Three considerations when placing art in your restaurant

Article contributed by Newt Grover

The most important part of a great restaurant is the food, but food always tastes better when it’s paired with a great ambiance.

One of the best ways to add some color and life to your restaurant is to install some art fixtures in your dining space. This allows restaurant owners to create a unique space with a handmade piece of art. However, installing custom artwork is not an easy task and a lot of thought and planning has to go into the process before an artist is commissioned to complete the piece. As a glass artist with over 30 years of experience, I’ve created many unique pieces of art for beautiful restaurant spaces, so I know what restaurant owners need to do to make sure the art they commission works for the space. Here are a few things to keep in mind when working on restaurant artwork with an artist.

Know your restaurant before you find your art

Art should never be a distraction and always contribute to the flow and function of your restaurant. A restaurant owner cannot possibly know how a piece of art can add to that function without a clear understanding of what their restaurant is.

Before working with an artist on a custom piece of art, make sure you understand your restaurant’s style and interior design. This means you know your menu, understand your restaurant’s color scheme, and really know what type of restaurant you want to be. A large glass chandelier won’t work for a fast-casual pizzeria, but will look great in an upscale steakhouse. An artwork of desert flora probably won’t make much sense in a seafood restaurant, but ocean-themed art will. It also helps to understand the history of the building you work in and its architecture. These two things can give you a lot of ideas about what style of artwork to have in your restaurant.

Don’t hire an artist until your restaurant’s interior is complete. Many artists work with the energy of a space and you can’t really create a piece of art that integrates seamlessly with the space if you have no idea what the restaurant looks like. Finish the rest of your interior design before commissioning an artist.

Newt Grover glass restaurant artThe artist and your interior design team need to work together

Your interior design team will understand your restaurant layout so naturally, it will benefit you if they work with the artist you hired. Once in a while, have both parties sit around the table and collaborate on the artwork the artist is working on. Your interior design team can arrange for the artist to create a piece that fits well with the space. They understand the layout of your restaurant so they can help the artist figure out where the piece should go, how big it should be, and what statement you’re trying to make. Interior designers understand the flow and function of your space, so a good artist will consider their opinions when creating art for your restaurant.

Art must make a statement

The art in your restaurant should not distract your guest from the food, but the art you have made should make a statement. I often recommend restaurant owners have some sort of statement piece at the entrance of their restaurant. You need something that lets the customer know how unique your restaurant is. The piece shouldn’t be an afterthought, but it shouldn’t overwhelm the space either. The piece should grab the attention of the customers and make them comment on it. The statement piece is just another way to give diners a positive and memorable experience in addition to eating.

Installing custom art in your restaurant is a great way to enhance the atmosphere of your restaurant. However, it is important that you, the artist, and your interior design team work together to ensure that the art fits perfectly with the flow and function of your restaurant space.

Newt Grover is a glass artist and owner of Newt Glass in Scottsdale, AZ. Newt specializes in making hand-blown glass chandeliers and hand-blown glass art. Newt has ordered many custom pieces for restaurants during his 30-year career as a glass artist.

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