2020 Restaurant Design Trends

by GR Chair

Now trending: design that's fun! For 2020, we're all about taking risks and having a bit more fun with design. Think crazy color combos, bold pattern play, and references to decades like the '70s and '80s.  Below are the top 5 restaurant design trends you'll see in 2020 (and in our new Look Book Vol. 5: The Trends Edition).

1. Tone-on-tone Interiors
2. Maximalism
3. Cozy and Comfortable Spaces
4. '80s Influences
5. Wellness

1. Tone-on-Tone Interiors

Last year, some of our favorite monochromatic spaces opted for less dramatic color choices in favor of warm beige tones and light woods, like this bakery in Vancouver designed by Ste Marie, or this cookie shop in the West Village designed by The New Design Project, while other restaurant interiors weren't afraid of bold colors

As a counterpoint to maximalism, a tonal look combines carefully curated layers of varying hues, textures, and materials to create a space that feels both contemporary and bold. Add natural materials like stone and wood to enhance the tactile experience to create a space that's effortlessly relaxed. 

StMarie_BeigeBakery_VancouverDesigned by Ste Marie, this Vancouver artisanal flour shop and bakery wanted an interior that felt like you were standing in the middle of a wheat field on a sunny day. 

ToneonTone_HughWindsor-style chairs in a natural wood finish and a matching, built-in bench pair nicely with the off white walls to create a calming space designed by Metric Structures

2. Maximalism Design

After years of anemic white walls and rustic barn wood, maximalism happily ushers in a sense of grandeur and excess. A carefully curated mash of unapologetically bold patterns, saturated colors, and eccentric finishes all have a place here. Beyond mixing patterns and textures. Beyond mixing patterns and textures, you'll see more antique elements mixed with modern furniture to create the perfect layered look. 

Maximalism_OttomansCoffeeOttoman's Coffee designed by Alvin Tkelly-wearstler-hotel-design-maximalismProper Hotel in San Francisco. Designed by Kelly Wearstler

3. Comfortable Seating

This trend has been gaining momentum over the past few years (as noted in our 2019 trend forecast) and we've already seen this trend take over the office world with the rise of "resimercial" spaces, but in 2020, expect the world of restaurant design to go full-steam ahead with the comfort trend.

While the industrial aesthetic dominated the 2010s, in this new decade you can expect to see more upholstery in the form of lounge areas, upholstered booths, and fully upholstered chairs. From a fast casual to a five-course meal, you'll see more interiors that are designed to be as easy on the eyes as they are on the rear no matter the duration of dinner. Think generously cushioned seats, pillow soft backs, and dreamy upholstery details. 

Cushioned-Seats_1Cushioned-Seats_2The dreamy interior of  the Y Restaurant designed by Asthetíque features pillow soft upholstered chairs and over-sized bench seating.  Photo by Mikhail Loskutov.

4. '80s Influences

Everyone loves to hate on the '80s, but the era known for big hair and even bigger sleeves undoubtedly left a lasting impression on the world of interior design. From floor-to-ceiling florals to Memphis-inspired patterns, the decade that gave us The Breakfast Club and MTV is back in a big way. You'll see furniture and architecture that has more geometric shapes, over-sized proportions, and bolder color schemes, like our Frankie table collection. 

Electric-Feel-GoodSplatter paint inspired upholstery, electrifying colors, and oddly nostalgic modern chairs make this space insanely memorable. Electric Feel Good designed by Stacy Whitworth.

80sJohn Anthony Restaurant designed by Linehouse  combines rattan furniture, sweeping arches, and modern florals to create a Golden Girls-esque luxury restaurant in Hong Kong. Also keep you eyes peeled for exciting new ways to use terracotta elements in spaces. 80s_2The Imperial Hotel in Sydney designed by Alexander & Co. Photo by Anson Smart

5. Wellness Restaurant Trend

 The "wellness" trend doesn't just imply a room full of plants (although that does help). Wellness-focused design means creating spaces that promote a better, healthier lifestyle (mentally and physically). These places often become an oasis of sorts in urban areas, acting as an escape from the hustle of city life, and a convenient opportunity to unplug. This trend is so popular that even specialty apparel company, Lululemon jumped in the game, creating a one-of-a-kind cafe experience in their newest flagship store in Chicago. 

Wellness_1Natural light and natural materials fill this healthy cafe. Bana Cafe designed by Amit Studio in Tel Aviv

Wellness_2Lorne Restaurant uses varying types of timber throughout the space, and when paired with natural stones and concrete the space feels bright and earthy. 

Wellness_3Even a wine bar can embrace the wellness trend, Ete Restaurant designed by Foolscape Studios with finishes and textures inspired by nature. We're particularly in love with the over-sized floral arrangements. 

To see these trends in action, download our latest Look Book today. It's 24 pages of bold colors, exciting finishes, inspiring installs, and a peek at our newest collections. 

Grand Rapids Chair Look Book Vol. 5


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