Restaurant Design Trends to Watch in 2022

As more people are spending time out with their friends and family this summer, restaurants are sure to see an increase in foot traffic. Vacations, family outings, beach days, and much more are to come, and money is sure to be spent.

Ensuring your space will be prepared for new guests might require some updated finishes.  To elevate the atmosphere and experience, here are some restaurant trends to watch for in 2022.

Decorative Booth Dividers

When booth dividers first became a standard restaurant design fixture, they were a way to keep privacy in each customer’s dining experience. Recently, it has helped to maintain social distancing while eating during Covid-19. 

Now, many restaurants are desiring a more decorative alternative to plexiglass and plastic. Instead, many are turning to custom wood dividers for a more permanent fixture in complementing the aesthetic of the establishment. 

Textured Surfaces

Consistent color patterns and themes are the most important aspect of any high-end restaurant’s branding. Now, textures are slowly becoming a new trend, which can help a brand leave its unique fingerprint.

There are a lot of ways to add some texture to your surfaces. Some of them are as follows:

  • Textured menu paper
  • Sleek wood wall and ceiling panels
  • Unfinished or lightly finished tables
  • Decorative lighting compliments the other textures in the building
  • Contrasting light and shadow patterns to deepen textures

Creative Wall Designs

Part of the outing experience for many families is taking pictures in front of eye-catching statement pieces that identify the restaurant and its mission. 

Murals, floor to ceiling art commissions, and other forms of art are things that get people sharing on social media. Having a physical design piece puts the restaurant on the map as a remembered physical location for many.

Create a unique wall design that is fun and photographable. Be sure that it invites visitors to take pictures with it when they visit your location, and make sure it shows something about the restaurant to make it memorable.

Local Language

Many patrons prefer the specialty menus and attention to detail offered by local restaurants. Restaurants can also provide a true sense of community by showcasing their civic pride for the neighborhoods they serve. 

Pay homage to your local customer base by featuring tasteful imagery that celebrates the local history, traditions, and culture surrounding your location. This could include design elements like local high school sports team logos, a map of your town on the wall, etc. 


Unique ways to plate your food can also become a signature hallmark of your business. Culinary schools across the United States demonstrate many different plating techniques, so consulting a trained chef could prove beneficial.

With uniquely shaped and colored plates, as well as a plethora of different plating styles, you can create your own signature that brings an entire new ambiance to your dining experience. 

Make sure that the experience you offer is unique, fun, and excites both first-time and long-time visitors. Don’t be afraid to move outside of the box and change it up every once in a while too.

Warm Lighting

Warm lighting creates a welcoming, intriguing, and relaxed atmosphere. When diners are relaxed and feel welcome, they are more likely to enjoy their experiences.

When a customer walks into your establishment, you want them to feel drawn in and accepted immediately. Lighting can make or break their likelihood of sitting and staying.

The warmth from the light fixtures can also be enhanced using quality decorative wood paneling for walls and ceilings. The naturally warm tones of the wood complement the wall and create a beautiful combination to help visitors feel relaxed and comfortable in their seats. 

With textures and decorative pieces in the wood fixtures, the shadows will complement the warm, intimate atmosphere that you want to provide.

Acoustic Control

Noisy restaurant environments can disrupt the dining experience and create a distraction. While dividers help to give you more privacy, they are not as good at masking conversation.

With panels designed to manage the acoustics of the walls, ambient noise can be dampened and absorbed more easily. This will allow people to communicate more easily and enjoy the experience that you want to provide.

Elevate Your 2022 Restaurant Design with Quality Panels and Tiles

Rulon International designs and provides specialty wood paneling for walls and ceilings. Specifically for restaurant and entertainment settings, these panels can help both elevate your aesthetic and commitment to sustainability. Our 23 products hold multiple sustainability certifications for sourcing and manufacturing.

With a wide variety of styles, textures, and acoustic control options for restaurant building surfaces, Rulon is your best bet for quality work and craftsmanship. To learn more about how you can integrate premium wood wall and ceiling panels into your restaurant design, contact us to get started.

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