Find inspiration from our coffee bar ideas. We included everything you need to know for each type to achieve the coffee bar of your dreams.
A coffee bar is a great alternative to home bars. Instead of serving liquor, how about a cup of your favorite java? It’s a fantastic way to entertain and impress guests over some chitchat. It’s also a special area for your coffee making essentials, dedicated to serving you that morning cup of coffee much faster and to kickstart your day.
Imagination is the only limit when it comes to creating the perfect coffee bar. You can use the space in your kitchen counter, side table or cabinet or even turn a salvaged furniture to your DIY coffee station. We recently created a coffee station in our dining room which I set out in our article “Where to put a coffee maker.” Read on for some ideas to inspire you.
This is one of the simplest and easiest designs for coffee bars, and it involves a cart that you use only for your coffee-related items. Set it up neatly and attractively, and make sure you include items such as a tray with several cups on it, sugar and cream containers, containers for coffee stirrers and spoons, a storage container with coffee pods on it, and of course, the coffee machine itself.
You can even place storage bins underneath to hold additional items such as cups and saucers, because you can be as standard or as creative as you like with these bars.
The vintage cart has characteristics that include the ability to make it in any style you like, so whether you want something antique, modern, or even brightly colored, you can find products that fit this style to place on the cart. Add some antique coffee cups or some wooden or wire baskets for all of your stirrers and spoons, and make sure you don’t forget to coordinate the colors of any placemats or napkins you include.
Whatever style you’re after, you can easily accommodate it if you research the Internet and take your time, ensuring your vintage coffee cart will look amazing in the end.
You can make this cart any size you wish, but of course, smaller ones maneuver better when you’re wheeling them around, so it’s best to keep this in mind when you’re purchasing or building your own vintage cart. You can get numerous ideas from DIY sites and home-improvement sites, so if you’re interested in a vintage coffee cart, start measuring and start researching!
Materials used for this type of portable coffee bar include wood and even wicker, but naturally you’ll want something that isn’t too heavy, because you want the task of pushing the cart around to be an easy one. You can even combine different materials and make the cart itself a light-weight wood and all of the trays and containers wicker. If you need ideas, all you have to do is visit websites such as Pinterest.
A Customized Coffee Bar
This is one of the smartest types of coffee bars because it involves taking a bar area you already have, and instead of filling it up with alcoholic beverages you simply put coffee supplies there. Design something yourself, or simply replace the products you already have on the bar with those that are related to coffee.
Since most bars have built-in cabinets and/or storage drawers, use these to store napkins, silverware, and even stirrers, and you can design the countertop any way you envision it, which can include just about anything you want to be there, including lighting such as lamps and under-cabinet lights.
Even if your bar area is already present, that doesn’t mean you can’t personalize it. Try renovating or adding shelves to make the space perfect for your needs, or add a swing door to make it easier to get to the items you’ve stored.
Doing this not only makes your bar area more accommodating and aesthetically pleasant, but it also makes the most of the space your kitchen already has. You’ll actually look forward to being in your kitchen’s bar area, and it will make that first pot of coffee a lot more enjoyable.
Because this idea involves an area that already exists, it is difficult to change the size of the bar – difficult, but not impossible. If you’re a DIYer, you can easily change the look of the bar quickly and easily, and even if you have to hire someone to make the changes, it will be worth it in the end.
Bar areas aren’t very large, but if you pay attention to the items you place on top of it and if you have enough storage areas, the space will be large enough to accommodate your preferences and tastes.
This can be the fun part of using a bar area for a coffee bar, because even though most of them are made of wood, you can dress up the area by adding marble or stone countertops, or maybe even a countertop with a little color in it – such as deep-red or navy blue.
Again, you can get creative with your materials, and if your creative juices just aren’t flowing that day, all you have to do is visit the Internet for some great ideas.
Wine Rack Coffee Bar
This is one of the most creative and innovative ideas for a coffee bar, and you can either make it yourself or use an existing wine rack. The racks that allow you to keep wine bottles below and have a wooden countertop above work best.
If you push the wine rack against the wall, you can decorate the wall above it to your specifications. Place a wall rack that has hooks on it and place coffee cups on each of the hooks, and if you have a rack above the coffee cup hooks that includes storage drawers, you can place things in there such as creamer pods, sugar packets, or even decorations.
Wine racks placed against the wall and wall racks above them that are both decorative and functional provide a very unique look that all your visitors will enjoy. If the wall racks’ storage drawers are see-through, this gives the coffee bar an even more interesting look, and if you use attention grabbing items such as lamps or bouquets, it can call even more attention to the area so that even more people will want to take advantage of it.
The important thing to remember about the size of this type of coffee bar is not to make the wine rack too tall, because otherwise the items you place on the walls will be above eye level and won’t accommodate you. This is easy to avoid, however, because all you have to do is take accurate measurements before doing anything else.
If you receive a second-hand wine rack it is best to measure it before doing anything else, because the last thing you want to do is decorate your wall then place the wine rack there, only to find out that the wine rack sits too high.
Once again, the materials you use are up to you, but since most of these types of wine racks are made of wood, this is likely what you’ll end up using. As far as the wall racks are concerned, they can be made out of almost anything, including wood, wicker, many types of metal, or just about any other material.
If you want to add some extra oomph to the area, try hanging a chalkboard on the wall next to the wall rack, advertising your coffee at ten cents a cup, just to make visitors chuckle when they enjoy a cup of coffee with you.
Bookshelf Coffee Bar
If you have an old bookshelf and you’re wondering what to do with it, making it into a coffee bar is an excellent idea. Sand and paint the bookshelf first, keeping in mind the colors you wish to use for the final décor, then place it above a countertop or even nail it on the wall to stand by itself.
Use the shelves for your coffee cups and other supplies, and if you want to add jars filled with sugar packets, cups and saucers, cake plates, or even jelly or jam jars, you can do so. The countertop below the bookshelf can hold the coffeemaker itself, as well as napkins and silverware, and again, you don’t have to hold to tradition, but instead you can design it however you want to and place the items anywhere you like.
Because you can design the bookshelf anyway you like, its styles and features can be as unique as you want them to be, because you can make this bookshelf traditional, contemporary, rustic, or even antique simply by changing the color of the paint you’re using.
If you want a more unique look, try painting chevrons or stripes on the shelf, or even polka dots, then match the remaining items with similar colors so that the look is cohesive and attractive. Decorating styles are found in many magazines and online, so if you don’t have any ideas on your own, try one of these suggestions.
Once again, measuring both the width and the height of the bookshelf is important, because you don’t want one that is a misfit for the counter that sits below it. Make sure the size of the bookshelf is close to the size of the shelf or countertop below it, so that when all your items are placed on the countertop and the bookshelf on the wall, they will look neat and even, not to mention organized.
There is no need to stick with a traditional bookshelf, because bookshelves come not just in wood, but also in metal posts, fabric, wicker, and even vinyl sheets, so whatever look you’re going for, you can easily find something to accommodate you. You can give the whole display a diagonal orientation by placing small shelves in various locations across your wall, giving it a more contemporary look, especially if you paint it in unusual colors such as teal or rose-pink.
You can get as creative as you like with your bookshelf, and it can either match your current décor or contrast it for an even more interesting look.
Corner Coffee Bar
If you are interested in a coffee bar that looks different than most of the others you come in contact with, a coffee bar set up in the corner of the room will make you glad you chose this option. It is best if you have a countertop that fits across the two walls and has the corner in the center. If you put your coffeemaker in the corner, it is easy to place the other items you’ll need all around it.
Try placing a beautiful wooden tray on one side and fill it with cream and sugar packets, bags of coffee, and even a few coffee cups. On the other side, place some decorative cups and maybe even a small sign with a cute saying on it, and if you place signs, decorations, or small flags above that area on the wall, it can add a little ambiance to the entire area.
Once you decide on the style you want – usually either contemporary or traditional – it is easy to get the items you need to make the coffee bar come alive. Visit a hobby or arts and crafts store if you need additional ideas, and make sure you add a lot of color and design to the decorations, which will whet the appetite of anyone who enters your home, and the first thing they’ll want is a cup of coffee!
Since space is usually limited in a corner coffee bar, you’ll likely want to stick with either smaller items or fewer items so that the space doesn’t look crowded. Again, measuring is important, especially if you’re starting from scratch and don’t have anything purchased yet. Once the measurements are taken, the rest should be easy to finish.
You can use any material you want to with a corner coffee bar, but since it is somewhat limited by the type of countertop you have, you’ll want to make sure everything matches in the end. You don’t want a countertop that is one color and wall decorations that contrast negatively with that color, so pay close attention to the colors and styles you’re using so that they do not clash. Other than a few rules such as this one, however, the sky is the limit when it comes to choosing the materials for your corner coffee bar.
Old Window Coffee Bar
Yet another very unique idea, this design involves finding an old window and using it as a shelf placed above your coffeemaker and other items. The window can contain the glass or you can remove it, and if you like, you can even place mosquito netting, metal fencing materials, or window screens where the glass is supposed to go. Before nailing it to the wall, place a few hooks at the bottom to hold your coffee cups, and you can either repaint it or leave it the way it is, giving it a more rustic and outdoor look.
Since the window frame is the centerpiece of your coffee bar in this particular design, you may not be able to fit too many items on it, unless you use fine wire to attach some decorations to the spaces where the glass once was. You can, however, place a few picture frames or other small items on the “shelves” that make up the wooden part of the window frame.
Depending on the look you’re going for, you can add any number of items on the countertop below, including jars filled with cream or sugar, a small chalkboard with a cute message on it, or even a cake plate with a cake or muffins on it.
Since window frames come in dozens of sizes, you can easily find one that fits the theme of the coffee bar you’re creating. Whether you want something thick or thin, small or large, freshly painted or unpainted entirely, you can find the perfect window frame once you locate a good arts and crafts store or online store that sells these types of products.
In fact, it is very likely that if you can think up a design in your head, you can recreate it in real life, because there are enough online and brick-and-mortar stores to accommodate all of your preferences and tastes, especially when it comes to size.
Once again, wooden window frames are the most common, but if you look long enough you can find this item made in numerous other materials as well, including aluminum, composite, faux wood, and sometimes even vinyl or acrylic. Once you decide what you want the final product to look like, it’ll be easier deciding which type of window frame to choose, and then you can set out to find one that fits your design perfectly.
Coffee Bars Made of Multi-Layer Trays
If you’re limited in space, this is the perfect design for a coffee bar. Simply choose a multi-layer tray, preferably a large one, and fill each level with coffee-related items. For this type of coffee bar, the design doesn’t matter much because most of these trays are very similar in size and design.
You can place larger items on the bottom tray, such as coffee mugs and bowls; large or medium-sized items in the middle, such as smaller coffee cups and even saucers filled with decorative shells or other items; and smaller items for the top shelf, such as small flower arrangements, shakers that have sugar and cream in them, and even potholders.
Again, you can get creative, which will give your tray a one-of-a-kind look that everyone will notice.
Happily, not all multi-level trays look alike, so when it comes to the style and features you choose, the sky is really the limit. You can choose one in various sizes and trays of various depths. Although most trays have three shelves or levels, there are others that are larger, wider, or have more than three levels.
It really doesn’t matter how deep the individual trays are or how tall it is, because its base is likely what you’ll be paying attention to the most. The base determines how much space it will take up on your countertop, so when shopping for your multi-level tray you can simply choose one that is aesthetically pleasing to you and which fits the décor of the rest of your kitchen.
Its designs and features are almost secondary, because all of these trays are made to take up a certain amount of space and no more.
Again, the sizes vary only slightly with these trays, but if the depth of the trays or the base size is important to you, all you need to do is take measurements and consider what you’re going to place on each tray so that you end up with the perfect size of multi-level tray in the end. If your cabinet space is limited, you naturally will want a tray that isn’t as wide as some others, but if you have a rather large space you can always get a bigger and wider tray.
If you have a lot of items you’d like to place on the tray, you should consider purchasing one with more than three levels or one that is fairly wide to accommodate them. Whatever you choose to do, however, you are all but guaranteed to find the perfect multi-level tray in the end, enabling you to get a beautiful and functional coffee bar once all is said and done.
When it comes to the materials for these trays, you can find them in just about any type of materials. They can be wooden, metal, or even acrylic or hard plastic, and they also come in various colors.
If you purchase a wooden one you can paint it whatever color you like, and you can even decorate it if you want to. In fact, it is quite easy to get your tray to match the rest of your kitchen or whatever room it is in, because you can paint it or purchase it in just about any look that meets your preference, providing you with the perfect coffee bar in the end.