Designing your restaurant is the perfect 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 appeared in the Americas that did not focus solely on the practicality of the design. That benchmark in design history is primarily 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, but the fun in restaurant design lies in following an aesthetic vision. Use these tips to inspire your own restaurant design that perfectly incorporates reclaimed wood tables.
Reclaimed wood — whether it’s used in tabletops, paneling, or chairs — comes in shades of brown and sometimes gray. One great way to compliment these earthy 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 with greenery than simply putting a couple of plants on your reclaimed wood tables.
A leafy centerpiece on all of your tabletops certainly isn’t a bad place to start. If you do choose to use plants as centerpieces, make sure that you pick a species that isn’t too high maintenance. You don’t want to spend all of your time tending to the centerpieces in fear of them wilting! Outfit them with attractive pots and complimentary mats for a finished look.
To go above and beyond, try hanging your greenery so that your restaurant’s ceiling appears to be draped with leaves and vines. This will give the space a feeling of being immersed in nature, not to mention the green will compliment the reclaimed wood tables perfectly. Another stunning option is to create an accent wall of greenery. Many modern restaurants have covered a wall with moss or grass or have installed a water feature that looks as if it is straight out of the forest. This option requires minimal maintenance while giving your restaurant an eye-catching focal point.
Accent with Antiques
Every piece of reclaimed wood furniture has a history behind it (since it comes from recycled wood waste), so what better way of complimenting it than with well-chosen antiques?
If you’re going for a more casual look, 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, and the unique, antique chairs will insert tons of personality! When customers walk into your restaurant, they’ll be immediately charmed by the individuality of these pieces, knowing that they wouldn’t be able to find them anywhere else.
Picking out light fixtures such as antique chandeliers, lanterns, or lamps will serve both a practical — and an aesthetic — use. You will need lighting in your restaurant no matter what, and antique light fixtures can give your space exactly the right feel.
Whether you pick out chairs, lights, or anything else from an antique store, you can highlight their unique history by letting customers know about their origins. Create fun labels for each chair that tell how old it is and where it was made (if you know) so that customers can feel connected to the object they’re admiring. You could put some of this information on the back of the menu or on small place cards, giving your customers something new to learn while they dine.
Rely On Rustic
When it comes to reclaimed wood tabletops, the rustic look 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 it’s popular. There are many different ways to do rustic and each can showcase 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 feature 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. You could also incorporate some of the ideas from the greenery section to really bring your customers into a rural setting. Focus on the details, too, with fun plates, glasses, and design elements that remind you of a picturesque farmhouse.
Another common feature of the 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 welcoming. If string lights aren’t your thing, putting small candles or tea lights on your table tops gives a similar effect of warmth that works for the rustic style.
When you’re designing your restaurant with reclaimed wood tables, you have endless options. If none of these ideas appeal to you or match your vision, there are plenty more! You could use reclaimed wood in an industrial design, a Parisian cafe look, or an old-world Tuscan villa concept. Commit to a design that you love and that will inspire your customers to come back, and you won’t go wrong.