Commercial interior design trends: Great ideas for restaurants and bars


Coming up a name, crafting a theme, finding the perfect location – yep, opening a restaurant or bar is a dream many budding business-savvy people in the UK share. But while the fun part is putting together a fantastic menu or sampling the weird and wacky cocktails you might serve, the hard part is often the interior design.

There are plenty of articles out there on design in our homes – particularly our kitchens and bathrooms – but there’s not much on commercial interior design. What ideas could you incorporate into your establishment? Whether you’re opening a new venue or just want to give your business a visual makeover, here are some tips on commercial interior design for restaurants and bars.

Show your values

The ability to stand out is so crucial for survival in the hospitality industry. From the logo to the menu and the overall aesthetic, creating a personality and encompassing your values is what makes customers come back. So how can you show customers your values as soon as they walk in the door?


Less-formal restaurants often have giant chalkboards on the wall showing off the menu, written out in a stylish-yet-trendy font that presents both dishes and prices in a clear manner. This completely rids the customer of any doubts they may have had, as:

·         They know what type of food is served

·         They know what is in each dish before they sit down

·         They know how much items on the menu cost

Even just the style and the type of language used gives customers an idea of what your place is all about. You’ll have no doubt have noticed plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes placing mini sandwich boards outside their doors with witty and whimsical phrases written on them. Whilst that idea isn’t new, finding your own ways to show customers your values through interior design is valuable.

Rustic furniture

Butcher block tables and higgledy-piggledy wooden furniture arrangements are currently all the rage, especially in the world of craft beer and gin bars. It gives each area of your establishment a unique, quirky feel, and means you’re not restricted in any way should you look to expand. Any item you see that you feel would work is welcome.

Different seating options

Leading on from the last point, a deliberately jumbled layout of table and chair styles gives each area of the restaurant/bar a unique feel. Your customers will develop their favourite places – one table when eating, another when just popping in for a drink.

It’s also a great way of maximising the space you have. Ten identical four-legged tables might not fit, but six tables, two barrel-style raised tables and plenty of seating at the bar might do the job just as well.

Stone fireplaces

Nothing creates a warm, welcoming atmosphere like a stone fireplace. These days, experts can design and fit limestone, granite, and slate fireplaces right in the heart of your restaurant or bar, allowing customers to gather round and enjoy the comforting heat in the winter, or simply admire the craftsmanship in summer.

Fireplaces have been a staple of old-fashioned country-style pubs for centuries, but more and more modern establishments are having them fitted too. Comfortable leather chairs and sofas around a table by the fire – it’s sure to get reserved every night.

Granite countertops/kitchen worktops

The bar is not only where your staff work to fix drinks and check food is ready to take to customers, it’s also where your customers park themselves in order to get their drinks or wait for a table. Because it’s often the first thing visitors will see and touch in your establishment, quality is everything.

bespoke granite and quartz countertop for your bar is the perfect addition. Depending on the size of your bar, a worktop specialist can work with you to create a unique look and shape that can help show your value and compliment your furniture and seating arrangements. The benefits of granite and quartz countertops are:

·         They don’t mark easily

·         They are heat and burn resistant

·         They are highly durable

Not only are these qualities ideal for the front of our house (i.e. your bar), but they’re also perfect for the chefs in the kitchen. While many restaurant kitchens have predominantly stainless steel worktops, an increasing amount are opting to switch to granite and quartz; for all the reasons above, getting your restaurant kitchen kitted out with granite and quartz is sure to please your culinary staff. It looks fantastic, too.

Marble bathroom worktops

In the same ways that granite and quartz are brilliant for designing bar countertops and kitchen worktops, so too is marble for restaurant and bar bathrooms. Bathroom marble worktops can be custom-made in varying styles, with sinks cut in a variety of shapes to suit your establishment’s flair.

When done right, a marble worktop in a bathroom can wow your customers with its elegance; people are sticklers for bathrooms with a certain pizzazz, and marble rarely disappoints.

When it comes to commercial interior design, it’s really down to a combination of personal taste and keeping up with the Joneses. The important thing, though, is to make sure the layout of your restaurant and bar fits in with your ideals. Oh, and have fun!