Top Interior Design Trends for Restaurants in 2018

What makes people pay AED 50 in a restaurant for a dish they can get at a roadside café for AED 5?


A recent survey done in Australia found that of the 500 people who were asked, “What would bring you back to a restaurant?” the majority, 42.7% said it was the ambience.

Ambience is what turns food from a meal into an experience. The right décor and design can help transform your restaurant from a run of the mill eatery to the hottest new dining spot in town.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what at the key design trends for restaurants in 2018.

1. Instagram

With the rise of social media, more and more people are seeking ‘shareable’ dining experiences. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools to help you showcase your restaurant and highlight what’s unique about you. Adding a few showpieces, such as vintage posters, quirky antiques or patterned flooring can add a lot of personality to a space and encourage people to snap a quick picture to share with their friends and family.


2. Bespoke Lighting

The hottest trend for 2018 in restaurant design, bespoke lighting does wonders for the ambience of a place. From technology driven lighting that can dim, bright or change colour of individual lighting with an app, to custom built lighting installations to act as the centrepiece. Bespoke lighting offers a plethora of options to illuminate and energize your space.

Bespoke Lighting

3. Hygge

Hygge is a Danish word and concept, roughly translated; it means “A sense of belonging and cosiness”. Dimming the lights, going for a more rustic design and providing comfortable seating arrangements are the perfect ways to make the space feel both welcoming and all their own to your guests while they dine.


4. Greenery

As the world gets more technology driven, people are increasingly turning to more natural environments. Decorative plants, including design pieces such as living walls, natural materials such as wood and earthy tones provide a sense of wholeness and wellbeing. Adding green is key if you’re starting a healthy eatery or simple want to give the feeling to your clientele about the health benefits of your food.


5. Minimalism

“Less is more”, minimalism is a style that is resonating with millennials around the world. By building around a few key design elements and removing visual clutter, you can better embrace the original space which makes it all the more memorable. If you’re worried about the old stereotype of minimalism being cold and unwelcoming, use a warmer colour palette and incorporate natural materials for a more welcoming feel.


Like it or not, the restaurant scene around the world lives and dies by being on trend. The interior design and ambience of your establishment determines its future, and as such, deserves to be kept current.

Need to redesign your restaurant? Want to add something fresh and new to get with the times? Our team of experienced interior designers at Horton Interiors is here to help! Call us on +971 4 388 1163 or send us an email at and we’ll be in touch.