Okay, so at first, packing my hospital bag for my upcoming hospital visit (AKA labor!) didn’t seem like that big of a deal. But as it got closer, I realized I sorta wanted to bring a lot of things!...
Sometimes there are spaces in a house that seem purely functional: the mudroom, the laundry closet, and the coffee bar. It is these high-functioning spaces that often get overlooked when it comes to design. After all, asking a room to be smart AND beautiful seems like a lot. But I am here to say that styling these spaces can have a huge impact on your home. After all, these rooms are considered utilitarian because of all the USE they get; that means, you spend a considerable amount of time in these spaces, and important things are happening there.
So, why NOT make them feel special? Why NOT turn them into spaces you can enjoy spending time in, and that are pleasing to the eye? Utility rooms have feelings, too! And what space in a home offers MORE utility than the Coffee Bar Area?
Small, but mighty, this space is often the first place we turn to upon stumbling out of bed in the morning. It is the last place we go to brew a soothing cup of tea before bedtime. It needs to function properly so that WE can function properly, and, IMHO, it needs to look good doing it. Here are some tips on how to create a coffee bar that serves up form AND function in equal amounts.
1. Add Art
Yes, a coffee bar can boast original art just like any other beloved space in the home. Use this as an opportunity to show off your sense of humor with some quirky, caffeine-inspired art or letterboard, or display a small-scale original painting or vintage cross-stitch in this most esteemed of spaces. (Get it? Esteemed? Like, steamed milk? Ha!) Like this adorable coffee guide!
2. Intentional Mugs
I know, I know, we all have that favorite coffee mug, the one that our kid made for us, or that holds an entire gallon of coffee inside. You may still have mugs left over from your college apartment, mixed with one-off White Elephant Christmas gifts and random impulse buys. But this is an area where accessorizing can be really fun and inexpensive. Whether collecting vintage jadeite mugs, or buying a matching set on sale from Target, it may be time to step up your coffee mug game. Here are some sets similar to the ones used in the Coffee Bar to End All Coffee Bars from Season 2, Episode 11 of Hidden Potential (pictured in the photo gallery below):
3. Artisan Equipment
If you are a French-Presser or a Pour-Over-er, or a rare matcha aficionado, this is the place to proudly display your passion, and the tools of your trade. After all, who wants to be out-coffee-snobbed? Not on my watch!
4. Open Shelving
Making coffee requires some gear (see above for Artisan Equipment and Intentional Mugs). If you have cute gear, it can be fun and handy to display it on easy-to-access open shelving. If you don’t have cute gear, you can site this article as a reason you need to invest in some. The shelving could be built-in (as seen in the photos below), or installed as floating shelves with brackets above a bar cart. Here are a few of my current favorite floating shelf and bracket options:
5. Living Greens
A plant, a little potted succulent, a vase of fresh-cut branches: adding that living-green-vibe to your coffee bar makes it feel like a space that has been intentionally designed and curated.
Display your sugar, honey, cinnamon, and/or small batch lavender syrup in a way that is both functional and appealing. Elegant, long-handled stirring spoons, a lovely creamer set, and tin shakers for powdered toppings will make you feel like a kid in a candy store every morning.
Coffee Bar Extra Credit
In the coffee bar featured below, we installed under-cabinet lighting and backed the shelving with custom printed wallpaper to make this whole set-up feel super-special.
What extra credit item would you install in your space to make it feel especially customized? The options are endless and you can, of course, play it up to your style! Please share in the comments!
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