With the rise of social media over the past decade, millennials have become hyper-focused on curating the “perfect moment” to share with their followers. Brands have turned to Instagram to promote their products and services through paid partnerships with social media influencers and, in turn, consumers are using the platform to inform what they buy, how they eat and where they go. From the manicure salon to your local brewery, it has become critical for businesses to create spaces that are aesthetically pleasing and “Instagram-friendly.”

For years, Instagram sat at the center of trends in food and beverage. Restaurants created rainbow-colored cakes and unicorn milkshakes, accessorized with kitschy coasters and put more emphasis on flashy cocktails. Today, Instagram has taken this a step further by inspiring trends in architecture and design. Restaurants and bars are designing their physical spaces in hopes of inspiring photography, which will ultimately lead to increased awareness for their business.

While there’s nothing new about restauranteurs creating spaces that transform their guest’s experience, there is a new emphasis on creating transformative experiences that are also photo-friendly and sharable. This starts with cute signs, colorful floor tiles and neon signs, and goes all the way to installing skylights for natural lighting and building out spaces for swings. Designers are considering vantage point, trying to create rooms that encourage 360-degree videos. Special lighting allows diners to adjust the intensity of the light, and some restaurants have created special phone holders so patrons can take a selfie at their table.

The biggest trick for businesses, large and small, will be to stay ahead of the curve. Nothing stays secret for long with social media, and design ideas can be copied faster than you can say, “Let’s take a selfie”. We can’t wait to see what else Instagram inspires in design and architecture.


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