How to Select Furniture for a Café

Take a moment and think of your favourite café. What memories does it bring? Cozy, comfortable seating, a beautiful view, mouth watering food and good company. Cafés are magical places and to own one would be a dream come true for anyone!
BY Nandita Agrawal on October 25, 2020

Take a moment and think of your favourite café. What memories does it bring? Cozy, comfortable seating, a beautiful view, mouth watering food and good company. Makes you want to start your own, doesn’t it? Cafés are magical places and to own one would be a dream come true for anybody!

If you are one of those lucky people who are realising their dream of owning a café or a bakery then read this article for useful trips and tricks that will help you turn your coffee house into a haven for food lovers.

The most important part of a café, is the decor. The interiors can make or break it. So choose a theme wisely, it is the first step to creating a captivating place. Once you have decided on the decoration style, color palette etc, you need to zero in on the furniture. This my friends is a mammoth task and one that shouldn’t be taken too lightly. 

Below I have mentioned some points that you should keep in mind while selecting furniture for your eatery. Based on the experience of furnishing more than 400 cafés, these tips will help you for sure!

  • Always buy solid wood instead of manufactured wood. I can’t stress this enough. Solid wood furniture is strong and will last you years. There are plenty of designs, colors and materials available to achieve the look you want, you can create anything with solid wood, iron, fabric and leather. Mango wood with its ability to be carved beautifully, Acacia’s natural patterns, Rosewood’s intense hues and attractive grain, Teak’s strength and durability, there are so many to choose from. Natural products have a beauty and richness that cannot be matched by manufactured ones. Also, these furniture items are so sturdy that you will never have to worry about changing or replacing them. 
solid wood furniture strong sturdy stools cafe
Solid wood furniture is strong and sturdy.
  • Go for basic furniture if you want your place to be busy. If you want people to eat and leave quickly then invest in simple, basic furniture that is not too plush. Also, avoid keeping sofas and armchairs. If your customers get too comfy then they might not want to get up, hence, creating a problem for you. 
  • Get quality furniture even if it is a little expensive. When you go for furniture shopping you will be tempted to buy items that are inexpensive. By all means, buy products that fit into your budget but keep in mind that good quality furniture will last you long and will need little or no maintenance. Also, no matter what finish you choose, cheap products will never look as classy and chic as good quality ones. Now a days, if you get customised products you can even go for finishes that are stain proof and spill proof. These finishes will save you a lot of time and will help you in running your coffee house more efficiently. Custom or bespoke furniture as it’s popularly known as, can sound intimidating, but it is the best way to get what you want, in the price range you want. You can select designs, sizes, colors, patterns etc. 

  • To get a loyal clientele furnish with comfy sofas and armchairs. If you want the kind of a café where loyal customers come everyday, order their favourites and sit for hours then invest in comfortable furniture. No-one can sit on an uncomfortable wooden unupholstered chair for long. If you don’t have enough space for sofas and armchairs then you can go for upholstered chairs or even removable cushions. Removable cushions are easy to clean and can be changed if they get stained or worn.  
color palette earthy warm tones kernig krafts interiors
A sample color palette of Earthy colors
  • Use warm colors to create an atmosphere of coziness. Cool tones can look mesmerising but are more suited to bars and lounges. Warm colors whether earthy or vibrant can create a welcoming vibe that your customers will love! Warm neutrals such as beige, ecru, tan, chocolate brown are great if you want a classic, subtle look. Earthy hues such as terracotta, burgundy, ochre, cognac look beautiful too. An accent color such as turquoise can set off the whole thing nicely. Select the shades based on your theme. If you have a quirky theme then bright shades such as fuchsia pink, yellow, emerald green can also look good. Try to keep the look cozy instead of cold. Use textured fabric or prints to add interest. Velvet is another great option. It can be tempting to use a lot of colors and design elements but it will make your coffee shop look cluttered. Stick to a design theme to make it look put together and polished. 
Velvet chair cafe furniture bar kernig krafts
Velvet upholstered chairs bring richness to any place.
  • Buy furniture from manufacturers or bulk sellers instead of retailers. To get the best bang for your buck get all your furniture and decor items directly from a manufacturer. Bulk manufacturers have desirable price points as compared to retailers who sell the same products at much higher prices. Some manufacturers like Kernig Krafts (Jodhpur, India), also offer customisation service which is actually the best deal you can get. 
  • Get low maintenance outdoor furniture. If you are thinking of keeping outdoor seating, then go for metal furniture. Wooden furniture can also be weather proof but nothing beats metal furniture for outdoors. Chairs that have perforated seating are ideal for places that get rains all the year round. The water seeps though them easily and most of them are stackable! There are so many classic designs you can choose from, tolix chairs, cross back, wireframe ones, Windsor chairs etc. You can select colors according to your color palette or go for simple black ones. To deck them up use removable cushions. Bring cohesion to the look by using cushions in the same patterns or colors as your theme. For example a French themed bistro can use striped cushions and white cross back chairs for their outdoor seating. A quirky place that serves fusion food can go for hot pink Windsor chairs with white and blue hand block printed cushions. 
outdoor cafe kernig krafts metal chair table furniture
For outdoor cafes, metal furniture is your best bet.
  • Listen to your interior designer. If you are in doubt and overwhelmed by the options you have, then hire an interior designer and listen to her/his advice. Architects are experienced people and will make the best selection for you. Communicate clearly, tell them how much your budget is and talk to them about your preferences before making decisions. Visit a few furniture stores and manufacturing companies and then decide on what’s best for your café. Keep in mind these points and you will end up with a beautiful coffee shop that locals and tourists will flock to!
coffee shop cheescake yummy food kernig krafts
Make sure you serve yummy food!

Keep a nice menu and delicious dishes, coffee lovers will love your place if you serve them tasty brews. Remember, if you have welcoming, comfortable interiors then people will come to your café for food but will stay for the interiors. So invest wisely, stick to your budget but go for quality products to save money in the long run.

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