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What Are the Current Restaurant Furniture Trends in 2021?

A restaurant's decor is just as important as the food. The atmosphere completes the dining experience, so you don't want it to feel unwelcoming or outdated. From artwork to restaurant furniture, every detail should be chosen with care. 

Creating an on-trend space will attract customers and help your business grow. In today's social media-driven world, your design must be appealing in real life and online.

If your space is interesting and photogenic, diners will post about it on Facebook and Instagram. This is a powerful form of marketing, and it's free! But don't make the mistake of sacrificing comfort for beauty. 

Customers will leave if they can't find an enjoyable place to sit while they eat and drink. 

Before you begin designing or renovating your establishment, learn about what's in style. Keep reading for a list of 2021's current restaurant furniture trends. Add a few of these elements to your design plan to please even the most demanding diners. 

Several Seating Options

If one thing is for sure, it's that people love having options. Give them what they want by incorporating various types of seating into your restaurant design. 

Customers will be delighted to learn that they can choose from sofas, lounge chairs, or traditional dining tables. Arrange two sofas on opposite sides of a coffee table so groups can assemble. 

Upholstered lounge chairs can be clustered around low cocktail tables in a bar or entry area. Add candles or other tabletop accessories to complete the look. 

Restaurant Furniture in a restaurant with lots of pictures on the wall.

In the main area of your restaurant, offer conventional dining tables surrounded by comfortable chairs. There are so many styles to choose from, or you can design and order custom creations. 

Remember to include cushions and decorative pillows in your design. A custom upholstery service can help you select durable, washable commercial fabrics. 

With multiple seating arrangements to choose from, you can host guests for business dinners, family gatherings, or relaxing drinks with friends. 

Communal Tables

When it's safe to resume dining out after COVID-19, people will be ready to gather and socialize again. Don't be surprised to see a resurgence of big, boisterous groups walking through your front door. 

Long, food hall-style tables are a great idea if you want to add a fun, communal touch to your space. Perfect for parties without reservations, long tables with bench seating are often first-come, first-served.

Plenty of Planters

Plants have been a restaurant decor trend for a while, and they're here to stay. Designers are putting a new spin on planters with vertical installations and custom built-ins. 

Use wall gardens to grow fresh herbs that you can use as ingredients or garnishes. Place large plant containers throughout the dining room for fresh air and happier customers

If you're building a new restaurant, installing built-in planters under windows will draw people in from the sidewalk. They can also serve as a statement piece in your entry area. Add rocks, wood, and other natural design elements to your planters to bring the outdoors in.

There are indoor plants to complement any design. Choose an array of lush, tropical jungle species or embrace minimalism. A few individual succulents or simple snake plants can go a long way when it comes to adding warmth and beauty.  

Outdoor Lounge Areas

The global pandemic made 2020 the year of outdoor dining. Diners will continue to request outside seating in 2021. It's a safe, enjoyable way to support local restaurants.

Stylish outdoor lounge furniture made of wood, stainless steel, or aluminum will stand up to rain, sunshine, and snow. Fire pits and space heaters make it possible to keep your outdoor areas open year-round.  

During the summer months, patrons will appreciate cafe tables with umbrellas for shade. Give them an irresistible place to sip a glass of white wine. 

Textured Touches

The days of minimalism are over. For a while, sleek wood and cement finishes were all the rage in the restaurant industry. 

Now, people are looking for a softer, more inviting environment. After a difficult year, customers seek comfort and coziness everywhere they go. 

When you choose your decor, consider plush fabrics like velvet and linen. Tufted Leather and Naugahyde are great options for upholstering lounge chairs or barstools.  

Complete the look with textured pillows in your brand's signature colors. Rugs can add warmth and interest to entryways, but make sure they are easy to clean. 

Textured artwork is also a trend. Keep an eye out for woven wall coverings and canvases with three-dimensional elements. 

A Warm Color Palette

The shift from cool to warm colors is one of the best restaurant furniture trends of 2021. After years of grey and white, designers are turning their attention to warmer tones. 

Expect to see brown leather paired with mustard, burnt orange, and deep red accents. These colors are romantic and exciting, and they have been linked to increased appetite.  

Don't be alarmed by the intensity of this warmer color palette. The dining experience only lasts a few hours, so it's perfectly acceptable to create a bold setting. Designs that would feel overwhelming at home often work well in dining spaces.  

Choosing specific colors can be overwhelming, so work with a designer to make sure your color palette is both visually pleasing and on-brand.

Photogenic Furnishings

Your restaurant's social media presence is more important than ever. More than 70% of Americans use social media, and you can be sure diners are checking your pages before they make a reservation. 

Today's restaurant furniture needs to be functional and photogenic. For maximum social media success, good lighting is essential. It also helps to have a recognizable feature wall for guests to pose in front of. 

When it comes to furniture, a signature color is key. If you want to stand out from the crowd, your space must be memorable. Combine interesting upholstery with unique tiles and bold accessories if you want customers to share their dining experience online. 

Space for Singles

The world is shifting to a work-from-home employment model. When the pandemic is over, telecommuters will return to their favorite coffee bars and restaurants for a change of scenery. 

Make sure you have plenty of space for singles to sit with their laptops. A traditional bar can serve this purpose, but why not add counter space along with the front window? Patrons can look out at the busy sidewalk while they sip their coffee. 

With plenty of counter seats available, you won't have to worry about low table turnover. If you're lucky, your main tables will stay clear for larger parties while the work-from-home crowd lingers at the bar. 

Mix and Match

There's no rule that says every table needs four of the same chairs. Mixing and matching compatible shapes and colors can give your restaurant a homey, welcoming feel. 

Contrast is key, so combine vintage with modern and textured with sleek. Think about how you can mix materials such as upholstery, leather, wood, and rattan to achieve the look you desire. Make sure you choose colors in the same family so they don't clash. 

Upcycled Furniture

Upcycled furniture is gaining popularity for two main reasons – sustainability and budget.

Restaurant owners, interior designers, and clients alike are looking for ways to be eco-friendly. Giving old furniture new life is one way to reduce your environmental footprint. Upcycling what you already have uses far fewer resources than buying new items. 

Updating your existing furniture is also budget-friendly. Many restaurants have been impacted financially by COVID-19. Upcycling is one way to get your customers excited about coming back without breaking the bank. 

Get creative with paint, or switch out cabinet hardware. Visit your local flea market and repurpose what you find. A quality upholstery service can help you change the look of the furniture you already own. 

Choose Restaurant Furniture That Will Delight Diners

Now that you know about some of the best restaurant furniture 2021 has to offer, you can start thinking about how to update your establishment. Whether you're building an entirely new dining space or just refinishing a row of barstools, keep the current design trends in mind. 

Updating your space is easier and more affordable than you might think. Professional designers have plenty of budget-friendly ideas, or you can search the internet for advice. Companies that specialize in commercial furniture will help you achieve your decorating dreams. 

Contact us today to discuss your restaurant design plans. Richardson Seating has years of experience delivering quality furniture to premier restaurants in the Chicago area and beyond. We would be delighted to work with you. 

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