These days it seems like there is a cafe on every block, with more and more popping up as time goes on. So how can you make sure that your cafe stands out? And how can you make it one that people keep coming back to? One of the answers to that question is good, effective cafe interior design.

A great looking design will ensure customers continue to come through your doors. But what goes into a functional and appealing cafe interior design? The answer can be summed up in five main factors:

  • Concept
  • Colour scheme
  • Layout
  • Lighting
  • Decor

This article will show you how these five key elements are key to creating a good cafe interior design.

1) Concept & Theme

Your cafe needs to have a concept that customers can easily understand and see. A design that lacks a central theme can lead to a confusing, unfocused and cluttered interior design which can turn customers off. A clear concept on the other hand leaves a clear picture of your cafe in customer’s minds; making it memorable, attractive and appealing.

The choice of which cafe design concept you choose to design your cafe around is vast. Some popular cafe styles include:

  • Retro
  • Minimalist
  • High-tea
  • Animal-themed
  • Movie-themed

You can also opt to dive into the world of quirky and unique cafe concepts. They may be hard to pull off but a truly special concept can turn your cafe into a very popular hotspot, and perhaps into a tourist attraction! Some examples include the super trendy and colourful Kawaii Monster Cafe in Tokyo, Japan, the visually mind-boggling 2D Cafe YND239-20 in Seoul, South Korea or the unique cafe architecture of Flipboard Cafe in Melbourne, Australia.

2) Colour

Your cafe’s colour scheme is key to a good interior design. A great colour scheme is attractive and pleasing to the eye. On the other hand, a poor colour scheme can make your cafe seem bland, boring and outright ugly. Earthy colours such as brown, tan and beige are common choices for cafes. This is because cafes are based on traditional coffee shop design which use earthy colour schemes. However, don’t feel like you need to pick earthy tones. Any colour scheme could potentially work well for you and your cafe.

Colour schemes also influence customer behaviour and mood. This is a phenomenon known as colour psychology. Different colours can make your cafe feel more welcoming and relaxed (brown or green), or trigger their appetite (red or yellow). No colour is considered ‘off-limits’ but it’s important to select those that work well together and fit your overall concept, theme and cafe interior design.

light colour scheme cafe
A light colour scheme can make your cafe look spacious, relaxed and welcoming.

3) Layout & Functionality

The layout of your cafe is a fundamental part of good cafe interior design, but it’s something that can be tricky to decide on. The Internet has many cafe layout ideas floating around. But your layout needs to fit your overall concept and theme. It also needs to feel welcoming and inviting. Your cafe shouldn’t feel too crowded and tight, but too open and spacious and it might give off a lonely ambiance. It also has to be functionally sound so customers and staff can easily walk through ‘aisles’. So many things to consider isn’t it?

cafe layout
Does your layout hinder or enhance your cafe’s design?

Working with an expert cafe designer or shopfitter can help ease the process. They’ll design a layout which takes your cafe size and concept into account. Big or small cafe design, they’ll be able to cater for both.

4) Lighting

Lighting plays a big part in creating your cafe’s ideal ambiance and atmosphere. Too much light and your customers will be squinting to see; too little and your cafe may as well be a literal hole in the wall. There are four types of lighting which cafe owners need to consider when creating a good interior design:

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is the primary source of light for your cafe. It is gentle, yet strong enough to illuminate the entire room. It also serves as a foundation for the ambiance and lighting plan of your cafe.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting illuminates and highlights key spaces or decor in the cafe. These include art pieces, furniture, pottery, plants. The important thing to remember with accent lighting is to make sure customers notice what is being accented and not the light itself.

Decorative Lighting

Decorative lighting are sources of light which is used as part of the cafe’s decor. These can include fancy chandeliers to fit an old-style cafe, lava lamps for retro themes or sleek wall lamps as part of a modern cafe design.

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting comes courtesy of windows and skylights. They can enhance the atmosphere of the cafe by making it feel more refreshing, natural and spacious.

An interior designer or shopfitter can help you incorporate all four types of lighting to create a dynamic, effective lighting plan for your cafe.

cafe light
The right mix of lighting can do wonders for your cafe’s ambiance!

5) Furniture & Decor

This may seem like a no-brainer but there are many cases where cafes have furniture that doesn’t fit their theme, are too gaudy or plain, or simply do not work.

Decor shouldn’t be picked for the sake of it, they need to work and look good together. That vintage electric guitar may look great on the wall of a music or retro-styled cafe but will probably look out of place in a dog or minimalist cafe. The best cafe design features decor that looks good and adds to the cafe’s overall look and feel.

The Best Interior Design for Your Cafe

The combination of these five key elements might make cafe interior design look hard. And sorry to burst your bubble, but designing a cafe is hard! It takes a lot of planning and experimenting to find out the perfect design for you and your cafe.

This is why a good shopfitter can be so valuable! They’ll sit down with you and give you cafe interior design ideas that will look amazing and will consistently attract customers. Our shopfitting team at The One Interior will gladly help bring your dream interior to life – from the design to the installation. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation! The cafe interior design you’ve always wanted is just around the corner when you work with us.

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