Reclaimed wood has been trending in restaurants large and small for nearly a decade. What was once an amazing branding story, has started to cross over into that overused realm of design. It seems to have lost that depth that once defined it.That being said, we're still huge fans of using solid wood to tell a story — just don't show us another “reclaimed” wood wall! We're fans of using wood in new and innovative ways, adding a unique panache to a restaurant's interior design. Here are three major trends we’re seeing in restaurant design, and they are all focused around one thing…. solid wood table tops!
1. Reinforce Branding
Creating a visual language that captivates customers and pulls them into your restaurant is the result of a cohesive branding strategy. From the linens to the lights, every single detail counts. Successful restaurant brands understand this.
Thanks to innovative technology and updates to traditional woodworking techniques, we’ve noticed a new trend in tables: graphic printed table tops. From the bold patterns to subtle logos, we’re in love with the creativity these designers are showcasing.
(Graphic printed table tops by GR Chair. Make a statement and reinforce branding initiatives.)
(Star Burger uses graphic table and unique shaped tables to add visual interest.)
(Le Petit Bretange designed by Paul Crofts Studio.)
2. Context & Texture
If your brand screams “organic and farm fresh” shouldn’t that same look and feel be associated with every element in your space? Or if you’re going for more of an upscale luxury concept, basic laminate table with t-mold edge just won’t cut it. Which is why we’re so excited about this next big trend: the use of rustic wood species to add texture and warmth to a restaurant.
Finally we’re seeing Hickory, Walnut, and White Oak table tops hitting mainstream QSR/FSR chains, and we couldn’t be happier. Each of these rustic wood species has an extremely unique grain pattern, color variation, and texture.
(Hickory has striking color variations that scream rustic, natural, farm fresh)
(Terrain Cafe, image via. Food 52)
Hickory has stunning color variations; you’ll find tops peppered with naturally occurring knots and unique lines creating quite the graphic statement, making it great for those farm-to-table concepts. Walnut is the epitome of luxury when it comes to solid wood table tops. We prefer ours with a Danish Oil finish as the oil helps bring out the richness of the dark chocolate colored wood.
(Dylan Communal Table in Walnut with Danish Wood Oil)
3. Sustainable Sourcing
The same care and consideration that goes into sourcing the menu should go into sourcing restaurant tables and chairs. Thankfully, we’ve noticed a trend in the foodservice industry shifting its furniture supplier base from overseas and bringing it back to American-Made manufacturers.
Not only does this majorly reduce the carbon footprint that your furniture creates during shipment, but the impact your purchases have on the number of US manufacturing jobs is profound. Then take into consideration the increased level of service, the number of customization options, and repair support are just the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae.
There's no denying the reclaimed wood look has been done. So, the next time you look to solid wood tables, go for the unexpected by choosing playful prints, unique engravings, or stand-out species.
* Featured image via messynessychic.com of Klay Saint Sauveur