I don’t drink alcohol any more (lifestyle choice) but I have spent a lot of time in bars in the past. Pub crawls in my late teens/early 20s spring to mind. Lots of time in wine bars, pubs and restaurants during my working life in the UK. Then not to mention the time spent in Italian bars and restaurants since I came to live in Italy. Though you are more likely to find me with a cappuccino and a cake nowadays!
Bar Interior Decor Ideas
What is good interior design for a bar?
Good interior design for a bar is as important as the food or drink that is served when you are in there. A good design can enhance the customer experience. A bad design will mean customers don’t stay long and they won’t come back once they have left. An article in Freshome asks interior designers to what extent can the design of the restaurant or bar measurably contribute to the effectiveness of the space as a business? The response?
100%! The location of all the elements from circulation spaces, to seating areas to the bar all contributes to the operations of a space. If people can’t get a drink or the food is stone cold then the space fails, and that affects the business.
The importance of wall decor in bars
Creating a mood for customers
As well as the design of the space, the finishing decorating touches and accessories can create the mood for customers in a bar area.
For example, old country pubs with rustic beams, open fires, hops around the bar and horse brasses speak of solid tradition – and hopefully a good pint of beer!
In this sort of environment a modern, colourful piece of wall art will look out of place so something a bit more traditional, rural perhaps, is more appropriate. Or perhaps a rack of beer as in ‘Beer O’Clock‘!
Or perhaps like the Cafe Americain on Leidseplein in Amsterdam, there is a theme for the decor to follow. In this case beautiful art deco features including art deco lighting which casts a wonderful glow against the dark interior which is very atmospheric. The cafe was built in 1902 as part of the Hotel American. The architect was G J Rutgers and he had it built and decorated in art deco style.
As you might expect, wine bars are often decorated with pictures of wine, grapes, pictures of vineyards, and dried vines. Like my image ‘Time for Wine?‘.
I remember visiting one that had large cognac glasses in which were collected the corks from the various bottles of wine.
Racks of wine are often part of the decor, either in metal or wooden racks or perhaps in large refrigeration units for white wine. Some make a feature with large metal gates with locks, the gates leading to the ‘wine cellar’.
Unless you are staying in a hotel on business, hotel bars are usually where you start and finish your evening. Perhaps before a night at the theatre, you stop in the hotel bar to have a cocktail. Hotel bars also tend to be where people stop and have a ‘nightcap’ before retiring after a night out on the town.
Hotels have to cater for a wide range of tastes and unless working to a theme (such as in a boutique hotel) will often have quite traditional art on the walls to go with low lighting and a relaxing ambience.
Before a meal you might sit with the menu in the restaurant bar and select your food for the evening whilst sipping a cocktail or aperativo. Restaurant bars will usually have their decor themed to the focus of the restaurant, so, an Italian restaurant may have a picture of an Italian town or Italian tradition or a dish of Italian food. I just happen to have an Italian image or two that might suit Italian restaurant decor.
One trend though has been towards live-fire cooking, so perhaps a traditional wood burning pizza oven might take up your attention rather than the art on the wall!
All of the images used in blog today are available as prints, just click on the image to go to a sales page with options for print sizes and formats.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!