Enjoying the beautiful city of Dubai to the fullest will not be complete without a gastronomic adventure. Not only does the City of Gold boast of flavours from different parts of the world, its vast selection of restaurants also displays cutting-edge interior design.
With its large population of expats and flourishing tourism, it’s not surprising that Dubai has numerous eclectically designed dining establishments. Restaurants that provide “meals with a view” and those that have a unique theme are common. But there are some that really set themselves apart from the rest and impress diners even without a great outside view or an outrageous design concept.
How exactly are they able to do that? I’ve spoken to an international interior fit-out company in Dubai who share the top five design secrets that the most stylishly impressive restaurants in the city have.
1. Strategic design and placement of pathways
This often goes unnoticed but diners always appreciate how they are able to move with ease around the restaurant. They will also be pleased about how functional areas do not overlap with each other and create congestion.
For example, it’s not only “sanitarily sound” that the path to the kitchen doesn’t cross the path to the restrooms. This design strategy also makes sure that “logistics” is supported and there’s less traffic in an area where there is constant action.
2. No awkward space
An area that serves no specific purpose is a big no-no for restaurants. It’s imperative that every square foot is used for something other than to provide some kind of breathing room.
Getting rid of awkward corners and spaces is an important principle in great restaurant design. It creates a more balanced appearance and people naturally find symmetrical rooms more aesthetically pleasing – read more about the psychology of this here. This is because the brain processes components in a “balanced” room more easily.
Tackling odd corners to create clean lines and purposeful spaces, unfortunately, can be difficult. Interior design and fit-out companies can rid the space of awkwardness and achieve the look of balance with built-in cabinetry, seating, and other functional fixtures.
Overall, this is a smart design tactic provides restaurant a more intentional appearance as well as the advantage of streamlining operations and other activities.
3. Local art
Pieces of art are musts for beautiful restaurants. Sculptures, framed paintings, and handmade furniture give such establishments a load of personality. And when local art is used to decorate the space, everybody enjoys the business’s connection to the community.
This works in elevating the restaurant’s aesthetics, creating a nice ambiance or the feeling of “home,” which a lot of diners seek.
4. Proper lighting
Lighting as a style element has a huge contribution to the overall experience at a restaurant. But not all restaurants really know how to use lighting to their advantage and that it’s closely linked to the “art” of dining.
The most stylish restaurants in Dubai swear by dimmable and indirect lighting. Top-class restaurants use restrained or subdued lighting because it brings the food’s colours to life. The shadows such lighting creates are shadows in the truest sense of the word. They bring out the inherent beauty of the ingredients through darkness and light.
It’s worth noting too that the warmth of restrained lighting enhances the color red. Red is an important color in the restaurant industry because of its ability to stimulate the appetite.
With the right kind of lighting – be it from gorgeous crystal chandeliers, dimmable LED downlights, or candles – the right atmosphere is easily achieved.
5. Integration of sensual implements
When the restaurant space is laid out beautifully, people long for some irregularities that can make the space more inviting. These normally come in the form of quirky pieces of furniture such as a magenta corduroy armchair or tables propped by an old oak barrel, and distressed fixtures such as a banged-up wooden bar.
These sensual implements create a positive impression of the place and spark and sustain interest.
Through these design principles, restaurants will be able to speak the same visual language as the customers and along with this, meet other demands such as alignment with personal values, and the feeling of community. These are the style secrets that set great restaurants apart and ensure their longevity in the industry.
This article was written by Shane Curran, CEO at Interact Group LLC. Interact Group is a design-led interior fit out company that aims to set new standards in the UAE interiors market. Driven by their dedication to total customer experience, the company’s mission is to bring truly specialised teams to complex design and fit out challenges.