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An attractive interior design can have as much of an impact on a bar/restaurant’s success as good food and drinks can. We’ve made a list of some of our favourite restaurant and bar designs in the world, some of which have even won industry awards for their design.

Joben Bistro, Romania

Located in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the Joben Bistro is a pub far away from a conventional design. Inspired by Jules Verne’s’ fictional stories, the pub is filled with fantasy and sci-fi décor.

Designed by 6th Sense interiors, Joben Bistro is divided into three rooms, each filled with particularities; including the main bar area that boasts concrete walls and many eccentric installations. 

Playfulness is encompassed throughout by a careful choice of lighting, décor and objects. This, combined with the elegance of the brass and copper, draws attention to the detailed installations. 

Le Pain Frances, Sweden

Le Pain Frances is found along Gothenburg’s classy boulevard, Kungsportsavenyen. For such a high-profile location, the owners wanted to create something out of the ordinary. 

It was agreed that the design would give Gothenburg a taste of France by featuring contemporary and mid-century decoration that illustrates French Belle Èpoque. The magical distortion of proportion and scale, combined with the elegant use of colour and texture make this a luxurious four-storey restaurant.

The interior, designed by Stylt Trampoli, bursts with glamour and sophistication whilst keeping a degree of cosiness as well.

Mikkeller & Friends, Denmark

Contrasting from the previous two features, Mikkeller & Friends beer bar presents a sophisticated space with minimalist blond wood furniture, golden lamps and restrained arrangements.

The bar, which was designed by Rum4 and Studio-K, is located in a Copenhagen cellar. The interior is instilled with a light and airy atmosphere by using a single turquoise colour that spreads along the floor and selected furnishings. With a refreshing theme and wide range of beers, the bar accommodates enthusiasts of beer and design. 

Tasting Room, Israel

The Tasting Room is a wine bar and archive for local and imported wines. The bar is located in the cellar of a restored building in Tel Aviv. The modern wine cellar was designed by Studio OPA and the bar won best Middle East & Africa bar in 2015.

Iron drawers, a handmade concrete bar and cracked oak give the stored wine space to age gracefully. The cellar makes good use of the limited space available: hand cut cork casing circles the cellar, allowing a snug fit for wine glasses to be hung.

Truth Café, South Africa

The Truth Café’s interior design uses steampunk as a conceptual reference. The designers, Haldane Martin Interiors, proposed the steampunk idea in relation to coffee roasters and espresso machines displaying elements of steam powered technology. 

The stripped wooden flooring, metal grinders, mesh and lighting that hang to enhance the space create an exciting and industrial feeling. All features of the café’s interior serve to complement each other, crafting a grand and intimate atmosphere.

Electric Café, France

Electric, a Paris penthouse venue, offers panoramic views of the city. Designer Mathieu Lehanneur and architect Ana Moussinet conceived the interior which features a canopy of sound and light: lighting projectors and speakers hang from the branches of chunky black trees.

The multipurpose venue provides sofas and trunk-shaped stools by day, forming lounge seating areas, posing as a restaurant and bar. By night, these are stored away to open up a ballroom with a rippled DJ booth. Mathieu and Ana have designed a space which can be freely customised.

Trent Furniture supply bars and restaurants from around the world with furnishings. Whatever interior your establishment is looking to create, Trent Furniture can help. Call us now on 0116 286 4911 for help in finding the right furniture to fit with your theme. 

As the number of internet users reaches 50% of the world’s population, more people than ever are using the web for shopping. For the first time ever, most people are using the web for doing their shopping and billions of people (90% of buyers) are using the web for research when making a furniture purchase.

With so many people buying commercial furniture online and so many commercial furniture retailers and manufacturers, it can be confusing to find genuine retailers that you can trust. Thankfully, with over 55 years of trading, we have proved that we are the number one choice for commercial and contract furniture.

To help you find out what to look for when buying furniture online, we have put together a little list of things to consider to make sure you get the best deals and service.

Check the Furniture Website

Make sure that that website that you are on is as helpful to you as possible. A trustworthy website will have all its products displayed clearly and with the correct prices easily visible with helpful descriptions of products.

Popular products like our Round Shaker Table have product dimensions and weight displayed to help you plan for a project and we clearly display all of our available finishes. We believe that to give our customers the best service we must make the process as stress-free and helpful as possible.

With our new website, we have also made sure that when customers choose to make a purchase with us that we are as safe and secure as possible. If you look in the address bar at the top-left hand side of your screen you will see a green locked padlock and the word ‘Secure’.

This means that your payment is encrypted and completely secure, guaranteeing there will be no nasty surprises. This service is a must-have for any payment made on the internet so check every retailer.

Comparing Furniture Store Reviews

Reviews are a fantastic way of viewing the experience other customers are having when they choose to purchase through an online retailer. A review can give a great indication to you in what to expect in everything from the product itself to the delivery service.

Currently, we have 134 Google reviews for all of our products and services with an average score of 4.8 stars out of 5. With over 120 reviews rated at five stars, you know that our customers are getting fantastic furniture products with a first-class service.

Google reviews are completely independent to Trent Furniture so you know that you are reading authentic reviews left by real customers who make real purchases. Feel free to read some of our reviews to see what our customers are saying about our products.

Guarantees for Commercial Furniture

Pub and restaurant furniture are used on a regular basis day in, day out. We understand that commercial furniture needs to be robust enough to be moved regularly and stand the test of time.
Some retailers will be quick to sell their furniture but after the demands of your industry, regularly things go wrong and it can be difficult or impossible to get the issue resolved months down the line.

At Trent Furniture, we make sure that only the highest quality of materials is used in our products and they are assembled by expert craftsmen to ensure the durability of each item.

To prove we have faith in our products and for peace of mind for our customers, we offer a 12-month guarantee on all of our commercial furniture items.

Only at Trent Furniture will you receive the high-quality that you expect from hospitality industry furniture.

Online Furniture Delivery

Delivery is an incredibly important part of the online buying process. A good website will clearly outline all of its delivery information including estimated delivery time and costs. 

In the hospitality industry, getting things on time and in perfect condition can mean the difference between success and disaster. Trent Furniture has decades of experience and we have experienced it all to bring you a better delivery service.

Delivery is approximately 10-14 working days for stocked items. However, if the order is more urgent we will endeavour to help you meet your requirements. Our delivery charges are clearly labelled in the shopping basket price breakdown and depend on the delivery postcode. 

We use our own drivers to ensure our customers get the best delivery service possible and they’ll even give our customers a ring beforehand to let them know that their delivery is close.

Variety of Commercial Styles and Options

While looking through the web for online commercial furniture, the most helpful websites will be the ones that have a large selection of furniture pieces and will also have a wide variety of products. 

We have built up a reputation for supplying such a large variety of different products in hundreds of finishes. We pride ourselves on being able to offer large varieties of commercial seating and furniture on our website.

You can choose from a range of trends by going to the industry type section of our website to find all our great furniture related to the style you want.

We also have a physical location that you can visit so you can see some of our products and our team can give you expert advice on the best restaurant and pub furniture that will suit your establishment.

A Final Thought on Online Furniture Buying

While buying commercial furniture online can save you time, money and a lot of hassle, it is important to be wary of websites that can look too good to be true and any potential scams.

Finding a professional website that you can trust is the first step to upgrading or finding your perfect furniture.

Doing your research to find the best products at the best price is something you cannot rush and don’t hesitate to get in contact with any retailer for advice. Read the reviews, compare prices and invest in something that you won’t regret months and years down the line.


The British love affair with food and restaurants shows no sign of abating. TV shows such as Masterchef draw audiences of millions, while our appetite for eating out has shown renewed growth: a recent survey by the Office for National Statistics shows that UK households now spend around £45 per week on restaurants and hotels. Much of this goes on the casual dining sector. In the year ending June 2016, casual dining outlets did £5.07 billion in sales, an increase of nearly 35% on the figure for June 2010. 

New restaurants – both independent and chains – continue to open, giving consumers an unprecedented choice of cuisines and dining styles, from Mexican fast food chains such as Chipotle to “slow food” restaurants such as Pizzicotto in London.

Friends enjoying dinner

It was not always thus. In the decades from the turn of the 19th century until the 1960s, British people rarely ate out. And if they did, it would mostly have been at a chain such as Lyons, whose tea rooms and Corner Houses were a mainstay of the British high street from the Victorian era until they began to fall out of favour in the 1960s and 70s. These offered table service (served by smartly uniformed waitresses famously known as “Nippies”) or self-service teas, snacks and simple meals at reasonable prices.

But what was interesting about Lyons was that, while it was by no means an upmarket brand, the company nevertheless served its customers in stylish and well-designed surroundings. Furniture was simple but elegant, many window displays at the Corner Houses were designed by an artist, Kay Lipton, while interiors – often in the Art Deco style - were designed by the noted architect and designer Oliver Percy Bernard. Lyons was a company that appreciated the importance of style and design. In today’s jargon, it was offering more than simply food; it was selling an “experience”, and good design was an integral part of it.

If you run a restaurant or are planning to open one, you will no doubt have an appreciation of the importance of offering your customers a good, all-round experience. And furniture will be a vital part of this. So here are five tips for buying the right restaurant furniture.

Lyons tea rooms and Corner Houses

Are they sitting comfortably?

The fast-food industry has a repertoire of tricks to discourage customers from lingering. Research has shown that fast, loud music increases diners’ chewing rate from 3.83 bites per minute to 4.4 bites per minute. Ensuring that chairs are not too comfortable also encourages diners to move on, freeing up space for the next sitting. But, clever as these techniques are, they are more suitable for the fast-moving high-turnover world of fast-food chains rather than the independent sector. For independent local restaurants, the aim is to build customer loyalty and ensure that people will come back, rather than giving them a sore back. With this in mind, comfort should be uppermost in your criteria for restaurant chairs; before you even think about appearances, bear in mind that your customers will need to feel well supported and stable. The Parson chair is an increasingly popular design, offering good back support along with comfortable upholstery. Alternatively, chairs with arms are a more expansive option; they may take up more space, but customers will appreciate the chance to stretch out. Other chair options include bistro chairs with wicker or woven seagrass seating, or wooden spindleback chairs. 

Form and function

While comfort is paramount, your chairs – and tables – should also be pleasing to the eye. And they should fit in with the theme or design scheme of your restaurant. If yours is the kind of place that offers formal fine dining, your furniture should offer uncomplicated elegance, as well as comfort – your customers will want to linger over their meals without going numb. Simple white or creamy-white upholstered chairs can be matched by tables draped with white linen tablecloths and napkins, creating a calm, quiet environment.

A more contemporary look can be achieved with clean modern designs, with lots of metal and chrome, though care must be taken here to ensure that comfort is preserved. With furniture design there is often a trade-off between style and comfort; a beautiful chair is not always one that’s easy to sit on. (Swiss designer Stefan Zwicky, for instance, came up with a version of Le Corbusier’s classic LC2 armchair that was made of solid concrete: impressive to look at, less so to sit upon.)

Le Corbusier’s classic LC2 armchair that was made of solid concrete

Banking on the banquette

Banquettes, benches and booths are an increasingly popular option for restaurants. Customers like them because they are comfortable and offer greater privacy. Families dining with children often prefer booths, as it keeps parents closer to their children so that they can be on hand to help with ordering, cutting food, etc. For the restaurant, booths and banquettes can be a more efficient use of space; generally, a booth will seat more customers than the equivalent space using tables and chairs – though most restaurants using booths will offer them alongside traditional tables and chairs. For themed restaurants, such as American-style diners, benches can be upholstered in brightly-coloured vinyl or faux leather. 

Banquettes, benches and booths are an increasingly popular

Colour sets the mood

Colour psychology is an area of growing importance, as retailers and designers come to appreciate the role of colour in establishing the “mood” of a brand or a retail outlet such as a restaurant. There are colours that are calming and there are colours that are stimulating. The colours used in a busy, bustling Mexican restaurant are likely to be reds and yellows, while a calmer, more upmarket establishment might use white, neutral shades of blue and green, or perhaps some black, which signifies power and prestige. Your decorative scheme will be vital in setting the mood, and upholstery, furniture and linen will be part of this. Restaurateurs might be reluctant to go to the expense of buying upholstered furniture as they will have understandable concerns about wear and tear and cleaning. But today’s fabrics are more durable than ever, and also easier to clean. With this in mind, your options become wider; fabrics and finishes can be chosen to match your colour scheme. If tables are to be left uncovered, ensure that they are sympathetic to your scheme; dark stained wood will not go well with otherwise light and airy decor. 

Be flexible

So, you’ve established your theme and your colour scheme. But the story isn’t over yet. Back in the days of Lyons tea room and Corner Houses, mealtimes were rigid: breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner. Today’s consumers, however, are much less set in their ways. Eating out is no longer such a big deal; it’s something people might do on the spur of the moment, with family or friends. People might want burgers at 11am or Eggs Benedict at 7pm. And they might dine alone or with a large group. So your furniture, like your kitchen, needs to be flexible. Imagine you have six people turning up unexpectedly. Unless you have a free both (see above), to seat them quickly and smoothly, you might need to shunt some tables and chairs together. So, when planning your seating layout and buying furniture, bear in mind that they might need to be moved around; you’ll need a mix of larger and smaller tables. And finally, be sure to leave enough space for customer privacy and for your staff to move freely between tables. A rule of thumb is that each customer will require an absolute minimum of one square metre of space – though this figure is for fast-food outlets; a full-service restaurant will allocate at least 1.5 square metres per customer, while for fine dining it should be around 2 square metres. In today’s restaurant business, the customer is king; if they feel they are being squashed and squeezed, they will go elsewhere.

Restaurant interior

There seems to be no let-up in the growth of Britain’s café culture. In 2015 we spent £7.9 billion in UK coffee shops. By 2025, that figure is predicted to rise to £15 billion, while the 20,000 coffee shops recorded in 2015 are expected to rise to 30,000 by 2025. But this is not just the story of the relentless march of the big brands such as Starbucks and Costa.

Starbucks near Leicester Square, London

The independent sector, too, is thriving, with non-chain cafés and coffee shops reporting a rise in turnover, while their absolute numbers are increasing, too.

Daily espresso and the London coffee bar scene

2 I's coffee bar in the 1950s

Britain’s love affair with coffee goes back to the 17th and 18th centuries, when coffee houses were meeting points for those interested in politics, culture, and society gossip. But if you want to trace the origins of the British coffee shop as we know it today, the best place to start would be the London coffee bar scene of the 1950s and 60s. Here, in bohemian neighbourhoods such as Soho, immigrants from Italy and elsewhere introduced the magnificent gleaming Gaggia machines with their hissing spouts and pressure gauges.

These were innocent times, and “frothy coffee” became a hit among youngsters, while Soho cafés such as the Moka Bar and the 2i’s, with their jukeboxes and live music and Formica table tops, were a focal point for a new wave of affluent postwar youngsters, playing a key role in the growth of British rock and roll. 

The Australian invasion and expat coffee bars

Most of those coffee bars have long since disappeared, although the pioneering Bar Italia, which opened in 1949 in Frith Street, Soho, is still there today – and is still owned by the same family. Over the years, a small band of cafés continued to fly the flag for decent coffee; then came the big chains, with Starbucks opening its first UK store in 1998.

But over the past decade or so, Britain’s coffee culture has received a caffeine boost with the arrival of Australian expats who have brought with them their mother country’s love of coffee (which in itself was attributable largely to Italian and Greek migrants who moved to Australia and took their coffee-drinking habits with them).

These Aussies come from a country with a strong tradition of independent coffee shops - Starbucks has been unable to get a foothold there, and now has a measly 23 stores across Australia. When these coffee-conscious Australians moved to Britain, they offered coffee of a high standard, often featuring decorative fractal patterns in the froth. 

Hipster cafe and coffee bar

These cafés – and their many imitators - also offer cool, well-designed surroundings: not the bog-standard interiors of the high street chains, but interiors with personality, a touch of quirk. (It’s interesting to note that in some of their outlets, the high street chains are now trying to adopt the interiors styles of trendy hipster cafés: exposed brickwork, pipework and conduits, handwritten blackboards, pendant lighting.)

So, if you run a café or coffee shop, or are planning to open one, what’s the best way to approach interiors, decor and furniture? 

Know your coffee shop and bistro customers

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth reinforcing the point: there is no point opening a trendy hipster-style joint with Edison lightbulbs and exposed girders if your potential customers are likely to be middle-aged and keen on tea, tablecloths and fancy doilies. And vice versa. Of course, these are two extremes, and most coffee shops will aim somewhere in the middle: cosy and comfortable enough for the tea-and-scones demographic, cool enough for the younger, trendier folk. 

Mixing and matching coffee shop and bistro furniture
There is no law stipulating that all coffee shop furniture has to match. Indeed, the crushing uniformity of the furniture in many high street chains is dispiriting, giving them an institutional feel. By mixing things up, you can give your café a distinctive character and broaden its appeal.

Tub chairs or even sofas will offer comfort to those with tired legs who want to sit back for an extended stay. Contemporary stools at the counter or clustered around “poseur” tables will accommodate those popping in for a quick espresso fix. 

New directions in coffee shop and cafe decor

Trends in furniture and decor have shifted in the past couple of years, away from the “industrial chic” favoured by hipster coffee shops and trendy cafés, towards something homelier.  Thus, wooden chairs and tables painted in light colours, or creamy whites, with natural wood surfaces have come into favour.

Every year, the colour-matching company Pantone decides on its “colour of the year”, which gives an indication of the direction of design and decor trends. For 2017, it chose a refreshing green called Greenery, which Pantone describes as “a life-affirming shade”.

Going up the wall

Whether your walls are bare brick, plaster or wallpapered, they can become a canvas on which to display your coffee shop’s individuality. As consumers move away from mass-produced goods and chain stores towards the handmade and the local, they will appreciate local touches. So, if you can source vintage maps of your café’s neighbourhood, have them framed and mounted on the walls, these will add character and inviduality.

A quick online search will yield a host of websites supplying vintage maps of all areas of the country – originals and reproductions. Likewise, vintage photographs of your area will add character and become a talking point; local museums and bookshops may offer these. If you can source a vintage photograph of your own premises in a previous incarnation, this would be ideal. Alternatively, generic vintage photographs add a homely touch. Also, you might consider giving over some of your wall space to the work of local artists to display their work for sale. A rotating exhibition of artworks will send out a positive message about your café.

Light fantastic with industrial-chic

The industrial-chic bare filament Edison lightbulb trend seems to be continuing, but it is becoming something of a cliché and may have had its moment in the spotlight. So now might be the time to think about something softer. Lights set into your walls can add a warm upward glow (and also illuminate your framed maps and photos: see above), while pendant lamps with simple shades (but nothing too chintzy) add atmosphere.

Again, this is an area where you can mix things up; rather than ranks of identical lamps dangling from the ceiling, a more informal look can be achieved by varying the style, length and spacing of your lighting. LED lighting, meanwhile, is a fast-moving world and enables lighting to be installed in previously inaccessible places – walls, floors, counters, and so on. But remember, too, that the best source of light is natural, and free: the sun. So make the most of whatever window space you have – don’t clutter it up too much.

Top tables

Flowers in teapot as coffee shop table top decoration

Flowers are a kind of instant “smile”: they add colour and happiness to any table. But what to put them in? There is no reason why they should be placed in traditional vases. Vessels such as old teapots (enamel or china), decorative jam jars, Kilner preserving jars, large drinking glasses, even branded food tins (a large Colman’s mustard tin, for instance) make excellent quirky containers. The Pinterest website is a goldmine of creative decorative ideas; most of them are aimed at the home, but there’s no reason why many of the ideas can’t be used in a wider commercial setting.

And one final coffee shop tip...

Coffee beans candle

Don’t forget that the raison d’etre of your café – coffee – is attractive in itself. Dark shiny coffee beans can be stored in attractive glass jars and displayed on shelves behind the counter or around your café. Or, a glass jar half-filled with coffee beans can form an attractive candle-holder. 

But whatever you do, don’t be too concerned about keeping up with trends. In today’s world of mixing and matching and eclectic quirky interiors, if there can be said to be a trend, it is this: there are no trends. If your café or coffee shop looks warm, welcoming and friendly, you are getting it right.

Shabby chic is a style that is here to stay, businesses have been slow on the uptake but now most high-street brands are making full use it and it’s been successful. Shabby chic interior design and inspiration can now be found everywhere, from your home, in shop windows and even inside offices across the country.

Call it vintage, antique, reclaimed, rustic or French cottage, the trend of using old furniture or old looking furniture hasn’t been a relatively new trend. Judging by the way it is encompassing parts of everyday life, it isn’t going away anytime soon.

Why is Shabby Chic furniture so Popular?

One of the best parts of shabby chic is that it can be done on almost any budget. Your old furniture can be painted and distressed or sanded down to give it an old rustic look for only a few pounds.

Shabby chic furniture can be very difficult, nearly impossible to get wrong, which is why it is so great for pub and restaurant furniture. Mixing and matching furniture as well and clashing colours is all part of shabby chic, so your only limitations are your imagination.

The beginnings of shabby chic 

The origins of shabby chic come from the French country and cottage chic fashions, where distressed and worn furniture and décor is used to a brilliant effect to give a comfortable atmosphere. All the styles give a relaxed feeling that has suited many people looking to unwind at home.

The vintage styles mixed with contemporary fashion and accessories are becoming increasingly more popular as the shabby chic style continues to develop and change. Elegant restaurants and chic pubs are putting their own twists and personalities on shabby chic, improving on it and changing it slowly over time.

After becoming so popular in peoples’ homes, commercial businesses and the hospitality industry wants to recreate the cosy atmosphere in their establishments. The natural progression from homes to pubs and restaurants means that customers are used to the look and feel of rustic commercial furniture.

Shabby Chic Tables

If you’re not sure which interior design style to go for, then shabby chic is the one for you. By using different styles, shapes and sizes of table, even in different colours and tones, you can reduce the costs and hassle of filling a large area.

Let the individuality of the furniture speak for themselves and each different piece of commercial furniture becomes an eye-catching addition to your interior design. Here at Trent Furniture, we have varied ranges of tables available in many different colours and finishes so that even if you fall in love with one style, you can mix the colours to create the shabby chic look.

For a really effective way to enhance your tables, the Solid Oak Table Top can bring a quick rustic look to any table without the need for lots of work. It can be finished in a raw finish to really bring the best out of the wood textures and boost the rustic appeal of your business.

For a softer, Parisian look to your interior, the Shabby Chic Farmhouse Table brings a brilliant mix of light and dark tones with white spindle table legs and walnut table top. The white legs will complement any colour scheme you have and will make an impression on customers when decorated with rustic ornaments.

Shabby Chic Chairs and Seating 

Getting the seating right for your pub or restaurant can be really important for your customers. With shabby chic furniture and old or distressed antique furniture, the seating can be quite uncomfortable. Wobbly chairs and tables are a commonplace among some vintage eateries, while these may add to the charm of the interior, some customers will feel uncomfortable and it will impact on their experience.

Investing in new chairs that bring the shabby chic look to your business and please your customers sounds like a hard task, but Trent Furniture has got you covered. Our great ranges of dining chairs and farmhouse chairs give you the option for hundreds of combinations for different chairs that all give an individual look to the interior design. The Washington Side Chair in White will work really well with a mix of neutral wooden tones or splashes of bold colours for a clash of colours that add to your atmosphere.

For a comfortable shabby chic sofa, the chesterfield is the best choice that will invite your customers to take the weight off their feet. They add a touch of rustic class in any environment and add a wow factor to your seating area.

Shabby Chic Interior Design

Investing in new furniture is a great start to updating the look and ambience of your pub, hotel, bar or restaurant. But having lots of great looking shabby chic furniture could look out of place without the right décor.

A lot of the rustic furniture will have warm and neutral colours that have a lot of soft tones in them. Introducing pastel tones will complement your colours schemes and the bright and soft colours will amplify the light to make your room look and feel bigger.

Remember that shabby chic can be done on any budget. Commercial and industrial fittings and fixtures can be found at very reasonable prices, the rough edges and rough textures of industrial items will accompany the textures in the furniture for a theme that will flow throughout your pub or restaurant.

Recycling old furniture and decorative items is a fantastic way to add to the character of the building, a bit of DIY and a touch of paint can transform any item of furniture into something really interesting. Mix up the old and new commercial furniture for a style that will get your customers talking about your business.

Check out our ranges of shabby chic chairs and tables to help inspire you with rustic creativity.

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