Thursday Salute to Originals: Salvage In Style

Summer is in full bloom, and we’re happy to find that many of the world’s most stylish restaurants are embracing nature as much as we are planning to in the coming months! An emerging trend in restaurant and hospitality design is using reclaimed materials to soften the austere feel associated with ultra-contemporary décor. By repurposing wood, glass, and even entire buildings, designers are creating beautiful spaces that not only better the guest experience, but better the environment as well.  These design statements pay respect to the original form of the materials, but interpreted with twists of elegance.

Bottle Chandeliers

Many restaurants are adding vintage flair to lighting design by repurposing bottles into trendy focal points above large tables. We love when designers boldly mix and match bottles of different sizes and colors to cast unique shadows around the space. These humble yet elegant lighting fixtures are proof that up-cycling can be beautiful!


While some restaurants use natural materials to balance a sleek design, others use salvaged materials to contrast the traditional notion of a dining room. Pio Pio Restaurant in New York City proudly displays their support for the environment by featuring reclaimed wood as the primary design element in the space. While delicate branches along the ceiling and wall add whimsicality to the design, heavy lumber grounds tables and chairs to the base of the restaurant.

Windows + Screens

Interior designers have realized that windows can function as more than a piece of glass separating the inside from the outside; they can be an innovative solution to subdividing interior spaces as well! AME Restaurant transforms the framing from a historic window into a stunning screen that acts as a subtle boundary line between the bar and dining space. Because the glass panes within the frames were removed, sights, sounds, and smells can proliferate throughout the restaurant without any obstructions.


Who said that shutters have to be located next to a window? Ella Dining Room and Bar proves that reclaimed wood shutters left in their natural condition can be just as sophisticated as the food being served. The dense layout of colorful wood panels juxtaposed against clean white walls and floors allows the ceiling to act as a piece of art!


Daring designers are taking sustainability to a new level by surpassing salvaged accent features in favor of repurposing entire buildings. The Barn Restaurant by Odin retrofits an inviting bistro atmosphere inside the structural system of a historic barn.

From lighting, to wall surface treatments, to entire buildings, modern hospitality designers are proving that it’s chic to salvage in style!

Image credits: Dishfunctional Designs, Ame Restaurant, Yossawat