Design Ideas for Gas Stations

Implement cleanliness and functional design for a successful gas station.
Implement cleanliness and functional design for a successful gas station. (Image: Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

The first gas stations in America appeared about 1907 and were called filling stations. These stand-alone curbside hand-pumps were nothing like the ubiquitous modern gas stations along modern American roadways. The gas station has come a long way, and design options for stations are as much a marketing tool to draw customers as fuel is a necessity for making cars run.


Go with a contemporary theme for your gas station if you want your customers to get a sense of cleanliness and modernism. Keep every aspect of your gas station up-to-date with the latest styles and developments such as white or stainless counter tops at checkout, and monochromatic gas pumps in black or white.

Feature recessed lighting where possible and white tile for interior flooring. Let large windows play a role in allowing natural light to create an airy, open atmosphere. Provide ample coverage over pump stations with corrugated aluminum roofing.

Contemporary design and alternative fuel options such as ethanol and diesel fuel also give customers the added benefit of cutting-edge technology.

A contemporary gas station is eye-catching and inviting.
A contemporary gas station is eye-catching and inviting. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)


Bring back the nostalgia of early gas stations with a vintage design. Outfit your station with period-specific decor including porcelain barn lighting and retro fonts for signage.

Opt for new gas pumps specifically designed with a 1940s to 1950s theme. Keep it simple with two to four pumps, a small service center and a snack shop complete with penny candy-selections for an authentic "convenience" experience.

Landscape the station with popular 1950s features such as close-cropped shrubs, hydrangea bushes and foxglove flowers. Welcome visitors to your station with a display of one or more vintage pick-up trucks or cars parked at an angle in front of the station.

Park classic cars outside your gas station to give it a vintage look.
Park classic cars outside your gas station to give it a vintage look. (Image: George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)


Create a rustic theme for your gas station with weathered but functional pumps that boast rugged reliability without all the frills of the modern gas station. Use simple wooden signs enhanced with up-lights for evening hours. Opt for shingled or tin roofing over pump stations or add an inviting ambiance for customers with beamed ceilings and bistro lighting strung in a large "X" pattern.

Enhance the layout with large potted plants including succulent flowers such as rose of Sharon, hens and chicks and low-maintenance cacti. Feature hitching posts near pumps that double as plant hangers or bucket holders for windshield cleaning solution and squeegees. Lush landscaping is essential to add warmth and charm to balance the intentionally rugged features of worn pumps and tin building accents.

Use a derelict gas pump as a quaint accent piece near entrance doors.
Use a derelict gas pump as a quaint accent piece near entrance doors. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Trademark Color Scheme

Develop a loyal customer base with memorable colors. Create a color-themed station such as black and white checked nozzles at the pumps, or nozzles featuring red and green stripes. Continue the color theme on pumps, signage and building exteriors.

Keep a singular base color such as white or black to make theme colors stand out. For example, a station building in white stucco, high-gloss tiles or concrete cylinder blocks creates an excellent backdrop for noticeable color schemes on signs, pumps and flooring. Paint station interior floors with a large checked or striped pattern for a bold theme statement. Concrete buildings can also be painted with a color logo that soon becomes the symbol customers rely upon for a convenient fill-up.

If your station is located in a specific region, adhere to the region's landscape with a matching theme. For example, a coastal region calls for blue and white pumps with a glass building design featuring over-head track lighting.

Opt for bold colors.
Opt for bold colors. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

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