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10 Restaurants Where the Decor Steals the Show (But the Food Won’t Disappoint)

A restaurant experience is a multi-sensory journey. The aroma of sizzling steaks, the clinking of glasses, the murmur of conversation – it all comes together to create a memorable moment. But let’s not forget the visual feast that sets the stage for it all: the decor. CJ Digital says, ‘From whimsical wonderlands to elegant minimalism, the design of a restaurant can transport you, tell a story, and leave a lasting impression.’

So, put down your phone (for a minute!), ditch the endless scroll, and get ready to be visually inspired. We’ve scoured the globe to find 10 restaurants where the interiors are just as awe-inspiring as the food on your plate. Plus, we’ll show you how to translate these design elements into your own home for a touch of restaurant magic.

  1. Brick & Bourbon, Maple Grove, USA:

Nestled in the heart of Maple Grove, Minnesota, Brick & Bourbon isn’t your typical suburban eatery. Step inside, and you’re greeted by a warm, industrial-chic haven. Exposed brick walls and distressed wood floors create a sense of history, while pops of emerald green through plush velvet seating and vintage lighting add a touch of modern luxury. Don’t miss the statement chandelier crafted from reclaimed whiskey barrels – a subtle nod to the restaurant’s extensive bourbon collection.

Steal the Look: Embrace the industrial aesthetic with exposed brick or concrete walls (faux options work too!). Balance the rawness with plush furniture and jewel-toned accents in throw pillows, rugs, or artwork. Replicate the whiskey barrel chandelier with a DIY version using metal hoops and recycled wine corks.

  1. El Nacional, Barcelona, Spain:

El Nacional isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a culinary playground housed within a stunning, 4-story marketplace. Each floor boasts a unique restaurant concept, but the real star of the show is the architectural grandeur. Think soaring ceilings adorned with ornate moldings, grand staircases bathed in warm light, and a central atrium that allows natural light to flood the space. It’s a sensory overload in the best way possible.

Steal the Look: If you have the space, recreate the grandeur with high ceilings and statement lighting. Opt for classic moldings and architectural details for a touch of old-world charm. In a smaller space, channel the energy with vintage furniture finds and warm, layered lighting.

  1. The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium:

The Jane doesn’t shy away from drama. Housed in a meticulously restored 17th-century chapel, the restaurant is a breathtaking fusion of gothic architecture and contemporary design. Think vaulted ceilings adorned with frescoes, stained glass windows casting jewel-toned hues, and sleek, modern furniture that creates a captivating contrast.

Steal the Look: While replicating a gothic chapel might be a touch ambitious, you can incorporate elements like stained glass. Look for vintage pieces or recreate the effect with colored film on windows. Mix antique furniture with modern pieces for a similar juxtaposition.

  1. Arcane, Hong Kong, China:

Arcane takes diners on a fantastical journey through a world inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Whimsical furniture takes centerstage – think oversized chairs, mismatched teacups for lighting fixtures, and playing card motifs adorning the walls. The playful atmosphere is perfectly complemented by the modern Asian cuisine, making for a truly unforgettable experience.

Steal the Look: Embrace the playful spirit with quirky furniture finds or bold, graphic wallpaper. Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and textures for a truly whimsical effect. Hang vintage teacups or mismatched plates on the wall for a touch of Alice-inspired charm.

  1. Sketch, London, UK:

Sketch is a London institution, renowned not just for its Michelin-starred cuisine but also for its multi-sensory dining experiences. Each room boasts a unique design concept, from the dreamy pink tones of the Pods to the immersive, theatrical setting of the Lecture Room & Gallery. The playful and ever-evolving interiors are a constant source of fascination for diners.

Steal the Look: Think bold! Sketch isn’t afraid of color or statement pieces. Choose a room that resonates with you and recreate a key element. In the Pods, for example, you could opt for a blush pink color scheme and cocoon-like seating to create a cozy haven.

  1. Café Clover, Kyoto, Japan (continued):

Embrace the minimalist aesthetic with clean lines, light wood furniture, and a neutral color palette. Let natural light be your friend, and consider skylights or large windows if possible. Keep accessories to a minimum, letting the beauty of natural materials speak for itself.

  1. Clouds, Dubai, UAE:

Clouds Dubai takes fine dining to new heights (literally). Perched on the 53rd floor of the الإمارات العربية المتحدة (United Arab Emirates) Trade Centre, the restaurant boasts panoramic views of the city skyline. But the interiors are just as impressive. Think floor-to-ceiling windows, plush velvet seating in jewel tones, and shimmering gold accents that create an undeniably glamorous atmosphere.

Steal the Look: Maximize natural light with large windows or mirrors. Opt for luxurious fabrics like velvet for seating or throws, and don’t be afraid to add a touch of metallic glam with gold picture frames, lamps, or artwork.

  1. Enigma, Shanghai, China:

Enigma is a multi-sensory experience unlike any other. The restaurant is shrouded in secrecy, with guests only receiving the location details after booking. Once inside, they’re treated to an ever-evolving theatrical performance that complements the innovative tasting menu. The design is equally captivating, with a focus on illusion and surprise. Think hidden doorways, mirrored walls, and dramatic lighting that creates a sense of mystery.

Steal the Look: While replicating Enigma’s theatrical flair might be a challenge, you can incorporate elements of surprise. Hang statement pieces with a hidden message, create a “secret” nook with clever furniture placement, or use dramatic lighting to create different moods in your space.

  1. The Barbary, London, UK:

Step into The Barbary, and you’re transported straight to the heart of Morocco. Exposed brick walls are adorned with intricate tilework, warm lighting creates a welcoming ambiance, and plush seating covered in colorful textiles invites you to linger. The restaurant cleverly blends traditional Moroccan design with contemporary touches, making it both authentic and stylish.

Steal the Look: Embrace the warmth and vibrancy of Moroccan design. Opt for colorful textiles like kilim rugs or throws, incorporate intricate tilework patterns (think stencils or wallpaper), and use warm metals like brass for lighting fixtures or decorative accents.

  1. Shrub, Chester, UK:

Shrub takes inspiration from the natural world, creating a whimsical and inviting space. Lush greenery cascades from walls, reclaimed wood furniture adds a rustic charm, and whimsical birdcage lights add a touch of whimsy. The overall effect is one of a secret garden oasis in the heart of the city.

Steal the Look: Bring the outdoors in with potted plants, hanging gardens, or botanical prints on wallpaper. Use reclaimed wood for furniture or decorative accents, and incorporate natural textures like linen or wicker for a touch of rustic charm. Don’t forget playful lighting fixtures that add a touch of whimsy.

These are just a few examples of restaurants that elevate the dining experience through stunning and creative design. So next time you’re looking for a memorable night out, consider going beyond the menu and seeking out a place where the decor is just as much of a feast for the eyes. After all, a beautiful space can transform a simple meal into an unforgettable experience.


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