Café Interior Design Ideas

As coffee shops/cafés is one of the fastest growing industries in recent years, growing massively since the 2000s, modern cafés have to impress in order to entice customers and ensure return visits. Good interior design plays a large role in attracting customers, heightening their experience, and earning repeat visits.

Whether you are opening a new independent café or giving a current coffee shop a revamp, here are some interior design ideas guaranteed to pique customers’ interest.

Café Interior Design Ideas for Function/Style

There are many aspects that may instruct interior design decisions, but function should be the most influential. Interior design choices should be led by the function and style of the café. Here are popular examples:

Takeaway Cafés

Takeaway cafés should be designed with the ‘grab and go’ style in mind, streamlining purchasing journey by making the process simple, clear and quick for customers. Interior design factors to consider include having limited seating options, such as bar stools, to discourage lingering; making instructions and menus clear and obvious, even taking up entire walls; using accent features such as arrows on the floor to direct customers; and creating designated areas for ordering, collecting, and tailoring orders (milk/sugar/stirrer station), i.e. each customer journey stage.

Hangout Cafés

Hangout cafés are centred on conversation and relaxation, encouraging customers to stay, bring others, and make bigger orders. To create the cosy, comfy vibes desired, hangout café interior design should consist of comfy mismatched furniture and sofas, large tables for groups, bookshelves and boardgames for additional activities, and aspects that create an experience rather than focussing entirely on getting orders out.

Novel Cafés

From vintage coffee shops, to countryside chic, to traditional English pub style, there are an array of novel cafés styles for independents to adopt. Commonly, interior design choices revolve around darker colour pallets, vintage furniture, stylistic typefaces, and unique textures to invoke feelings of nostalgia and create another world. More uniquely themed cafés, such as cat or boardgame cafés, may tailor interior design to cater exclusively to this theme and go for a less subtle approach.

Corporate/Commercial Cafés

Cafés for corporate use or belonging to commercial chains tend to more generalised in their interior design, favouring neutral colour pallets and fit for function style. Although there tends to be less creative flair in corporate/commercial cafés, the distinct style is modern, clean, bright, tidy, and robust.

Café Interior Design Ideas

With the function of the café in mind, below are some interior design ideas to captivate and entice customers.

Use Colour Psychology

Colour psychology findings can lead interior design choices to result in stimulated customer appetite, resulting in more sales, ideal for cafés. The most notorious example of food-related colour psychology is that of red and yellow (‘ketchup-mustard’) being most effective at stimulating appetites, hence the adoption of these colours at fast food chains.

Deep tones and golden accents have also been deemed unconscious appetite stimulators. Subtle ways to incorporate these colours into café interior design include using deep, earthy tones of red, blue and green, and using gold for accent pieces and details, highlighted by lighting.

Create Booths

Booths are popular seating solutions that provide comfort as well as privacy, ideal for hangout cafés or working spaces to facilitate concentration. Instead of just partitioning spaces, café booths can be creative pieces that add to the overall aesthetic of the café, for example through the use of colours, interesting shapes, textured timber cladding, or industrial-style materials.

Sustainable Interior Décor

A popular modern interior design trend for cafés revolves around greenery, plants and sustainability. Catering to the modern, ethical consumer, many modern cafés have industrial elements that exude sustainable ethos’s and inspire creativity.  This interior design style includes using earthy colours (brown, green, grey), decorating with plant prints, adding draping plants, and integrating sustainable materials such as corkboard menus or timber cladding features.

Find out more about eco-friendly timber cladding and why cafés should utilise this sustainable and stylish material.


Add A Feature Wall

Feature walls are a great way to add design elements without taking up loads of space or splashing the entire décor budget. Examples of café feature walls could be a wall of books for a cosy library feel, one filled with posters and prints in keeping with café style, the use of draping leaves or feathers, neon signs for branding, or even photobooth style background.

Not only do feature walls look great and add dynamic elements to a café but, in the modern day, they can even assist organic marketing. Anything deemed ‘Instagram-worthy’ will have consumers travelling to a café just to snap a picture in front of a popular spot… no doubt making a purchase too!

Consider the Exterior

Interior design of cafés should reflect the exterior, and vice versa, even if exterior design choices are more limited. Aspects such as big windows may be hard to alter but are well worth it for letting in natural light and allowing customers a peak into the café to draw them in. Consider bringing interior elements outside to create a flow, using materials and colours for consistency in the popular modern style of inside outside architecture. Without impressive kerb appeal, cafés may not adequately attract customers and interior design efforts will go unappreciated.

Sainsbury's Penzance

Choose Lighting Well

Lighting can often be an overlooked aspect in interior design, but it plays an important role. From harsher to softer lights, ambient vs fixture light, there are plenty of critical decisions to make about lighting that can have strong effects on the atmosphere of a café. Accent lights are effective at spotlighting significant aspects such as menus or décor pieces, whereas ambient lighting describes the overall larger scale lighting of a whole space. Using a mix of ambient and accent lighting ensures a space is light and airy while details are still highlighted.

Decorative lights such as fairy lights, neon signs, lampshades or even unique fixtures are more about aesthetic than function. In cafés particularly, decorative lighting can add fun, stylish additions that bolster the desired aesthetic of the space.

Get Started with NORclad

If you are looking for a striking addition to your next café interior design project, or a sustainable material for your next build, NORclad can help. We specialise in sourcing and supplying high quality timber cladding for a range of building projects, for interior and exterior applications. Able to supply both FSC and PEFC certified timber, we pride ourselves on our large product range containing various species, profiles, treatments, and environmental credentials to fit any project. Check out our case studies to get inspired.

Get in touch to discuss your timber cladding requirements!

See more: Using Ceiling Timber Cladding For The Wow Factor

Learn More with NORclad

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If you’re stuck for inspiration and want to see working examples of our expertise, feel free to browse through our case studies.

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2021-03-10T10:54:22+00:00February 17th, 2021|

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