Author: Ronald Harper

Psychology Based Restaurant Design

A gorgeous, awesome space that restaurants flock to is every restaurant owner’s dream. As an architect or interior designer, nevertheless, it falls upon you to describe that a pretty interior (and exterior, for that matter) is just the pointer of the iceberg. Some of the most important components of dining establishment interior architecture, in fact, are implied to go undetected.

Welcome to the last installment of our five-part series on the psychology of terrific dining establishment interior decoration. In this short article, we’ll talk about the various aspects of dining establishment design and how they impact dining establishment diners’ experience and behavior.

The Most Essential Aspect of Restaurant Interior Decoration

Like we talked about in an earlier installment of this series, restaurants worth their salt don’t try to cater to everyone. Instead, they have a very clear image of who their target consumer is. For Jo Sampson, innovative director of dining establishment design studio Blacksheep, the customer is the most important consider developing a bar or dining establishment. “How we are going to attract them, how are we going to give them an amazing experience and exactly what’s going to make them return?” You’ve got to offer more than a great meal, comfortable seating, and the best steak knives.

With this strongly in mind, you can now start building your brand around consumers’ understanding and the experience it will develop for them.

STYLISH, ECLECTIC LIVING ROOM UNDER $2,000

Okay, here’s the scoop.  I do fine design for my interior design clients here in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon through Cheryl von Tress Interiors +.  Most of my clients have successful careers or businesses and have discretionary income to spend on building, remodeling or redecorating.

But wait!  What about the single person, young couple, recently widowed person that wants to create style on a tighter budget?  An all-in total that could be paid off at $50 a month for 20 months (oops, plus interest might add a month).  Dedicate a single credit card to this room and ask the issuer to apply a credit limit of $2,000.

I gave myself this challenge and wondered what I could pull together from internet shopping for under $2,000.   This blog post might reach you at just the right time to get your living room pulled together for the upcoming holiday season.

For this room challenge, I decided to build from the floor up.  Not always my direction, but I found a cute rug and thought that would be my jumping off point.  I’m envisioning a living room of about 10 x 13.  [Click images below to shop the sites.]

The Rug:  100% wool. rugsusa.com.  5×8 $669 — 70% off coupon = $209!

Moroccan theme trellis pattern rug.
Moroccan theme trellis pattern rug.

The Sofa:  Polyester fabric (easy care, removable, washable cover).  78″ wide.  IKEA store and online.  $699

English arm sofa from IKEA.
English arm sofa from IKEA.  Assembly required.

Primary Arm Chair:  Polyester (my guess, the site didn’t state).  Approx 32″ w x 40″ h (narrow profile, seat width 19″)  IKEA store and online $299

Sunny yellow, high-back contemporary wing chair -- fun twist on a classic.
Sunny yellow, high-back contemporary wing chair — fun twist on a classic.  Assembly required.

Accent Chairs:  overstock.com  $176.39 set of two!  I’m at $1,383.39 so far.

NeoMidcentury scoop chairs. Easy to move into dining area or outdoors.
NeoMidcentury scoop chairs. Easy to move into dining area or outdoors.

Coffee Table:  overstock.com  $154.79

Modern white coffee table with walnut legs, storage drawer and display shelf. Glass top adds shimmer and reflection of candlelight. Assembly required.
Modern white coffee table with walnut legs; easy clean; okay for resting feet. Assembly required.

End Table:  overstock.com  $71.99

A metal element. Place between red sofa and white scoop chair across to pull yellow arm chair color across the space.
A metal element. Place between red sofa and white scoop chair across to pull yellow arm chair color across the space.

End Tables:  home decorators.com  $164 (with shipping); set of two!  I’m at $1,774.17

Nod to Moroccan style white wood tables. One between sofa and yellow chair; small one between or beside scoops chairs. Easily moved in the space or to outdoors for entertaining.
Nod to Moroccan style white wood tables. One between sofa and yellow chair; small one between or beside scoop chairs. Easily moved in the space or to outdoors for entertaining.

Pendant Light (plug-in, not hard-wired):  lamps plus.com  (only one left so this might just be an inspiration;  search words:  Hawaiian Vine 15″ Wide Swag Style Drum Shade Chandelier)  $119.98

Patterned drum shade pendant light pulls colors together; adds visual interest over an end table; easy installation; keeps table top clear to retain space.
Patterned drum shade pendant light pulls colors together; adds visual interest over an end table; easy installation; keeps table top clear to retain space. No URL link on this image.

Curtains & Hardware:  overstock.com  $69.98 for two pairs!  Rods:  48-86″ width $33.94 for two!

Medallion print 84" curtains for visual interest; draw the blue from rug onto wall areas.
Medallion print curtains for visual interest; draw the blue from rug onto wall areas.
White telescoping metal curtain rods with nice finial. Windows up to 78-80" to allow fabric to drape over side frames.
White telescoping metal curtain rods with nice finial. Windows up to 78-80″ to allow fabric to drape over side frames. Lower price for more narrow windows.

How did I do?  The total is $1,998.07 (spare change for a candy bar)!  I have:  seating for seven people; easy care fabrics for pets, children and generally messy people;  lots of table space for drinks, plates and books.  There are lightweight pieces that do double duty indoors and outdoors.  Plus, theres even cute lighting.  If your TV is in this space, then you’ll have that additional expense, plus a few patterned pillows, vases, photos, wall art to add your personality.  A pop of red on the yellow chair!  Multi-color patterned pillows on the red sofa.  This is a put your feet up without worries space.  Spray paint does wonders to transform existing vases, lamp bases, frames and white canvas into fabulous accessories in your new design scheme.  I prefer Krylon brand.

I would anticipate the fabrics and foam cushions of yellow chair and red sofa might last well with normal use for at least four years.  Buy this vignette or be inspired.

It’s your space … mix it up, Cheryl

Great Italian Restaurant Interior in Vancouver, BC

Oh my, mama mia!  Last night, as I walked down the stairs from the ladies washroom of Italian Kitchen on Alberni Street, an aroma of home wafted toward me and it seemed to wrap itself around me.  I tried to identify what it was that made it so appealing (as I think back on those few moments, I remember calming down after four high-energy days at a major interior design show).  A server at the bottom of the stairs caught my eye as I surveyed the cooking going on in the very open kitchen.  I asked what the delicious smell was from; he suggested it could be the rack of lamb.  Mmmmmmm — it was a very comforting and enticing aroma.  I also noticed big chunks of parmesan on a wood tray just waiting to be freshly grated onto dinners throughout this inviting and sophisticated Italian restaurant.

How did I find this gem?  After my final educational session at the Interior Design Society (IDS) West Show at the Vancouver Convention Centre, I walked along the harbor to collect a gift tote bag I had left behind the night before at Mahoney & Sons Pub.  When I asked the hostesses where to have a fine dining experience in downtown Vancouver, they directed me to Alberni Street (sandwiched between Georgia and Robson Streets).  Just after turning onto Alberni, I saw the sign for Italian Kitchen.  Before leaving the hotel in the morning, I had seen this restaurant showcased in a city “what to do” magazine.  What appealed to me most was that   was the only restaurant to include the kitchen staff and chef in its promotional photo.  I appreciate a business that honors the back house employees.

Okay, so what about the food?  I had a great meal and with the current USD to CD exchange rate it was amazingly affordable for fine Italian cuisine.  My primi course was a tasty Beef Carpaccio — three generous slices of Alberta Province beef atop a gorgonzola polenta (4 stars!) and garnished with arugula and pea shoots, along with slivered deep fried onion rings and Asiago wedges.  My segundi course was a Duck Confit gnocchi (my first gnocchi and first entree with duck confit).  It was absolutely delicious in a light tomato cream sauce with a few plum tomatoes and olives.  I enjoyed the balance of flavors and textures in this dish.

For wine, I chose a white to start — Mission Hill Sauvignon Blanc from the Okanagan Valley, BC — and for dinner, a red — Fontanafredda Barbera.  Both were just great.  I was really happy with my choices.

I was seen taking staged food photos and the staff learned I was a blogger.  After dinner, the server who talked to me about the lamb aroma brought me a single Italian donut.   A fluffy ball of fried dough, dusted with powdered sugar, filled with cream filling and a touch of chocolate (both melty and smooth) sitting atop a drizzle of chocolate and creme fraiche (hope I got that right).  THIS is a must repeat.

The servers were attentive and knowledgeable.  The atmosphere was full-on family with lively conversations (this evening was not a “Sssshhhh, someone might hear you”night) and yet,  intimate enough for couples.  A table of twenty-somethings was having a great time just behind me in the front dining room.  The decor was tasteful (on the handsome side with dark woods and amber lighting) with a nice combination of traditional and contemporary elements.  I look forward to a return visit and highly recommend Italian Restaurant! (I peeked into the upstairs dining area and it was nicely appointed with some softer colors, a center bar and urban window views.)

My total bill with tip was around $45 USD.

Lessson re-learned:  try something new, I might just be surprised….again!

Mange bene, Cheryl

P.S.  I’ll post a video of my time there as soon I get the whole techno upload figured out for the Android to MacBook connection.

P.S.S.  I ate my gnocchi leftovers for breakfast…another first!

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