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8 Functional Decor Ideas for Restaurants

Escalating rent rates are among the biggest concerns for restaurant owners these days. And sky-high rent rates demand that every square inch of space pulls its weight to ensure ends are met.

With so much at stake, functional decor is the best solution for the restaurants of today. 

From smart storage ideas to elegant roofing solutions, functional decor gives you the best of both worlds. They elevate your aesthetic and help you make the most of every square inch. 

So let’s dive into the top 8 functional decor ideas for restaurants.

1. Dim or blue lighting to boost appetites 

Good lighting can transform a space.

It is essential for basic comfort and sets the mood for diners. But studies have now shown us that certain types of lighting can also boost appetites and encourage diners to order more. 

(Yes, you heard us right. Lighting boosts appetites!)

dim light restaurant interior design

And for a restaurant, better appetites mean better business.

Researchers have found that people who are exposed to blue light experience a spurt in their hunger level just 15 minutes after being in the space. 

Another study has found that dim lighting can have a similar effect. 

Spaces lit by candlelight or cove lighting tend to be relaxing, lower inhibitions and slows our perception of satiety. All of which leads to diners spending more time, ordering more food, and eating more. 

All in all, layer lighting to create a soothing, relaxing ambiance that boosts both aesthetics and appetites!

2. Light up the walkways

While you’re at it with sophisticated dim lighting, don’t let people trip up on their way to the tables. Or feel like they’re in near darkness for that matter…

A smart way to keep with the dim lighting theme, while still making it comfortable is to use floor lighting elements. 

This way, the light is controlled and doesn’t flood the diners’ tables as bright overhead lights will.

Consider options like indirect led strip lighting or lanterns placed along the edges of the circulation paths. Using lighting along the walkways is great to ensure people are guided towards their tables while creating a sense of privacy in the seating spaces.

Even if your seating arrangement isn’t a clear grid, place the floor lights in clusters or randomized patterns.

3. Shelving as a partition wall

Open kitchens are all the fad these days, and understandably so. They allow the diners to visually connect the food on the table with the people behind it. 

It also gives many culinary enthusiasts a peek into the usually hidden process of food creation. An “art” that many appreciate. 

But avoid letting the noise and clutter flow through, with semi-open shelves as partition walls. 

With a mixture of closed shelves and well-designed cutouts, you will be able to filter the messy kitchen views, while still keeping that raw connection open.

Yes, a perforated screen could do the same job and take up less space. 

But, it doesn’t filter the clanging sounds of pots and knives or have much functional value.

Thick shelves, on the other hand, reduce much of this noise, while also giving you much-needed storage space for cutlery, table cloths, and more.

4. Island cabinets masked in greenery

Have deep or large seating rooms, where the windows and green walls don’t make an impact?

Island greenery is your best bet.

Movable, convenient, and easy on the eyes, green cabinets are a fresh take on clunky storage boxes. 

Use layers of lush plants on alternate levels, while leaving space for storage in between.

5. Hanging plant grid in place of a false ceiling

Skip the stereotypical and expensive false ceilings to hide your AC ducting. Instead, opt for strategically installed hanging plants. 

Using a grid of artificial hanging greenery will also bring in a relaxed, garden-like ambiance.

hanging greenery partition

It enlivens dull central spaces, that are far away from windows and feature walls. 

It’s also a great neutral canvas to build the rest of your restaurant aesthetic. Whether you’re going for an edgy dark academia vibe, a modern minimal aesthetic, or a formal beige-toned dining space – hanging plant settings will fit anywhere.

6. Gazebos with faux plant roofs

If you have an outdoor seating extension, avoid looking generic with cliché gazebos with glass roofs. And skip the exorbitant wear-tear and maintenance needs of wooden pergolas. 

Bring in some shade with a hanging screen, that will cool the temperature of the seating areas on hot days without making it feel completely covered. 

creative partition wall restaurant

Low cost, low maintenance, and high reward. What more can one ask for.

The play of light and shadow that plants create on the deck will amplify the patrons’ dining experience.

7. Comfortable furniture that makes you want to stay 

It’s time to bid goodbye to stylish-looking, eclectic chairs, and stools. 

They may look great, but they are costing you money. Use the science of seating to make smarter and more economical furniture selections instead.

Encourage guests to stay longer, order more and keep coming back again for the luxurious experience, with convenient and comfortable seating. 

Consider using chairs that sink in, versus ones that require you to perch on the edge. 

Lean towards tub chairs, high-backed chairs, and sofas that give you personal space, comfort and let you fully relax.

8. Curated art walls

At first thought, this might not seem like a specifically functional decor idea. But that is only when it is random art pieces off of Pinterest. 

With a little bit of through and smart networking, one could easily bring in a curated collection of art by local artists. 

Not only will this add an extra boost of personality to the interiors, but it will also attract more diners who will come to view the exclusive art.

This is functional decor that will boost your revenue and popularity too!

Pro tip: Be sure to pick artists and art forms that won’t clash with the overall aesthetic of the space. Let us know what your favorite element is among the functional decor ideas for restaurants.