Forest Holidays - Interior Transformation - Delamere Forest Project Visual

Coffee Shop Interior Design Ideas | Part 1

Interior design for hospitality essentially is a process that should consist of three things, brand strategy, brand identity and interior architecture. You may be refurbishing your interior, rebranding or creating a new coffee shop brand… whichever category you fall under, as a hospitality brand you should take time to consider or review all three of these elements. To help you make sense of and work through the interior design process we have put together a guide consisting key elements to consider when creating your coffee shop interior. Our first blog will look at your Brand, Interior Concepts and Colour Choices.

Brand First

All hospitality brands strive to provide memorable interior brand experiences and unique memories that make people want to come back, but what’s the recipe for success? Having a cohesive and purposeful brand strategy allows hospitality brands to create stand out branded interior experiences and position their restaurants, bars and coffee shops for future growth. 

The best place to start is at the very heart of the brand. It’s important, especially for hospitality brands, that they have clarity around the purpose of the brand, its values, positioning and future direction. When a brand has nailed these key things internally, it means that their external offering and communication is more purposeful, clear and consistent for the customer. It’s only when a brand and team has total clarity around the brand’s reason for existing that they can authentically connect with their ideal customers and tell their true brand story through the interior. The brand strategy process can identify areas of disconnect and that’s okay, the idea is to use strategy to align the brand, to eliminate the gaps  and to create a more connected brand. We recommend focusing on this before embarking on a new brand, rebrand or interior project, this way you stand a much better chance of connecting with your customers and positioning your interior for success. 

A strong brand positioning will help lead a better interior process. A carefully thought out branded interior experience will entice new customers, expand your community and build stronger loyalty. Coffee shop branding should communicate not just the brand identity but the brand’s purpose, culture and personality too. The interior concept and customer experience should embody the overall mission and values of the coffee shop brand. The brand should take into consideration the tangible AND intangible elements of the coffee shop design and ensure the brand ethos is consistent throughout, a well considered brand should connect with its customers on a deeper level. 

Start aligning your brand with our free Grey Coffee Brand Strategy Template!

Brand Strategy: Simon Sinek Golden Circle

Interior Concept 

The most important thing about your coffee shop interior design concept is to ensure your design aligns with your overall brand. It’s not just about how the coffee shop looks, each step of this process should be led by your brand’s purpose and this should be integral to any decisions on the interior concept. 

The basis of your concept will come from the in-depth knowledge you now have around your brand. The brand positioning should be the focus here, what is it that you want to offer the local people, what is it that’s in demand and how will your interior space bring all of this together? For example, if the coffee brand is a social hub for the community and a perfect place for group meets you probably would expect the interior to be more casual and communal. Equally, if this was a high end speciality coffee house there is a high chance the interior would reflect this ethos with a more private seating and a sophisticated ambiance. 

Essentially the coffee shop interior is a blank canvas to tell your brand story, the focus should be to create a connected brand experience for your customers. The brand experience you can create is what sets you apart from your competitors and encourages your customers to come back for more. You want the coffee shop interior to be instantly recognised as your band. 

When thinking about the interior concept, think about the overall mood and atmosphere you want to create for the customers, your research should be guided around staying true to your brand and keeping the customer at the heart of the experience. Adding your brand’s personality goes way beyond using your brand colours or putting your logo and values on a feature wall. A branded interior shouldn’t be approached in such a blatant or gimmicky way. The best way to start thinking about introducing your brand culture and personality into your space is to utilise your interior choices to make your customer ‘feel’ your band. Is your band aesthetic simple yet sophisticated or raw and industrial, warm and cosy or paired back and minimal? What elements would reflect this aspect of your brand? Build a collection of visual references to help you visualise how your concept would look, the concept should bring together interior elements that  are a physical representation of your brand. 

Staying true to your brand within your coffee shop interior reinforces your values and intentions and shows that you are prepared to implement these key values across all areas of your brand. If you want to work through a more detailed interior concept process, take a look at our ‘Coffee Shop Interior Concept to Connected Brand Experience’ article. 

Look & Feel Presentation Example

Colour Choices

The colours used in your coffee shop design don’t need to be restricted by your brand colours, this is often a misconception when it comes to developing a branded interior. While it is very important that the look and feel is ‘on brand’ the most important point to note is that the colour choices shouldn’t be the only thing that recognisably connects your brand identity to the interior. You want the colour and material finishes to connect further than the surface level, make sure the reason behind your interior choices goes beyond them matching. 

The way you add colour to your space is important to consider, it really depends on the type and size of space you have, colour choices are crucial. As a basic guide, using darker colours tends to close a space up and make it feel smaller or cosier whereas lighter colours help spaces to feel more spacious and airy. If you have a small site to design it’s probably best to use a larger amount of light colours especially on walls and ceilings, this will open up the space and make sure it doesn’t feel cramped. Alternatively if you have a huge site and want to make it more intimate, consider using darker colours to help close the space in.

You can introduce colour into your interior in more subtle ways than painting a wall, think carefully about material and colour choices for your furniture. The colour of your furnishings and accessories can really determine the space, like we said before, your brand colours are important but what you need to focus on is creating a space that represents your brand not one that replicates your brands colour palette.

Forest Holidays: Delamere Forest Interior Visual

As you can already see there are many factors to creating a killer hospitality interior, we have touched on 3 important things to consider when it comes to your coffee shop and looked into how brand clarity, brand identity and interior concept work together throughout a coffee shop design process. The next considerations for creating your coffee shop interior are furniture and seating options, and lighting choices. 

Coffee Shop Interior Design Ideas | Part 2

In part 1 of this blog we delved into 3 key areas of coffee shop design. We looked at how creating brand clarity before starting an interior project can be hugely successful; how integrating brand into your interior concept is transformational; and how colour choices in your interior can help to connect your customer to your brand. These three topics were key considerations for coffee shop design and this article will expand on more of the design ideas for your coffee shop. 

Forest Holidays: Delamere Forst - Interior Visual


Furniture choices and their placement in an interior space is critical to the flow and ambience of a space. The furniture in a coffee shop will help connect your customer and is a reflection of the brand’s personality. Furniture is integral to the look and feel of the interior as well as the functionality of the space and consequently has a big impact on the customer experience. Finding the balance between beauty and functionality can be challenging but there are a few key things to think about when planning your space and choosing furniture. Every coffee shop will have slightly different considerations depending on space and flexibility of the space and in some cases smaller spaces may have limited choice on these elements however with careful and considered design solutions you can still maximise a space and create incredible experiences for your customers.

One of the first things to think about is space planning, now this is important for large and smaller interiors;. Obviously you want to make sure you have enough covers to guarantee costs are covered but you need to think about the customer experience here. You want all of your customers to have the same value of experience in your coffee shop.. The last thing you want is a customer’s experience to be compromised because of the location of the table or comfort of seating. This is where zoning a space can really help, think about whether you want relaxed seating or dining areas and whether there will be countertop seating for visitors looking for a quick coffee. 

When it comes to tables and chairs, functionality is just as important as the aesthetics. You need to consider the type of use these items will have. Take into consideration the size and weight of the future to ensure handling is easy for customers and staff and make sure you have considered accessibility for your table and bar seating to ensure there is flow to your space. Choosing fabrics that are hard wearing and easy to keep clean or wipe down is most useful for coffee shops. As well as the above… comfort is what will keep your customers coming back time and time again. The style and design of the chairs should fit the purpose and habits of our customers, if they will be spending long periods sat in your premises you need to ensure the furniture is suitable for this. Try to be consistent with your furniture style and colour choices to keep it coherent and recognisable to the brand.

Forest Holidays: Delamere Forst - Interior Look & Feel Mood Board Presentation


Much like the furniture choices, Lighting has a direct impact on your customers. The right lighting can complete an interior perfectly and increase the emotional response a customer has to your brand interior. You may not have thought much about this before but I’m sure we have all been sitting in a coffee shop, bar or restaurant and been affected by the lighting choice, height or strength at some point. When the lighting isn’t right it can be very distracting and difficult to relax in a space so it is wise to take this into consideration during the design of your space. 

Lighting is a powerful tool in hospitality interior design. A coffee shop’s lighting has many uses, to allow the guests and staff to see well enough to carry out necessary tasks, to set the atmosphere and to positively affect customers’ individual experience and to aesthetically please and compliment an interior concept. Lighting is often not the first thing people notice when walking into a hospitality venue, however it’s probably one of the first things that evokes an emotional response or feeling for the branded interior. 

The overall lighting should be enough to be able to read menus, identify signage and to function without eye strain or difficulty. However this doesn’t mean you can’t create the atmosphere that is reflective of your individual brand. Consider the mood you are trying to create in your interior, bright and energising lighting choices are more suited to daytime venues and lower and warmer lighting for evenings. Lighting can affect customers’ behaviour, fast food and grab and go establishments tend to keep lighting bright and stimulative to keep customers turning over quickly however venues with warmer and softer lighting are more comfortable and encourage customers to stay and enjoy their experience for much longer. 

When looking at coffee shop lighting, think about the colour of the light, the strength and the potential location of the lighting. Consider the way the light will work with the wall and furnishing colour choices. Colour can completely change the way the light is interpreted so you must work with these two things in tangent to ensure you create the balance you are looking for. Don’t forget lighting can be both functional and decorative too so don’t neglect your brand personality when it comes to this element for the coffee shop design, pops of colour or bold statement pieces will create points of focus within the coffee shop. 

The main takeaway when it comes to furnishing and lighting your coffee shop is consistency across your interior brand concept. Using too many furniture design styles or too many different lighting choices or temperatures can unsettle customers. The other main takeaway is functionality, there’s no benefit in having a beautiful interior space if it doesn’t function smoothly for the customer or staff. 

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