While the menu and cuisine are the most important choices when opening an Indian restaurant, the ambiance you create with the restaurant's decor will also contribute to your success. Because Indian cuisine covers a wide geographical and chronological area, you may wish to focus on a particular region or even a particular era of Indian history when selecting artwork, colors and uniforms. Strive for authenticity in your decor and avoid cheap cliches that your guests might find offensive or disrespectful.
Pick a color scheme. Restaurant interior designers frequently pick colors that match the style of food. For Indian restaurants, the palette tends to be drawn from saffron, orange, green herb, dark neutral and tomato. Go with choices that are warm and neutral. Use these colors for walls, carpeting, dishware, furnishings and decor.
Install wall coverings. Hire a professional painter and wallpaper hanger. Choose a base color that is within the Indian color scheme and is consistent with the ambiance you want for your restaurant. Then choose trim that complements that color. You can choose to have painted trim or wallpaper trim. Murals are a popular feature for Indian restaurants and typically feature trees or flowers, often mixing grays and pinks. Some Indian wallpaper features the intricate and ornate designs found in Indian art from 3500 BCE forward.
Order chairs and tables. Wooden chairs are a common choice in Indian restaurants. They will often have chair backs that are intricately carved. More modern Indian restaurants may combine these chairs with upholstered booths that add to a clean appearance with smooth lines.
Purchase wall decor. If you have chosen ornate wallpaper, you'll want to use minimal wall decor. If, on the other hand, you have gone with a warm, solid color, you can add to the Indian ambiance by your choice of wall decor. Some choices other Indian restaurants have made include draping curtains to frame murals, paintings, decorative plates and planters.
Place tablecloths over your tables, if you have a formal restaurant, or place mats at each chair for a more casual restaurant. Choosing a simple white tablecloth is elegant, saves money and makes washing easier. It also allows you to select tabletop features that help make your restaurant unique. For an Indian restaurant, consider using dried floral arrangements as centerpieces. Side tables may have a samovar or tea sets.
Design uniforms that contribute to the ambiance and are utilitarian. Uniforms play an important part of your restaurant's decor. Design uniforms that are practical for your servers and hosts but that also speak to your theme. Draw the colors from the palette you used to design the rest of the restaurant. You can also adopt design elements from traditional Indian costumes such as the sari or the choli.