Cafe Design Trends and Ideas in 2020

Blog / October 1, 2020

Great coffee, Instagram pictures, and a relaxing ambiance all go hand-in-hand in a modern cafe setting. Both millennials and Gen Z know all too well how important interior design is for a cafe, especially now that we’re living in the era of social media. If you’re about to open or fit out a cafe shop, it helps to understand the design trends that will not only make your establishment more attractive but also improve the customer experience altogether.

This means that the interior concepts, wall colours, table selection, and chair design all play a huge role in giving your cafe a unique personality. Just like any other business, the goal of a cafe is to maximise profits and minimise cost, which, at the end of the day, revolves around your customers. With that said, here are the top cafe design trends and ideas that you should be aware of in 2020.

  1. Flowers galore

While flowers and plants aren’t exactly new to cafe design, many coffee shop owners are taking this concept to a whole new level. Some examples are leafy feature walls or vertical herb gardens that create an outdoor oasis which your customers can enjoy all-year-round. Incorporating flora into your cafe design helps give the establishment a touch of beauty and fragrance, both of which are sure to be appreciated by your customers.

  1. Clashing textures

Instead of using colours and patterns to generate interest, you can opt for a minimalist approach by using clashing textures. Think of copper fixtures, recycled decorations, intricate iron bars, and more. What this does is create an abundance of excitement to one’s eyes that will definitely capture the attention of many people.

  1. Multifunctional space

Interior fit-out and design specialists have been recommending multifunctional spaces to cafe owners as a major trend worth following. As the move to casual dining is fast-approaching, the cafes of the future are bound to serve food in a multifunctional space that enhances the coffee experience whilst providing a comforting ambience.

  1. Open kitchen

Pubs and restaurants are no strangers to diversification simply in part due to interest. And this applies to cafe design as well. More and more cafe owners taking a page from the restaurant playbook and incorporating an open kitchen. This allows people to feel more involved in the food-making process and have a better feel for their coffee in general. Seeing how their coffee is poured can tug the heartstrings of your customers and make the entire experience feel more bespoke overall.

  1. Mixed-use

With mixed-use spaces being incorporated in areas where retail and hospitality merge, it’s becoming a new trend that cafe owners should definitely look into. Recent trends are moving towards retail therapy mixed with the coffee experience. Some examples are 7 Cycle Café in Hackney, London or the MOJO in San Francisco where you can request for your favourite coffee whilst browsing their bicycle selections or have your bike fixed at the same time.

  1. Living room cafe

A living room-stye cafe allows patrons to socialise and enjoy coffee together. As cities become denser, spaces get tighter and homes become compact, forcing neighbourhood restaurants to turn into adjunct living rooms. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as a living room-style cafe is becoming increasingly popular as well. One prime example is The Living RoomCafé in St Ives, Sydney. Basically, it’s a full-fledged dine-in café with loads of comfy booths and seating options, thus making for a living-room-like cafe experience.

Design trends to watch out for

While ‘look and feel’ trends are definitely worth considering, don’t let the complete café experience slip off. And when it comes to a good coffee experience, sound is what constitutes that relaxing, homey ambience.

According to experimental psychologist Professor Charles Spencer (author of the Perfect Meal and 2008 Nobel Prize winner, he says that sound is one of the most overlooked senses of a great cafe experience.

“Now we are very much in the era of the visual appearance of the food being key. How will this dish look in my next cookbook, how will the pictures that the gastro tourists post online look?” he said.

“But beyond that, I really think that sound is the forgotten flavour sense. It really does play a much bigger role than many chefs and many of us realize.” Charles added. Great acoustics, soothing coffee, and a modern cafe design are the three key elements of a wholesome coffee experience that the millennials and Gen Z fanatics will absolutely love.