If you’re like me and you love F.R.I.E.N.D.S. then this post is for you! No, we are not talking about the characters. Have you always dreamed of going to ‘central perk’ , sit down and have a huge mug of coffee and well, make friends! Or you might be the type who is just looking for a small cozy café to get some work done. Whatever the purpose, what essentially draws us in is the style and cafe interior décor within the space. Whether it’s industrial, modern, retro, mid-century, rustic or even a combination of styles these coffee shop interiors just make you want to film a sitcom and capture Instagram-able moments.  

1. Cafezal | Coffee Shops Interiors

Location: Milan, Italy
Website: https://cafezal.it
Architecture: https://www.urdesignmag.com/lifestyle/2018/10/09/studiopepe-micro-roastery-coffee-shop-cafezal-milan/ 

Revolutionizing the ‘Third wave of coffee culture’ in Milan, this mini roastery and coffee shop lends a bright and modern interior that brings harmony and balance to the room. Designed by Studiopepe, they married post-modern styles with urban street style to give birth to this blend of colors and textures inspired by elements from nature but recalling contemporaneous forms.  

The walls are inked in a deep blue shade that is balanced along with wood-grained printed wallpaper. This creates a canvas for the dusty pink stools and banquettes, copper fixtures and black and white countertops. This eccentric and quirky mix lends charm to Milanese establishments as well as trend-setting to the millennial fashion. 

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Deep blue walls as a backdrop for the dusty velvet furniture. ©Giuseppe Dinnella
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Countertop area reflecting geometric curves. ©Giuseppe Dinnella
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Different seating style configurations within the space. ©Giuseppe Dinnella

2. Swan Café 

Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Website: https://swancafe.co.za
Architecture: https://www.interiorsprinted.com/projects/wallcovering/swan-cafe-cape-town-south-africa/

Transported from the streets of Paris to Cape Town, this traditional French creperie takes on a Renaissance theme that is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Leda and the Swan” painting which is at the center of this design. 

Designed by Haldane Martin Iconic Design, the café’s sophisticated and modest ambiance arouses an allure of Paris. The French flag color palette is translated into the design of the space from the dark blue walls to the red accent finishes and white countertops. 

The space has French flair and ‘je ne sais quoi’ about it that reigns from its swan motifs, Greek mythology murals and vintage birdcage lighting that pay homage to the avian concept conceived within the space. 

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Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Leda and the Swan’ painting as the wall backdrop. ©Micky Hoyle
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vintage bird cage lighting for the avian concept_Micky Hoyle
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Blue colour scheme enriched with copper details and geometric patterns. ©Micky Hoyle

3. Pastry Ology | Cafe Interiors

Location: Port Rashid, Dubai
Website: https://www.pastryology.ae
Architecture: https://www.archlovin.com/2018/08/inside-look-pastryology-cafe-dubai/

Pastry Ology is a café well known for its signature hand-crafted dessert menu. Designed within four containers the design maximizes space and borrows on concepts of minimalism to provide for a spatial clean finish. The floating shelves and glass vision panels behind the bar area are incorporated to create an effect of a wide space. 

Designed by Maja Kozel Design, the dusty pink pastel color palette is balanced with brass undertones and brightened by artful murals and white marble tops. With the interior of the café overlooking the harbor, there is a custom range of furniture designed for guests to take in this view or enjoy this cozy space.

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Pastel pinks and gold details adding a level of sophistication to the space. © Maja
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Seating style configuration allows for enjoyment of space and views of Port Rashid. ©Maja
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Local artisan backdrop painting to give the space character. ©Maja

4. Tierra Garat

Location: Masaryk, Mexico City
Website: https://www.tierragarat.mx
Architecture: https://esrawe.com/2018esrawe/en/interiors/3883-2/

Esrawe Studio and Cadena y Asociados overhauled an existing building to design a space for  the famous and reinvented Tierra Garrat coffee brand. The new brand and store space take us on the untold stories of Mexican coffee from the coffee fields and firms. The overall design takes precedence from earth forms and materials that also inform the coffee brown monochromatic color scheme. 

The interior is lined with masonry blocks whereas the exterior volume is clad with angled clay panels giving the façade a different texture. This complements the brick, wood and leather used within the furniture design and are a nod to traditional Mexican handicraft. The design is clean, traditional and respectful to earthy tones. 

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Interior space allows natural brick form and texture to enhance space character. ©Jaime Navarro.
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Clay panels are recessed to create depth and texture. ©Jaime Navarro.
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Furniture materials of wood and leather harmonise with the solid brick interior.© Jaime Navarro.

5. Dolcezza Coffee and Gelato at Hirshhorn | Coffee Shops Interiors 

Location: Washington DC, USA
Website: https://dolcezzagelato.com/locations/hirshhorn/
Architecture: https://hirshhorn.si.edu/news/announcement/hirshhorn-lobby-renovation/

Hiroshi Sugimoto, an internationally acclaimed Japanese artist redesigns the Smithsonian lobby of the Hirshhorn Museum to function simultaneously as sculpture, furniture and conceptual art. 

The concept was derived from the building’s existing circular shape that he then took into nature and conceptualized into a nutmeg tree. He used the 700-year-old tree as the basis for the coffee space’s central group tables that are topped with glass, surrounded by white helicoid spiral chairs. 

The space is designed to be an immersive, functional artwork, giving visitors an entirely new community space for creative inspiration.

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Metal bar counter with steel and copper brass detail. ©Cathy Carver
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Nutmeg trees are conceived as tables providing a natural element in the space. ©Cathy Carver
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Lobby space maintains space functionality as a cafe and communal hot spot. ©Cathy Carver

6. Starbucks Coffee Laboratory

Location: Amsterdam
Website: https://stories.starbucks.com/stories/2012/starbucks-first-european-concept-store-to-open-in-amsterdam/
Architecture: https://www.brandingmag.com/2012/03/06/new-starbucks-concept-store-and-coffee-laboratory-opens-in-amsterdam/

US coffee brand store, Starbucks opened a hyper-local concept store with stunning sustainable interiors inside a former bank in Amsterdam. The design concept for the space is to reflect Amsterdam’s past role in coffee trade as well as uphold its reputation as a progressive and experimental design city. 

Designed and molded by local artisans the space reflects Dutch culture combined with use of sustainable materials with;  floor-to-ceiling murals, repurposed Dutch oak throughout the space, antique Delft blue tiles, walls clad in bicycle inner tubes, wooden gingerbread biscuit moulds, and a ‘tattooed’ mural that highlights the important role 17th century Dutch traders played in exporting coffee around the world, and  a ceiling sculpture created from 1,876 hand-cut wooden blocks. This store is the ultimate expression of coffee, design, history and community at its best.

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Sustainable material interiors adorned within the space. ©Rein Meulman
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Starbucks overhauled a former bank and kept the structural elements found in the space. ©Rein Meulman
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Ceiling sculpture of wooden cut blocks. ©Rein Meulman

7. Big Small Coffee

Location: Beijing, China
Website: http://www.designreserve.co
Architecture: https://www.archdaily.com/927379/not-ready-bigsmall-coffee-beiluoguxiang-designreserve

Designed by design RESERVE, the Big Small coffee branch in Beiluogu Xiang functions as a common social space in this residential neighborhood. The space aimed to be open, fun and community-centred and in that regard not only functions as a coffee shop but a bar at night, a mini gallery free for young artists, and a garden for communal use. The plan, furniture and garden design encircle the living room to create an intimate space. 

Borrowing from points of minimalism to give the interior a clean finish the space is brightened with pops of blue and yellow to enhance the space. There is a level of experimentation with traditional materials such as waxed brown paper that is used on the interior walls and amber-coloured glazed tiles on the walls of the bar and counters was normally seen on roofs of royal palaces in Beijing. The space operates as a living room for creatives and as a convenient workplace.

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Amber coloured glazed tiles used on the walls and bar counters. ©Weiqi Jin 
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Outdoor recreation space. ©Weiqi Jin
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The different spaces allow various seating configurations for the customers. ©Weiqi Jin

8. Kaizeyen Coffee co | Cafe Interiors

Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Website: https://www.kaizencoffee.com
Architecture: https://www.archdaily.com/924630/kaizen-coffee-space-plus-craft

Designed by space and craft, this coffee shop interior has a nice balance to cosiness and sophistication within a busy city capitol. The building’s exterior volume is sealed with glass to entice coffee lovers into the industrial uptown café. 

The main interior materials are dark grey bricks matched with natural oak wood finishing for the furniture. A distinct brick pattern is designed for the bar counter and first-floor wall giving the space character. 

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Dark grey interior softened with light coloured wood. ©Ketsirre Wongwan
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Distinct grey brick pattern for the bar counter and staircase. ©Ketsirre Wongwan 


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The second floor level is designed with large seating and gradient table lighting. ©Ketsirre Wongwan

9. Mustapan Coffee Shop

Location: Chipaque, Colombia
Website: https://www.estudiochavarro.com/cafe-mustapan
Architecture: https://www.archdaily.com/952388/mustapan-coffee-shop-estudio-chavarro?ad_source=search&ad_medium=search_result_all

Located in a historical colonial house, Café Mustapan takes inspiration from abandoned farmer houses in Chipaque. During the design and construction phase, Estudio Chavarro maintains the existing exposed adobe brick walls and balances with other materials in the space; handmade cement tiles, clay roof tiles, and hand-crafted wood to pay homage to the traditional building techniques. 

With mixed-use of different chair typologies, the space offers clients a different experience in the café depending on where you sit. 

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Exposed adobe tiles mixed with cement tiles, bamboo and stone materials. ©Ivan Ortiz
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Different space configurations to provide a different experience while in the cafe. ©Ivan Ortiz
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Colour palette is classic Mexican with embellishments of neon lighting. ©Ivan Ortiz

10. Superanfibio Coffee Shop | Coffee Shops Interiors

Location: Cordoba, Argentina
Website: https://www.grupo.studio/proyecto/CAFE-SUPERANFIBIO?lang=en
Architecture: https://www.archdaily.com/951977/superanfibio-coffe-shop-grupo-studio?ad_source=search&ad_medium=search_result_all

Enveloped in a glass skin, the café space is designed around simplicity and transparency. Located in the traditional neighborhood of Cerro de las Rosas this space is an expansion of a traditional house. The interior circulation and functioning are designed around key elements formerly identified in the space and key to the structural and traditional integrity of the building; cantilevers, columns, antique moldings and a water tank. Grupo studio, takes these elements and enhances them with vegetation.

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Coffee shop extension is enveloped in glass. ©Gonzala Vilamonte
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Design allows users to take in street frontage as well as admire the space from outside. ©Gonzala Vilamonte
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Colour interior takes on a light colour pattern softened with woods. ©Gonzala Vilamonte
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Elizabeth is a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design. Her educational background and love for writing has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics within the architectural field. She hopes a journey into architectural journalism will help voice untold architectural stories and the people behind them.