by Josephine Quiño
Having a concept that stands out from the rest is paramount to the success of a café. Along with the taste, texture and presentation of the menu, you also need exceptional service and an ambience that can entice clients to come; enhance their overall experience; and provide a sense of familiarity to keep them coming back. Bear in mind that before your clients get a taste of what you have to offer, the ambience speaks to them first.
So what comes to your mind instantly when you think of a café?
If it is Paris, then you are thinking of graceful Haussmann architecture lining wide avenues, tree-lined parks, the Louvre, elegant fashion; antique wrought iron, steel blues, shades of grays, soft roses and red wine. These components make for the most urbane color combinations – some loud, some muted, some clashing, but always demonstrating the finest of tastes.
Or are you thinking of intimacy? If so, then you would opt for minimal lighting or candlelight, soft music, smaller tables, booths, and areas that are portioned off.
Browns, reds, pink and ashes of roses make for a romantic color scheme.
There are many inspirations to choose from. You can make your clients warp to the impressionist period by creating a gallery ambience. You can invite local artists to exhibit their works periodically and deck your walls with original paintings. For an extra artistic touch, you may station an easel and an unfinished work in a corner. This calls for subtle colorations and combinations so as to avoid clashing with the artworks.
Another great idea is to fill your shelves with books and magazines or music instruments bought from vintage stores or second hand venues which will make for a quiet reflection and profound thoughts. Intricately woven pastels and muted mid-tone colors juxtaposed against tinted neutrals and orange ochres would create a warm and welcoming ambience that would entice your clients to linger longer.
Or you can choose a contemporary, stylish theme with vogue colors, plenty of metals and very affordable furniture.
No matter what kind of feel you are going for, you need an expert designer to put it all together. There’s nothing more repulsive than a beautiful theme with garish or dingy color combinations, misplaced furniture, mismatched fabric and inappropriate lighting. Your clients may not be interior designers or artists, but they draw from the storehouse of their past experiences and subconsciously react to the looks, taste, smell and feel of things around them.
A professional interior designer would know what kind of furniture goes best with what theme, choose the best mix of colors, what to emphasize and what to underplay. Furthermore, symmetry and proportion plays a crucial role for your client’s comfort and enjoyment - your designer will see to it that your interior is sophistically balanced. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your nook becomes a sanctuary for those who seek for an ideal place to relax and socialize or simply enjoy a quiet evening out.