The starting point for the design scheme is to conjure up a specific mood or atmosphere from memories of past pleasures, creating a character that reflects both the location and architectural qualities of the space by using modern hotel furniture. At Le Pont de la Tour; the long, low lines of the space and its riverside setting suggested the glamour of a 1940s’ piano bar furniture crossed with elements of a cruise liner-vaguely retro and classically chic. At Mezzo ,it was the history of the site as a noted music venue which inspired the clean, jazzy, contemporary style used there; the design ideas for commercial furniture for Sartoria, located in the heart of London’s bespoke tailoring district, came about as an oblique reference to its location and were distilled from my memories of austere restaurant furniture I visited in Italy in the early 1950s.Translating such musing into a scheme for fitting-out and furnishing is next stage in the process. The type of event chairs, bar tables, ottomans, bar stools , all in all club furniture, fittings, flooring and material chosen for a restaurant is the way to turn preliminary ideas into reality. These may seem to be no more than aesthetic choices, but the management and maintenance of a restaurant is far more successful in the long run if such issues like commercial furniture are addressed in the early stages of the project. Detail is all about definition of pub furniture and a defining image or character can provide an important sense of coherence for the staff as much as a strong identity for the customer.
Here it is important to distinguish between a restaurant furniture with a strong sense of identity and one which is ‘themed’. The line between the two is undoubtedly a fine one to tread, but I think the principal difference is that the themed restaurant furniture or bar furniture has a certain relentless quality, rather like a joke whose punchline gets repeated too often. It’s ultimately a question of balance .The identity of a restaurant should reveal itself in the smaller details, not overwhelm the spatial qualities of the site or the flavor of the location. As far as fitting-out and furnishing the restaurant are concerned, it is important to invest in good, natural materials of bar stools, restaurant chairs and bar tables that will at last well, that need less frequent replacement an have the potential to improve with a little wear and tear. The same is true of the basic commercial furniture design concept. Up-to-the-minute commercial furniture design may draw in the fashion conscious in droves in the first few months but will date very quickly: what is cutting edge today is bound toned replacing two years hence, much to the dismay of the restaurateur or the restaurant’s financial backers. Restaurants which use their inherited features with sensitivity and intelligence will look go in years to come .A patina of careful use and appreciative patronage is very attractive. The type of restaurant furniture that you are planning will also effect your approach to the design scheme within bar stools, hotel chairs, restaurant chairs and bar tables .At the upper end of the market, a luxurious style can be conveyed with low, romantic and glamorous lighting, maybe supplemented by candles or shaded lamps on the bar tables. Generosity is also important – larger bar tables set further apart, large table bases and, side plates and good quality glasses. Bar tables should be dressed with tablecloth and flowers. Quiet, soft and pale colors reinforce the message – and are all the more expensive to keep clean.
Resource: “Terence Coran On Restaurants”,
Emma Clegg, p.136-137, Originally published in London in 2000