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An American bar with wooden tables

How Bar Interior Design Can Boost a Drinking Experience

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What would be the best thing to do after a hard, long day at work? What could really turn your day around when you feel down? What place is truly different from what you do at home, work, or the road connecting the two? How do you cheer a friend up when he or needs it the most?

These questions probably don’t have a single answer, and that’s exactly why there are numerous responses to it in the pub world, each with a different theme. Bar exterior design and interior design try to plug a place into its targeted demographic and locale.

Here I want to talk about the differences between a bar and a pub regarding bar interior design concepts. Then we will discuss which piece of the puzzle these places are trying to tuck in place, the ways designers use to achieve it, and what it means regarding what design elements have to be, down to the smallest detail.

A busy bustling cask-themed bar with wooden barrel tables

First things first; What is a bar and How is it different from a pub?

They might both look like places to meet friends, hang out, and have fun but there are slight differences to be noted about what each one represents and how each one operates regarding bar design interior.

As bars can sometimes be either part of a bigger establishment like a hotel lobby and a restaurant, or a stand-alone facility, one thing's the same; they are mainly places for drinking. They are mostly made of a linear counter faced toward a wall or any form of drink storage and display, with people sitting toward it. Sometimes they’re given the option to sit on tall stools with low railings to rest their feet on.

They may also offer limited food menus, but the official party line is the drinks. The very place to drink is not as much about socializing as it’s envisioned for drinking; so that’s why depending on the demographic and culture each bar plans to respond to, they accompany a dance floor or an open or a more social area.

Pubs, on the other hand, are a totally different story. There! They have a story to tell; they’re always about a story. Pubs are usually themed, have a defined atmosphere in keeping with their storyline that’s tailored for the audience they’re trying to attract, and are mainly built-in to be social and livelier and bustling than bars alone. For example, as opposed to bars minors are allowed in pubs, if accompanied by an adult or a guardian and can enjoy the vibrant environment.

So when talking about bar interior design, we have to make sure what kind of theme and impression we want to make to invite customers in, earn their satisfaction, and make them want to hear our story again and again by coming back.

As a result, you, a designer has to know the different characteristics of bars and pubs when you’re designing one.

A socially planned pub that includes a bar at the background

A Story that captures a history and talks to your people

As brought earlier, what grips your customers the most, is the overall experience they get from the entire time they spend at your bar. A story with different chapters that include bar interior design ideas, its authenticity, service, circulation and how it replies to your customers’ needs, and so on.

You need to know how the public facilities for drinking have evolved among the community you’re aiming to intrigue and led to its present form. Your bar too has to follow the same path and be pretty clear in broadcasting the message it wants to say.

The atmosphere might be a proper term to describe the overall message a place gives. In our case, the atmosphere of a bar is not just made of all the physical elements that compose the bar design interior, but it’s the feeling and vibe they collectively exude into the place. It’s more than the physical collection for sure, and that’s how you can appeal to your customers.

Material, colors in architecture, lighting, and different areas for different groups of customers, all create your concept that is supposed to appeal to the ones you try to attract as visitors.

The culture around bars and pubs is also transforming; young people might seek bars with dance floors while the more mature and sophisticated walks of the society may be looking for more socially conventional places to run their

An old American Tavern with wooden chairs

Being social as to make you want to let yourself out

Depending on what your bar interior design ideas are, your pub or bar will have to invite people together. Creating an energetic and bustling place will give people who want to sneak out of the private shell of the digital age and reach out to others a chance to do so.

A huge part of a pleasant experience for people who live in a small or big city takes place where it involves other people. So you have to give your customers an opportunity to at least have the option to step out of their comfort zone and create human-level relationships!

Your bar’s layout and the way seating areas are put, the type of architectural lighting you use for your space and the character they project, and the material and colors you use, respectively make the most impacts on how socially attractive your bar is.

A groovy styled bar with red chairs

The customer determines your bar design interior layout and circulation

It’s pretty common for bars to be a built-in part of a pub, so they are mostly designed to be the more individual-centered, refrained part of the pub. Every neighborhood has to respond to its specific demographic and locale.

So a multi-folded design of a pub or restaurant for different types of people’s demands helps sprout the range of customers your establishment can satisfy. This granulated mixture of different areas in your restaurant requires an effective circulation to help create an excellent service your customer gets.

Your bar interior design has to obey a layout that helps your staff access customers, kitchen, and other facilities fast and without hindering customers’ traffic or seating areas.

Only a neat layout that puts everything at its proper place can ensure a delightful experience to the ones you’re doing everything you can to reach out to and captivate.

So either high stools behind bar counters or comfortable old-fashioned corner lounges could all be at your place, as long as you see to them being properly taken care of. 

a bar-owning a modern-style restaurant with wooden floor and comfortable sofas

Authenticity; being true to what you stand for

This feature extends to any building that aims to be timeless and doesn’t just limit to bar interior design concepts. An architectural design that is an authentic response to all design factors comprehensively and shows it.

The opaque liquid that’s in the designer container of thoughts, full of ambiguities and hazard, has to subside into a vividly transparent state where grains are sorted bottomed-up depending on how heavy each one is. It’s only then that your customer can walk into your meticulously designed bar and see through your place and not have any confusion.

Authenticity can be embodied in the structure that’s holding up your place, clear functions that create the layout across your space, or the material you use that reflect the environment and culture that the community you’re serving has groomed.

The more you engage the local history deep into your bar interior design concepts, the more it will catch your consumers’ eyes.

You can get a quote today, if you want to have a beautifully designed bar.


Bar interior design is the oyster inside the shell, which is your pub, or restaurant; and for it to be a steady, lucrative part of your business, you have to make sure it follows a set of rules of thumb.

It has to have an impressive story and be good in telling it by using all the elements of design like your bar’s layout, furnishing, lighting, the material it is built of, and the overall impression it gives to the ones who use it.

Due to recent trends that aim at evading the loneliness the digital age has cast upon all of us – and more so on young people - bars and pubs need to be lively, social, and maybe sometimes clamorous to gather people together and perk up their nightlife.
What other bar interior design factors do you think help make a great place to hang out and grab drinks? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

Mitchel Sardy
Author: Mitchel Sardy
I am a Computer Engineer and an architecture enthusiast, graduated on both majors up to the master's degree from the University of Washington; I'm an advisor to early-stage architecture startups all around the globe; the ones using computer-based solutions to design in architecture.

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