How To Pick The Best Wallpaper For a Restaurant

Interior design can be a challenge for restaurants, across a variety of different niches whether it’s a bakery, cafe, popular lunchtime spot, fast food joint, or fine dining restaurant – wallpaper is an element of your restaurant’s interior that you can customize to suit your type of restaurant, brand and theme to-a-tee!

restaurant wallpaper featuring map graphics with light blue hues

Restaurant style and theme

This is where the style of your restaurant, brand personality & company’s colour palette come into play. 

Our restaurant clients often pick colours that appear appetising and are bright playful colours that represent vegetables and foods with saturated colours.

These include reds, greens, oranges, pinks and sometimes even salmon hues.

Picking the right colour palette for your interior space is important, as it needs to blend well with your theme and brand personality. 

Themes that work well for restaurant wallpapers differ depending on the type of restaurant in question and the style the restaurant is looking to convey.

Bars and tapas style restaurants often associate their wallpaper choice with natural, and specifically tropical themes – to represent liveliness and fun.

la parada wallpaper installation featuring natural theme and tropical plant illustrations
inside la parada at the v&a waterfront featuring tropical wallpaper

This is why you’ll often see palm trees and other tropical vegetation on the walls inside, along with light backgrounds, often cream or white in colour, that can represent the sand on a beachfront.

The contrast created between the light background and the saturated colours of the fronds and branches develops depth within the design as the eye is drawn to the saturated colours in the foreground, before the eye switches to the light cream tones, receding into the background.

Restaurants looking for an elegant style will also utilise nature, but romantic, beautiful, seductive and inviting forms, such as a repeat pattern of roses – or a large rose bush artwork such as with the example below.

ceiling artwork on ceiling, example of surface design

Popular imagery for restaurants that focus more on an evening dining experience includes floral artworks and brighter colours like the reds and yellows that we mentioned earlier.

Yellows also work well in bars too, as psychologically yellow helps people remain calm.

Let’s move over to some livelier colours that inspire an energetic atmosphere – perfect for mornings.

Morning eateries

For delis, it’s a good idea to go for something that’s fresh, involving light, bright and vibrant colours and patterns. 

Morning eateries often choose these kinds of colours to create energy and fit with the theme of getting “ready to go” in the morning.

Funky repeat patterns featuring fruits and vibrant hues are also popular in delis and cafes. Floral artworks also work well, using forms of varying proportions and saturation of colours to create eye-catching depth and a beautiful, positive atmosphere.

installation of floral wallpaper in morning eatery
floral wallpaper inside morning eatery or cafe

Generally, repeated patterns decrease the perceived size of a space, however, having one feature wall with your repeating pattern will engage customers and won’t compromise on the perceived size of your space.

In fact, it creates depth! Which is exactly what you need in a morning eatery, which is typically smaller than most restaurants. You want customers to feel at home, in a colourful, spacious environment.

Lighter, bright colours with delicate contrast to fit a morning atmosphere and theme! This is a good trend to follow when designing the wallpaper for morning eateries or bakeries.

repeat patterns in a morning eatery with light colour palette

Having vibrant colours for your shapes – such as the fruit – contrasted with light placid colours or dark muted tones as a background helps to create depth as the eye is drawn to shapes on the surface giving the background a receding effect.

Another idea that upmarket restaurants often incorporate into their wallpaper is detailed, or abstract artworks.

Large artworks on wallpaper

In a shared space, such as at home, it’s often better to have something more neutral and isn’t overpowering or too “busy” with detail so everyone can appreciate an atmosphere.

Conversely in a restaurant environment, stunning artwork of a famous individual is intriguing, and intense detail can create energy instead of feeling overpowering.  

This is a popular choice to keep guests engaged and create an enticing atmosphere and a potential talking point for customers.

large artwork in restaurant

Other popular imagery involves detailed depictions of humans. Sometimes of the human body, or an individualistic artwork as mentioned, or even facial features such as the eyes. 

Eyes link with the idea of being seen and creating an inviting, compatible environment that resonates with customers. However, this falls under a themed sort of approach, which we’ll unpack below. 

Consider the intent behind your wallpaper and interior design, and what sort of personality you’re trying to showcase. 

Are you looking to show your restaurant in an upmarket light, with sophistication and style? Or are you a quirky brand with a small but vibrant bar somewhere that needs an upbeat energy and a pumping atmosphere, to bring in thirsty customers? 

These are just two examples, but consider your positioning and the desired message you’d like to convey with your restaurant’s wallpaper.

A few themes to consider for your wallpaper

Tropical: Great for fun, themed small restaurants with bars. Imagery incorporating tropical plants, water and sunshine creates an inviting and energetic atmosphere. 

Urban: Well-suited for city-centre cafes and restaurants. Often, detailed cityscapes and depictions of people line the walls of inner-city restaurants, to fit the bustling and intriguing surrounding environment. 

Rustic: A rustic theme, with vintage colours and nature-inspired illustrations of flowers and animals would work well with farm-style restaurants in the countryside.

Lighthearted & funky: Illustrations around your theme with varying line thicknesses, fluid forms, and fun typography can help you create a buzz in the environment of a cafe or morning eatery.

lighthearted and funky wallpaper design in cafe or morning eatery

Picking colours, symbols and incorporating your brand.

Colours have an impact on space for a variety of reasons.

It’s no hidden fact that lighter colours are used to increase the perceived size of a space. Colours can have a significant psychological impact on our perception of an environment. 

Lighter colours like soft blues and muted earth tones create a calm impression, contrary to striking colours such as bright reds and oranges that are more bold and disruptive for the eye.

It’s also true that combining darker, striking colours with muted tones as a contrast, can create a more relaxed atmosphere inside your restaurant. 

The trick is to understand these aspects of colour, and try to match your approach with your brand personality too. Your restaurant has its own look and feel that aligns with your brand and personality, and that’s not something to cast aside.

You might also feel the need to incorporate your brand identity in a more direct way, within your wallpaper and interior design.

musgrave gin branded wallpaper design

Plan the style for your restaurant’s wallpaper, with specialist help

We often help clients incorporate company insignia, logos and other company brand assets into their vision for the wallpaper for their restaurant. 

Our team can help guide you through the process and create the perfect wallpaper to realise a memorable and inviting atmosphere in your restaurant.

To start creating the perfect wallpaper for your restaurant, from the concept phase to printing and execution, contact us to book a consultation today!