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16 Inspiring Restaurant Decors: ideas from across the world

Posted by
on August 31, 2015 at 04:59 PM

Yes, you visit a restaurant primarily to fill up your tank. But, while you are about that job, you also look to pamper your other senses. Your eyes need some refreshing sights, the ears some pleasant sounds, the nose obviously demands to be treated to good smells and the body, overall, needs to be comfortably perched. The perch it is that we examine today in terms of its contribution to the restaurant’s comfort, ambience and popularity. We look here at some very diverse and imaginative seating designs from restaurants, cafes and bars from all around. Sometimes designed to stand out, sometimes to create intrigue, some offering simple comfort, or fun, or some made to match up the rest of the interiors, these dining seats are definitely more than just a perch.

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Psychedelic Delight (cover image)

Whoa! You simply can’t take your eyes off it for a long time, though your eyes surely won’t be stuck in one direction either. They’ll be on a roller coaster ride following the great jumble of black and white zebra stripes wildly running all over the floor, ceiling, walls, pipes, vents, switches, tables and seats in one unending, ever twisting run. And it’s the seats that are available in maximum variety in terms shape, colour, pattern, material – a challenge, indeed, to find two similar pieces!

Eclectic Ecstasy (image 1)

The Iconic Cafe at Lafayette is a very western, contemporary and digital translation of a sublimely eastern, traditional and artistic inspiration coming from an old Radha-Krishna painting found on the site. The geometrical shapes and wax finished oak panelling juxtaposed with century old timber joists and antique Mexican tiles make a beautifully balanced composition that promises a fulfilling multicultural experience over coffee. But, the nut-and-bolt tables and seats with Krishna paintings in the background take the cake!

Piped Panache (image 2)

Elegantly practical is how one would describe these barstools, which are attached to the long, wood topped cafe table by means of extensions to its piped framework. But, looking further, one finds that it matches perfectly with the exposed services and painted pipes look of the rest of the decor, creating piped harmony.

On A Wave (image 3)

Tables and seats fixed on the insides of every crest and trough of this wooden wave swooshing across the diagonal extent of the Urban Commune restaurant, overlooking a foyer in a Hong Kong mall, surely make it look like a lot of fun. The artistic sketches of weird, otherworldly or distorted characters inked onto the inner surfaces of the wave surely make a fitting background for an adventurous dining experience.

Light ‘n’ Nice (image 4)

This American bar and restaurant place called Momotaro has been treated with decor that is essentially light weight – Glass, Bamboo, paper weight lamps, unsheathed steel and timber framework painted in unnoticeable dark shades, exposed brickwork wall panels peeping through it all. The barstools seem to offer a particularly comfy perch thanks to their raised edges. But, the most endearing detail is the way in which the seats have been lifted off their frames to lighten them visually and match up with the lightness of the rest of the decor.

Aerospace (image 5)

This airline or space craft themed restaurant doesn’t seem to have left any detail untouched in providing their customers with the perfect aircraft seat. It is interesting to note the provision for single diners...for single is how we are seated in any aircraft.

Raw Appeal (image 6)

A huge wall covered with moss and ivy is fronted by barely-there bucket chairs of transparent plastic mounted on frames of roughly cut, unpolished timber lengths of varying sizes, bolted together roughly and asymmetrically. This is a commendable effort to bring about the feeling of an absence of decor despite an absolute presence of elegance..

On a Journey (image 7)

This London eatery called Bangalore Express serving south Indian fare is fashioned like an Indian train in tune with its name. So here we are, on a Southie food journey sitting on train berths all lined up. It surely must be a lot of fun to hop up the ladder to the upper berth and experience some lofty dining. 

Cast in Pods (image 8)

Architects and Interior designers Serie have done the interiors of The Blue Frog lounge bar in Mumbai in a scheme of circular seating pods embedded into a brightly lit panel that spreads itself all over the dining area. On any evening of music, dance lights and food and drinks, the place appears like a sea of blue...or pink, or any colour that the lights take on, dotted with circular black holes marking the seating pods. The intricately worked out maze of pods is notable for the differently oriented entry points to each of the pods.

Stark Nature (image 9)

This Cafe in Tokyo designed by Id has emulated nature within a minimalist theme. The entire landscape of walls, ceiling, floor, tabletops, chairs – everything is in brilliant white, except for the black table legs which extend beyond the table tops to branch out as trees at above human height. All members like chair and table legs and back rest are very slender and the branches short, emphasizing the starkness of the scheme. ‘Ki’ is Japanese for ‘tree’, and designers Id seem to want to drive home the realisation about how stark and colourless the world would be had nature been minimalist!

The Name Says It All (image 10)

The name is Bond.....and that says it all for this Bond Bar, replete with curvaceous forms, lustrous surfaces that reflect the sensational lighting with eye catching sheen, and just the right amount of bling thrown in. Designed by Hachem by converting a car park, the glamorous night spot balances just the right amount of retro and deco. The feminine sensuality encompasses even the curvy couch seats, dark yet blingy by the highlighted borders that swoosh up to the ceiling in true Bond style.

Sugar ‘n’ Spice (image 11)

This bar for a Puerto Rican retreat and spa designed by Patricia Urquiola attracts attention with its sprightly jewel toned furniture and upholstery set against a predominantly neutral toned background. The baby blue bar stools as well as the mauve and lavender cushions and couches look pretty and inviting, while being very bold and experimental in form and material.

A Swinging Party (image 12, 13)

The ambience of a restaurant can be defined as formal, stuffy, warm, sophisticated, casual, trendy or inviting often by the seating design and the feel it gives you. Both Fii Fun Cafe and Molly’s Cup Cakes were meant to be inviting to kids and their families to feel at home and comfortable in. So, what better than to have swings instead of fixed seats, to add that touch of attractive fun.

The Park Bench (image 14)

This is a typical park bench going around a tree, with just a dining table inserted to go around as well. By placing the entire ensemble, tree and all, in the restaurant dining space, the designers have successfully created the aura of an outdoor picnic within the restaurant’s ambience. 

Pot(ty) Lunch (image 15)

To most of us this would appear like taking the idea of a ‘pot lunch’ a bit too far....but, well, here we have the toilet seat to sit on while dining at this quirky restaurant. While the toilet bowls under the glass table tops can’t be missed, do take note of the flush tanks that converted to magazine racks! 

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