The Philosophy of New Age Design: Colors, Tech, Noise and More Beyond the Dining Room

If you choose to accept these trends, the contents will self-destruct in no more than five years.

The new age of interior design isn’t something pertinent to just today. It is always happening as an eternal and constant force. To better understand what is called New Age Design, think of philosophy. What is the perfect example of a dining chair? For your fast casual, the perfect chairs may be simple with four legs and a hard seat to keep tables turning every five minutes.  For a microbrewery’s bar, heavy wooden stools with no backs could be the best solution. A fine dining establishment might lean toward a stylish and comfortable mid-century modern, upholstered chair.

This is New Age Design defined: for every time and place, there is a different and changing understanding of the perfect chair, table, and other interior surroundings.  

As a restaurateur, look at the current trends, understand evolving technology, and be aware of overlooked areas beyond the dining room.

Trends: What’s In?


Below are a just a few elements you will see during the design process. Keep in mind, everything chosen for your restaurant — from tabletops to salt shakers — must represent your brand and the image you want to convey to your potential customers. While you want customers to leave talking about the great food, you also want to leave them with an unforgettable experience.

Use the right colors to create inviting spaces to match with your restaurant brand. Fast casual and quick service will use hot colors, while fine dining will use a more relaxing palette. Looking for the latest and trendiest colors? Visit the Color Marketing Group.

Back to Nature Inspiration

What we know now as sustainability started in the 1970s as a “back to nature” trend. After taking some time off, “back to nature” has been illuminated as “green” design. Currently, utilizing wood and other reclaimed elements from floor to tabletop to ceiling will create a natural experience. In the same vein, old is new again. Recycling and repurposing mid-century modern furniture and fixtures create an aura of sustainability.

Texture and Patterns

According to Design Trends, texture and pattern are the most current design trends. Utilize these with care, as not to distract guests from the food experience. Rather, use them in the periphery to create a three-dimensional visual experience to add to the environment.

Modern and Minimalistic

Finally, minimalist and super modern clean design has taken a stronghold in 2016 and will extend to 2017. Look at your iPhone and its hyper-white color. In the ever-evolving technological age, this simple color and streamlined design will transcend into the everyday surroundings.

Design with Technology in Mind

Your customers need to charge their devices. Personal technology is an extension of our everyday being. Many travel for business and always need a way to charge tablets, phones, and laptops. Some eat alone at an airport kiosk, some are part of a larger group out for a good dinner with clients and customers alike. If the traveler is your customer base, make sure electrical outlets or wireless chargers are designed into the table space at your restaurant. In addition, offer free Wi-Fi so that customers can access their business presentations from the cloud.  

Menu tablets are enhancing traditional paper menus.  Be sure that the tablet and software chosen is user-friendly and that the holder mimics the brand image and menu holders that are currently in use at your establishment.

For a fast-casual or quick-service restaurant, install simple POS systems that blend in seamlessly with countertops and ordering stations. Customers delight in seeing their food prepared fresh across the counter, not have their view blocked by the antiquated old register with loud paper receipts and cha-chings of the cash drawer opening.

Outside the Dining Room

There are two key areas outside the dining room that need consideration in the design phase: the entrance and the restroom.

Entryways set the mood and tone for your guests. Be aware of lighting, so that customers feel welcomed and not ether in the dark or blinded. Leave enough space for people to gather and not feel cramped as they wait for the hostess or their table. Each aspect of the entryway, from the hostess station to the door handles. should be inviting and mirror the design through the restaurant.  

Do not overlook your restrooms. While they should be located away from the main dining room, they should be easily accessible and easy to keep clean. Guests are going to Yelp, Facebook, and other social media sites to review your restaurant, and restroom conditions are often noted.  A dirty restroom is a sign of a dirty restaurant. Many will not return to dine if the bathroom is questionable.

Consider Noise During the Design Phase

The visual appeal of restaurant will create an exciting and appetizing experience. All of the previously mentioned trends and areas have one thing in common to consider: noise level. Both streamlined design with glass and metal and sustainable design featuring wood provide many hard surfaces for noises to bounce and intensify.  Restrooms, entryways, and open kitchens also add to ambient noise. Soften your hard surfaces wherever possible with the use of carpeting, linens, and artistic sound panels.

In 10 years, designers will still be talking about trends, tech, and ambience, but not in this light.  Self-service kiosks may continue to take hold and tablets may replace paper menus all together. Perhaps our personal smart devices will be self-charging. In the end, people will always want to get away from home for a good meal. Let’s welcome them the best we can today with an eye on the perpetual changes of New Age Design.