Where to Find Inspiration for Your Coffee Shop Decor

While coffee shops are known for their caffeinated beverages, it’s safe to say that another appealing factor is their distinctive decor.

Coffee shop decor plays a major role in the way a space looks and feels. Decor (or lack thereof) sets the tone for the experience and can contribute to a customer’s first impression of your coffee shop—which research suggests is formed within seconds. 

If you’re planning on opening your own coffee shop, it’s important to be thoughtful with your decor choices so you can not only draw customers in, but create a positive impression with them. To do this, you’ll need to gather inspiration from the right places.

Here are a few things to consider about the overall style of your interiors along with a few places to find inspiration for your coffee shop decor. 

What to consider when creating the aesthetic of your coffee shop 

Before you can get into the smaller elements that go into interior design, keep these tips in mind when planning your coffee shop’s overall aesthetic

Decor should align with your brand concept

Picking out furniture and light fixtures is fun, but before you start shopping, there should be a solid brand concept in place.

Decor should amplify your brand’s concept and story, not define it. Make sure you have all of your brand elements planned out so you can use them as a guide when it comes time to pick out your coffee shop decor.

Make it experiential and engaging 

Once you have a solid brand concept in place, keep in mind how you want customers to engage with your space. 

Everything ends up on social media these days, whether you publish content or your customers do, so make sure your space has decor that encourages people to visit and engage with. These interactive elements could be vignettes, wall murals or even custom signs—anything that is Instagram-worthy and could help promote your coffee shop on social media

Where to find inspiration for your coffee shop decor 

Social media

When you’re in the early stages of creating a concept for your coffee shop, the best place to gather decor inspiration is on social media—specifically visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. 

Try searching for terms like “cafe interiors”, “coffee shop design ideas” or “coffee shop decor” to discover inspirational images of coffee shops from around the world. You could also search for a specific interior design style if you already know what your brand concept will be. For example, “industrial design” or “mid-century modern interiors” would result in a wide variety of spaces that could spark inspiration for your own coffee shop decor. 

Save images of spaces, colors, and design styles to create a mood board that will serve as guidance when it comes time to furnish and decorate your coffee shop.

Other coffee shops

They may be your competition, but other coffee shops are another great source of inspiration for your own coffee shop decor—especially when it comes to making your space different from the rest. 

Visit local coffee shops or check out their websites and social media pages to get an idea of what their spaces look like. Check out their wall decor, lighting, furniture selection and additional decorations and pay attention to the overall style of their interiors. When you take note of what you want to do differently with your decor, you can create a space that stands out.

Your local community

If you’re a proud local coffee shop, it makes sense to gather inspiration from your community. People tend to take a lot of pride in supporting the small businesses in their town. In fact, 57% of consumers shop at local businesses because they want to keep their money in the local economy, according to a survey conducted by Mint. 

To incorporate the local spirit in your coffee shop decor, consider what makes your community unique and lean into it. Maybe you want to represent your city’s distinctive art scene in a way that will make locals feel right at home or give visitors a taste of the community’s culture. In this case, you could hang up artwork from local artists or commission a local muralist to create a mural that features a popular landmark or tagline.

Whatever it is that makes your community unique, lean into it when selecting decor for your coffee shop. 

Businesses in the hospitality industry 

You may be in the business of making coffee, but at the end of the day, your coffee shop revolves around serving customers. And there’s no better place to take inspiration from than other places that are in the people business and know how to use decor to cater to their ideal customers.

When looking for inspiration for your coffee shop decor, a good place to start is with other hospitality businesses like restaurants and hotels. Visit your favorite restaurants or boutique hotels to get a sense of how their decor plays a role in the overall atmosphere. 

You can also check out retail stores to see what kind of decor stands out to you, especially if you have a retail component at your coffee shop and want to make sure your merchandise is visually appealing. 

Your customers

At this point in the process of opening your coffee shop, you should know your target customer as well as you know how to whip up a cappuccino. If you’re still stumped on where to find inspiration for your coffee shop decor, look to the people who you want to attract. 

If you know that you want your coffee shop to cater to remote workers, for instance, then do a little research into how offices or co-working spaces create a focused environment and emulate those interior design choices. Or maybe your coffee shop is near a neighborhood with a lot of families, in which case you could make your decor more kid-friendly. 

When you design a space that reflects the interests and styles of your ideal customers, you’re one step closer to creating a coffee shop that they won’t be able to ignore. 

You never know where you may draw inspiration from, but these creative outlets are a great place to start when figuring out the style of your coffee shop’s decor.

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Sam Lauron