Making dough with Diane: 8 tips for décor on a budget

Diane Chiasson
August 30, 2011
By
Is your pizzeria feeling a bit old and stale? Would you like to make some changes, but are afraid you can’t afford it? You don’t need to hire an interior designer or knock down all the walls of your restaurant to renovate. Sometimes, just a few simple ideas can help turn your place into something new.

Here are eight great ways to update or change the interior design of your pizza operation without spending a lot of money.

Freshen up with paint
Nothing brightens or freshens up a room better than a new coat of paint. Painting is the easiest and most inexpensive way to make an instant change to the interior design of your operation. It’s also a good excuse for you to clean and freshen up the walls. Choose a colour that works well with your brand, but is still trendy and modern. And remember, you can go beyond the walls. Repaint your chairs, counters, tables or other furniture that is looking old, dirty or faded.

Hang wallpaper
If you want wood walls in your restaurant but can’t afford it, why not hang wallpaper that looks like wood? The variety of wallpaper available today makes it possible for you to achieve practically any look you want for a fraction of the price. Consider using wallpaper with different textures to add to the visual depth of your operation.

Use mirrors
Mirrors are a great way to create extra light, space and accents. Framed mirrors can act as mock windows as well. Place mirrors around your pizza counter to multiply the images of your fresh pies and salads, and make things appear more plentiful.

Paint the floors
If you need new flooring but can’t afford the hardwood you’d like, consider removing your existing flooring (whether it’s carpet, laminate or tile) to expose the concrete and then painting the concrete. You can be creative with the colours, patterns and designs. You could also paint your brand logo on the floor. Alternatively, you can find lots of inexpensive laminate tiles that look like hardwood but cost a lot less.

Get new fabric
Instead of buying new chairs and banquettes, consider reupholstering your existing furniture. Look for fabrics that are durable and easy to clean. Fabric stores often have blowout sales on last year’s styles, or if you want your pizza operation to be more eclectic, consider using fabric from the scrap bin. Many designer fabric stores have remnants that you can buy to use on your chairs, or lampshades, etc. If you have the kind of dining chairs with only the seats upholstered, you can even DIY. Just pop the seat out, stretch the new fabric over the seat and staple it in place!

Look for second-hand options
Scour garage sales and flea markets, restaurant auctions, or classified websites such as eBay, Craigslist and Kijiji to find stuff for cheap. Buying second-hand products is key to interior designing on a budget. Look for detail pieces and think outside the box. For example, you could use an old iron gate as a storage rack for pots or an old ladder (with a fresh coat of paint), as a stand.

Be creative with props
Dress up your tables by picking up glass vases at the dollar store, and filling the jars with stones, marbles, rocks or sand, and a candle. You can also create visual merchandising displays by using liquor boxes filled with fresh or fake produce, or use your old tomato sauce cans as plant potters. Think about how you can use items that you might be throwing away on a daily basis, including glass jars, tins, boxes.

Work with artists on consignment
There are a lot of starving artists out there who would love the opportunity to display their artwork to the public. Work on consignment with the artist, whereby you agree to hang the artwork in your pizza operation, and if you sell a piece, you get to keep a percentage of the sales. This is a win-win situation, as you get original artwork to boost the interior design of your space and the artist gets the opportunity to gain some exposure.

Don’t let a lack of dollars hold you back when it comes to ensuring your pizzeria is a fresh and appealing visual experience for your guests.


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com .

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