Expert Advice: 5 Main Bar and Café Design Trends to Follow

expert advice: 5 main bar and café design trends to follow

We’ve come to love our local bars and cafés as our favorite places to get together and to bond with our friends, work on important projects, or simply immerse ourselves in the buzz of the neighborhood. The pandemic might have slowed down the local hospitality scene, but that only made us miss our local meeting spots even more, and it inspired us to be more appreciative. In the midst of this crisis, some trends have still managed to spring to life, and they are about to reshape the scene.

The truth is, with the popularity of setting up that local watering hole, so to speak, there is an increasing number of bars and coffee places to pick from. That, combined with the struggling economy, makes it crucial for you to choose smart design solutions that will keep bringing people to order a few extra drinks. To give your place that authenticity, this year’s trends are going to be of great help, so you can use them when it’s time to reopen your bar and start welcoming people with a fresh look that retains your unique vibe!

Themed pubs are on the rise

Have you heard of Barcelona’s cheese bar, perhaps? For a long time now, bars haven’t been strictly linked to smoky, secluded spots with the occasional jazz night on Fridays. Bars and pubs are becoming more mainstream, but they’re also expanding beyond your traditional menu of beverages. In 2021 more than ever, people will explore themed bars that serve specific, locally authentic drinks and edibles. 

This will, to a great extent, redefine how the design will flow, as well. If you want to put a local drink front and center, or you want to serve a unique local specialty, make sure that your design matches the mood of that dish or drink. Your branding will do the rest!

Weaving natural elements in the design

expert advice: 5 main bar and café design trends to follow

In some form or another, natural elements have always been popular in interior design, but this year, more bars, pubs, and coffee shops will try to weave greenery and other forms of natural fabric and material into their brand identity. Nature soothes, but it also helps people feel more comfortable in any space, and natural colors are a perfect way to bring out your bar’s unique look and feel.

Today, it’s possible to find top-notch pub furniture online that uses natural materials such as marble and wood, combining the warm and cool elements that can bring your space to life. You can even find bamboo and wicker bar chairs, perfect for brightening up a slightly darker ambiance. Creating a selection before you actually start purchasing is the best way to go. It will allow you to find unique individual pieces and organically add natural elements through furniture and accent greenery. 

Hand-crafted to give your bar a soul

Accents in any interior design make all the difference, especially when you want to have a large crowd of people walking through your space – every detail matters. To bring your bar to life, you can use your local artists to add hand-crafted items and place them strategically across your space. This supports your local artistic community by giving them a place to promote their work, but it also gives that touch of authenticity to your space.

Artistic pieces, no matter how small or simple, can be perfect conversation-starters. Think of them as a way to portray your bar’s identity. Framed photographs of famous people who have visited your bar, graffiti on one of your walls, street art in every shape and form, but also hand-crafted and custom-painted flower pots, all the way to your fridge magnets. These details will bring your bar to life in 2021.


Minimalism in a single color

If you’re going through a complete redesign or you’re just about to set up your business, before you begin furnishing your coffee place, make sure to settle on an attractive palette. This year, however, you might be surprised to hear that monochrome is the way to go! Depending on your access to natural light (which some underground bars don’t have at all) and your available furniture, the right color can make your place the most memorable one in town.

This is a bold choice, but one that calls for bold colors, too, so sterile options like pure white are out of the question – you need perky pink, illuminating yellow, dark red, or luxurious black. The décor as well as the art and details need to be in the right tone, so that you can truly achieve the monochrome look.

Look up – focus on the ceiling 

expert advice: 5 main bar and café design trends to follow

Selecting the furniture is definitely one of the most challenging parts of setting up a bar or a café. You want to make people feel comfortable and cozy, giving them their own little safe haven, but you also want to step outside of what’s considered dull and expected in terms of design. To help give your bar that looks and feel without opting for uncomfortable chairs and stools, look up!

This year, the ceiling will be the focus of many bars to set the tone for the place. It has ample room for creative expression, to help create a clashing décor detail, but also without disrupting the ambiance with clutter. Ceiling design should be your top priority this year, so add texture with layers, add color by turning your ceiling into an art installation. Opt for lighting fixtures that are both visually appealing and set up your bar’s atmosphere for the right mood. 


Although that industrial look and feel will be on the rise for many cafés and bars smackdab in the middle of a city, you’ll also see a rise in cozy, hygge-inspired places that will make people feel safe and calm despite the beehive of an environment. Contrasting elements, retro plus modern details, all the way to smart cleaning features will all surface as the go-to solutions for modern bars today. However, the listed ideas will serve as an opportunity for greater individuality in design and help establishments stand out and bring in a unique clientele.

Michael Hunt

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