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When I visit a café bar, I tend to look not only for the service but the visual appeal of the café and the atmosphere it creates. Sure, I know I am really there for the intoxicating aroma of hot coffee and to satisfy little cravings, but I am also subtly looking for a quiet, comfortable place to think or work.

Good coffee shops are easy to find, but the perfect café bar is hard to come by. For your customers, it should strike the perfect balance to become the third daily space that is neither home nor work. Café bars are social but relaxed, and generally have a great sense of style. Everything about the atmosphere is cohesive and inspiring.

When designing a café bar, the first thing we need to do is reconcile the interior design and the facade. The style you show outside must reflect and suggest aspects of the setting and tone inside. For example, if I see a café bar with a very rustic and historical facade, I wouldn't expect to find a modern and minimalistic interior design. A conflict between internal and external creates false expectations in the minds of customers, and they may be turned off just out of surprise. To keep customers coming back, you want your design and facade to form an integrative message about the café bar.

The café bar also needs to reflect the personal style and attitude of the owner and baristas. I have noticed that the best coffee bars are the ones that tell a story or create a distinct identity. Games on the shelves work well with playful lamps with bright colors or written phrases. Local paintings on the wall reflect a value for creativity and sophistication. Making the café bar fit your vision and personality is our number one priority.

A general design trend for a café bar is to use dark furnishings. Dark woods bring out the natural warmth of the coffee itself, while granite or dark wood floors create an elegance that is particular to the café bar. We are not suggesting ALL dark interiors, but indeed olives, tans, burgundy, and creams hide coffee stains and preserve the elegance of the design. Dark colors can quickly become overwhelming, so it is important to plan for light accents and pops of color.

Like most commercial buildings, café bar design is tending toward minimalistic style approaches--the idea that sometimes simplicity creates perfection. Of course, you have to find a way to unite the minimalistic design with the organic textures and colors of the coffee. This design trend integrates geometrical figures in furniture and architecture and de-clutters walls, using limited amounts of simple or abstract art. This simplification process can help make the space feel more relaxing for guests looking to get away.


Having a cup of coffee can become an escape from routine for many people, at least it is for me. Café bars are the place people need to find and share something more than a delicious beverage--I want a calm and serene environment to share my thoughts. The decor and ambiance is, after all, what separates a coffee shop from a café bar. Make your café bar a place that creates special moments.