Below are three basics to remember when setting up your coffee shop interior.
Coffee shop counter with string lights overhead
Reflect your brand and mission. Your cafe will be memorable if it has a strong brand that is palpable through your decor, employees, service, and items offered. Your brand includes your restaurant’s concept, identity, personality, and mission. Your cafe decor and coffee shop interior design should be consistent with and enhance your brand, emanating an ambiance that is apparent to your patrons.
Be wise with your lighting. When possible, make use of natural lighting to to take advantage of organic light and conserve energy. During the day, cool lights are also great option, as they illuminate areas with similar tones to daylight. To create a comforting atmosphere in the evening, warm and soft tones are ideal because they create a gentler contrast from the darkness. However, depending on your coffee shop's brand, you might choose to always utilize either cool or warm tones
Make it Instagram able and interactive. Studies show that the restaurant industry continues to boom because people enjoy immersing themselves in experiences, such as going out to eat. Additionally, with the growth of social media, more people look forward to sharing their experiences with others through images on platforms like Instagram. Outfitting your coffee shop interior with eye-catching, attractive elements contributes to creating a full-fledged experience for your guests while also serving as a free marketing tactic.
Coffee Shop Ideas for Your Interior Theme
Your coffee shop interior sets the tone of your space and should be consistent with your brand. Consider the following themes to bring your brand, concept, and values to light.
1. Industrial-Style Coffee Shop Interior
An industrial theme takes inspiration from warehouses, factories, and other industrial spaces. Below are some examples of what you might see in a coffee shop with industrial-style decor.
- Exposed architecture, like pipes, brick, ceiling beams, iron reinforcements, and weathered wood
- Metal accents, like wire baskets
- Squared lines and block shapes
- Mechanical components, like gears, nuts, and bolts
- Use of tough utilitarian materials, like leather, copper, stone, and aluminum
- Juxtaposition of timeworn and modern components, such as a modern lamp atop a vintage side table
- Color palette: gray, black, tan, white, and darker tones, like maroon
2. Modern Coffee Shop Interior
Modern-style decor grew in popularity in the first half of the 20th century. A core principle of this design style is that form should follow function, meaning that every piece of furniture and decoration should be simple with a practical, intentional purpose. Below are some examples of what you might see in a coffee shop with modern decor.
- Crisp lines and smooth surfaces
- Lack of intricate details
- Blend of comfortable and sophisticated elements
- Clean lines and neutral colors may be balanced out with bold, vivid accessories and texture, such as a brightly colored sofa, pillows, or a piece of abstract art
- Texture is added with fabrics like silk, crushed velvet, linen, or wool
- Clean metal accents, like stainless steel, nickel, and chrome, creating a sleek look
- Very light or dark wood tones
- No clutter; clean and organized
- Color palette: brown, taupe, cream or pure white
3. Mid-Century Coffee Shop Interior
Lasting from the mid-1930s through the 60s, mid-century design is characterized by the exploration of new materials in light of new technology while still celebrating traditional ones. Materials were celebrated for their uniqueness rather than to imitate. Similar to modern design, mid-century emphasizes function over form. Below are some examples of what you might see in a coffee shop with mid-century decor.
- Unique or contrasting materials, including plastic, vinyl, glass, plexiglass, and plywood
- Clean lines, organic and geometric shapes
- Tables and chairs with tapered legs
- Ergonomic furniture
- Wood and tweed elements
- Color palette: smoky grey, avocado green, mustard yellow, pumpkin orange
4. Hygge Coffee Shop Interior
"Hygge" is a Danish word and concept that refers to joy and presence. Hygge decor emphasizes comfort, warmth, and indulgence without extravagance. A hygge interior is clutter-free with many natural and cozy elements. Below are some examples of what you might see in a coffee shop with hygge decor.
- Warm, soft lighting; candles, fireplace, or twinkly string lights
- Use of wood and stone
- Soft textures and mix of materials and patterns
- Fluffy pillows, plush rugs, and soft throws
- Comfortable seating
- Warm, inviting atmosphere
- Natural, laidback feel
- Cozy nooks
- Rustic elements paired with contemporary
- Color palette: neutral colors, light grays, browns, creams
5. Rustic Coffee Shop Interior
A rustic interior design features a range of organic, natural elements. It may utilize country, farmhouse decor or may veer towards an in-the-woods feel. Below are some examples of what you might see in a coffee shop with rustic decor.
- Lots of nature elements, including plants in pots, plant walls, and flowers
- Mix of wood types, including reclaimed wood
- Farmhouse components, like jars or vintage milk crates
- Emphasis on rugged beauty
- Raw wood, stone, metal
- Indoor picnic table
- Wicker baskets and wicker elements
- Galvanized planters
- Color palette: neutral colors, such as tan, cream, brown, and green
6. Vintage Coffee Shop Interior
Vintage decor draws inspiration from the past and may include styles from a variety of decades. It emanates a romantic, charming atmosphere with antique elements that emphasize an ornate, elegant pattern and design. Below are some examples of what you might see in a coffee shop with vintage decor.
- Floral wallpaper and accents
- Checkered tablecloths and napkins
- Pieces with ornate elements, like embroidered doilies, hoops, quilts, or couches and chairs with intricate patterns
- Cedar chests
- Vintage luggage
- China dishes as decoration or for serving
- Cafe curtains
- Canisters for holding coffee, tea, flour, sugar
- Victorian-style or distressed couches and chairs
- Mahogany wood
- Chandeliers or stained-glass lamps
- Color palette: variety of pastel or faded colors, such as burgundy, peach, light orange, mustard yellow, sea green
Some of the most unique cafe interiors pull components from several different themes. Always feel free to customize your coffee shop to your desires and brand while using these themes as guidelines or inspiration.
Coffee Shop Decor Accents
Books and flower pot on hanging shelf with white brick behind it. Depending on your cafe, certain parts of your coffee shop’s personality, values, and mission statement may or may not always be apparent in the color scheme and theme of your coffee shop decor. Choosing your accents wisely ensures that your brand and values come across to your patrons. Additionally, your coffeehouse decor has the capacity to make your space more engaging and immersive.
- Books and magazines - Set out books that relate to your brand and mission. If you support local farms, include books on sustainable farming. If you were inspired by growing up in the Mid-West, include books about your hometown. You can even include an eclectic mix of books to satisfy a range of customer interests.
- Serving ware and tableware - The style and color of your mugs and dishes can bring your brand's personality to light. For example, a modern coffee shop might include brightly colored mugs and saucers, while a rustic cafe may offer neutral-colored mugs and mason jars for water.
- Artwork - Incorporate art that relates to your values, mission, and brand. Choose local artists to show that you are part of the local community or if you emphasize fair trade. If a cause is dear to you, such as civil rights, include artwork that expresses it, such as photography of the civil rights movement or artwork that depicts inclusivity.
- Games - Include entertainment that is specific to your brand and atmosphere. For example, if your cafe celebrates the hygge concept, include games like monopoly or chess to encourage guests to stay, relax, and enjoy.
- Music - Music has the capacity to bring out a specific vibe in your cafe. You can alter your music playlist based on your brand or the time of day. If you operate a rustic cafe, try playing grassroots music. If your spot is modern, you might choose more upbeat, popular songs. You may also choose to change your music based on your customer base; if your cafe is full of guests working on their computers, choose non-distracting music, like jazz or songs without lyrics.
By nailing down your brand and selecting decor to express it, you can be well on your way to creating a successful coffee shop. To stay competitive, always be sure to incorporate the latest coffee trends into your business.