Restaurant Enclosures

Add Art to Your Outdoor Dining Enclosure

The Boulder Office of Arts and Culture encourages you to make your restaurant or cafe’s outdoor enclosure creative by engaging with our artistic community. As you get ready to make your outdoor dining area with the required barrier, consider engaging a local artist to help transform your new space:

• You may already have an artist on your staff! Bring them into the design of your new space. They could serve as the lead with ideas to artfully transform your barrier. They might have a great way for your whole team to participate.

• Get creative. You can use colorful and inventive materials to help your space stand out. You can find plenty of easy and inspiring examples with a web search of “tactical urbanism” or “parking day.”

• Hire a mural artist. The Office of Arts and Culture has a Mural Artist Roster of qualified local artists to help transform your picket fence, plywood barrier, planters, or enclosure into a unique and memorable space. If you want to hire a muralist, here’s a quick step-by-step:

  1. Browse the Mural Artist Roster categories to see what kind of aesthetics you’d like to see at your establishment: Abstract and Geometric, Figurative, Illustrative and Narrative, or Nature and Environmental.
  2. Contact the artist for a quick conversation on availability, content, and compensation. See if you are a good fit for each other. Ask them a few questions:  what materials will they need?  What is the best surface for them to paint on?  And, be sure to ask them about their fee.  They will know how much to charge you based on the size of your barrier, their materials, and how much time they expect the painting to take. Contact us at if you have any questions or need help finding the artist’s contact info.
  3. Have a conversation about what you’d like to see.  But, rely on the artists creativity to develop a really good idea. Then, ask the artist for a quick proposal. This could be just a sketch of some ideas. If you want a full preliminary design of exactly what they are going to create, it is completely appropriate for the artists to require a signed agreement or a design fee up front.
  4. Be aware of the Boulder Sign Code to ensure your mural is not interpreted as a sign. Generally, if it does not include your establishment’s name, a call to action in text, or imagery immediately associated with what you serve, you should be good to go.
  5. Make a plan for the project that follows all the safer-at-home rules for work sites to keep your artist, staff, and everyone safe.  Some advice can be found in the State of Colorado’s toolkit for best practices on construction worksites.

Make sure to keep us updated. Email us at to let us know what you are planning. Tag us on social media (@boulderartsculture and #boulderarts #creativeneighborhoods) so we can help share your creative spaces with the community.

Download the printable guide here