Having a small restaurant bar may mean you have less square footage to work with, but it doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on style or functionality.

Instead, it simply requires that you get clever with the interior design ideas for your space. When done well, a small restaurant bar can make the perfect haven for customers and leave a lasting impression for more than just the food and drink on offer.

If you are in the process of planning the décor of a new restaurant bar or are giving a current setting an overhaul, check out our small restaurant bar design ideas below.

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Incorporate what you have

When it comes to design ideas for a small restaurant bar, there can be value in making the most of the elements that are already in the space.

For example, exposed brickwork can be used to create a rustic feel or add texture. A bay window can be the perfect place to install a seating area, and ceiling beams can be ideal for adding lights to.

Don’t be afraid of colour

You might worry that using bold colours or funky prints in a small restaurant might overwhelm the space but they can actually work really well. The trick is to achieve balance.

So, if you opt for a patterned feature wall, pair this with soft furnishings in complementary single hues. Or, if you decide on neutral tones for the walls, add pops of colour with plants, wall art and table accessories. Things like leather coasters can add interest but also be a great way to solidify your restaurant’s brand identity.

Be mindful of clutter

In larger restaurants, ornaments, books, art, and other items are often used to add personality and interest. However, if you only have a small area to work with, you can risk it feeling cramped and leaving it difficult to move about in.

That’s not to say that your restaurant should be barren, but just make sure that everything that you add to the space is done with consideration.

Embrace flexibility

It’s understandable if you have a vision of your restaurant bar that you want to stick to but being flexible with the layout can make the venue much more user-friendly. For example, choosing moveable furniture over fixed booths can make cleaning easier and opting for square tables over circular ones means you can push them together should a larger dining party want to visit. 

Scale up with mirrors

When it comes to interior design, mirrors have long been used to give the illusion of more space as they easily elongate an area by reflecting natural and non-natural lighting. You could utilise one large mirror behind a row of seating or have them dotted strategically around the room. They can also contribute to the overall identity of a restaurant or bar depending on their size, shape, and frame.

Look up

When it comes to restaurant bar design ideas, don’t overlook the vertical space. It’s a great opportunity to play with tall pieces of furniture, install shelving or hang colourful curtains.

How you decorate the ceiling is also important here and there are plenty of design ideas to choose from. There’s matching or contrasting paint, paper, texture, mouldings, and ceiling medallions to name a few.

Use smart storage

Innovative storage solutions are paramount when you have a small restaurant bar but luckily, many options can double up as great decorative pieces.

For example, the use of ottoman-style seating can come in handy for storage and backlit shelving behind the bar can be ideal for keeping bottles whilst also making for an eye-catching display.

Make the most of every space

In a larger space, it can be easy to waste small nooks and corners but if you have a small restaurant bar, every centimetre counts.

If there isn’t room along a wall for another row of tables and chairs, for instance, consider a bar table with stools instead. Or if you’ve got a section by the door that’s too small for seating, install bespoke shelving that can house cutlery, condiments, and menus.

Go bold with finishing touches

If you don’t have much space for large pieces of furniture, the smaller, moveable components of your interior décor can be used to help tell your restaurant’s story, especially if they are handled by your customers.

Leather menu covers and bill presenters, for example, can be designed to match your brand colours, be embossed with the restaurant logo, and be completed with metal hardware.

In fact, there are so many ways to use leather in your restaurant. If you are interested in bespoke leather goods for your restaurant or bar, we’d love to hear your ideas. Get in touch to see how our sustainable goat leather can be used to uplift your restaurant interiors.

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