Designer Insights: Keiko Matsumoto, Senior Designer & Kevin Tyjer, Project Designer, Wilson Associates
Trending: The recent interior design trend divides into two extremes. One is minimalism, which celebrates combinations of vivid colors and patterns with a bold and ornate architectural idea. There’s also an upshot of a very warm and earthy materials palette, with tones of a similar color range (tone on tone). We can trace this back to advertising by retail brands, such as in clothing and luggage. Looking at interiors, clothing, and product trends, we can confidently say that tastes are becoming more sculptural and minimal.
Three must haves: Comfort, flexibility and functionality. As food and beverage spaces continue to be more social, people spend more and more time in restaurants, bars, lounges and other spaces, so comfort and flexibility remain critical.
Current obsession: There are so many amazing furniture pieces in the world, which makes it difficult to pick just one chair or a specific furnishing style. But most of the time, we love comfortable, timeless furniture, which is more of a European approach (i.e., less disposable!).
Bottom line: There are no old or new rules or guidelines for restaurant furniture selection. It’s deeply integrated with the culture, aesthetic and ergonomics. Those three elements are the guiding principles to selecting restaurant furniture that will elevate the space, enhance the atmosphere and last. The key is integrating durable materials with well-constructed structure. Often, to achieve the desired end result, we custom design furniture — marrying our aesthetic with a durable structure.
Industrial Meets Modern American
Designed by Tim Stoepker of Filter Studio, the Sherman Collection uses material and color play to create a versatile collection, which includes chairs, counter stools and bar stools. The focal point comes from graphic lines created when the powder-coated steel legs intersect with horizontal molded plywood panels. The upholstered seat adds another layer of texture. The made-to-order Sherman Collection (4- to 6-week lead time) is available in a range of colors and finishes and is backed by a 10-year structural warranty.
Grand Rapids Chair Company
Sleek, Windsor-Inspired Chairs
Designed by O&G Studio, the Touisset Chair series is designed specifically for commercial and hospitality applications. Available in two models, with or without arms, the collection features a sleek, streamlined silhouette inspired by the form of the classic American Windsor chair. Its hand-carved seat and understated detailing allow both models to fit in a range of environments. Constructed out of solid ash hardwood, the Touisset comes in any of the studio’s 19 signature stains.
Iconic Chair, Reinvented
The Grosfillex Ramatuelle ’73 is suitable for use indoors and outdoors. First created in 1973, the Ramatuelle has been reinvented for today’s foodservice environments and its construction combines metal and resin. It is available in dining and bar heights and in a range of vintage and modern colors: Absolute Cream, Ether Blue, Bossa Nova Red and Pavement Grey. ASTM-B tested for commercial use, it has integrated armrests and sleigh-shaped legs with anti-rotation gliders. Optional cushions are available in three color choices.
Modular Booth System
Beaufurn’s Elyse Modular Booth System features a contemporary profile with a solid wood frame that allows for more compact shipping. Configure the system’s three standard modules — 24 inches wide, 48 inches wide, and a 24-by-24-inch corner unit — as single freestanding modules, double booths or wall units. The high-back model has a 65 ¼-inch height and the low-back model has a 48-inch height. Exposed back panels can be upholstered or finished in Fusion acrylic, laminate or veneer. Elyse can be upholstered in any of Beaufurn’s fabrics or customers’ choice of material.
The Inessa WL01-HFW chair from MTS Seating features wood legs made from hard maple that attach into steel sleeves to create the understructure. This construction eliminates the use of glue joints and wobbly legs. Inessa’s wood shell comes standard in maple veneer and customers can choose from among nine wood stain finishes. The chair is backed by a 5-year structural frame warranty.
Rustic Meets Modern
Vermont Farm Table offers a line of rustic-meets-modern products that marry the warmth of solid wood with the strength and coolness of steel. This customizable line is available in 1- and 2-inch square steel stock with a complete catalog of powder-coated finishes and a large variety of solid wood tops.
Vermont Farm Table
Blowing Rock WoodWorks’ single-slab wood tables come in custom lengths, from 2-tops to 20-tops, with thicknesses from 11/2 to 4 inches. Custom-designed base and leg options are available. Each table is hand-finished with restaurant-grade hard oil, which enhances durability and provides a vivid natural appearance. The tables are available with or without a live edge and in several wood species, including American black walnut.
Blowing Rock WoodWorks
Power-Optional Communal Table
The Atlas and Hero series of communal tables provides a variety of options to create a unique table for any space. The 72-inch or 96-inch-length tables can accommodate large parties. Designers can choose from solid beech or laminate tops with a thin-profile polyurethane. The powder-coated frames feature heavy-gauge steel tubing in both the dining and bar heights. An optional power package includes two receptacles, each consisting of two outlets and two USB duplexes.
Distressed Farmhouse Chair
American Trading Company’s interpretation of the French farmhouse side chair features a distressed aesthetic on corrosion-resistant, welded aluminum. Appropriate for use inside or out, these lightweight chairs (8 pounds each) measure 35 inches from floor to top of seat back and are stackable to four high. They’re available in distressed ivory and teal colors, with additional finishes available on special order.
American Trading Company
The versatile Bloom chair from m.a.d. Furniture Design is a modern take on the classic molded plywood chair. The chair combines the warmth of laminated veneer construction with an upholstered seat and back. Leg finish options include walnut, natural ash and bleached ash; upholstery choices include graphite gray, smoke gray, latte brown and chloro-green fabric.
m.a.d. Furniture Design
Augmented Reality Fireplace
Custom Fireplace Design introduces a suspended open fireplace. Featuring the company’s Vapor-Fire technology burners, the unit is 100-percent efficient with no venting required and no heat-related liability issues, per the maker. It runs on simple tap water as a fuel source, producing a realistic illusion of fire. Manually fill the fireplace with water for up to 10 hours of “burn” time or plumb for continuous burn and minimal maintenance. Available in a variety of custom finishes and colors.
Custom Fireplace Design Inc.
Time-Tested Table Bases
JI Bases include 4- and 3-prong units, as well as stainless steel styles that come in round, square and cross formats. These units feature solid cast iron base plates, 16-gauge rolled steel columns and a solid top plate.
Jacobs International/JI Bases