Popular Restaurant and Café Design Trends in 2018

Popular Restaurant and Café Design Trends in 2018

With so many trends out there, it can be hard to choose something that is both popular and suits your taste when designing your café or restaurant. However, here is a little guide to show you that every trend can be personalized enough to fit your aesthetic needs.


Popular Restaurant and Café Design Trends in 2018

When it comes to colors, white, ivory and grey are out, and warmer colors are in. You can opt for earthy brown, caramel, and tan hues for floors and accents. However, too many of these colors can make your space look outdated.

Another very popular trend is pastel shades. These colors are perceived as warm and inviting. You can use them for statement walls, focal pieces of furniture, or accents but do not go overboard with these either. Some of the most popular hues right now are sky blue, blush, and mint green.

If you’d like to go back in time, the bold palettes of the ‘60s are in demand again. This means that you can have bright pink and red, jet black and turquoise as well as green and muted gold combinations. It all depends on the vibe and demographics of your establishment.


Popular Restaurant and Café Design Trends in 2018

Speaking of the sixties, retro is not back only in the form of colors. When it comes to materials, people are opting for linoleum more and more often. It is easy to install and maintain, and it comes in many different colors and patterns so it can fit whatever design you decide on.

People also go for reclaimed wood as it provides the space with a vintage look. It can be incorporated through tabletops, chairs, shelves, and wall paneling. And another big plus is that it is environmentally friendly.

Moreover, chrome is slowly replacing brass as the material used for accents.


Popular Restaurant and Café Design Trends in 2018

In 2018, lighting is supposed to be both soft and practical. This can be achieved by having dimmable and customizable fixtures. Seeing as how people come into your café or restaurant both to work and relax, you should provide them with different options depending on the mood they’re in.

A big trend is also bespoke lighting. This way, you get to have fixtures that fit your space perfectly and were made just for it. Some people opt for custom art-inspired fixtures that make a statement and serve as a focal point. 


Popular Restaurant and Café Design Trends in 2018

As we already mentioned, people come to cafés for different reasons. Some come to chat with their friends, while others are freelancers who need a space to work. This is why you need to offer flexible seating options. You can have regular chairs and tables, but also try to incorporate comfy armchairs and sofas, coffee tables as well as stools for sitting at the bar and corner booths for some privacy.

The same goes for restaurants. If you offer different types of dining, you can have separate areas. Let people sit at the bar if they just want a drink, have a front area that is for communal eating, and a back area that provides clients with a high-end dining experience. Therefore, the décor, lighting, and furniture will depend on the purpose of the space.


Popular Restaurant and Café Design Trends in 2018

In this day and age, if you do not exist online, it’s as if you don’t exist at all. If your café or restaurant ends up on an influencer’s Instagram page, you can gain many new customers. For this reason, you need to make your space Instagram-worthy.

You can implement a couple of statement walls that can have cute and fun patterns or be combined with faux fur. You can introduce a ‘quote of the day’ feature which you can write out on a high-quality glass whiteboard and put in a visible place where people can take pictures of it. These boards are also good for writing out your menu so everyone can see it once they walk in and take a snap of their Instagram story.

Neon signs offer a great opportunity for a photo op as well as cute mirrors and artwork. Seeing as how food pics are very common, make sure you have some pretty and unique, maybe even antique, plates and cutlery. Pay close attention to how you present your food as you don’t want it to look sloppy. 


Popular Restaurant and Café Design Trends in 2018

Being environmentally conscious is a big plus for cafés and restaurants, as we already said. Aside from using reclaimed wood, there are other things you can implement into your design to show how much you care about nature and the well-being of your customers.

The concept of biophilia is getting more and more attention, as it helps us connect with nature. Plants can purify the air and make us more relaxed. Think about adding a living wall. If this seems too demanding, you can have some hanging planters. Consider installing huge windows as natural light is very welcome in this design and it is good for taking pictures as well.

Some restaurants even grow their own food on-site in order to provide their customers with fresh and organic ingredients.

Of course, you can even incorporate the color green into your design. Green plates, cups, and even seat cushions all look welcoming and eco-friendly at the same time.

Even if some trends might seem intimidating and you think that they will never fit into your establishment, keep in mind that you do not have to follow them blindly. Take what you like from each of these tips and remember that it is the food and service that has the customers coming back.


  1. Wood really does give a vintage look. I like it, it feels homey. 🙂

  2. One of the first things I notice at a restaurant is their lightning. I think it can set the tone for the evening and help bring out the beautiful colors or textures in the rest of the room.

  3. I love color in a room. It just makes me happy and often attracts me to certain places. I think you can often get inspiration for your home from expertly designed restaurants and cafes.

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