The restaurant industry is constantly changing: new products, new technologies appear, something is returning, and something is becoming a thing of the past. Along with gastronomy, the appearance of restaurants is changing: the interior that was fashionable several years ago today looks like last season. We asked interior designers to tell us which trends are no longer relevant and what to expect from restaurant interiors next year.
- 1 Radical monocolor and deliberate old-fashioned
- 2 Search for new difficulty
- 3 Integrity and Minimalism
- 4 Instagram Interior
Three years ago I talked about new trends in restaurant design, alternatives to seriously boring clichés like open brickwork, industrial lamps and the general state of attrition. Surprisingly for this short time completely independent and noticeable new trends managed to appear. The interiors began to be cleared of darkness and patina, let in color and light, glossy textures and expensive materials: marble, stone, velvet.
These techniques eventually became ubiquitous, and we got a new set of annoying stamps. Firstly, brass and terrazzo in different forms (lamps with brass parts mounted at different heights, tables with brass sides, self-leveling floors with large pieces of colored stones or small crumbs). Secondly, velvet of bright colors: rich green (swamp or emerald) and deep blue against a background of terracotta and dirty pink. Perhaps this is what the visual stream has saturated to the limit and is definitely losing relevance.
Interest in strong color still remains, but not in the battered combinations of pink with green, but in increasingly diverse and unexpected combinations, such as Treves & Hyde in London. A lot of new interiors are built around a complex, intricate combination of colors. This approach, pushed to the limit, has grown into a separate popular trend – a radical monocolor: a love of color manifested itself in interiors flooded with the same color from floor to ceiling. Designers either use the same color for all surfaces, or resort to playing several similar shades. The main task here is to competently combine different materials painted in one color to create a feeling of total reception. The most commonly used material is powder-coated metal: this method allows you to get a saturated color of any selected shade.
Another trend is deliberate old-fashioned, as in Heroine in Rotterdam or Sulla Bocca di Tutti in Stockholm. This is not a retro touch, which was present in the interiors of terrazzo, velvet and brass, but a literal reproduction of the style of another era – the 60s, 70s, or even 30s – creating the effect of a movie or theater decoration.
The next clearly visible trend is a dark interior with unusual landscaping. Plants in the interior have long been commonplace, but here we are talking about incredible solutions: huge trees, ferns, green compositions (even designs) combined with a black or dark gray background and light accents on the green. I think it began with Potafiori in Milan – a very bright place, built on the contrast of a heap of many bright floral bouquets to the large empty surfaces of the dark gray walls.
Reception of isolation is typical for restaurants in historical interiors. The filling of the restaurant – furniture, equipment, decor – is emphasized separated from the space itself and becomes like temporary pop-up objects.
Neutrality in the interior still does not lose relevance: these are interpretations of Scandinavian or Asian minimalism in bright colors. Accurate interiors shift the emphasis from design to food, communication and other components of the restaurant experience. Of course, this is not something new, but most of the opening places are still designed in this way. Plus recently, more and more interiors have been highlighted, resolved rather as living spaces: for example, Sticks’n’Sushi in London or Vinaria in Venice.
Total art object
And finally, my favorite is the interesting and bold spaces of a powerful total architectural and sculptural gesture. For example, a huge green concrete grille that organizes the entire interior space of Times Square Diner.
Since there are always a lot of utilitarian elements on the floor and it is usually solved more conventionally, the total interior-determining gesture is most often set precisely by the ceiling – as, for example, in the Paris hotel Les Bains, where a glossy burgundy substance hangs in large drops over the restaurant space. And the most striking, perhaps, is the Enigma restaurant of Pritzker’s laureates last year, the Catalans RCR: it is made as a decoration of an ice palace from a fabulous retro film.
Today in Moscow there are many good places, so new projects need uniqueness not only gastronomic, but also atmospheric. The main trend is the desire to search for a new complexity: a game of textures, shadows, colors in elegant forms. The readymade objects are leaving, copyright elements of lighting, furniture and art are created for each interior.
The uniqueness of the atmosphere that the interior gives rise to is created through unusual methods. The bar landing in the Testa pizzeria and the round counter as the main element of the interior is an unconventional approach, but, as practice has shown, successful. At the same time, timeless materials return to the interiors: marble, plaster, terrazzo – interpreted and updated at the request of the author, they age beautifully and immerse us in the atmosphere of old European cafes.
For the world overloaded with information, the value of what can be briefly and succinctly described is high. Designer Ashley Sutton sold three different establishments in Hong Kong over the year (Ophelia, Iron Fairies, J. Boroski), each of which is surprising and memorable. “And you were in that place with butterflies on the ceiling?” – and everything is immediately clear to whoever was, and curious to those who were not. The instagramness of the interiors is also mainly about this.
We share all the trends into natural and artificial – fleeting, which are imposed by fashion or the desire to sell us new furniture, light or interior. Natural ones appear by themselves, due to changes in life. And we try not only to follow them, but to predict or foresee them: which trends will remain relevant and which will come.
In the places of the near future, the functional boundaries are blurred, now the interest of each guest determines the space. Last year, we opened Community Moscow – a great example of a multifunctional space where there is a restaurant, a theater, a dance floor, a lecture hall, and a library. The library, firstly, because intelligence is a new sexy, and secondly, it has always been a place where people of interest gathered, that is, the community.
At the same time, monoconceptions in restaurant kitchens also remain in trend, moreover, this goes into interiors, which are becoming less eclectic, more integral and minimalistic.
Author’s interior and kitchen
The main thing in the interior for us is the concept. We always considered our style to be copyright, we said that we should strive for something that had not yet happened. And recently we read that the author’s style is a new trend. It turns out that now we are in the trend, although we have always tried to avoid this. Ideally, when you see the chef you came to behind the kitchen counter. Therefore, open kitchens will not leave the natural trend. For example, in Lucky Izakaya Bar, we made most of the landings at the kitchen bar. At the same time, they even lowered the floor in the working area so that guests sitting at a standard-height countertop could see all the magic of the kitchen.
What is no longer trending? Gone are the clubs; they are not replaced by places where you can eat and dance – the same Community, which we talked about above. Every year passing trends and fashionable concepts go away: now it is powdery color, green velvet and arches. Also leaves the gold color as an accent in the decor. But since we do not follow trends, we open Selection: one half of the restaurant is gold and the other is black. We are not afraid to use the outgoing color of gold: it ideally fits the concept, and this is much more important for us.
We hope that beer restaurants, which are already quite open for the championship, will leave the trends. A couple of years ago we already told customers that it was too late to open a burger; now it’s probably too late to discover fish concepts, it’s time to come up with something new.
In my opinion, there are currently no trends or frameworks: everyone can do anything, the main thing is to do well. Art, design, fashion – everything is mixed up, and this mix gives great opportunities. Due to the speed and scale of the dissemination of information, all trendy trends are now extremely outdated. If earlier it was possible to live in a fashionable interior for about five years, now it is no more than a year or two, therefore it is important and necessary to build a project taking into account its life in the long term. The interiors in which different techniques are combined feel good: old, new, handmade and modern laconic elements – this creates the feeling that this place has already lived for some time.
Regardless of trends and time, in my opinion, the design (and especially the design of commercial spaces) is extremely important story, which is laid down in the project – in fact, as in the stage design. This is the foundation that will allow you to build a frame, combine all the elements together and create a new holistic product. For example, we always write history in words, and I can’t work on a project until I understand what I’m actually doing.
There are many requests for instagram interior – hence the abundance of puppet interiors, memorable paintings and drawings on the walls, corners for photos and the like. I do not particularly support this, this technique should not become an end in itself. Everything that is done must be embedded in the concept of the place. A huge flow of information goes through the skin, through touch, so textures, textures play an important role in the overall perception. The guests are now very informed, educated, so they are waiting for an honest, respectful attitude to themselves. I foresee even more interesting, non-classical in understanding the architecture and organization of space restaurants. Open kitchens, deployed, torn racks – the guest is more and more involved in the process and becomes its active participant.