In 2017, blue, particularly when applied to plush banquettes, was the preferred color for modern restaurant design. It was the color of choice for seating at the new and improved Eleven Madison Park. It featured prominently in more than one of Eater’s most beautiful restaurants of 2017. And the trend continued through 2018 and into this year. Just this month, Nashville brasserie Liberty Common opened with baby blue booths and navy velvet chairs. But two years is too long for a such a trend to carry on and so, we’re predicting a sea change. You heard it here first: Emerald green is the restaurant design power color of 2019.
Of course, restaurants ahead of the curve have already started featuring the exuberant shade. Detroit’s Lady of the House opted for green seats back in 2017, and in Portland, Oregon whiskey bar the Green Room has stood as a testament to the power of the color since 2015. But, green, notably bright, emerald shades of green, is popping up with increasing frequency at some of the country’s most anticipated restaurants.
Buzzy New York City restaurant Legacy Records opened last March with emerald green-painted ceiling beams, green-upholstered seating, and even emerald walls in one section of the dining room:
In September, Eater Young Gun Brooks Reitz opened Melfi’s in Charleston with green chairs circling white tablecloth-topped tables, offering a bright contrast to a brick- and wood-filled space.
Chef Jonathan Benno’s latest NYC restaurant Leonelli Taberna does it in leather. The room was designed by NYC-based firm Parts and Labor Design, whose Instagram feed is full of more examples of the burgeoning trend.
And at Top Chef-winner Mei Lin’s new LA restaurant Nightshade, vibrant emerald green banquettes and chairs offer the only color in a palette of neutrals, calling to mind jewel boxes and, naturally, emerald jewels.
Why green? One potentially harebrained theory: Restaurant designers love plants. Unfortunately, plants die if not well cared for, but a coat of emerald paint or swathe of fabric offers a plant-like burst of color and keeps dining rooms looking fresh... at least until the design forecast trends in a different direction.