Nando’s Interior Design Bustling South African Market Vibe
Nando’s flame-grilled Portuguese/Mozambican style chicken, is a favourite in my household, not just for the taste, but also because of the familiarity the brand brings in transporting us back home for a little while. The South African based restaurant chain opened up in Zimbabwe the early nineties, so being able to pop into one in the UK is always a welcome reminder. Nando’s was founded in South Africa in 1987, and now has restaurants in over thirty countries, including over 250 restaurants in the UK alone.
In a departure from the usual interior style of Nando’s restaurants I am used to, the 2012 opening of a Nando’s restaurant in Leigh, Greater Manchester in the UK transports diners to a colourful, bustling market, invoking stalls bursting with items such as fabrics, baskets and fresh produce. Designed by B3 Designers, a UK interior design studio, the designers took inspiration from a South African market, creating a vibrant space that is full of life, bursting with colours, patterns and textures, both inside and out.
The restaurant has the feel of an open air market, and is designed to allow the seamless flow of exterior and interior spaces, through the use of carefully selected details, with the intention being to create a space where visitors could discover something new every time they visit the restaurant. One of the most striking details in the restaurant is on the ceiling, where one hundred brightly woven traditional baskets double up as light shades, as well as others being mounted on the walls. In every Nando’s restaurant sustainability is a key feature of the interior design solutions, and in the Leigh restaurant reclaimed wood has been used for some of the structures. The design makes use of brightly painted metal chairs that complement vibrant custom-made wax cloth print fabrics used to upholster the booths in the seating areas and are a nod to the Continent’s love of the fabric. When decorating their restaurants, Nando’s also have a tradition of using their restaurants as a gallery, adorning the walls with the work of talented South African artists. The Portuguese heritage of the business is showcased through the incorporation of hand painted Portuguese tiles on the wall, and in the form of the signature Nando’s red and black cockerel logo.