How to Choose Eco-Friendly Materials and Furnishings for Bars

Trends sweep across the hospitality industry all the time, some seem to be fleeting, while others arrive and never really go away. Sustainability is a trend which falls into the latter category, with a growing emphasis on not just the way that interior spaces look but on the operational models of hospitality businesses and how they support local suppliers and minimise their own carbon emissions.

Design is just one area of focus when it comes to building a more sustainable business – though it is the one component in an eco-strategy that can be presented as both tangible and visible proof that a business is looking to become more environmentally friendly.

Here are some of the top ways of bringing an eco-friendly strategy into your commercial bar design, specifically through your choice of materials and furnishings.

What makes your bar design “sustainable”?

Sustainable bar design means using materials and choosing furnishings which are crafted from renewable resources, which use recycled materials where possible, and which have a low environmental impact during manufacturing and production. Durability is another consideration when it comes to choosing materials and furnishings which are sustainable, minimising the risk of damage and the need to replace certain elements of your bar on a regular basis.

Assessing eco-friendly materials

When designing a commercial bar, there are a series of different areas and features that you need to consider.

The area bar itself is of course a focal point and is a good place to start when looking to make your environment more sustainable. As well as reclaimed wood and recycled materials, consider materials which are naturally more sustainable, for example glass and bamboo.

Eco-friendly bar design

Not only is glass easy to clean and maintain but it allows lots of light through to keep your bar feeling bright and open. Bamboo is a light wood which grows rapidly and so is one of the most sustainable solutions when seeking a natural wood building material. It is highly flexible and versatile and delivers an unrivalled aesthetic making it perfect for your bar.

But it’s not just the bar that you need to consider – decorative furnishings, seats, and tables are all important components in a comfortable and appealing bar as well.

Whatever your approach, durability is a major focus point for bar designers seeking an eco-friendly environment, as is ease of maintenance despite regular use.

Flooring, Lighting, and Décor

Moving beyond the furnishings, it’s important to consider the role of flooring, lighting, and the décor which sits behind the bar and your assortment of drinks.

Your floor needs to be incredibly durable and easy to clean, especially in high traffic areas such as around the bar itself and on the walkways to the door and the bathrooms.

Lighting is best engineered using a blend of natural light sources and energy-efficient bulbs, while bringing in a number of different fittings and sources of light at different levels is an effortless way of altering and adjusting the environment according to the mood and occasion.

And finally to the décor, which can be sustainable in its own right – using natural plants, recycled panels and paintings, and basic natural features as part of the overall aesthetic.

Where and how to find the right eco-friendly materials and furnishings

Typically, if you are sourcing sustainable materials then you need to verify the claims of the products and the suppliers that you get them from. If you use sustainability as part of your commitment to customers, then being able to prove this with information about where you sources different furnishings and what your materials are made from is good for business and for your credibility.

This can mean sourcing things locally, and it can mean browsing different materials until you find one which bridges your eco-strategy with your theme and design goal.

Not to mention, sourcing materials and furnishings locally will help to minimise delivery costs and give you that “local” badge of honour that so many consumers love.

Building a bar on a foundation of sustainability

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword – it’s something that more and more businesses are striving to achieve as part of their business strategy.

While there are ways of working this into your operational structure, reducing waste and cutting down on your use of electricity and water, it is also something that should inform your design decisions and materials sourcing.

From implementing more natural light into your bar, to using materials which truly are sustainable – there are plenty of ways of adopting an eco-friendly approach to bar design.

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