Effortlessly blending the rich heritage of Mexican design with the dynamic pulse of city life, Urban Hacienda is a design aesthetic that speaks to both tradition and modernity. It captures the spirit of iconic Mexican motifs, intertwining them with the sleek, contemporary flair characteristic of urban landscapes. This juxtaposition creates spaces that are both rooted and revolutionary.
We’re going to explore a series of spaces that showcase the signature elements of the Urban Hacienda style, taking a closer look at the key ingredients of this rising design trend.
What is “Urban Hacienda”?
Inspired by the intersection of modern metropolises and the rich heritage of Mexico, the “Urban Hacienda” style is a fresh take on restaurant interior design often favored by fast-casual dining spaces serving variations on Latin cuisine. This aesthetic captures the essence of traditional Mexican warmth and charm while seamlessly incorporating the distinctly contemporary undertones of urban settings.
The color scheme of Urban Hacienda style is a harmonious combination of the industrial grays reminiscent of steel and concrete and varying wood tones. This neutral base is juxtaposed with vibrant pops of color, offering a modern accent that creates an element of fun and brings life to the space. Think fiery red, neon magenta, bold yellow, or lime green making occasional appearances in décor elements or furniture, adding just a bit of spice to otherwise modern-industrial spaces.
In terms of furniture, Urban Hacienda blends the sleekness of modern design with occasional nods to mid-century elements. Clean lines and understated designs dominate, offering functionality without compromising on style. Elements like tapered wooden legs on chairs or booths, or metal frames showcasing craftsmanship, echo mid-century influences.
Key to this style are the subtle callbacks to traditional Mexican design. These can be found in artisanal touches—perhaps a mosaic-tiled tabletop, colorful artwork, or wrought iron fixtures. The use of materials such as terracotta or handwoven textiles might subtly grace an area, acting as a gentle reminder of the rich cultural roots the design draws from.
Industrial elements, a hallmark of urban settings, play a pivotal role too. Exposed brick walls, ductwork, or even metal pendant lights complement the hacienda feel by introducing city-centric components. This contrast creates a space that feels both contemporary yet deeply rooted in tradition.
Ultimately, Urban Hacienda is more than just a design trend; it’s an experience. It marries the nostalgia of Mexico’s golden era haciendas with the dynamic energy of city life, shaping an ambiance that feels both familiar and exciting—a perfect backdrop for savoring a meal and creating memories.
Urban Hacienda Design Inspiration
The Urban Hacienda aesthetic is certainly grounded by certain signature elements, but talented designers are proving time and time again that it can also be tailored to suit differing brands and spaces.
You’ll almost always spot a handful of common threads uniting Urban Hacienda spaces. like an essential balance of urban minimalism with bold, Latin-inspired accents. And yet, there are always ways to make the look completely your own.
Here are a few exceptional examples of Urban Hacienda design across a diverse mix of dining establishments.
With a menu that boasts fresh ingredients and superfoods, Zambrero is putting a new spin on classic Mexican food favorites. Referring to their dishes as “feel good Mex,” the brand is anchored by a fun, energetic personality — an identity that is perfectly expressed by their restaurant interiors.
The open-concept design of the main dining area is accentuated by sleek concrete flooring, vertical wall paneling in light shades, and the clean lines of the furniture and decor. Natural maple table tops provide a contrast to the gray floors, with distinct grain patterns that keep the eye moving. A combination of chair styles creates an interesting juxtaposition, with mid-century modern maple chairs sitting alongside farmhouse-inspired seating in a bright, robin’s egg blue. Custom bench booths feature minimalistic back cushions upholstered in forest green fabric, which ties into colors featured throughout the oversized artwork hanging on the restaurant’s walls.
A dramatic wall mural is undeniably a main focal point of the interior, introducing bright shades of pink, green, and blue. The highly intentional use of vibrant colors is a trademark of Urban Hacienda design, turning what could be an ultra-modern, urban-style interior into something completely different
Casa Del Barco
In the Virginia-based Casa Del Barco, the interior takes a few steps away from the typically sleek, edgy minimalism of urban design, opting instead to add certain elements of warmth and comfort. Rich, dark wood tones are reflected across the floors and tabletops, and the upholstered booth benches are covered in taupe and brownish-gray (rather than cool, stark tones).
But even so, the simple, straightforward shapes of the furniture choices firmly place the interior in urban contemporary territory. Cast iron table bases and squared-off table top edge profiles exude a sense of utility, while the steel elements in the chairs are a definitive call to an industrial aesthetic.
Of course, the star of the show is the mural covering an entire wall of the restaurant and tequileria, a folk art-style piece with a veritable rainbow of neon colors. Finishing touches like the small, colorful vases and flowers on each table tie it all together, painting a picture of Urban Hacienda style adapted for the Casa Del Barco brand.
Hello Monty is a restaurant and brewery in Chattanooga, Tennessee, founded by two locals who are passionate about fun and flavor. With a big following and an even bigger personality, the Hello Monty brand is a flawless fit for the vibrant, friendly, and modern feel of Urban Hacienda design.
The gritty, industrial elements like exposed brick and rustic wood floors are beautifully contrasted by the gleam of polished maple table tops, while exposed ductwork and high ceilings create a loft-like experience. Booth seating is accented by sage green seat cushions, a crisp color that plays nicely with the bright yellow appliances visible in the open kitchen. The horizontal slats of the park bench-style booth backs echo the lines of the tabletops and bar, while the curves of the mid-century modern bar stools keep everything in balance.
Although art is kept to a minimum, colors set against a crisp white backdrop create visual interest, working with key accent colors to present a unified aesthetic.