These Are The Instagram-Worthy Restaurants Inspiring Us Right Now
It’s no secret that restaurants are often on the cutting edge of design: long before trends shake down to residential spaces they pop up in commercial venues. Eateries with big budgets and top designers at their disposal are eager to create buzzy, welcoming environments where guests want to linger. Here are statement-making destinations embracing design trends that are sure to inspire.
Plants as art: From the hand-painted mural by Tisha Myles to the niches filled with uplit arrangements and table top containers, plants are life forms that double as sculptures.
Lush patterns: Martin dressed the metal terrace chairs in The Garden in colorful animal print fabric, embellished by tassels and pompoms for a playful effect. Mature trees and bountiful plants recreate the ambience of an orangerie, once the norm in grand Georgian properties like Annabel’s.
Plush pink: Martin pulls out all the stops in the boudoir-like powder room, an homage to the power of pink. S.
Maxed out mouldings: “I wanted the space to feel like you were walking into a decadent macaroon in the kind of shade you might expect to see or eat,” says designer Tiffany Pratt of Café Cancan in Toronto. Panelled walls and brick texture provides plenty of textural interest. Applied mouldings, inset mirrors and a coffered ceiling gives this new restaurant a sense of grandeur and history.
Terrazzo flooring: Terrazzo is a huge trend, and this version appears to be candy-flecked, which accents the lighthearted cotton-candy pink walls.
Teal accents: In the Old Montreal vegan eatery, LOV Restaurant, teal lamps are a refreshing hit of color on the marble bar. Architects Jacinthe Piotte and Jean-Pierre Viau chose recycled and handmade materials to create an environment that reflects the values of the plant-based menu, which is local and natural.
Suspended furniture: A hanging chair is a carefree touch, and the white painted bamboo frame and palm-print cushion make this corner of the restaurant feel like summer all year long.
Mixed upholstery: A bench cushion upholstered in palm prints is contrasted by the banquette’s solid fabric. Terrariums filled with potted plants drive home the garden vibe.
Steel-frame windows: To add industrial character and contrast the sinuous 60-foot marble bar, Martin picked graphic steel-framed windows and fire-treated cork ceilings.
Original art: Several artworks and installations by artists such as Douglas Coupland (who contributes a candy-colored mural) and Micah Lexier give the restaurant a unique, gallery-like atmosphere.
Color-blocked walls: The pastel walls of Calgary’s Calcutta Cricket Club, look authentically sunbleached and are adorned by a collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century prints of distinguished cricket players. Designed by artist Maya Gohill (and professed Wes Anderson enthusiast), the restaurant has won multiple awards for its cuisine, but it also scooped up the 2018 Award for Best New Restaurant Design. Maya mixed references from her own South Asian upbringing with Western pop culture.
Quirky finds: Maya furnished the restaurant with one-off purchases sourced from eBay and Kijiji. Gary — the carousel leopard suspended over the bar — is a conversation starter for diners.
Wovens: Rattan screens, bar stools and woven light fixtures are semi-tropical touches that nod to the restaurant’s name and West Bengal cuisine. Maya describes the decor as a 1960’s Indian social club meets The Golden Girls.
Mixed tile: The base of the bar is decorated with three different kinds of brightly-patterned Moroccan tiles. Other tropical motifs include stools cast from pale bamboo, leaf-print cushions and palm tree wallpaper.
Vintage prints: Overblown ’50s-inspired glazed chintz tablecloths in a combination of vibrant hues enlivens the terrace. Woven bistro chairs are a classic French touch.
Blond wood: KŌST (a play on coast) is Studio Munge’s beach house style escape overlooking Lake Ontario. The chic rooftop restaurant seems miles from its actual location, the 44th floor of the Bisha Hotel in Toronto’s entertainment district. Light woods drive home a Cali surf shack vibe that matches the Baja-inspired menu.
Mixed seating: A medley of dining chairs — peach-skin soft tub chairs, a slipcovered sofa and ’70s-style rattan loungers — riff on the beach resort theme.
Free form lighting: Casual white pendants look breezy with relaxed draped cords.
Banquette seating: Banquettes max out every inch of space and create a clubby, luxurious effect in a dining room.
Watercolor walls: Located in the Pigalle neighborhood of Paris, Pink Mamma is a former hospital transformed into a four-floor resto, designed by Martin Brudnizki. On the top floor atrium, a wall in a painterly Impressionistic treatment recalls Monet’s works, heightened by the streams of natural light filtered through the glass roof.
Mixed tile and wood flooring: A custom encaustic tile adds pattern, forming a halo around the bar, which juxtaposes beautifully with wood planks in a medium stain.
Tonal wallpaper and wainscotting: Maison Selby is based in the Gooderham mansion, built in 1883 by one of Toronto’s most prominent families. Soft sage wainscotting is a subtle way to ground the pastoral mural which wraps around the room, underscoring the building’s historic mouldings, trim and stained glass.
Velvet: Seats upholstered in channeled, lush green velvet upholstery are ultra luxe and equally comfortable.
Herringbone floors: Dark-stained herringbone floors give Maison Selby an old-school European character to match the heady Victorian mural and panelling combo.
Conservatory style: An abundance of windows flood this area with natural light. The conservatory vibe is heightened with marble wall tiles laid in a herringbone pattern, plants suspended from the ceiling and cane-back chairs.
Brass feet: At Toronto eatery Coffee Oysters Champagne, warm brass is a natural companion for effervescent pink onyx walls and adds some heft to plush velvet-upholstered stools in a white finish.
Penny tiles: These tiles are riding a crest of popularity, but a fresher take involves inlaying them with contrasting tiles to form patterns, letters or stripes to personalize and define an area.
Low-back stools: Gem-toned velvet stools are kept purposely low-key so they don’t obscure the panelled bar’s dramatic stone countertop. A row of discreet brass hooks stands at the ready for purse duty.
Channeled walls: Textured walls and channeling are both big trends. Here, the channeling continues down the velvet banquette to keep the effect seamless and create an enveloping, inviting perch.