There is no denying that there is a certain appeal to the cafe setting that is hard to define. A good cafe is welcoming, comfortable, and has a good ambience. Aside from this, however, it’s difficult to really pin down what appeals. Every business owner has a different idea of what they want things to look like.
With that in mind, it’s still possible to bring some of that local coffee-house appeal into the home in order to create both a welcoming place to bring friends, and an oasis away from the outside world without isolating yourself from your environment.
The Liminal Space
One of the most appealing aspects of the cafe experience is the sense of indoor/outdoor spaces. Anyone can add a few tables or chairs and call it cafe-inspired decor. With low fences, markings, or even some cleverly laid-out pot plants, you can create the sense of separation, a gap between you and the outside world. It’s symbolic, but effective. It is these spaces that truly create the cafe experience. Balconies and porches in the home can really make use of this sensation. They are already designed as extensions of the home, but with the addition of cafe blinds, this effect is enhanced; offering control over just how much of the outside world can get in.
Sometimes it’s just too cold, too hot, or too windy. Though cafe style is a varied target, one of the key features is consistency. The idea is to create a specific vibe and work within that. For example, bare brick might clash with chrome fittings, but recycled wooden furniture might bring it all together.
Art is another way to bring out the cafe chic style. It should be matched well with the atmosphere you are trying to create, but it’s important not to overlook things like placement and framing. Keep in mind that he art itself is not the centrepiece, but is only there to augment the existing decor.
A well-designed cafe created an intuitive interaction between itself and the customer. When you walk in, you know where to sit, who is serving, where the newspapers are. It’s easy to bring this feeling of comfort into your home.
Firstly, you want to look up some cafes that have inspired you, or simply go online and find some layouts that appeal. The trick to using these is to look at what each individual piece is doing. This is especially true when looking at tables and desks.
The thing about furniture in cafes is that it always has an obvious use. This is due, in part, to people knowing its a place to come and eat, or have a coffee with friends.
You can tap into this idea by bearing in mind that places have uses. Even comfortable chairs need to be placed next to a table or desk, but if a chair/desk combo is sitting right next to a small bookcase, then suddenly it’s a reading corner. Eating space could even already be set with cutlery or glasses waiting to be filled!
With all of these ideas in mind, it is important to remember that the entire reason for creating a cafe-inspired space in your home is to make people feel welcome, even if it is sometimes only yourself. With a little music, a nice coffee and a book, the home you’ve created can thrum with that indefinable aura typical of our favourite coffee spots.