We all love a good neighbourhood café – there’s something about a welcoming air, the smell of freshly ground coffee and comfy chairs.
The renovation of Tim and Mat’s home in inner-city Melbourne made us all want to experience a little café lifestyle of our own. Here’s how to capture the best of your local café without leaving home.
1. The best coffee machine you can afford
It might seem obvious, but a good café will always have great coffee. Modern domestic coffee machines are now so much easier to use – so you don’t need hours of training to create the best crema – sometimes all you need is to push a button. Don’t forget to buy a coffee grinder and you will always have freshly ground beans on tap – and the accompanying smell is great.
2. Comfortable chairs
If you plan to relax with a coffee and a magazine (Home Beautiful, naturally), you will want to be comfy – no one wants to start Sunday with a stiff back. Look around for chairs with back support, and even a cushion so you can really relax. Consider a high chair for the littlies; there’s no reason to exclude them from what could develop into some precious family time.
3. Aim for an industrial-style theme
Rich, dark colours with plenty of black steel frames, exposed brick and concrete surfaces can create an inner-city café atmosphere. Celebrate the rustic and embrace the artisan with raw materials that exude authenticity.
4. Low-maintenance materials
Take your cue from hospitality if you want durable, easy-to-clean surfaces. Consider concrete, engineered stone and steel for benchtops and floors. All you will need to do is a sweep and occasional mop. Leather upholstery is also a great way to ensure that you can wipe your chairs clean – even after family meals. Buy crockery that is dishwasher-friendly and purchase a few extras, so the odd breakage doesn’t stress you out.
5. Consider a monochromatic palette
When looking for an enduring colour scheme, you can’t go past black and white, with the odd touch of grey. Take your cues from Tim and Mat’s house and use lots of dark colours as the base, then layer on materials such as terrazzo, concrete greys and white for a strong, modern aesthetic.
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