Eat Well, Feel Good

When it comes to the latest restaurant designs, the trend is very much towards a “second living room” – the snug atmosphere is just as important as the dishes on the menu.

The guest is meant to feel at ease and going out is meant be an experience. That’s why an attractive ambience is just as relevant for today’s restaurants as an appealing selection of dishes and drinks. Accordingly, culinary locations are becoming increasingly cosier. Individual interior design hinges on warm, cheerful colours and snug furnishings. When geared to the cuisine and the respective target group, it turns the restaurant into a “second living room”.

Natural inspiration
When it comes to designing contemporary restaurants, interior designers take their inspiration from various worlds of experience. The concept for the FINE FOOD restaurant in Stockholm, for instance, alludes to mountain landscapes at various times of day. Design studio NOTE incorporated the many and varied hues of the natural landscape and sunlight into their design for the interior. The difficulty when it came to the furnishings lay in combining the establishment’s various uses as a café, lunchtime restaurant and bistro. The combination of these different functions led to a clear, bright space featuring calm, welcoming colours. They range from dark to light green and turquoise all the way to contrasting shades of salmon and peach that symbolise the sunlight in the mountains. The floor echoes the rocks and crags with various shades of grey. The materials used for the furniture are typically Scandinavian: natural materials like ash and leather put the finishing touches to the feel of this mountain-inspired space.

Easy to eat
The latest eateries are using cosy interior design to emphasise their home-away-from-home aspirations. The Nykke restaurant on the campus of Vienna University of Economics and Business, for instance, peppers its advertising with phrases like “feel at home” or “easy to eat”, thus drawing attention to the snug design approach used for its interior. The food isn’t the only thing inspired by Scandinavian influences: the furnishings are too. Lots of natural light, elegant wooden furniture, matching accessories and light colours conjure up a stylish living-room atmosphere in the two-storey restaurant. The simple and unobtrusive white seating by Czech bentwood specialist Ton is complemented by bright cushions, colourful lamps and floral motifs on the walls. And for gregarious guests, the “living room” concept also includes various snug seating areas and a big table on the ground floor.

Worlds of taste
Nowadays restaurants are based on overarching ideas that interpret the food and interior as a single entity. The “taste” conveyed by the food is meant to be reflected in the colours, textiles and furniture so that the chosen theme can be experienced with all the senses – as in the Poncelet Cheese Bar in Barcelona. As the name suggests, everything there revolves around cheese. The idea of creating a gathering place for cheese lovers was implemented by interior architecture practice EstudiHac. Planted walls, armchairs, chairs and bar stools by Spanish manufacturer Sancal are paired with spacious showcases and displays for the cheese so as to link the design with the restaurant’s culinary aspirations. The versatile interior design creates a sense of cosiness and whets guests’ appetite for the wide variety of cheeses available.

Intimate atmosphere
Even larger culinary establishments are joining in the trend towards snug and cosy interiors. Different furnishings, colours and zones can create an intimate ambience despite the size of the space. Russian restaurant Le Grill in Nizhniy Novgorod, for instance, has been fitted out with 240 pieces of furniture by Italian design experts Domitalia. Igor Kopeykin of Studio Art Stream and interior designer Elena Parkhova created an elegant setting in which individual units of colour and furnishings define individual areas. The result is a space that makes a continuous and harmonious impression yet still manages to convey an intimate atmosphere.

Every one of the featured restaurants provides its own special breed of hospitality, which is strongly influenced by the respective furnishings, fixtures and fittings. They are thus very much in line with the current interior design trend towards a more cosy, home-like feel that will be playing a key role at the coming imm cologne from 19th to 25th January 2015. At the international interiors show, exhibitors from the contract sector will be interpreting many different facets of the megatrend: with natural materials, warm colours and elegant textiles – for a sensuous atmosphere that creates a sense of wellbeing and enjoyment.

Source: Koelnmesse, reprint free of charge.