Have you ever had that moment when you clicked your heels in anticipation of a project you would love to design? Well, this contemporary cafe is one of my heel-clicking projects.

The cafe owner’s concept is an establishment that serves delectable, healthy food in a fun environment with educational support regarding healthy lifestyle habits from nutrition to exercise. His design vision was a sleek, contemporary space with clean lines and an infusion of warm and rustic elements. Think of a Miami/Midwest mash-up. Here is my inspiration board:


I oversaw the space planning, design process, furniture selection, food photography, custom art creation, paint color and placement. My process included working in close tandem with the owner to oversee the accuracy of his vision through interaction with the general contractor, architect and suppliers to bring the cafe to life.

Color + Design Story

White serves as the backdrop to a mix of grey, chrome, purple and lime green to amplify the brand. I selected a combination of straight and curved lines to utilize as much as of the angular space while incorporating some softness with the curved lines of the chairs and bar area.

We reclaimed wood throughout the space, stained it and integrated it throughout from the window frames to the base of the bar. I worked with a local organic farmer and artist to convert shipping pallets to a vertical garden. The concrete floor was stained a grey color that was repeated in the bar countertop surface, chair legs and pendant lighting.

White walls and tables were accented with colored chairs and vibrant, custom photography. A pop of green was painted on the bar ceiling and purple appeared in the middle section raised ceiling area.


 Seating to Serve

I maximized floor space and added visual interest with a combination of seating from bar height chairs, to standard seating and bench seating. The mix of single and group seating options with expanded configurations accommodated the patrons.  During warmer months, the front patio provides additional seating.



Due to space configuration and wall limitations, a series of hanging menu boards was designed for quick ordering at the cash register and to avoid interfering with the lighting. Additionally, I took into consideration simplicity and affordability of updating individual boards in case menu updates were necessary. Ideally, a future design will feature video menu boards.


It was important to showcase this new restaurant and menu concept with images of its food.  The chef and a food photograph worked with me to capture the beauty and visual taste of an array of menu items. I then had these professional images printed to custom sizes that fit the walls in specific places. I chose  plexiglass and chrome standoffs to accent the contemporary theme and showcase the food.


I also designed nutrition cards featuring superfoods that also referenced menu options with that particular superfood ingredient to further promote the owner’s healthy lifestyle message.


Vertical Garden

One of my favorite design ideas for this space was adding this vertical garden. It featured beautiful succulents on the bottom and herbs for the chef’s use in dishes. Plus, it is fabricated out of discarded shipping wood pallets.


Patrons have raved on social media:

“Great atmosphere.”

“The atmosphere is modern and clean.”

How can I be of service to you in bringing your cafe and/or restaurant design to life? Contact me.

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