Wood slat wall bench idea for a contemporary restaurant with natural vibes

Wall benches are essential furniture items for restaurants or cafes aiming to maximize their use of space. By taking advantage of every inch next to a wall, window or other vertical structures, they allow you to accommodate a large number of people in a relatively small area. Wall benches are more comfortable and sturdier than chairs, often offering a beautiful, encompassing view of the interior. By studying the designs of great restaurants, you can develop creative wall bench ideas that are not only functional but can also become the visual focal point of your restaurant or cafe.

Photo above: FARO Bench Seat from BCI

So how exactly can you accomplish that? Of course, you can bring in the typical rectangular wall bench, with vinyl upholstery and nothing that can distinguish it from the one next door. Or you can think out of the box, play with its shape, materials, placement or details – and come up with spectacular results and worthy wall bench ideas.

1. Curved Lines

An elegant curved bench in a casual restaurant is a reliable way to make your space look more elegant. Lacking the angularity and severity of typical benches, such a piece of furniture appears more inviting while giving you the opportunity to build a seating area against any vertical structure. A curved bench also creates the impression of guiding your customers through your restaurant or cafe – and doing it gracefully.

Beautiful curved bench in an elegant restaurant

LISMORE Banquette from BCI

2. Mixed Materials

Mixing materials is another way to create visual interest through contrast and to play with textures. It also helps control the bulkiness of your furniture and allows your bench to become the unifying element of your space. Whether you choose to upholster the seat or the back of your bench, leaving the remaining wooden structure exposed can make your bench look polished, clean and modern.

Wall bench idea that shows how to mix wood with fabric upholstery

ESPERANCE Banquette from BCI

3. Simple Backrests

Of course, the surest way to create a unique look is to reinvent the entire concept. Replacing the back of the bench with simple cushions hanging on the wall, a wooden bar or a single wood plank gives you just a few ideas of what you can do. These are interesting options if your space is small or if you prefer a minimalist design with a trendy look that attracts a hip audience interested in new concepts.

Minimalist wall bench idea with a wooden bar as a back rest

The Dessert Kitchen dessert store, Sydney, by Matt Woods. Photo by Dave Wheeler via dezeen.com

4. Legless Designs

For maximum use of your space, a legless bench is the ideal option. This choice comes with plenty of advantages. It does not cut the height of the wall in two, nor does it cover the beauty of your floors. This allows other design elements to shine, especially if the wall or floor material selection is one that you want to showcase. It gives the bench a floating look and a minimalist vibe, very suitable for a contemporary space. Finally, it makes for more comfortable seating, since customers can bend their legs and get more comfortable.

Legless walll bench with suspended back rest

RIANNA Bench Seat from BCI

5. Vertical Separators

Generally, a bench is instinctively seen as a communal way of seating, with no visible boundaries between customers. However, a few simple tricks can create the feeling that tables are separated and greatly contribute to the comfort of your customers. Any vertical structure built between benches or even on top of the same bench visually cuts this seating space into individual sections and defines smaller seating areas.

How to use separators to divide a bench into different seating sections

Bun fast food restaurant, Milan, by Masquespacio. Photo by Gregory Abbate via dezeen.com 

6. Window Backrests

You can simply consider “wall benches” a generic concept and use this type of furniture against more than just walls. Placing a bench against a window is an ingenious way to make it play a double aesthetic role. First, the window view becomes the backrest of the bench and an unexpected dynamic background for your furniture. Second, the bench placement brings customers closer to the natural light, which has an uplifting effect.

Of course, this positioning has value simply by being unconventional and surprising. It is a great solution for casual cafes where customers love to feel part of the life of the city and are encouraged to enjoy contemplating it.

Bench built against a restaurant window

Today Is Long cafe in Hong Kong by Studio Etain Ho and Absence from Island. Photo from dezeen.com

7. Natural Vibes

If behind the glass or window there is a gorgeous display of luxuriant plants, the “back” of the bench becomes a dynamic entity with a life of its own. In this situation, using a wooden bench adds to the natural vibe of the entire configuration. Choosing a modern design, such as a minimalist slat bench, further emphasizes its natural inspiration. If you are looking for even simpler wall bench ideas, you can do without the glass and just place the bench against a container filled with living plants.

Bench built against a display of green plants

FARO Bench Seat from BCI

If you are thinking to open a new business or are in the process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at the “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight into how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

See our Small Store Design Extravaganza: Commercial Interior Design and Branding 01 book about branding small businesses from logo design to construction, with colorful images, offering insightful explanations every step of the way.

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