Armchairs, benches, sofas: we’ve predicted that restaurant seating that falls outside of the norm will be a hot trend in 2018 as hip eateries look for new ways to embrace the unusual. Don’t get us wrong, dining chairs are anything but boring. They come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, but as commercial spaces increasingly morph into spaces that feel more like our homes, it makes sense for restaurants to embrace this trend. Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to consider seating that customers just won’t expect?
Comfortable and classy, lounge chairs encourage customers to sit back and relax. Frequently found in warm, inviting cafes and tucked into quiet corners of bars, these cozy seats are making their way into all types of restaurants. Lounge chairs have seat heights around 15”, as opposed to 18” on a conventional restaurant chair, which gives designers some fun options when working with soft seating. Here are some uses we love:
Tucked beneath tables or lining short counters, low stools are understated and undeniably stylish. The absence of a back makes stools seem smaller, though their footprints and seat sizes may be the same as a normal chair. This opens these versatile pieces up to uses in spaces where chairs may seem cumbersome. Regardless of whether or not space is a factor, stools bring serious style to the table (no pun intended). Upholstered with fun fabrics, they can be playful and contemporary; made with wood and carved legs, they’re decidedly country comfort. Modern lines of white oak and powder coated steel give off an air of sophistication and class. There’s a stool for every style, but here are some of our favorites uses:
Dessert Kitchen, designed by Matt Woods, Photo by David Wheeler
If lounge chairs suggest comfort, couches demand it. While they’re no strangers to restaurant settings, couches were often found in waiting areas and luxurious powder rooms before they were brought into the dining space. Although slightly unconventional as restaurant chairs, these comfy, plush seats are a great way to give diners a unique, memorable experience. Be sure to pick out couches that are easy to clean and maintain, though, as restaurant customers will inevitably spill anything you serve on your beautiful cushions.
Chiswick Fire Station
Novelty seating can take many forms, and restaurants around the globe have really stretched the concept of a chair to its limit. From theater seats to wooden logs to the back halves of mopeds, creative designers and restaurant owners have refused to be bound by convention. While they’re not for everyone, novelty seating options can surprise and delight -- as long as they’re used with purpose.
Axiom Studio, BHDM Design, Design-Milk
From hip to zany, non-traditional restaurant chairs are bringing a new layer of fun to restaurant design. What do you think of this new trend? Let us know!
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