Stuck for a unique design feature? Why not leave it up to the talents of your customers?
Scissors, sticky-backed plastic, and a marker pen. That's all the hard-up amateur restaurant designer needs to create a totally one-off look for a restaurant. Well, that and a pack of artistically-minded customers.
At Camino, a terrific looking new Spanish bar restaurant in up-and-coming King's Cross, London, diners are being encouraged to add a personal touch to a vast map of Spain that takes up almost all of one wall. Postcards, photographs, souvenirs, and tickets can all be pinned up so that, with time, the everchanging map will be one totally unique – and pretty much cost-free – design feature.
It's gives the place a extemporised feel, that's only enhanced by the Spanish celeb mags pasted up in the loos, the playing card door signage and (this is the best bit) a mural ‘by a friend of Banksy from Bristol'.
At Restaurant Moeders in Amsterdam, the theme is mother (hence ‘moeders'). Guests are asked to bring in pictures of their mothers to decorate the walls. They're now covered floor to ceiling in family snapshots of glam mums, tarty mums, mumsy mums, old mums and young mums. New snaps are still welcome.
Finally, for the most basic, cheap and studenty take on the not-so-fine art of customising, try lending your guests a marker pen. At the ultrascruffy Lu Scaricarelle in Pescara – a permanently jam-packed local institution – everyone who is anyone in the Abruzzo town seems to have scrawled their name on the wall.
Camino, 3 Varnisher's Yard, The Regent Quarter, London N1 020 7841 7331, barcamino.com Restaurant Moeders, Rozengracht 251, 1016 SX Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 0031 20 626 7957 moeders.com