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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

1920's themed Restaurant

yassi999January 16, 2013
I have just taken over a successful 1920's themed restaurant, but it is in need of redecorating. It is a very long narrow room with window only at the entry point. It has central pillars down the middle of the room. It is now off white walls and pillars Burgundy. It has most of the wall surface covered with Art deco pictures, colours mainly black and white and burgundy backgrounds, this is what is making it difficult to decide on a colour scheme. not much goes with burgundy and they want to keep the pictures in situ. It has been suggested, white walls, as I said not a lot of wall-space shows, and the central pillars black, then change the waiters uniforms from burgundy to French style waiters, ie white shirts and long black aprons, or white shirts, black waistcoats and long white aprons. The furniture is dark wood with cloth covered seats. while finances are tight I could stretch to re covering the chairs, obviously the table coverings will need to be changed too. any advice or help re colour scheme will be gratefully accepted.
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Just my opinion, but I would paint the walls either a light gray or a grayish off white. Paint the pillars black and move to more of a white/black/gray/burgundy with less of the gold. The vests look fine for the waiters and easier than say aprons, which can get in the way in serving and moving between tables. Would go with a black or gray vest with a more traditional v bottom hemline with dark pants. I would recover the chairs in the burgundy and just use plain white tablecloths - for a more classic look. Good luck!
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Judy M
I would lose the burngundy and gold and definitely update the lighting. white table cloths. can't really see the chair seat covers well enough to comment. I think some changes depend on your menu and prices. Are you a dinner only restaurant? I think lighting is going to be the key, you don;t need bright light for evening dining but you do need an overall soft light.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Nancy Hehmann
I will post pics of a couple of real French cafes below from a trip to Paris.



You can see the waiters
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:55AM
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Thank you both for your input, It is busy in the evenings, not so much at lunchtimes, extensive varied menu, chef is excellent and we get good reviews, but the decor is certainly not to my taste..
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Judy, the chairs are covered in the same material as seen in the main picture, on a sofa in the bottom right of the picture diamond type pattern
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:01AM
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I would switch the gold for silver and the burgundy pillars to black. If the light fixtures are gold, you can change that with spray paint. Paint the walls charcoal for a more intimate feel to the space. Try black and silver stripes on the chairs and paint wood on sofas black. Use an art deco black and silver floral or typical art deco pattern for sofa fabric. Leave the burgundy table cloths but substitute a black runner and a silver julep cup of fresh flowers on each table. Waiters' dress should not be classier than what the diners are wearing. I think everyone is accepting of black slacks, white shirt, black bow tie, and I would add a burgundy apron that comes just above the knees to enable one to quickly move about without hindrance.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:12AM
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Judy M
I would recover the chairs. I think people are looking for a fresh, clean, less formal and fussy look. Even for fine dining, I would think elegantly casual. Fresh flowers at the door at the "check in podium area" on busy days is always a nice touch.
I would still focus on the lighting ( pinpoint type ceiling lights) and replace the hanging lighting with something more modern.
I agree with other poster, I'm not a fan of the long apron, they do seem to get in the way and sometimes look sloppy.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:17AM
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I just did a search of art deco restaurants to just compare. A couple of things I noticed that might work better. The tablecloths should be one color. The red or the white and no gold runner. The chair cushions need to be recovered to maybe a black. Paint colors more of a champagne. Honestly, the gold on the red pillars seem to feel more Asian inspired. All the ones I saw seem to have an element of drama, especially in the ceiling. Maybe replace the ceiling tiles with the ones that looked like a tin ceiling. Bring in some more sparkle.
Good luck on your new venture! Please post some after pictures for us to see what you did!
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Judy M
Please take a very careful look at your rest rooms, that is a big deal for me. Clean, clean, clean. If you have typical stall enclosures you can repaint them. A nice grass cloth on the wall, large framed mirrors and good lighting.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:29AM
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Judy,The rest rooms are spotless and modern, there is no need to do anything in there.thank you for your input re the aprons.

' Creeser, i have already removed the gold trim, that was the first to go. even without starting the refurb. Will post pics when we have it all finished.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Judy M
So glad to hear about your rest rooms, a dirty one can be such a turn off. I keep thinking if the rest room is nasty imagine what the kitchen looks like. :(
can't wait to see updated photos!
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:39PM
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the rest rooms are spotless and anyone is welcome to view the kitchen, that is spotless too, our chef was once chef to foreign royalty and is excellent, it is only the decor I need to worry about. Thanks to all for your advice and ideas.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:42PM
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I think you should paint the ceiling a dark burgundy, change out the lighting or spray paint the metal on the light fixture black. Definitely a crisp white table cloth. Maybe even a very dark charcoal on the walls? Make sure you have candlelight on the tables! I love the idea of the wait staff being in black pants, crisp white shirts and the long white apron. That would look more high end than what they're currently wearing. Oh, and reupholster the chair seats! Good luck to you and your new adventure!
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Judy M
Where are you located? Maybe we'll be in the area one day.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:53PM
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We are discussing all of your points and thank you all. Judy i am located in Luxor Egypt
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 2:36AM
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Judy M
In that case, I can only dream that one day I will be there!
I have 2 friends that have been to Egypt and loved it.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:28AM
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You would be welcome to visit, I am English but have lived here now 12 years...
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:40AM
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