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Improve your small restaurant's ambience with vintage touches


Restaurant design can make or break your clients’ experience.

It’s never been so important, and at the same time, it’s never gone through so much change as in these first six months of 2020. This post focuses on how achieving a vintage look will add to the modern ambience of your restaurant.

We also take a brief peek at how vintage aesthetics are changing in restaurant design because of the changes that the bar and restaurant industries are going through.

Mining the past for restaurant ambience ideas

We would argue that restaurants in a smaller space actually have an advantage over larger, established restaurants. It’s just easier to experiment with elements to enhance your restaurant’s feel and overall experience if you’re working in a tighter interior environment.

Mining the Past is a major trend in 2020, but what does this mean? As a concept, its core tenet is that by looking at the design trends and techniques of the past, we can build spaces that are more ‘human’ in the future. By ‘human’ we mean that the individual experience of a space comes first, rather than aesthetics.

To give your small restaurant a vintage injection, start small. Look at your materials and façade first. Contrast and compare your concept with design elements or schools of the past to see if there’s a correlation there.

Then expand.

How to get that 'vintage' interior decor look

Let’s look at what restauranteurs are doing for some practical inspiration!

Carlo e Camilla in Segheria, Italy, designed and launched by Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco and art director Tanja Solci, is a perfect example of a fusion of vintage interior design with industrial architectural space.

They’ve pared back the interior of this restaurant to the bare essentials but added some spectacle to it nonetheless with the addition of sumptuous vintage chandeliers.

What can you do with your restaurants’ lighting and interior architecture to achieve the same effect?

Restaurant interiors impacted by Corona Virus restrictions

Subtle changes will be taking place in restaurant spaces as a direct result of Covid-19 space restrictions.

Tables will be moving further apart, capacity will be cut down to as much as 50%, and even physical barriers may be introduced to keep diners safe.

Different restaurants have been experimenting with a post-Corona-virus restaurant experience using dining pods or bubbles to keep diners separated, but for the majority of small restaurant owners, this is simply not possible.

The vibe of your restaurant is crucial here, to keep customers interested in the experience of dining out.

Vintage dining booths to the rescue

Curving booths do a lot of legwork when it comes to controlling noise levels, enhancing the intimate feel of the dining experience and pandering to the sense of touch (especially if they’re upholstered in velvet).

They also keep diners neatly separated from each other without it being too overt.

Here’s a perfect example from the Palihouse in Santa Monica, USA, that ticks all the boxes:

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With your restaurant small on space, you have a winning opportunity to narrow your focus on a small number of diners at a time, so make the most of it.

Check out how our easy-clean upholstery performs in a real-life restaurant space.

Adapting your restaurant for a changing world

Uncertainty in the world on many levels is making business harder than ever to perform successfully.

Businesses across the bar and restaurant industry are scrambling to stay attractive and relevant, and many small restaurant owners are hard-pressed to find ways to keep up with those who have a wider footprint or brand recognition.

We hope that you can put your best foot forward by looking back into the past. Vintage interior design is timeless in a way that people find reassuring nowadays, so now is a great time to be working with it.


More ideas? The more the merrier

Thank you for reading our blog post! Check out the entire ‘restaurant’ hub here on the FibreGuard website for more ideas.

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