Diner style

The Art Deco diner, an icon of the American dining scene of the 40's, 50's and even 60's, has always been a delight for me, all shining steel construction and  mostly red and black color scheme. It is long gone for the most part, replaced by the coffee shop, its culinary descendant. Its inimitable style is gone with it except for a few relics here and there, kept alive for the vintage quality of the unique architecture and design. I believe that some of the mood can be easily translated into our century if some guidelines are carefully followed.
Manhattan, Salem Massachussetts, Miami Forida

do's and dont's for a successful diner look
1) don't copy a diner textually; less is more. period.
2) do use some authentic items carefully; no diner museum please
3) do translate the look in neutrals and darks; you can add some subtle hues; avoid primary colors for a modern look.  
4) do use color parsimoniously; be very selective; again, less is more

the choices
clean lines and sleek flooring ( here, terrazzo)

some metal, industrial in feeling

some fabrics to bring in some color and warmth

some wood to soften the industrial feel

metal dining tables , restaurant or mid-century style
to mix with existing modern wood cabinets, if that's the case
sleek metal accessories and neutral or black accents

 authentic diner dinnerware 
they can be found at antique shows, flea markets, online of course and at Fishs Eddy in Manhattan; some bear the name of a long lost diner, some are adorned with whimsical airbrushed images.

these patterns, from the Syracuse company of the 30's, were ubiquitous in diners and are still used in coffee shops around NYC.
images dwr, minimalismi, housetohome, igougo, melbourneblogger, restaurantwarecollectors, apartmenttherapy

au revoir.


  1. Great post! I LOVE the plates...such great examples of Art Deco. I would love to try out the Empire Diner.

  2. It is as good food-wise as look-wise... We have our regular meals on the ones with the green border. IN.DES.TRUC.TABLE. and very American, so perfect for every day life in America and they will be very nice in Paris one day.

  3. I really enjoyed this post - I'm ready for a patty melt at the Salem Diner. Also looking forward to the Transatlantic Parallel you'll be doing with Tish, such a great idea!

  4. Merci Bonjour Romance; I really enjoy reading these kind comments. It is very good for the moral and the ego...I look forward to continuing my conversations with Tish. She is such a motivator and I love the synergy. Merci beaucoup et a bientot.