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Give Pad Thai a makeover with new interior design - Thai Restaurant Interior Design Ideas

Give Pad Thai a Makeover With New Interior Design

Thai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the world.

 Known for big, bold flavors, Thai restaurants are commonplace in most US and European cities, with many customers returning regularly to get their fix of Thai food.

 As Thai restaurants are very common, the interior design of a Thai restaurant becomes very important when competing against others for customers.

 While the food is ultimately the most important aspect as to whether a customer returns to a restaurant, the interior design is crucial in ensuring the overall experience for a customer is at a high standard. Interior design is also important to give an authentic take on Thai culture, to allow customers to go on a cultural journey from the moment they set foot in the restaurant.

 This article will outline the features that define a Thai restaurant when it comes to interior design to help give ideas for how to make a retail space to become an authentic Thai restaurant.


What makes a restaurant become a Thai Restaurant?

Thailand is the land of tropical jungles, amazing beaches and stifling hot and humid weather. Visitors commonly remark upon the energy and friendliness of local people who ensure Thailand certainly lives up to the billing of the ‘Land of the Smiles'.

 In addition to the wonderful people and natural features, many people in the world have heard of Thailand through its food. Having a rich understanding of Thai cuisine is essential when looking to plan the interior design of a Thai restaurant.

 If you are trying to truly capture the culture of the country, your food and your decor have to both reflect it.

 Since we’re trying to help you today to create or recreate feelings from the homeland, we’re going to get into the various aspects of decoration and interior design.

 However, first and foremost—although the decor and the ambiance are what will really capture your customer’s attention and leaving a lasting impression, it’s the food that they’ll be coming back for. The decor and atmosphere will keep your customers in the restaurant and enjoying their time that they’re there. The food is what will have them coming back for more.

 Below are some elements of Thai food that you should be aware of.


Thailand’s Four Flavors

Thai food comprises of an eclectic mix of spices and coconut to produce wonderful curry dishes.

 Whether it’s your first Thai restaurant you’ve ever owned or you come from the country itself, you should definitely be aware of the various flavors that make up the country’s pride.

Although some are put off by the spiciness of Thai food, the Tourism Authority Board of Thailand says that Thai food is not based on making everything spicy, but that all Thai food offers the balance of four flavors: sweet, sour, salty and spicy.

 This balance is crucial to not only pleasing the appetite of those who have expectations but also to help keep all your kinds of customers happy—because, let’s face it, not everybody can handle extremely spicy foods.

 Let’s take a closer look at the various food options that your Thai restaurant will be able to serve:


Thai Noodle Dishes

Some of the favorite Thai dishes for customers revolves around noodles. Commonly purchased in Thailand from street vendors or food trucks, noodle dishes often have interesting names that can be difficult for people to choose. Examples include ‘boat noodles' which got their name from dishes served on canal boats. While ‘drunkard noodles' are known because of the use of alcohol in the cooking process, which adds to the supreme spice level of the dish.

 If you are ever in Thailand, a great way to get to know Thai food is to make friends with a local who can show you all the fresh produce and explain the different cooking processes behind some of the most famous Thai dishes.


Fermented Fish Sauce

A must-have for any Thai food kitchen is the fish sauce.

 This is truly an unforgettable dish and flavor that those from Thailand or those who have had the privilege to visit it will most likely have already had a taste of the fish sauce.

 This seasoning is used in the majority of Thai dish and it is the juice from the flesh of the fish that is produced after fermentation and salting.


Family Style Meals

Family is a huge part of Thailand—which means that you definitely have to adhere to that part of the culture.

 Plus, from a business standpoint—you‘ll realize that the more the merrier when it comes to making a profit!


Any Thai restaurant needs to accommodate family-style meals as this is central to Thai cooking.


A good rule to follow is that for any group of people there should be the same number of dishes on the table as there are several people. Thai dishes are designed to be shared among people, with everyone having a try of each dish.


Not only should the meals be able to keep all family (and friend) members full, the restaurant seating plan also has to be able to accommodate large parties to get the whole family together.



Although the flavor combinations may be difficult to get exactly right, Thai cooking is built on simplicity. The cooking methods are straightforward to follow, with the majority of food being fried in a wok.


Fresh Ingredients – Minimal Leftovers

The majority of Thai people do own refrigerators which means that food is bought, cooked and eaten each day. This ensures that Thai food remains fresh and seasonal.


Thai food culture is dictated by Mae Pho Sop (the God of Rice) who watches over everyone when they are eating. It is believed that she gets angry whenever leftovers are thrown away and curse bad luck. Most Thai people are found to leave a clean plate whenever they eat.


What to include to complement a Thai Eating Experience

The decor of your restaurant is not the only important part of the entire ambiance and experience of getting the Thai culture into your dining establishment.

 There are various aspects that go into it.

 Even though this might be your first time owning a Thai restaurant, you definitely don’t want it to show. To help keep you from looking like a newbie and ruining your customers’ first experiences eating at your establishment, we’ve created this section to go over the various aspects of tried and true Thai-Eating Experience.

 Below are some concepts that define a Thai eating experience. From physical aspects to a more meaningful addition, we’ve covered everything you need to know.

 The following aspects are useful in building the broader picture of the style of the interior design of a Thai restaurant.



Thai flavors are all about balance. The greater the balance, the more authentic the flavor. Getting the correct balance of sweet, sour, salty and spice is completely subjective with everyone have their preferences. What can be done to avoid the mistakes of Western Thai restaurants is to not over apply coconut milk which can make the food taste bland.


Technical Prowess

Thai cookery is a celebration of technical skills.

 Although the dishes are ‘simple', there is a huge amount of precision required to make a hot wok, some fresh ingredients, and steam rice harmonizes together. Any Thai restaurant design should in some way celebrate the technical skills of the chefs.



As previously mentioned, Thai food is largely communal, also known as ‘flowing cuisine'. The traditional serving method is for people to serve themselves small portions over a longer period.



Thai cooking uses a vast array of herbs including dill, parsley, cilantro, and basil. Although some restaurants based in Western countries may struggle to find all the authentic Thai herbs, Asian shops should stock the majority of them.



Much like how individuals often like to self-season by adding more salt or pepper, the same process applies to Thai food and should be accommodated in a Thai restaurant. Every table should have access to fish sauce, vinegar, chili flakes, and sugar, to ensure that the food meets the preferred seasoning of each person.


What goes into decorating a Thai restaurant

Having now understood the theory of Thai cuisine, the interior decoration of a Thai restaurant has to complement all these different elements. This section outlines the different aspects to consider when designing the interior of a Thai restaurant to create an authentic Thai food experience.


Natural Wood

Natural wood elements are very important when constructing the interior of a Thai restaurant. Whether it be for the benches and tables, with added rattan pendants with chopsticks, using natural wood gives a rustic authenticity that most customers will associate with Asian style cookery.


Keep it Natural

An up and coming trend among Thai cuisine is the vegan Thai restaurant. If this is your restaurant concept, adding natural elements such as plants, bark and stones can help create a unique and cohesive design concept. All areas of the restaurant can adopt earthy elements, whether it be stoned for the floor or natural wood in the waiting area.


Dark Wood

Painted dark wood can add an extra layer of class to the interior design of a Thai restaurant. This wood choice is not normally found in the whole design layout but often used for the cashier area. It can be used to offer an interesting visual contrast with the natural wood colors.


Thai Scripture

Some Thai restaurants include Thai script that is written onto the wooden partitions between tables. These are certainly eye-catching thought pieces with the majority of customers left intrigued as to what the scripts say and mean. This can be a useful way to engage customers in Thai culture.


Bench Colors

To pay extra attention to the partitions between benches, using contrasting colors for the bench upholstery is a common approach. Particularly when the partitions have interesting text, the eye is naturally drawn to them when the benches placed in front of them radically contrast the natural wood tone.


Asian Language Gravity

If you want to engage your customers more with Asia, beyond Thailand, including a gravity feature where there is a script from a variety of different languages makes the space even more intriguing for customers. It also brings Thai cuisine into a family of Asian cuisines, making customers feel like they are at the beginning of an interesting Asian culinary adventure.


Thai Inspired Mural

Having big murals on the wall depicting traditional Thai way of life can be a visual impression of Thai culture for those customers who have never had the opportunity to visit Thailand. Picturing ordinary people gives the restaurant a sense of being local and the product of ordinary people in Thailand. Most customers buy into a story and using large murals is a great way to tell the story of Thailand and her wonderful cuisine.


You don’t have to pay a fortune or look for an exceptional artist to paint an original mural on the inside (or outside) of your restaurant. You can purchase or look for copies of murals to plaster on your wall that truly take your customers right into the atmosphere of Thailand.



A common to design a Thai restaurant is to for a fusion design concept that combines western elements with Asian decoration. This may be through putting Asian style bowls and condiments on modern western-style furniture. Fusion is a specific style which attempts to recalibrate the Thai cuisine in a western setting.


Oriental Pendants

If your restaurant space largely follows a western contemporary style and you want to add a subtle touch of Thailand, using oriental pendants to hang like floating lanterns gives a real authentic impression of Thailand. Such pendants do not have to dominate the whole space but can be applied in certain sections of the restaurant.


Floating Umbrellas

To blow away your customers, purchasing fine Asian print umbrellas to hang from the ceiling gives a truly unique and authentic Thai feel to the restaurant. The umbrellas do not only look nice but create a dimming effect on the lighting, make it considerably cozier and romantic.


Toilet Area

The toilet area is too frequently disregarded by interior designers. The bathroom is a fantastic opportunity to play around and take risks with the design. Whether it be decorated with fine hand-carved or using clay pots for sinks, there is plenty of room to experiment, to make guests visit the restaurant bathroom very memorable.


Reusing Elements

To be more environmentally friendly by finding uses for discarded natural products can such as tree roots and elements add a considerable amount of character to a restaurant space. Checking websites such as Freecycle or Gumtree for recycled items can be a quick and cheap way of getting reusing items of artistic effect in a Thai restaurant.


Thai Art

Including Thai art pieces can be another good way of creating an authentic Thai interior restaurant design. Whether they be ancient or modern pieces depends on your design concept. They should depict certain aspects of Thai culture such as language or food.


Thai Flair

Some Thai restaurants go for their ‘very Thai’ flair interior design option which uses cheap market furniture, a vast array of colors and types of ornaments to create an atmospheric and friendly Thai restaurant. This style of Thai restaurant normally features an open kitchen which allows guests to see their food being cooked.


Luxurious Thai

On the other end of the scale or luxurious interior designs for Thai restaurants that use expensive features such as water fountains and chandeliers to create that feeling of luxury and class. Depending on the budget and restaurant concept, this may be an interesting style to pursue.


What are the must-haves in Thai restaurant interior decorations

Based on the elements discussed in the previous section, there are a few design elements that most Thai restaurants should aspire to have.


It is impossible to feature all of the elements discussed above but is there some that are crucial to delivering an authentic Thai restaurant experience. If you truly want to give your customers an unforgettable experience, make sure you have these aspects behind your doors.


They are outlined below:


Open Space

The best Thai restaurants have room to maneuver about the restaurant. While there may be spatial limitations beyond your control, having sufficient space for guests to walk around is essential to any enjoyable Thai restaurant experience.


Group Seating Areas

Thai food is a communal food. Any Thai restaurant has to have areas that can accommodate large groups of families and friends where they can easily share dishes and conversation. While having the whole restaurant as group-based seating may not be practical, it is essential to identify at least a couple of different areas of the restaurant that will be purpose-designed for catering for large groups of people.


Natural Wood Interior

In similar keeping with the majority of Far Eastern cuisines, the interior design of Thai restaurants should feature natural wood elements. From tables to chairs to dividers, incorporating as much natural wood as possible is essential to give the authentic Thai restaurant appearance that many are familiar with.


Visuals of Thai Culture

Good interior design must have some visual content that leaves customers intrigued about a certain element of Thai culture. Whether that be large murals depicting the lives of ordinary Thai folk, or areas with written Thai script, use the interior design of a Thai restaurant to elicit a fascination of Thai culture. The goal should be for customers to come in and learn about certain aspects of Thai culture and with them leaving inspired to learn more. The interior design of a restaurant can make that happen.



All interior design features combine to set the ambiance and atmosphere of a restaurant. Thai restaurants should be defined by energy and vibrancy, with bright lights, colorful walls and explosive food sensations creating an intoxicating atmosphere for guests to crave to return to. 


Conclusion Including Mention About Company “Central Seating, Inc.” for Furnishing Ideas

Hopefully, this blog article has given you all the essential information and ideas to proceed with when looking to design the perfect interior space for a Thai restaurant. Thai culture and cuisine is so rich and varied that there is so much to work with when looking to create the design concept.

 A good tip when starting the process of interior design for a Thai restaurant is specifically identified which type of Thai restaurant the design aspires to be. Research has shown three distinctive styles, these are fusion, Thai flair, and Thai luxury. Each design concept has different goals and offers customers different types of Thai food experience. Choosing somewhere on the scale of these three styles would be a good place to start.

 The goal of the interior design of a Thai restaurant ensures that customers feel welcome, relaxed and excited by the culinary journey they are about to embark on.

 The interior design should also be used to engage and inform customers about the origins of the food that they are about to taste. Humans love stories.

 Show off and proudly display the Thai cultural heritage of the food that is being served.

  It certainly pulls at the heart-strings of customers who will undoubtedly be motivated to return to the restaurant.

 It will also create a true experience for anyone—whether they are first-timers eating at your restaurant or have already come back for more.

 To help you with any interior design for a Thai restaurant, Central Seating, Inc is perfectly placed to help with any design and furnishing ideas.

 Whether it be for booth seating, patio or bar areas, Central Seating has it covered and can certainly help you with design concepts if you need help in shaping the vision of the restaurant.

 With interior design, it is always better to ask for professional guidance before investing significant sums of money into the restaurant interior.