Ready to Refurbish? Designing Your Space

You’ve been looking around your coffee shop and noticing that your furniture is starting to get a bit old, the layout while once perfect could use a little mix up, and you are ready to bring in some new customers. It might be time to give your coffee shop a little face lift and redesign your space to make it look like a new café. A coffee shop is not necessarily just about the coffee served, or about the art on the walls, it’s about the overall experience your clients have from the moment they see your store front. The redesign of your coffee shop should be true to what you wish to provide your clients, and what you as a store owner wish to promote. Your store should highlight, not contradict, your beliefs around a good cup of coffee, and the experience of getting coffee. In this article we will discuss two types of refurbishing your space, designing your cafe for hip young millennials and creating a cozy coffee shop for clients of all ages and trend inclination.

Before jumping straight into a furniture store or picking out just the right shade of eggshell white, take a step back from your plans and look at your coffee shop as a whole. A refurbish of your space should assess overall key elements from the coffee options, customer service, and of course the layout of your shop. Your marketing designs, graphics, and logos should also be taken into consideration when refurbishing your physical space. Try creating new brands that have graphic logos that are appealing to your customers, and market your coffees in new and exciting ways. Your logo should showcase your special connection with your client, is their love of luxury coffee, an appeal to the outdoors, or a promise of tradition and reliability? Whether you are providing coffee that is created from your own brand, or outsourcing to a popular roaster, make sure this is included in your new marketing. The coffee shop should be part of your client’s’ journey as to why they picked your shop, and your coffee. Including little details like where the coffee is from and weaving a narrative about the foundation of the store can give your clients the perfect personal stake in becoming loyal repeat customers.

If you are looking to cater to the millennial generation, it is important to recognize a few key things about these trendy 20 year olds. They love their technology, they are selective about their coffee options, they have many options, and they are more consumer conscious then the generation prior. To you this means your coffee shop should highlight these things and the layout should reflect it. Have the work your baristas do and the coffees they use as a focal point. Making the coffee bar and work station the center of the room with slightly elevating chairs around it to pull the customers focus onto the production of the coffee. Minimalistic styles in coffee shops are on trend, and attract the younger generation. Minimalistic does not mean uncomfortable or a lack of seating. Benches, individual chairs, and couches can provide comfortable spaces for your clients. If you are using a lot of exposed wood furniture offer cushions for clients who wish to sit in comfort for a few hours. Focusing on your coffee and your clients will draw them past the storefront. Having areas for quiet conversation, and stations for studying, reading, or group work can draw them in. Remember to allow them as many technology amenities as you can, charging ports, Wi-Fi, and stations to setup create loyal customers. Your space, your baristas, and your coffee should all paint a picture of trendy, ethically sourced, and immaculately presented coffee, to be competitive create a story for your clients to invest in around these elements.

Let’s say your primary target is not the hip 20 something year olds on the prowl for the coolest coffee, rather you want to create a family friendly space for people of all ages to interact and settle into. The narration strategy stays the same, take a step back, create a journey, and cater to your client. However, in this refurbishment your client focus is less on what looks and feels cool and more on what feels familiar and comfortable. In this shop you will see larger tables, heaps of plush cushioned furniture, and less of a focus on the coffee bar and work space. Instead of monotone or wooden décor, the shops offer a more colorful cheerfully lit alternative. The focus in this narration is on client comfort and a feeling of home away from home. Your narrative should still include excellent coffee, but the marketing should be on classic roasts and teas, creating a sense of long tradition and old school coffee shops. This type of client wants their journey to be one of familiarity and comfort, a place to take both family and friends for a good, but not fancy, cup of coffee they can rely on. Designing your space with plenty of community space, and a few private single sitting reading nooks can create that of lavish comfort and community. Showcasing local artists on your walls and offering a variety of books and board games can encourage your customers to see your shop as their space to sit, relax and enjoy.

Regardless of what type of space you choose to refurbish, the focus should always be on your client’s journey and their experience. To be competitive in today’s market you need to offer more than just good coffee, you need to offer and excellent narration from start to finish. A comprehensive refurbishment that looks at your coffee shop from brand to production can enhance your clientele, create loyal customers, and give your shop the makeover it may need. Investing time in developing both a written and visual narration creates personal stake with your customers and can create a brand they believe in!



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  1. I totally agree… Only delicious coffee is not enough for customers… Coffee shops should think about overall experience of their customers. Beautiful furniture and designing your cafe could attract the customers.

  2. Great point of view. I completely agree with that. Personally speaking, one of the best coffee shops in my town is the one whose walls are filled with books, where you could sit, enjoy your coffee and choose a book to read while drinking it. Since I’m a bookworm this is like a heaven on Earth to me, so whenever I have some free time, I go there to relax and unwind. 😀

  3. It’s always fun designing! If ever I’ll have my own coffee shop in the future, I bet I will be having a lot of fun designing the interiors. If you love what you’re doing, you won’t work a day to make everyday successful. Aside from coffee, the overall design of coffee shop is what’s taking my interest.

  4. I personally like a more old wooden look. Sure, it’s not lazy boy cozy, but sitting in all wooden furniture feels like the most natural pair with my morning coffee. At night, I’ll probably hit the softest seat i can find. It’s all about the mood. Maybe you should also consider that when deciding which peak hours you want to focus on. In the morning, you don’t want to be too cozy, since we actually want to wake up, while a night focused shop might focus on lulling people to a calm night.

  5. A coffee shop that has a good ambiance and a cool environment could attract more customers. When I go to a certain coffee shop, first thing that I usually notice is the design and creativeness of the place.

  6. Interesting! I really enjoyed reading this blog 😀
    I know a coffee shop makes not that good coffee but has a lot of reputation, all because of its wonderful furniture! So coffee shops which have a good coffee and good furniture will be the best!

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