Make Your Restaurant Feel Larger with These Tried-and-True Tips
Square footage comes at a hefty premium, especially if a business is in a highly desirable area. In restaurants with small floor plans, maximizing seating capacity while keeping the space comfortable and inviting is possible—with the right strategy.
There are simple and affordable ways to create the illusion of a roomier space, from installing glass partitions to using light to your advantage. Follow these interior design tips to make your restaurant feel welcoming and spacious.
Add well-placed mirrors.
Large mirrors instantly give a room more depth. They also reflect artificial and natural light to make a room brighter, during both day and night. Here are some tried-and-tested tips for using mirrors:
- Angle a mirror toward a focal point to give the illusion of depth in the space.
- Hang a variety of mirrors next to each other on a single wall; they’ll reflect light, add depth to the space, and create an eclectic focal point.
- Place a large mirror near a window to reflect the outside. This creates an especially nice look if there are trees or greenery outside your building.
- Use glass or mirrored tabletops to reflect light and make the space feel more expansive.
Create communal seating.
A diminutive space doesn’t have to feel claustrophobic, as long as you’re strategic about maximizing space. A great way to do it is with community seating.
It may not be appropriate for a romantic bistro, but cafés and breakfast eateries have successfully used communal seating—from picnic-style tables to counter seating—for as long as eating establishments have been around. Just consider the owners of Maurice, a luncheonette in Portland, Oregon, who managed the miraculous feat of creating 33 seats in their 580-square foot space.
A mix of booths, tables, and communal seating can help you make the most of what you’ve got, and it creates a more dynamic, interesting space.
Partition the space with style.
Use glass room partitions to create distinct seating areas without sacrificing light or interior aesthetics. Glass privacy walls with opaque, clear or linen glass add privacy and can even help absorb sound for improved acoustics. Movable glass partitions are a great way to separate communal eating areas from booths and tables—and they’re versatile. Use them to reconfigure the space as needed.
Use natural and artificial light to your advantage.
If it’s in the budget (and structurally possible), expanding windows to let more natural light in will instantly make your interior look larger. If windows are small or sparse and installing larger ones isn’t possible, you still have options.
Use multiple light sources to open up the space. Recessed lighting and pendant lights are a worthy investment. If a lighting renovation isn’t in the budget, floor lamps, sideboard lamps, and even tabletop lamps or candles are effective ways to spread light.
Utilize vertical space.
If your space has high or higher-than-average ceilings, you can use vertical space to your advantage. Make the most of vertical space by hanging long pendant lamps from the ceiling, which will naturally draw the eye up. Use tall rows of vertical shelving to draw attention upward and away from the floor space. Turn an empty corner into a gallery wall for art or photography.
Space Plus: Helping Restaurants Improve Customer Experience
Space Plus, a division of The Sliding Door Company, custom builds glass room dividers, privacy walls, barn doors, swing doors and other interior sliding doors to help enhance the customer experience at restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs.
Our glass interior walls lend themselves to a free-flowing design and create a sense of spacious elegance. Our experts will help you custom design your own interior glass partitions, moveable walls, or privacy walls to fit the design needs of your establishment.