We’re in the golden age of restaurants. There are places popping up on every corner that serve up new and amazing sensory experiences every day. Modern restaurant interior design must be as bold and interesting as the food. If you want the elegance of your place to stand up to the competition, up your restaurant ceiling design game.
Why is Restaurant Ceiling Design so Important?
Ceiling design for restaurants is a bit trickier than other types of rooms. That’s because the dining rooms in restaurants are unique in the world of interior spaces. Few other places host so many small groups that want to interact on a macro level. Mix in kitchen sounds, and you’ve got a cacophony of cooking and conversation.
If your ceiling isn’t doing much for the look or sound of the restaurant, you’re missing out. Choosing the right kind of ceiling design not only looks great but helps tone down the noise as well. A well thought out mix of diffusion and absorption is what you’re after. Let’s look at some ways we can get the best of both worlds with the right restaurant ceiling design.
What Makes a Great Restaurant Ceiling Design?
Now that we’ve looked at why restaurant ceiling design is so important, let’s touch on what defines great ceiling design. There are a few characteristics that set a great restaurant ceiling apart.
It Defines your Style
The first criteria of a great restaurant ceiling design is that it defines your style. You go to great lengths to create the perfect atmosphere in your restaurant. A great ceiling can tie all your restaurant wall design characteristics together and act as an exclamation point. Choose a style that exemplifies the feel you want for your restaurant.
It Controls Noise
A great ceiling should also help control the noise in the room. While we don’t want to eliminate background noise completely, we do want to keep it under control. If it’s too loud, it’s hard to communicate. Too quiet and the room will feel dead, and people may be uncomfortable conversing with their friends. The right mix of diffusion and absorption in restaurant ceiling design will ensure patrons can communicate with their friends comfortably.
Another consideration that’s incredibly important when choosing building materials in public spaces is that they’re safe. You’re in a place that deals with fire and a lot of guests. The materials you choose should be fire rated for safety.
Now that we’ve covered criteria that define great restaurant ceiling design, let’s look at some modern restaurant ideas that deliver.
7 Great Restaurant Ceiling Design Ideas
This is the fun part. Looking at types of ceiling designs and making your decision is an exciting expose on what you want out of your eatery. There are virtually unlimited options, but these tried and true design ideas will get you started.asi
Ceiling designs that rely on grids not only convey timeless beauty, but they help control noise as well. By decorating with a recessed grid, you force speech sound waves back down onto the table. That makes it easier for your companions to hear, and harder for the next table over for you to hear. Think of ceiling styles like coffered ceilings and ceiling baffles as great grid examples. Either option looks great and redirects sound reflections exactly where they belong.
Perforated Metal Ceiling Tiles
This design idea pulls double duty by improving the acoustics in the space through absorption. You can even incorporate them into other designs to make them more effective. Dropping perforated metal panels into your ceiling grid design delivers big time acoustical benefits.
The way perforated metal ceiling tiles work is simple. The tiny holes in perforated metal restaurant ceiling tiles allow some of the sound waves in, but trap them behind the panel. If you add the optional acoustical backing, they’ll trap even more sound waves. They’re fantastic in restaurants because they look great, absorb sound, and clean up easily. You likely won’t even see the perforations, but you’ll definitely hear the difference.
False or Dropped Ceilings
Restaurant spaces often have high ceilings with exposed ductwork and pipes. That open ceiling restaurant design can lead to audio issues and kill your cozy feel. A great restaurant ceiling design to combat those effects is the false or dropped ceiling.
A false or dropped ceiling is one that is suspended below the room’s structural ceiling. Since it isn’t essential to the structural integrity, you can get as creative as you want with false ceiling design. Maybe a series of reclaimed wood slats fits your style. Maybe it’s a standard t-grid fitted with beautiful acoustic panels. You can get brilliant effects with a false ceiling.
While we’re on the topic of acoustics, we’ve got to take a look at ceiling clouds. They are simply acoustic panels that are suspended from the ceiling, and to fantastic effect. Suspended ceilings sit between patrons and noisy utilities, reducing noise from both sides. You can even angle them to handle problem sounds that are unique to your room. There are few more efficient ways to handle sound waves. Not only that, but they look great too.
Ceiling cloud acoustical panels are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and in every color under the sun. Since they are being suspended, you can create any kind of focal point you like. You can create individual clouds or weave them into an artistic tapestry. Ceiling clouds are a great way to let the restaurant style you want out of the bag.
Add Hidden Lighting to the Equation
A lot of the options we’ve looked at can be enhanced with simple cove lighting. Hidden sources of light create a lot of contrast, and contribute to the overall ambiance. Place hidden lights behind your brand mark, and it will be visible for miles. Point hidden lights to the top shelf booze and drive sales. Hidden lighting is a great way to achieve a high concept restaurant design you’ll love and keeps customers coming in.
Use Plants in your Ceiling Design
Another beautiful way to accent your modern ceiling design is to use plants. They add natural elements and make the room feel like a peaceful oasis. You will have to take care of them in a different way than traditional ceilings, however. They will need water and light to survive.
Air plants and succulents work well here, since they can pull water out of the air. You won’t have to worry about watering terribly often if you go this route. People love the way they look as well. Also, unless you have skylights or an abundance of direct sunlight, choose plants that thrive in indirect light. Dead plants won’t deliver the feel you want.
Use Chandeliers for Lighting
If you’re going for a cozy feel with your restaurant ceiling design, you can’t beat chandeliers. They drop the light right where customers want them. That means the brightness can be turned down and they’ll still light the room properly. Chandeliers focus the light on the people at the table, which makes communication much easier. When we can see our friends and family, we can communicate much more effectively. Dropping them down through the plant life you’re considering provides a real cool look, too.
Budget Restaurant Ceiling Ideas
If you’re feeling like your restaurant could use something, refreshing your restaurant ceiling design will go a very long way. That’s because it’s something that people ignore all too often. Part of the reason is that the look of a great ceiling feels like it’s got to be expensive. That’s not true. There are some great large and small restaurant decor ideas that can be accomplished on a budget.
Use a Few Well-Placed Acoustic Panels
You don’t have to cover your entire ceiling with acoustical panels to get some solid noise reduction benefits. A handful of well-placed panels can absorb just the right amount of sound and add a touch of texture. If you want to make them pop, hide some lighting fixtures above them. Talk to someone who knows a bit about acoustics to choose the best locations for them.
Utilize an Existing T-Grid System
If you’ve got a dingy drop ceiling, adding new panels can really improve the look. Fitting your restaurant ceiling tile grid with perforated metal panels is an easy way to add aesthetic and acoustic benefits. You can do it yourself, meaning you can save big money on not paying for labor.
Find Some Affordable Plants
Want to add plants to your restaurant ceiling design without breaking the bank? You can get some great plants on a budget if you plan your design at the right time. Late spring can get you good sized plants at a decent discount. Also, keep an eye on those expensive focal point plants throughout the season. You may be able to pick them up at huge discounts at the end of the summer clearance sales.
Be Careful with Material Choices in Open Kitchens
We mentioned ceiling materials briefly before, but it’s worth repeating. You can get away with more in the dining room, but be sure to use fire safe materials in the kitchen.
Restaurant food prep puts off a lot of heat. That can present a fire hazard if you don’t use the right materials. Additionally, the hood vents likely won’t take all the grease out of the air. You’ll want something easy to clean in the kitchen. Metal is a great choice.
Using perforated metal ceiling tiles in the kitchen not only looks great, but they’re easy to wipe down. If you add the acoustical backing, they’ll take care of a lot of kitchen noise to boot. If you don’t know how fire safe your materials are, technology is on your side.
Design your restaurant ceiling with the right platform and you’ll be in good shape. That fire information is built in. Even if someone else designed your ceiling, you’ll be able to figure it out. New software can check the materials in your industry foundation classes BIM files to find fire safety info.
Work with Professionals
As The Dude once said about his rug, “It really tied the room together.” That’s the best way to describe the effect of a ceiling on the room. It touches every wall and spans the entire space, so it literally ties the whole room together. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. It all depends on your restaurant ceiling design.
The ceiling can convey any feel you want. It can create a focal point around which to build your brand. With that kind of power, you’ll want to make sure you do it right. Working with professionals will help you get the look and acoustical results you’re after.
We can help you find the best ceiling tiles for restaurants and help you get the most out of them. It doesn’t matter if you need great low ceiling restaurant design ideas or a high-end exposed ceiling restaurant design. Working with the best will get you the best.