What’s New in Restaurant Paint Color Palettes and Design?

by Admin May 17, 2019

Delicious insights about dining design from commercial designers across the country.
Credit: Article and photos from Sherwin-Williams.

Forget starched white tablecloths and muted palettes. Today, restaurants are designed to entertain, to surprise, to create Instagrammable moments — and color plays an essential role. Branding, mood, day-to-night ambiance and the personality of the chef or owner all give a restaurant its custom look. We spoke to nationally known commercial designers to discover the trends they’re creating.

Natural Materials
Natural elements like wood and slate are very popular right now, according to Hannah Weiner, interior designer at Phase Zero Design in Boston.

“The trend is to create cozy, rustic, authentic spaces that lend an almost ‘mom and pop’ feel,” she says. “The effect is created by starting with 85 percent of neutral colors — mostly black contrasted with grays and whites. Once that neutral palette is laid, pops of color are added on accent walls, banquettes, upholstery, pillows and wall décor to give the space a warm feeling.”


Crack’d is a culinary-driven eatery in Andover, Massachusetts. Phase Zero Design incorporated a “mom and pop” vibe by utilizing murals, grays and pops of color.

Muted Pastels
Tanya Spaulding, principal at Shea Design in Minneapolis, sees restaurant design color going from an industrial, dark and heavy vibe to a lighter, more colorful one.

“Designers have been using gray as a primary base for restaurants for a while now, but I’m seeing that transform into muted pastels instead,” she says. “Incorporating these colors into smaller areas, like on a private dining room wall or on pillows, provides energy and life to a space, and can easily be updated every few years for a fresh look and feel.”


Benedict’s is a breakfast diner in Wayzata, Minnesota. Shea Design specified muted pastels to evoke a midcentury style.

Plants
Another trend restaurant designers are seeing this year is the icorporation of indoor plants.

“The trend is to create cozy, rustic, authentic spaces that lend an almost ‘mom and pop’ feel,” she says. “The effect is created by starting with 85 percent of neutral colors — mostly black contrasted with grays and whites. Once that neutral palette is laid, pops of color are added on accent walls, banquettes, upholstery, pillows and wall décor to give the space a warm feeling.”

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