something new to learn while they dine.
Rely On Rustic
When you’re working with reclaimed wood table tops, rustic is a tried and true way to go. If this is the design choice that most calls to you, don’t feel like it’s limiting just because its popular. There are many different ways to do rustic and each can speak to a restaurant’s personality and individuality.
The most universal feature of a rustic design is that it feels welcoming and homey to all who walk in. A great way to do this is to focus on a farmhouse-inspired design. Pick out chairs that are simple and comfortable, perhaps with a checkered or gingham pattern to really bring out the farm feeling. This aesthetic is predisposed to elements of nature, so you could also incorporate some of the ideas from the greenery section to bring your customers into a rural setting. Focus on the details too, with fun plates, glasses, and design details that remind you of a picturesque farmhouse.
Another common feature of a rustic design is soft lighting, often in the form of string lights. These lights work wonderfully for both indoor and outdoor areas and compliment reclaimed wood so that any space immediately feels more warm and welcoming. Putting small candles or tea lights on your table tops can also give a similar effect of warmth that works for the rustic style.
There are endless options for your restaurant design when you’re working with reclaimed wood tables. If none of these ideas appeal to you or match your restaurant concept, you could also use reclaimed wood in an industrial design, a Parisian cafe look, or an old-world Tuscan villa aesthetic. Commit to a design that inspires you and that will inspire your customers to come back, and you won’t go wrong.