Kitchen with polished concrete floorKitchen with polished concrete floor

Industrial chic: the latest design trend in Melbourne restaurants

See all articlesTrends in Melbourne restaurants
Concrete polishing
Policrete Team
Policrete Team
August 5, 2019
minute read

Good food, impeccable service and a well-thought-out menu are all important to the dining experience. But as any restaurateur will tell you, the interior design of your restaurant plays an equally important role in creating a unique dining experience, delighting your guests and keeping customers coming back for more.

Dining is serious business in Melbourne, and there are entire awards dedicated to the design and architecture of our favourite restaurants, so it’s important to stand out from the crowd with a striking design and aesthetic to create just the right atmosphere.

The industrial chic look, with its raw concrete and exposed brick, is being adopted by many restaurants wanting to create stunning spaces to wow diners. Here’s why the design trend works so well.

What is industrial chic?

industrial chic
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‘Industrial chic’, ‘urban industrial’, ‘modern industrial’, ‘deco industrial’. The trend that’s been taking the design industry by storm goes by many different names, but they all refer to the same look, and no doubt you’ve seen it in many of your favourite restaurants, homes and offices. Exposed light bulbs, steel beams, brick walls, raw concrete. You might be mistaken for thinking you’ve stepped foot in a factory or warehouse, if not for the well-dressed waiters and $40 plates.

Industrial chic takes its cues from old factories and industrial spaces, adopting industrial elements, like weathered woods, raw concrete, exposed brick, industrial lighting fixtures and other unexpected materials (like shipping containers).

The industrial chic trend evolved in response to the over-the-top opulence of the 90s and the economic recession of the late 2000s. As restaurateurs and diners became more careful with their money, white table cloths and chandeliers made way for raw wood tables and clean, muted, minimalistic dining rooms.  The result was spaces that felt accessible to everyone.

Why restaurants love the industrial chic trend

restaurant industrial chic
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The industrial chic look is being used in many of Australia’s top restaurants. The versatility of concrete means you can use the material to create so many different statement looks to give your restaurant a ‘wow’ factor.

But the trend isn’t just about the ambience the look creates. When it comes to restaurants, good design should take into account both style and function - you need to consider the needs of both your customers and your staff. Fortunately, concrete is also a really practical material to use in a restaurant. Because concrete is such a tough material, it can easily withstand heavy foot traffic day in and day out. It’s also really easy to clean and is resistant to stains, chemicals and heat, making it the perfect material for commercial kitchens.

How to achieve the industrial chic look in your restaurant

achieve industrial chic restaurant
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To get the industrial look, without creating a space that feels clinical, pair your raw materials with textural elements, aged woods, reclaimed mid-century modern furniture and luxe touches like fur and leather. These elements will help soften the design and bring warmth to the space, so your restaurant will feel less like a warehouse, and more like a space you’d want to dine in.

Lighting is also important. Exposed light fixtures with metal finishes fit the style, and overhead light fixtures are often used to achieve the warehouse look, but make sure you use the correct lighting to bring warmth to the room and create a relaxed atmosphere in your dining room (consider installing dimmers). Large windows can also help bring natural light into the space.

To achieve the industrial feel, stick to neutral colours - a mix of greys, blacks and rustic hues. Add pops of colour to help balance out the industrial feel and create an inviting space that customers will want to dine in.

Concrete is a key element in the industrial chic look. Because it’s such a versatile material, you have the freedom to create a look that perfectly matches the style of your restaurant. The strong, clean lines of a high-gloss polished concrete can be used to reflect a sleek and contemporary menu, while raw concrete can look more rustic. Concrete tabletops, counters or bars can be stripped back for a striking look that’s modern and masculine. Or polished concrete can be paired with aged woods and reclaimed furniture to create a warmer look and feel.

It’s important to remember that when it comes to concrete, design choices should be made early on in the process. Work with your concrete installer to carefully consider the colour, aggregate exposure and gloss level before you begin pouring your concrete.

How to create an industrial-chic restaurant with a stylish polished concrete floor

Installing polished concrete floors is a great way to achieve the industrial chic look. Stylish, yet practical, polished concrete can help you create the right atmosphere and look to impress your diners and keep them coming back for more. Get in touch with the Policrete team to learn about using polished concrete to create a stunning restaurant.

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