Decorating a café arguably calls for a stronger vision than decorating an ordinary house. When it’s your own home you’re working with, it’s often perfectly acceptable to plan your style on a room-by-room basis; the overall cohesiveness of the house as a whole is less important than making sure that each room works by itself. In a café, however, the general concept of the place is more often an obvious thread running through each space in the building, from the seating areas to the bathrooms. This is because cafés tend to have stronger visual themes than houses. The priorities are different; a café just needs to make an impression, not be truly liveable. Unsurprisingly, then, some of the most unusual and striking examples of truly bold design come from the world of coffee and cakes.
This monochrome forest of hat stands is a prime example of a look that would be too intense for day-to-day living, but works just perfectly in the context of a café. The initial idea behind the design is apparent and no compromises have been made in following it through. In a bedroom or livingroom, where allowances would have to be made for the day-to-day business of living, such a strong concept and restrictive colour scheme would be extremely difficult to implement.
The table runners, napkins and even the candle holders on this café’s perfectly colour coordinated terrace have been carefully selected to exactly mirror the vibrant blue of the beautifully cloudless sky above. On the left-hand side of the picture, we can see that the doors and windows of the building itself have been painted in just the same shade, too.
Here is a café that’s absolutely overflowing with personality – and again, personality that would probably be a little bit too much in a private residence. It’s hard to imagine that fabulous metallic wall looking anything but brash in a family home, but here it’s that underlying confidence that makes the room work. The colour scheme couldn’t be better chosen, with the three key colours – silver, turquoise, and brown – each setting each other off wonderfully.
Candy-coloured and sweetened to perfection, this café has embraced the cute aesthetic to a degree rarely seen outside of a children’s bedroom. And it works. Really remarkably well. One of the stand-out features has to be the beautifully painted exposed brickwork of the countertop seen in the background.
The denim furniture and exposed structural elements in this cafe lend an air of dilapidation to the space. This is counterbalanced, though, by the warm red hue of the brickwork and the careful attention to detail in decorating the place with framed artwork.
Cosy enough to almost be mistaken for a living room, this café has a few quirks that push it into the slightly more outlandish territory of a culinary establishment – such as the wonderfully weird series of animal heads hanging over the fireplace.
There’s a lot to look at in this interesting café, but there can be no doubt about the focal point of the space: the gorgeously ornate ceramic fireplace in the middle. Like so many other items we have seen in this ideabook, it’s one that would be too dominant in the majority of domestic settings, but here it serves as the ideal centrepiece.