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How to Create a Café-like Atmosphere at Home

It seems there is no stopping the proliferation of cafes in Singapore. We can’t complain, because it means more options for weekend brunch! But our love for cafes isn’t just about the food and what’s on the menu; we also love the atmosphere these places offer us. Some are homey and cosy and some are entirely hipster-fied, but all give us this casual, relaxing feel that makes us want to stay put on our Thonet N. 14 chair forever.

A garden-themed café with vintage black-and-white floor tiles, deep emerald walls and a rustic arch at the entrance.

If you’ve always wanted to translate that easy, languid cafe vibe into your own home, here are some ways to do them in style:


The writing is on the wall

In cafes, typography art is usually seen on chalkboard walls. For them, it’s also an efficient way to put up the specials for the day. The trend has since entered into our homes and sees no signs of abating on our shores. We love them so because they offer us a direct way to express our philosophies and personalities, provide a space for us to leave reminders and to-do lists, and are an easy and affordable way to decorate empty walls.


Design: D5 Studio Image



Keep it casual cool with bar and counter stools

To create a café-style home, you will want to avoid as much formality as possible. Bar and counter stools (counter stools are shorter than bar ones) are a great way to inject a bit of casualness into your space and they are so incredibly versatile to work with. Pair them with kitchen islands, half-wall counters or built-in study tables.

Design: Free Space Intent

Design: The Local Inn.terior

Design: The Scientist

Design: Urban Habitat Design


Do the hodgepodge

A lot of cafes feature an eclectic mix of styles for their interior design. Not only is it an economical way to furnish the coffee shop, it also makes their customers feel right at home. If you’re looking to create that slightly messy, hodgepodge look at home, you can start by mixing and matching furniture pieces of different styles or by decking out your space with quirky accessories. Scavenge in second-hand furniture shops like Hock Siong & Co. or Second Charm for one-of-a-kind steals. A good word of advice: don’t buy everything all at once. Amass your trinkets and treasures slowly and you will have a home filled with things you really care about and love and a space that you can truly call it your own.

Design: Wolf Woof

Design: Fuse Concept

Design: The Association

Design: Lemonfridge Studio


Make a statement with pendants

You can’t deny the powerful visual impact lights have in a space. Cafes play around with pendants to create the right setting and mood. A popular choice seen in a number of bistros is the Tom Dixon Beat lights. Cluster them together over your kitchen island for an instant café-esque look. Whether you go for a classic design like the iconic pendants from Louis Poulsen or an offbeat choice like ratten-textured lights, make sure they’re statement-making. You want them to steal the show.

Design: Linear Space Concepts

Design: LU+C Studio

Design: Make Room



Nooks and crannies

Conquer the corners in your home if you’re looking to recreate the café atmosphere. Cafes are prized for having comfortable and inviting nooks for sipping pots of coffee in or for camping all day in with a good book. Bring that comfort into your home by setting aside a particular corner of your apartment as a snug station. Make it incredibly multipurpose so you won’t feel it’s a wasted space – designate it as a breakfast nook, a working zone and as a reading corner.

Design: Rezt & Relax Interior

Design: The Association

Design: Linear Space Concepts



Bench it

Banquette seating (built-in benches), are ubiquitous in coffee houses as they seat more customers. Often paired with long communal tables, they are also great in the home setting, particularly if you have a large family, love hosting or only have a small space that would make individual dining chairs feel like too much of a squeeze. If you want extra comfort, deck it out with plenty of cushions and soft furnishings or make sure they are customised with cushions.

Design: Luxespace

Design: Free Space Intent

Design: Rezt & Relax Interior


Opt for the practical

Hardwearing materials are integral to café design because these are high-traffic areas we’re talking about. While your home probably won’t be subjected to as heavy a usage as a bistro, you might still want to invest in a few heavy-duty materials to keep up with that authentic café look. Plus, it’s savings in the long run since it means you won’t need to replace your things more often. Opt for a high-quality quartz for your kitchen countertop for instance or get a teak dining table, a material which is known to weather even harsh outdoor conditions.

Design: Jow Architects

Design: The 80’s Studio


Turn it into a garden

Singaporeans love cafes that feature a garden theme, mainly because these places transport us into a less harried environment. We get it – sometimes we just need an escape from our urbanscape, am I right? The solution is to bring the outdoors into our home by incorporating lots of green plants and flowers. No green thumbs? Get artificial plants – no one’s gonna judge you for it. Our recommendation for best visual impact: Ferns, Monstera deliciosa, Snake Plant and Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Design: The Scientist

Design: Icon Interior Design

Design: The Association

Design: Free Space Intent

Will you go for a café-style vibe in your home?


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