While checkered table cloths, images of major Italian tourist attractions, or statues of grapevines seem to be the standard images for an Italian restaurant décor, the truth of the matter is that Italian restaurants are designed in diverse ways. The Italian interior design of a restaurant varies on the provenance, cuisine, and target audience. Decorating an Italian restaurant can pose a challenge to some restaurateurs, especially if they are not presented with potential design options inherent in their space. But as a restaurateur, you are only as limited as your imagination.
Modern Italian Restaurant Design
Modern, Avant-garde and luxury often come to mind at the mention of an Italian restaurant design.
With a well-established design history that goes back many centuries, it’s fair to say that the Italian aesthetic has become a mainstay, especially in a modern restaurant design. An Italian modern restaurant design draws on finding the right balance between timeless class and sleek elegance.
1.Decorations and Wall Art
Ivory wall background color with brick wall paper, murals of famous Italian singers and actors/actresses draw inspiration from the past while continuously keep the concept fresh, opulent and up-to-date. This style finds a way to evolve with the times while maintaining its originality within its niche of the restaurant design industry. Some modern Italian restaurants will opt for a more rustic decor emphasizing an industrial style with polished cement, shiny chrome pipes on the walls or ceiling, and splashes of muted earthy tones to warm up the design elements.
2. Modern Lighting
Lighting is a crucial feature in a restaurant design scheme. Ceiling lights are standard in most restaurants. Bold and eye-catching pendant lighting, such as the ones seen hanging over the tables, instantly upgrade the style of modern looking Italian restaurants. They add both visual interest and beautiful illumination. Their refreshing design brings a sense of refinement to even the most informal interiors. The black wide circular and cylinder lamp holders with hexagonal design patterns hold the pendant fixtures together, giving them a sleek and slender appearance.
3. Table and Seating Layout
Restaurant furniture like plank wood tables, upholstered vintage style chairs and cushioned plain back restaurant booths are used as an opportunity to be expressive and artistic while remaining in the confines of tasteful luxury exuding richness. Wall dividers prevent diners from feeling overcrowded while lending some coziness to the dining room.
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Upscale Italian Restaurant Design
While standard Italian restaurant design schemes typically revolve around checkered table cloths, images of grapevines, romantic statues and other tourist attractions, they are not the only decorations available. Depending on the clientele you are trying to target or how you want your patrons to feel when they dine at your restaurant, there are a myriad of ways to represent the rich unique Italian dining culture. Fine dining Italian restaurants tend to have a more intimate, luxurious yet expansive look with decorative finesse. Unique architecture and opulent interior designs of a fine dining Italian establishment are created for guests to enjoy exceptional views and an intimate atmosphere while eating.
1. Colors and Decoration
More formal Italian restaurants like to use vintage fixtures, ornamental wall decorations, wooden walls and carpeting that are beautifully patterned on the floor. Dark wooden floors along with decorative items on the wall create a wonderful contrast to the elegant white table cloths draped over the solid plank wood restaurant tables. Back-lit wine shelves in between these decorations create a sleek restaurant seating arrangement. Warm and dark hues are often used as color themes in Italian fine dining settings as they release a more intimate feeling.
A fine dining approach to an Italian restaurant design includes button tufted restaurant booths, restaurant wood chairs and wood tables adorned in white linen cloths with fancy china and glassware. In spaces where intimacy play a central role, diners can get comfortable for dinner and drinks with cushioned upholstered lounge chairs or sofas. Plain walls and mirrors compliment the seating layout and give character to the entire interior.
3. Lighting and mood
Lighting, especially in an upscale Italian restaurant design style, impacts the design and creation of the restaurant’s mood. Muted lighting with hanging light pendants set the romantic mood most upscale Italian restaurants aim for. Ambient lighting is often used in fine dining restaurants. Warm colored, low density lighting creates an upscale atmosphere, especially in areas where patrons like to sit closely together such as in lounges or in a restaurant’s bar. Candles placed at the center of the table with soft classical music in the background can elevate the romantic ambiance for couples dining out on a date night.
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Classic, Informal Italian Restaurant Setting
Italian restaurants in general have a special charm that draws in guests. The interior design of a classic / family-owned Italian restaurant use decor elements that showcase a family story. Such decor themes enable the owners, family members and staff to work together in providing a homey and welcoming feeling to guests stopping by. The idea is to create an atmosphere that will encourage customers to spread the good word and return with family and friends.
1. Colors and Wall Decoration
Decorative components for a casual Italian restaurant decor feature natural materials for counter-tops, flooring, restaurant furniture, decorations and walls. When selecting colors for the motif, earthy colors and natural shades are a preferred choice. Bright colors for the walls with family portraits and paintings of Italian countrysides along with an open kitchen bring out the conviviality of the restaurant’s atmosphere. Cool shades like green, purple and blue create the illusion of a large dining space. The informal decor of an Italian restaurant highlights the comfort and joy of life.
2. Seating Layout and Furniture
With the focus of putting family ahead of everyone else, the ambiance tends to be more inviting and comfortable. Because these type of Italian restaurants draw large crowds, round reversible tables are often used as they can sit up to 6 people. Sometimes square tables are grouped together. Other simple restaurant furniture items like metal ladder back chairs are a great choice as they stand against corrosion, dents and chipping. Plus the chairs' versatile timeless design is welcomed in most decor themes. Because most guests come to these restaurants with toddlers and babies, it’s always a good idea to have a couple of highchairs on hand.
3. Lighting and mood
Fixtures that evenly distribute high density light help make the dining room look bigger. Lighting does a lot to reinforce the restaurant’s brand. Hanging light pendants with bright lighting are usually seen at Italian informal/family-style restaurants. Bright lighting facilitates foot traffic and helps increase table turnover. This can be especially helpful for maximizing the midday rush. Dinnertime is also a restaurant’s busiest hour. Creating a relaxing mood through lighting is important for convincing guests to stay.
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Outdoor Italian Dining
Al Fresco dining best describes an Italian outdoor restaurant space. The term Al Fresco loosely translates as “in the cool air”. Nowadays, it means dining outdoors. Many diners enjoy the view and fun when eating with family and friends. Al Fresco dining season occurs in temperate climates as well as in the spring, summer and autumn months. Dining outside is enjoyed the most by people when the weather is beautiful. The style is casual and festive with a party-like atmosphere. In hot climates, Italian restaurants have covered patios or umbrellas to keep customers cool. Patio heaters are used in chilly climates to release warmth and keep customers comfortable.
1. Theme, Patio Furniture, and Layout
A restaurant patio is an extension of a restaurant. Outdoor restaurant seating attracts more diners. The outdoor waiting/dining area should be cozy and inviting. Teak wood patio tables paired with aluminum bamboo rattan chairs are a great choice. Not only are they made of materials that stand against harsh weather elements but the warmth of teak wood and the woven rattan design contributes to the Italian patio decor theme giving it more of a European look that is reminiscent of an outdoor dining scene in Rome or Tuscany. Many Italian restaurant patios are fenced off by patio partitions which allow them to enjoy the view while giving them the privacy they need.
2. Wood Decking
Wood decking is the crowning jewel of an Italian restaurant patio design. It is one of the most affordable ways to expand a restaurant while adding beauty and value to the patio space. This type of deck combines classic and modern elements. Cedar and redwood are best choices of material to use for the wood decking as they resist moisture, decay, rotting and infestation. Flooring uses PVC wood deck material in a variety of colors.
3. Color, Light and Ambiance
Using plants as dividers, outdoor light decorations, pops of color and gorgeous brick wall decor sets the tone for the ambiance created at an outdoor Italian restaurant space. Climbing vines, hanging baskets and container gardens are natural decoration pieces that concentrate on outdoor elements. Custom installations, candles or globe strands are great ways to brighten up everyone’s night while enjoying a nice Italian dinner outdoors.
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