Restaurant Design Ideas: How to Do Rustic Without Dating Your Restaurant

by Andrea Reynolds

One of the restaurant design ideas many owners are gravitating to is described as the "rustic-industrial" space. These designs carefully combine elements that create an updated and finished space while strategically incorporating modern elements like silver or shiny finishes and mechanical-type elements. Rustic elements include things like wood and old factory-feeling pieces.

So, you may be wondering how can you strike this type of design harmony without leaning too far to that “old” feeling? Here are a few of our favorite rustic-industrial installations to help get you inspired. 



This Arby’s restaurant combines the rough feeling of the wooden walls and tables and partners it with metal chairs and glass lighting to create a classic, yet modern-looking environment. The juxtaposing design doesn’t end there, they up the drama factor with bold red Siren Barstools paired with wooden high-top, which serves as the restaurant’s complementary centerpiece.

New Holland Brewery - The Knickerbocker


See how those tables almost appear scratched? The tattered element complements the space rather than making it look tired and old. It humanizes an area that would otherwise have felt cold. The wood ceiling also creates a nice contrast to the trendy concrete floors—creating visual interest at both the top and the bottom of the establishment.

Get this Look at Your Restaurant:

  • High Ceilings With Wood Beams: Combining these two features creates a more modern architectural interest as well as a feeling of warmth from the wood.
  • Industrial Lighting: Common in old factories, industrial pendant lights (like you see in both Arby’s and New Holland photos above) bring an industrial feeling to a room while also providing an intimate vibe for each restaurant table.
  • Heavy MetalAn all metal chair with exposed welds screams industrial. We suggest using our clear coat finishes on an all-metal chair, which celebrates the color variation of the weld. Pair that seating with a rustic wood table, you’re sure to strike design harmony.
  • Weathered Items: Much like New Holland Brewery accomplished with their scratched tables, finding worn or scuffed materials that also have an elegant appeal helps make guests feel comfortable and welcome. If the scratches are a little extreme for you, be sure to check out our lightly distressed solid wood table options. We use a combination of traditional and non-traditional tools to create a unique look that isn’t so aggressive.

When designed and executed properly,  a rustic-industrial design concept should never feel dated. It should resonate with your visitors as a place that will not only satisfy their hunger, but the desire to have a unique but also classic dining experience.

New Call-to-action

Restaurant Design Restaurant Trends