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How to Master a Modern Rustic Restaurant Design

How to Master a Modern Rustic Restaurant Design

The term “rustic” is used to describe everything from rural farmhouses to Italian inspired design. What does rustic even mean? Do you have to own a log cabin and have a horse out back for your design to qualify? The reality is that the term “rustic” is overused in the design world, and typically just means natural, rural, or homey. 

When you’re looking to design your restaurant, though, it’s easy to jump on the rustic trend. It’s also a smart move. You know it’s a buzzword, which means people like the rustic design aesthetic. When you’re trying to get people to go to your restaurant, it’s a good idea to lean into a design that you know will appeal to the masses. 

However, it’s essential to determine if the rustic aesthetic fits your restaurant’s overall brand and image. 

What Does Rustic Mean?

So, rustic design emphasizes rugged and natural beauty. It focuses on natural textures, unrefined elements, and simple and earthy colors. It’s not uncommon to find leather, suede, or fur in rustic designed spaces. 

Rustic has a casual nature. It’s aged and rough around the edges. Traditional rustic design can lean more towards a rural or country aesthetic, and while that may be what you’re after, more commonly, when people refer to rustic, they’re actually referring to contemporary or modern rustic design. 

What is Modern Rustic?

Modern rustic maintains a lot of the same elements as traditional rustic design, with some notable differences. Modern rustic tends to blend something old with something new. For instance, a farmhouse-style home with contemporary features or a modern home with rural features. 

Modern rustic spaces generally embrace minimalism. There’s an appreciation for high-ceilings and open spaces and an abundance of natural, exposed architectural elements. 

Should I Go with A Rustic Design for my Restaurant? 

Before you jump headfirst into a rustic design for your restaurant, you need to make sure it fits your brand. Just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean that it’s the right move for you. If you’re trying to create a cozy, warm, inviting, trendy, or nostalgic restaurant, then the rustic design might be the way to go. 

Conversely, if you’re opening an Italian restaurant, a high dollar dine-in place, or a restaurant where you want to turn tables over quickly, rustic design might not be the best bet. Peruse Pinterest or the internet and get an idea of whether or not this aesthetic fits the vibe you’re going after. 

How to Make Your Restaurant Modern Rustic

You’re sure you want to go modern rustic with your restaurant’s design, but you don’t aren’t sure how to do it. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started. 

  • Incorporate Stone and Wood: Wherever possible, add elements of natural stone and wood. Natural brick walls and stone fireplaces are a great way to incorporate stone. Add exposed wood beams, wooden walls, and other wood elements throughout the space. 
  • Combine Industrial Elements with Natural Ones: Just like having a log cabin with modern décor, to nail the modern rustic design, you’ll want to mix and match modern and rustic. An easy way to do that is with your tables. You can use reclaimed wood table tops and pair them with industrial steel or metal legs to hit the modern and rustic blend well. 
  • Big Windows: If it’s within your control, add as many big windows to your restaurant as possible. Natural lighting plays a huge role in rustic design. These large windows will also provide the opportunity to choose curtains made with rustic textiles. The curtains, combined with the natural sun, will create instant rustic vibes for your lunch crowds. 
  • Tall Ceilings and Open Concept: If it’s within your power, make your ceilings tall so that your restaurant feels open. You can also add in those wooden beams to your tall ceilings to hammer in the rustic aesthetic. If you have low ceilings and can’t change it, then you’ll want to do everything in your power to make your restaurant feel open and clutter-free. Design it in a way that maximizes flow. While traditional rustic allows for a bit of clutter, the rustic design, in general, evokes simplicity and coziness. If your restaurant is cluttered, it’ll do the opposite. 

Mastering Modern Rustic in Your Restaurant

Once you understand the rustic design philosophy, it’s a breeze to master it. Just remember to keep it simple, play with natural colors, mix modern and traditional elements, infuse natural elements wherever possible, and keep it cozy. Your restaurant will be the talk of the town in no time. 


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