Restaurant Designers Hunger for Photo-Real Wallpaper Art

Coutesy of The Fotographica
Coutesy of The Fotographica

Photography-based art installations infusing visual storytelling, emotional engagement in restaurant interior design

As a highly effective form of marketing, visual storytelling can encompass virtually every aspect of a restaurant's brand. Of course, the single greatest opportunity for a restaurant to convey its own brand narrative is through its interior design. While the right color choices, lighting and wall art are among the décor elements that can boost a patron's appetite, restauranteurs can go a step further and infuse custom artwork into the walls, themselves. This in the form of photo-real wallpapers like those offered by Fotografica—a company founded by photographer, artist and designer Julia Blaukopf that's revered for bringing unique photography-based art installations into restaurants, businesses and homes around the world.

For example, photo-based restaurant and hotel wallpaper created by Blaukopf leverages the Rail Park's popularity with tourists and gives patrons an outdoor sensibility. A maritime scene can create an immersive, time-and-place experience. Cityscapes can add depth and scale to even small spaces like restrooms.

Colors Affect Appetite & Comfort 
Colors can trigger biological processes such as metabolism, and specific colors can apparently even have varying effects on a person's appetite. For example, one article cites that the color yellow makes people feel happy–an emotion and state-of-mind that can prompt people to eat. It also indicates that the color green, oft associated with wellness, is associated with abundance and makes people want to eat "lots" of healthy foods. Consequently, patrons are more likely to find yellow in fast-food restaurants, while high-end restaurants are more likely to go with earthy tones or even red, which reportedly "raises a person's blood pressure, heart rate, and causes hunger to be more prevalent." Just as color can be a powerful driver of emotion, so too is photographic art—particularly when the imagery is a foundational element impacting the entirety of the space, itself, as with wallpaper.

Lighting & Ambiance 
Lighting also sets an atmosphere that affects a restaurant guest's appetite, type of menu selections, comfort and overall experience. One Journal of Marketing Research study found that "ambient light luminance influences mental alertness, which in turn influences food choices." Ideally, dining area lighting, color pallet and wall treatments—particularly those with visual cues and triggers—exist and work in synch to encourage patrons to not only eat, but also crave the type of food the establishment proffers. This while also connecting with the guest emotionally, such that they will want to return time and time again and refer friends and family to do the same.

Layout as a USP 
Imagine walking into a crowded restaurant where you have to share a table with strangers—or sit unappetizingly close. Now, imagine walking into a spacious restaurant where the chairs and tables are arranged in a mosaic pattern. The former restaurant may leave you with an uncomfortable experience, but the latter may facilitate warm memories.

A thoughtful layout design is fundamental to an eatery's success, and elements therein are psychological sales drivers. Sometimes, a stellar space can even elevate perceptions about the F&B provisions, themselves. Perhaps most importantly, a space with a visual narrative—like that readily established with photo-real wallpaper art—can give guests a unique and engaged experience that elevates the brand image. The result motivates return visits, fostering a reliable customer base and giving the restaurant that coveted and elusive edge over the competition.


Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on cultural shifts and trends as well as noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of "The Luxe List" as well as Host of the  "Savvy Living" lifestyle TV show that airs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Atlanta and other major markets on CBS, FOX and other top networks; as well as the "Savvy Ventures" business TV show that airs nationally on FOX Business TV and Bloomberg TV. As a prolific lifestyle, travel, dining and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, Merilee keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. Her work reaches multi-millions worldwide via broadcast TV (her own shows and copious others on which she appears) as well as a myriad of print and online publications. Connect with her at and / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIN

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate if this is review editorial, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***


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