Take home more than just your to-go box of leftovers with these fresh interior design trends.

By Jessica Bennett
October 31, 2019

The best restaurants don’t just wow your taste buds. Dining out should be an impressive experience for all the senses, which means nailing the ambiance is just as important as perfecting the menu. To get the aesthetic just right, restaurants often embrace the latest design trends even before they make their way into homes. Whether it’s a cozy neighborhood cafe or a fancy French-inspired brasserie, you can learn a lot about interior design from your favorite eateries. So ask your server for a to-go box: You'll want to take these eight restaurant design trends home with you.

Stacy Zarin Goldberg Photography LLC

1. Living Decor

Living walls are one of the freshest trends in restaurants right now. Many eateries create tapestries of foliage using vertical gardening techniques or employ live herb walls for farm-to-table freshness. The same ideas can liven up your home, too. Create your own living succulent wall, or simply hang shelves and populate them with your favorite potted houseplants.

Tria Giovan Photography, Inc.

2. Layered Lighting

One major takeaway from restaurant interiors: Lighting is everything. It can instantly change the mood of a space from cozy and intimate to bright and energetic. Layer your light sources—including table lamps, overhead fixtures, and natural lighting—to achieve the vibe you want. Lighting that transitions well from day to night is essential, so consider bulbs that feature smart technology for extra customization, suggests Rochelle Hartigan, senior leader of brand and advertising at GE Lighting. "You can set smart lights based on your unique needs—and moods," she says. "Simply dim or brighten, or even change to just the right color to fit your mood."

Annie Schlechter

3. Luxurious Seating

Comfort is key to an enjoyable dining experience. Take cues from high-end eateries and invest in seating that feels luxurious. Look for furniture with rounded shapes and plush upholstery for spaces where you want to relax and stay awhile, such as dining areas and living rooms.

Brie Williams Photography, Inc.

4. Patterned Cement Tile

Easy-to-clean and durable enough for high-traffic areas, cement tiles are a top flooring choice in bustling restaurants. For the same reasons, they work well in areas of the home like the kitchen and bathrooms. But these tiles aren't just popular for their practicality. "Cement tiles also have a style factor now and have become standout focal points in a residential space," says Erika Egede-Nissen, marketing director at Walker Zanger, a leading tile and stone design company. "There’s a lot of artistry that goes into cement tiles today." Select tiles with eye-catching patterns and color combinations to turn your floor into an objet d'art.

Brie Williams Photography, Inc.

5. Reclaimed Materials

Restaurants have many ways of practicing sustainability, including sourcing produce from local suppliers and composting or reducing food waste. Some are taking steps toward being green on an even larger scale by using environmentally friendly building materials in construction. Borrow this eco-focused mindset during your next home remodel by using materials like reclaimed wood, recycled metal, and other sustainably sourced products.

Dustin Halleck

6. Rich, Saturated Colors

Bold hues, like deep green, navy blue, and mustard yellow, are trending in a big way. These intense shades create a lively atmosphere, which is ideal for restaurants and living spaces alike. They can also make a large space feel more intimate, so splash some saturated color around a room you want to cozy up.

Tria Giovan Photography, Inc.

7. Mixed Styles

Design rules were made to be broken, and dining establishments are increasingly taking a more eclectic approach. Adhering strictly to one specific style is no longer the status quo in homes either. So go ahead: Mix midcentury modern furnishings with global-inspired textiles, or hang traditional artwork against walls coated in an on-trend paint color. The unexpected pairing brings visual interest to living spaces.

Dominique Vorillon

8. Statement Entries and Powder Rooms

Restaurant owners know that first impressions are important, especially when it comes to areas like the entrance and bathrooms. Copy this concept by decking out your entryway or powder room with statement-making elements, like graphic wallpaper, shapely accents, and metallic finishes. Because these areas have a relatively small footprint, you can make a big impact with little investment.

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