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Top Restaurant Decor Ideas

Posted by
on March 10, 2015 at 08:27 PM

We now belong to a world where everyone is conscious of the fact that design is personal not only to its creator, but also to its user. How your restaurant looks, is almost as important as how your food tastes. At the end of the day, the décor and design should not only relate to the food, and the theme of the restaurant, but also to the patrons' mindset and lifestyle! Check out these two Mumbai-based eateries - Nido (designed by Ashiesh Shah) and The White Owl Brewery (designed by Noorie Sadarangani) that highlight innovative uses of space and inspiring design ideas to infuse a bit of zing into the experience of eating out!

© Courtesy of The White Owl Brewery - internet sources

Restaurant design in India has evolved over the last decade or so, mainly because people want an experience when they dine, instead of just sitting at a table and eating their food. The past decade has seen a transcendence in not only the kind of cuisines we get to taste, but also the kinds of environments we get to do so in. The bottom line is, It’s not only about creating a culinary experience anymore. We see a lot of restaurants trying out the raw, industrial look, with exposed concrete and ceiling pipes on one side while many others opt for a vintage look on the other. There are a number of permutations and combinations that are viable, playing mix-and-match with two  different styles to create an exciting, new unique eclectic style by itself. The main challenge is however, to understand, what the client, and then the customer wants.

Images: 2, 3, 4, 5: Nido, by Ashiesh Shah

With Nido, the plush  garden cafe in Bandra, designer Ashiesh Shah, followed the brief to the hilt. The clients were looking for an all-day café, something that would function as an oasis in the otherwise busy streets of Mumbai. They didn’t want it to be conventional, but something that was still quirky, yet completely habitable. On the other hand, What Bandra needed more than anything was a garden café, an alcove that people could get lost in. The design studio went in a completely new direction by restructuring a page straight out of an eighteenth century tale and creating a narrative with the design, with its museum-like setting full of interesting antiques and wares.

In these contemporary times, we're seeing a move away from convention and conservative elegance in standalone restaurant design. The thing about design is that there’s really never one solution to a problem. There is no wrong and right, and new styles can be created overnight by combining existing ones, but then again, that’s the beauty of how design works. Nido does that- it rightly fuses the fairytale and the futuristic, two contrasting narratives and weaves them seamlessly to create a unique experience. ‘There are so many magical places in books that you can’t go to, so I wanted to create a story in a place that people can visit every day, for a coffee, or a glass of chardonnay.’ Says Ashiesh Shah, principal designer at the Ashiesh Shah Studio.

We now belong to a world where everyone is conscious of the fact that design is personal not only to its creator, but also to its user. How your restaurant looks, is almost as important as how your food tastes. At the end of the day, the décor and design should not only relate to the food, and the theme of the restaurant, but also the patrons of the café who come there to eat. How we create an environment that each diner feels at ease with, is the true challenge of restaurant design.

Images 1, 6, 7, 8: The White Owl Brewery, by Obataimu

The White Owl Brewery, in Lower Parel is another such example. The dark brewery designed by Obataimu- is industrial chic with bicycle wheels, truck tyres and electric sockets all being used to dramatic effect in an L-shaped dining area. A long bar with a strip of yellow lights completes the look, where as a wall decked with out-of-use switches creates an awe-inspiring background. The brewery is eclectic in its own unique way, a popular spot for Mumbai’s nightlife, as much for its experience, as it is for its food.

Designer Noorie Sadarangani, who is the principal designer at Obataimu, a design studio in Mumbai, describes the café as non-pretentious, and comforting, fitting into the young, fresh perspective that we want to see in more cafes and restaurants today. The interesting thing to note, is that most of these restaurants are becoming highly individualistic, with their show-stopping interiors, and their defining experiences- one-of-a-kind, in  more than one way.

But how does one achieve this individualism?  Nowadays, it’s not only about what you eat, and how you eat, but where you eat is also an equally important parameter. In some ways, the restaurant should celebrate the meal, and the experience of dining out.  Conservatism is boring. Carefully arranged ambience is a great start, with a convenient choice of decor style, colors, illumination and background music. Of course, you can do much more – ambience is just the frame where everything happens – the content is crucial. Each designer brings the world their café, in every sense. Once you enter the restaurant you are whisked into a world full of findings. Whether it is an industrial warehouse which functions as an eatery, or a page straight out of an Enid Blyton novel which transports you to a comfortable pantry, or even if you are whisked to a magical world of woodland creatures with hints of postmodern futurism, the effort is obvious!

Because here, you get to eat your food, and experience it too.

Designer : Ashiesh Shah (Nido) & Obataimu (The White Owl Brewery)
Photography :Sources & Research

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