Latest official figures from Mintel research show that in 2016 it was valued at £3.4 billion – from £2.2 billion in 2008. That’s a massive rise in revenue in just eight years. But then you probably won’t be too surprised at those figures once you learn that it’s the ubiquitous UK coffee shop market we’re talking about here.

And don’t think the sector has reached its zenith either – unbelievably Mintel reckon that over the next few years we will find even more coffee shops dotted around our high streets than there are at present – which is more than 20,000 – boosting the value of the market by approximately 29 per cent. This means that by 2021 the coffee shop market will most likely be valued at an astounding £4.3 billion. Where retail falls, the service sector reigns supreme it appears…

With so many coffee shops around today and more planned for future it’s clear that existing coffee establishments really need to pull out all the stops in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. And that means not just in terms of the specialist coffees and the expert baristas who serve them up, but also the cafe’s location and its design. So, what are the cafe culture shopfitting companies out there focusing on today when it comes to creating a stunning and interesting venue for their client’s businesses?

Well, as you’ll discover from this article, there is no ‘set formulaic’ type of coffee shop design. In fact, it’s better for such an establishment to be known as quirky and unique. This way it’s far more likely to attract customers (whisper it…coffee is just well, coffee, after all. Isn’t it??).


shopfitting companies

Sweet Mumma’s Kitchen in Aberdeen was designed with an industrial look in mind. The wooden floor has a ‘used,’ rustic look while the sensational silver curved ceiling – complete with large cylindrical pipe – gives the venue its ‘factory feel.’ A quirky wood panelling and storage effect is on one wall while the other contains a row of lime green vinyl cushioning to add a pop of colour and act as a back for the bench seating.

And who is the typical coffee shop consumer anyhow? Well, according to the same Mintel research paper, by far the biggest users of coffee shops are the 16-24-year-old crowd (a whopping 73 per cent of the clientele, in fact). That won’t necessarily come as any great revelation to coffee business owners, but it’s helpful for shopfitting companies to know who they’re designing for. A youthful clientele means, fun and funky design, and definitely something a little different, after all.


Some of the best coffee shop design around today

Funky and fishy. So, what kind of coffee shop fit out design ideas are out there right at this moment in time? Well, as fit out experts ourselves we’ve certainly been collating plenty of them. And, first, we can’t help but be impressed by the work which has gone in to the indoor waterfalls, colourful Carp ponds and rooftop vegetable patch on the top of the Koi Cafe in Hanoi in Vietnam. Its only one of a number of quirky coffee shops known more for its interior design than its coffee, but there are plenty of others catching up in this regard.

Japanese minimalism. Take the eye-catching, minimalist styled ACoffee in Australia, Melbourne, for instance. Furnished with a simple and single, large island espresso glass table and single pine bench seating, it’s a definite nod to minimalist design. The Japanese design style is further emphasised with the cafe cum restaurant’s white walls and wooden flooring. The building was formerly an old garage until a father and son team decided to move in and make their mark in the form of a very profitable coffee house.


Cafe Culture

Table lighting at Sweet Mumma’s Kitchen is provided by these quirky bulbs in mason jars while low-lying pendants light up the counter bar (it’s also zoned by large two-toned hexagonal tiling)

Colourfully quirky. But getting back to quirky – how about some unusual wall decor in the form of a giant shark and a life-size 3D Jack Nicholson as his character in The Shining? Well, you’ll find both at Brighton’s Harwood café. And if that’s not wacky enough for you well, there’s always a coffee shop in the form of a giant pirate ship, otherwise known as London’s Ship of Adventures. If you’ve no sea legs though, you might prefer a visit to London’s LP bar and coffee shop. There you can peacefully sip your coffee while, at the same time, fantasising about popping over to New York or California in a giant transatlantic airplane. It’s all down to the fact that the venue is furnished in seats, doors and windows belonging to former airplanes.

Scandinavian sophistication. Scandi influence isn’t just big in home interior design, best-selling novels and TV detective series. Nope, it’s also spread to cafe culture – just ask the contended customers of Takk in Manchester where the venue is filled with lots of light pine wood flooring and tables, neutral counters and simple red brick walls. Meanwhile, for a pop of colour you’ll find accents of eggshell blue and orange introduced in the form of smart, contemporary, designer-style seating.


A funky feel for the outside of Sweet Mumma’s Kitchen attracts a young café crowd, as well as appealing to a curious older generation.

Creatively contemporary. Ask any of the experienced and long-established shopfitting companies out there and they’ll, tell you that like fashion and food, there are, of course, trends in cafe culture interiors. Sydney coffee shop Cuckoo Allay, it seems, has pretty much incorporated most of them in its recent redesign. Teal velvet upholstery anyone? Flamingo pink accents in chairs, neon signs and exposed brick walls? It’s all right there, making the cafe instantly instagrammable for its youthful clientele…

Actually, other contemporary designs around right now include laying smooth, neutral concrete floors and desks, steel framed leather booths and yes, the ubiquitous low-lying pendant bench lighting is still around. Metallics such as copper, bronze and brass are still very much around for fixtures and accessories, especially in coffee shops opting for an industrial or country rustic look.

And, in a similar fashion to offices, some coffee houses are opting for removable seating so that customers can accommodate buggies or even wheelchairs better. It also helps if the cafe just happens to serve alcohol too, attracting larger groups of friends at night.

Ask any of the shopfitting companies around today and they’ll confirm glass is extremely popular – both in terms of large floor to ceiling panels, giving the maximum number of customers the ability to people-watch to their heart’s content – and also within the establishment itself (as frosted glass panels) to provide privacy and to ‘zone’ certain areas. Colourful tiles can provide another ‘zoning’ element within coffee shops.


How to achieve a funky, first-class coffee shop refurbishment

Here at SteamPunk we’re known for our unusual, quirky and contemporary designs. With a youthful outlook our designs are well loved by coffee shops, restaurants and retail outlets who appeal to a younger, modern crowd. Why not take a look at some of our most recent fit outs to give you an idea of the type of creative fit outs we specialise in? To see and hear what we can do for your business, call us today for a chat or drop the top an email via the contact us page on our website We really do love to be challenged…