Cafe Furniture: Inspirational Ideas From Around the World

It’s nothing to spend six months on the meticulous design and layout of your café, scouring the internet, old magazines and new making your venue the ultimate statement of you and your passion.

Crunch time is when you put down real money on the furniture. It has to be suitable, durable and reflect the quality of your food and beverage offerings.

It is a shorthand visual cue for your patrons; it forms part of the span of expectation, mutually built between your commercial enterprise and the customers on which you rely. Uncomfortable or flimsy furniture is an expensive mistake to make. As it not realising that the biggest space-takers are your tables.


Maximum capacity that allows for comfortable seating and dynamic work flow is the goal. It creates a much more content work environment when swift and dedicated staff is able to move freely between customer and kitchen, and cooks have adequate workspace. To maintain a business in the highly competitive industry of hospitality that has an authentic attitude of workplace happiness has dividends that will show up in the till. Patrons will be regular, consider it their first choice for coffee or food, and they’ll tip well. Friendly relationships will emerge between staff and favourites and that’s the foundation for building a good reputation.

What you choose to serve is simply the proof of that.

You can change a menu more easily than an order of tables you now realise are too big. No matter how great the food and service, nobody’s gonna stay if they can’t sit restfully at a table without having to move in every three minutes to let someone past. When people are happily staying you have the opportunity to tempt them with another coffee, and yes to a dessert.

So your choice of cafe table is crucial to the success of your inspired endeavour into the risky enterprise of eateries.

Domestic furniture won’t stand up to the hardwearing, high volume demands of a successful café. So rethink the catalogue you’ve chosen from if it landed unsolicited in your mailbox or fell out of the morning newspaper. Not only will it cost money in the long run, there’s the potential for legal action if it’s not covered by a commercial furniture warranty.

One wonders how the French restaurant of Mr Creosote fared. Moules marinières, pâté de foie gras, beluga caviar, eggs benedict, a leek tart, frogs’ legs amandine, quail eggs, pureed mushrooms, jugged hair, bacon, truffle, anchovy and cream sauce, half-a-dozen bottles of Chateau Latour, two jeroboam of champagne, and six crates of brown ale are sure to warp an inferior table top and test the stain guard of any fabric.

Commercial café tables give the option of choosing a separate tabletop and suitable base for the environment you’re creating. They are designed for indoor and outdoor areas, uneven flooring and limited or flexible space makes the most from the range of foldable bases. Unless you’re wanting to fork out the dough on hardwood furniture like teak, timber outdoor furniture is not advised; it’ll look shabbier than a forgotten takeaway in less than no time.

Compact laminate, laminate and resin are the basic finishes of choice, unless there is some insanity with marble or Ancient Swamp Kauri. If you could afford café tables in that magnificent timber the whole thing must be a front for laundering money.

If you haven’t thought about how big the plates are, upon which you’ll be serving your magnificent fare then maybe you need a bit of help with your design or the whole idea’s just a passing phase because there are too many things to think of.

As far as inspirational café furniture, who’s to say? Its nascent form may have begun with the ubiquitous coffee table in every home.  The most instagrammable coffee shops and cafés in the world are where we are able to imbibe quirk or elegance, and that has to be the inspiration for the furniture.

Promoting furniture online means access to ideas from everywhere.

Your idyllic cafe could be one straight from Paris: simple, slender tables and deep, high-backed armchairs. Tall barstools along a sleek timber counter. Espresso and croissants served on small plates while students study and friends chat. Gauloise unbreathes the air, it’s 1988 and not a mobile phone to be heard for a good decade or so.

Somebody’s ideal interior might be with seats laid in a window-side concrete channel below the floor, everything black, grey and polished concrete with dark timber; the only colour from the sun pouring through a huge window.

The most Instagrammable café, and assuming inspirational (ergo its furniture), is in Australia, on Bondi Beach  –  and with some identifying a decidedly California feel, it includes two parts of the world in one. Lots of whitewashed timber boards, pale blue tiles and a huge fern-bordered mirror making the most of that beautiful coastal light.

Cafés and coffee shops are a competitive landscape and to be on top, you have to provide something no one else does. Whatever inspires the furniture you find, or have specifically built for your business, it’s the balance between modern equipment and cosy design that gives good bones to a growing and profitable life that offers the scope to express who you are in the world right now.

There’s pure inspiration in that. And a world to explore.

When seeking modern cafe furniture, your hospitality ideas should be inspired: Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Adelaide cafes are destinations in themselves because of their interiors and furnishings. Go with the ergonomic flow my friends …