Smart Design With Suzette: Coffee Bar 101

By SUZETTE FOX
Los Alamos

If you can’t function without your morning cup of joe, you aren’t alone. Americans consume more than 400 million cups of coffee per day, so it should come as no surprise that coffee stations are becoming a must-have design element in the modern home.

Before you start knocking down walls; however, there are a few things to consider about designing your own coffee bar. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind as you’re looking for coffee station ideas.

Location
How much room do you have for your coffee station? Can you make use of corners, kitchen nooks or unused vertical space? No matter what style you’re going for, every coffee station starts with a great serving space. This could be as simple as making room on your kitchen counter, or using a separate piece of furniture that lets you have fun with different placements. Whatever space and location you have to work with, there are plenty to ways to create a stylish and functional coffee station.

Image courtesy of Suzette Fox

Image courtesy of Suzette Fox

Countertop
If you have extra counter space in your kitchen, use it to your advantage! Reserve a spot in the kitchen for your coffee-making endeavors. Make your countertop coffee station stand out with coffee-themed decor. Everything you need for a morning jolt can be within arm’s reach.

Give yourself at least a foot of countertop space between your coffeemaker and the edge of the station. You’ll need room to prepare your morning brew, and you won’t want to play balancing games with hot mugs. If your counter is small, use a base, like a tray, to put all your coffee essentials in a group to decrease clutter. You can also add a shelf above your coffee machine to place cups, coffee, and other essentials.

Image Courtesy of Suzette Fox

Image courtesy of Suzette Fox

Special Cabinet
You can customize your coffee station by creating a special cabinet to place all your coffee necessities. You can close the station when it is not in use; thereby, making your kitchen appear less cluttered. You can have lights fitted at the top of your nook or use a lamp. If you have built-in espresso machine or coffee maker, a pull out shelf is the perfect way to use space efficiently. This way you can build a station around your special machine.

Image courtesy of Suzette Fox

Image courtesy of Suzette Fox

Image courtsey of Suzette Fox

Carts and Side Tables
Using a side table or cart is great. They allow you to contain your coffee stand to a particular area creating a coffee station nook in your kitchen. Moreover, a large or medium sized kitchen can easily handle a rolling coffee bar created from a kitchen island on wheels. This can be fantastic if you are entertaining guests and want to display all the coffee making gadgets you use to make a great cup of coffee.

Buffet
For a more full-blown experience, commit to a whole coffee bar station. Block out a whole wall for your coffee area and invest in a buffet. The drawers offer plenty of storage with room to house all your coffee station needs. I can’t emphasize enough how great chalkboard walls are for spaces like this! For a legit coffee bar of this magnitude, designing and creating a chalkboard wall would make a perfect spot for a daily or weekly menu.

Storage
Your coffee station is a serving space and an extension of your kitchen. This means you want to keep everything you need in one spot while avoiding a mess. Help your coffee station do its job by including easy and accessible storage. Use the following tips to keep your coffee station tidy and well-stocked.
Hooks
Hooks aren’t just for coats and keys. They make a great hangout spot for tea towels and mugs when space gets tight. Here, coffee mugs can stay safe without being shuffled around on a shelf. Install hooks on the underside of a floating shelf for a dual-purpose storage space.

Shelves
Go vertical with storage and add shelves to your coffee station design. Floating shelves are practical for an out-of-the-way decorative statement. Use them to store your canisters or to show off the decor that makes your coffee station unique.

Baskets
Place a small basket on top of your coffee bar and fill it with spoons or drink stirrers. If you want to have easy snacks on hand, keep them in baskets as well. Crates are also a smart place for storing plates along with silverware.

Canisters
These handy containers keep things fresh with airtight storage that adds personal style to your coffee station. Canisters are great for storing coffee, sugar, or biscotti so you get the most out of your supplies. Look for a set that complements your style, or go DIY and decorate your own.

Coffee Makers
You can’t have a coffee station without the main act! There are so many ways to prepare a cup of joe — it’s just a matter of your unique tastes and the rituals you love. Some methods take up a little more space than others, though. Be mindful of how much room there is for your coffee maker of choice when it’s time to set up your coffee station in the kitchen.

Espresso Machine
If you like coffee that is a little more involved, an espresso machine is right up your alley. It’s the key to making the perfect cappuccino, an ideal latte, or a smooth shot. Espresso machines give you plenty of barista freedom and come in fun colors to match your coffee bar.

French Press
If you’re a fan of a rich and creamy brew without espresso’s intensity, a French press is the perfect in-between. This method provides the simplest brewing process and takes up little space. Not to mention a French Press serves up the perfect amount of coffee for two.

Pour Over
A pour over coffee maker ensures a rich brew that undercuts bitterness. Though it takes more time than other brewing styles, it’s worth it! This style is growing in popularity and will bring the intimacy of a boutique coffee shop into your home.

Single Cup Coffee Maker
Just because your mornings are busy doesn’t mean you have to set aside precious minutes to make your coffee. A one-cup coffee maker is perfect for the person on the go. All you do is install the single-serve cup, press a button, and let this little machine work its magic. If you want to keep your coffee-making eco friendly, choose a refillable single-serve cup that you can use over and over.

Stock it
For the perfect coffee bar you need to have all the essentials. The coffeemaker is essential, of course, but you’ll probably want a microwave nearby as well. Check these items off your list and add them to your coffee station:
Coffee maker
Coffee beans (have a selection of beans for guests
Coffee grinder
Coffee filters
Six-eight coffee mugs
Spoons
Napkins
Sugar and bowl
Creamer
Cinnamon
Biscotti
Tray

Aesthetic
Now it is time to add your special touch to your coffee bar. Be it monogrammed napkins or a cute framed quote, your personal touch will make it feel all your own. This is where you can let your imagination run wild. The good news is that there are plenty of coffee station design ideas to choose from before you start building! Don’t forget about lighting – it makes all the difference in the world.

“Life is short; surround yourself with good people and drink good coffee.” Coffee is such a fixture in our lives, it seems natural to set aside a special place for the satisfying ritual of making it. Start creating and decorating your in-home coffee haven. Cheers and Enjoy!

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