Restaurant design is one of the most creative and elaborate areas in interior design and has therefore given us some of the most visionary interiors in the world. Designers in this industry are creating more than an interior, they are creating an atmosphere that intensifies our culinary journey. As such, it is an area that allows designers to truly immerse themselves in the restaurant’s vision and encourages them to create bold and visionary restaurant interiors.
As we all know, visiting a restaurant is as much about the food as it is about the interior. How we feel and how we experience food is very much influenced and augmented by our surroundings. The colours, the textures, the lighting, even the sounds – all affect our emotions, impact our tastebuds and ultimately shape our experience.
As a massive foodie and sucker for a visionary restaurant interior, I pull a lot of my inspiration from this area of interior design and am always looking for new inspiration to put on my list of must-visit restaurants. Because of this, I could not wait to share with you 5 of my favourite restaurant interiors in Europe.
Lily of the Valley
Paris, France 2014
Lily of the Valley, is one of those designs that is just so cute and gorgeous that it instantly puts a smile on to your face. It’s located in a little street in Paris and was designed by Marie de Roudhile. It’s tiny but full of character and charm. A gorgeous floral garden covers its ceiling and makes you feel like you are in a magical botanical garden. Little flowers are everywhere in this design – on the wallpaper, the curtains, the cushions and even the tea sets, but it works perfectly. As it is complemented only by white, such as the white painted brick wall and the subtle marble counter top, it creates a delicate feminine atmosphere without being over the top, perfect for a cup of tea and some biscuits.
Madrid, Spain 2016
Natsuki is a Japanese restaurant in Madrid with an ultra funky restaurant interior and a perfect example of how much thought goes into designing restaurants. It forms part of Philippe Starck’s Ramses Life restaurant series, which aim to provide guests with a unique and fresh eating experience.
When designing Natsuki, Phillip Starck collaborated with branding and design company Erretres to create something spectacular. Erretres, wanting to fully submerge themselves into modern Japanese culture, travelled to Tokyo and came back with a truly visionary restaurant design. It emulates everything that is modern techy japanese culture and transports you to its busy metropolitan cities. It’s bright, its fun, its quirky and makes you forget for a moment that you are in Madrid and not in neon-light dominated Japan.
Copenhagen, Denmark 2016
From eccentric Japanese cuisine, we travel on to the lush organic Scandinavian interior of Väkst in Copenhagen. It’s back to basics at Väkst, where Genbyg created a beautiful natural dining experience unlike any other.
The centrepiece of his visionary restaurant design is a two-floor indoor greenhouse made out of recycled materials, which gives you that wonderful feeling of being outside, surrounded by greenery and clean air – a rarity in today’s polluted over-urbanised cities. It was important to Genbyg to follow the restaurant’s vision of sustainability in their design and this becomes especially apparent in their strong use of recycled and repurposed materials in almost all fixtures and fittings. This not only adds a wonderful sense of authenticity, but also brings some architectural nostalgia, as many of the materials used, were derived from important old buildings.
London, United Kingdom
Archipelago in London takes us into the lavish world of the unusual. Its visionary restaurant interior is as indulgent as its exotic menu, where you can find everything from chocolate covered scorpions to sweet-chilli smoked python carpaccio – an adventurous food lover’s delight.
But that is nothing compared to its opulent interior. Dining amongst peacock feathers and peculiar ornaments in a deep red coloured room is a sensational experience. It feels mismatched and crazy, yet there is a precision to its finer details that creates a perfect luxurious harmony. Each colour, each pattern, each texture, even the vibrant glasses, have been chosen carefully to allow guests to feel like they are walking into another time, a time of magnificent decadence.
The Gallery, Sketch
London, United Kingdom 2014
Last but not least, another beautiful London interior – The Gallery at Sketch designed by the talented India Mahdavi. Sketch is probably one of the most visionary restaurant interiors I have come across so far. Designed as a backdrop for David Shirley’s art, it is simply awe-inspiring and feels almost like you are walking into a dreamy candy floss land.
Everything is different shades of pink – the walls, the ceiling, the seating, the bar and the decorations but yet it does not feel like overkill. It’s so fluffy and chic with its velvet pink benches and copper accents and its chevron tiled floor that is so very Missoni. Even the big round white lamps that are placed with precision throughout the interior add a certain mystery that is just so cool. Hands down one of my favourite restaurant designs ever.