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Improve your small restaurant's ambience with vintage touches

Do you want to create a distinctively inviting atmosphere in your small restaurant? In this article, we will explore how you can use colours, vintage furniture, and vintage-inspired tableware to create a memorable dining experience in your restaurant.

Work with colours to get a 'vintage' feel in your small restaurant

Really consider what colours you're going to work with, and get colour testing with colour swatches. Choose warm and earthy colours like mustard yellow, olive green, or rusty red to create a lived-in feel. Here's a beautiful example from the real world: La Ganea, Italy, by Studio Mabb.

The interiors of La Ganea restaurant, in Brescia, Italy, are defined by a material palette of plaster and timber with iron accents. The restaurant was designed by Studio Mabb.

This former farmhouse dates back to the 16th century and was renovated into a minimalist space with dark wood, iron fixtures and earth tones.

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La Ganea, Italy, by Studio Mabb

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Ethos restaurant in South Africa is a stunning Mediterranean oasis in the middle of South Africa. Read the FibreGuard case study: Our easy-clean upholstery is perfect for Ethos restaurant

Incorporate vintage furniture and menu items

When it comes to restaurant furniture, we suggest you search either for true vintage pieces, or items with distressed finishes - why not mix and match? A quick way to signal a vintage feel in any interior is to use light fixtures with filament bulbs to create a nostalgic atmosphere with a lovely mellow light.

If you'd like to create a really special experience, go beyond decor. Think about offering vintage-inspired dishes or classic recipes from the past on your menu to complete the overall experience. Research traditional recipes from the era you are evoking and put your own twist to make them unique.

Remember, creating a vintage feel is all about attention to detail and consistency. By incorporating these tips, you can transport your guests to another era and create a memorable dining experience in your small restaurant!

deep truffle-coloured velvet fabric_opera
deep truffle-coloured velvet fabric_opera

A quick guide to vintage tableware for small restaurants

Use vintage-inspired tableware, as it's a quick way to add elegance and nostalgia to your table settings. For example:

  • Shop around for antique China plates with intricate patterns or delicate floral designs. Turn up the whimsy in your restaurant with mismatched cutlery, like silver plate demitasse teaspoons. Why not embrace the charm of mismatched teacups and saucers? Look for antique teacup sets in various patterns and colours to create a whimsical feel for your restaurant.
  • The Art Deco era was famous for its glassware, and it gives an instant feel to a space without much effort involved, characterised as it is by distinctive geometric patterns.
  • Crystal glasses with etched designs or coloured glassware can create a stylish look pretty much effortlessly.
  • Mid 20th century flatware is another striking choice, with its retro designs and patterns, such as Bakelite handles or silver-plated motifs.

Remember to consider the overall theme and atmosphere you want to create in your restaurant and choose tableware that complements that style. Research local antique shops, estate sales, or online marketplaces like the vintage shops on Etsy or the vast, fabulous tableware section at 1stdibs for a wide range of vintage tableware options.

Want more retro? Read this: Autumn trend watch: it's the 1970s again and Wes Anderson inspired interiors are IN

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Described as an ‘accidental interior design icon’, Wes Anderson's set designs have inspired everything from hotel design to café interiors – why not sip an espresso and eat a slice of tiramisu at the Prada Foundation in Milan’s Bar Luce, which was designed by Anderson himself.

Noise quality is crucial to the success of small restaurants

The noise level should be moderate, so guests can talk easily and hear one another. If you are in a small space, make sure that the acoustics are good. Low ceilings with hard surfaces will amplify sound and make it difficult for guests to have conversations.

To ensure that you have a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere, choosing the right materials is key.

By introducing a few simple measures, you can easily alleviate most sound issues in your restaurant. Learn more about acoustical design. 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.

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:

Stain resistant performance fabrics: perfect for your small restaurant

Many business owners tend to stick to using only dark colours in their establishments in order to hide dirt and stains more easily. However, with FibreGuard fabrics, you have the opportunity to explore the rainbow of colours and add a vibrant touch to your space.

FibreGuard offers stain-resistant performance fabrics in a wide variety of shades, ensuring that even the most colourful choices will remain clean and fresh-looking.

By venturing beyond the traditional dark hues, you can infuse your bar or restaurant with a lively and inviting atmosphere, without sacrificing cleanliness and durability. With FibreGuard fabrics, you can embrace the beauty of colourful textiles while maintaining a practical and stain-resistant environment.

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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