Coffee culture

February 25, 2013

Morning, off to London this morning for a meet the buyer event mainly for commercial market, it’s always a great event and I have met many suppliers this way as you seem to get very credible companies attending.  Which leads me on nicely to talking about coffee shops, not only because I love coffee but also love the coffee culture. As soon as you walk into a coffee shop it instantly makes you feel like chilling out, read the paper watch the world go by, that sort of thing!!.. As I live in Bristol, Clifton village is perfect place for this and you will often see me there grabbing a coffee, sadly usually to take away as Im dashing between meetings etc.

Anyway I want to talk about the interiors of these places, if they get them right they will make you feel like wanting to stay and kick your shoes off and you will end up spending more money as this is the aim….right!  So it is so important to get the look right and it’s why the big boys will spend so much money on the refurbishments especially in London.

Number 1 rule is to make it feel homely, no one wants to sit in an over lit space with hard chairs!, add in large comfy armchairs and darken the mood, low level lighting in certain areas work extremely well, One cafe a worked with a few years ago always crammed too many chairs in, yes it will give you more seating for customers but no good if the customers feel like they are in a canteen and they will quickly finish their coffee and skedaddle.  There must be some sort of interest on the walls to tantalise the eye, a collection of art is the best way to start, mix it up and don’t be afraid to fill the space there is nothing worse then small pictures looking lonely on a wall!!  Also getting the layout correct is key, you want to make little cosy areas where people feel they can hide away but also areas where people can congregate and meet there normal group which is usually the mums,  a good friend of mine who has 3 children goes to her coffee shop every morning and her words note mine were ‘the coffee shop has been a life saver to me’ it’s her little time she has to sit and think of nothing. Now the only one thing left to do is get the Coffee right!!

A couple of images of the newly refurbished Costa Coffee in London, this is so much better than the current designs and totally sums up what Im saying about making it more homely and having comfy areas.

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Right off to the station, I will be thinking of coffee shops on the train as I have to design 2 this week which are in Cardiff.

Happy Monday!

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