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Common Cafe Interior Design Mistakes

Interior design gone wrong?

Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.

We can all get carried away with our vision and turn our space into an organized mess, without even realizing it.

The worst is when you walk into a café for a quick coffee and rest stop, and you just can’t seem to find the bathroom.

Walking around in circles until you find an employee is what we all resort to here.

Chances are, that this has happened to most of us and the last thing we’d want is for our clients to feel the same about our business layout.

Blank Creatives has all the tips and tricks to warn you on the most common café interior design mistakes that you’ll never make again.


Common Interior Design Mistakes


As a business owner, you want to invest in the best design layout possible for your company.

While we all want our space to look appealing and impressive, we also want it to be logical and cohesive.

Our focus is on the guest when we’re trying to decide which designs to use because if they’re not comfortable, there’s a low chance that they’re coming back for more.

Here are some of the worst interior design mistakes that cafes and restaurants could make:

Lack of Directional Signage

We mean this when we say it, all guests find directional signage helpful.

Communication is key and directional signage is how the design (literally) speaks to the customer.

There can be various parts of a building and guests find comfort in knowing where certain parts of the restaurant are.

The exit, bathroom, host stand, and bar are a few places that should always be obvious.

Cafés tend to be smaller, but directional signage should also be apparent and bold for those who are first-time visitors.

Cluttered Floor Plan

A floor plan with cluttered chairs and tables will overwhelm the guests.

People want to have a meal or cup of coffee with themselves or the person that they invited, not necessarily with the table next to them.

Placing tables and chairs too far is also not favorable because it can make the customers feel disconnected with the rest of the space.

To avoid this, use a combination of booths and tables that are spaced logically in open areas. Booths are typically placed along the walls while tables are towards the center.



This layout will leave enough room for your guests and employees to walk around the space comfortably.

Noise Pollution

Music that is too loud or too soft in a restaurant or café can be distracting and awkward.

The colour theme, concept design and number of staff will affect how loud or quiet your space should be.

In a café, soft, soothing acoustics are preferred because people typically go there to catch up with friends and relax.

In restaurants, the music selection and noise all depend on how large or small your space is.

There is a fine line where guests don’t want to feel like they’re at a library, but they also don’t want to experience a live band.

There should be just enough noise to complement the rest of the space while allowing the guests to have normal-sounding conversations.

Sometimes all a space needs is some cleverly placed acoustic panels, to absorb that extra unwanted sound.


This could be drapes and curtains, to dim the noise if your space is feeling too loud. Soft furnishing items and rugs help to stop the sound from bouncing around your space as well.

Just like the drapery we added into our #pinkcafe Social Society.



Too Many Decorations

Less is more.

Every decoration that you use throughout your space should communicate your brand’s personality.

If you over accessorize your space, it will distract from your brand and look like clutter.



The design of your café or restaurant should always be simultaneous with your brand reputation and personality.

Cafés tend to tone their décor down while restaurants use accessories however they feel is necessary to express themselves.

Cafés should still have their own style and character, but too much décor will distract the guests who are coming there to read a book and relax.

Brainstorming your ideas on paper will help you decide which accessories and designs to pursue and which ones to veto.

While you can’t use all the accessories that you initially wanted to, you could always save them for later and for when you want to refresh your design.


Here at Blank Creatives’ we’re always at hand, if a client just wants our help to source and stylise their space on site.

Cluttered & Exposed Service Areas

Conveniently located at the front of the door as the first impression of your space, is the host station.

This station, along with all the other service stations, should always be neat and tidy.

Customers don’t want to walk into a place and see dirty menus, dishes, and washcloths. It’s distracting, unsanitary and gross.

Host stands or checkout stations should only have things like seating charts, clean and unused menus, pens, and breath mints for customers.


Every service station that you have for your employees should be tucked away behind a door or wall.


Consider having a clever, creative team (like us) to help design bespoke joinery pieces that have enough storage and hidden compartments, to be both functional and nice on the eye.

Out of sight and out of mind. Hiding counters and dirty plates through windows is also a must.


The guest should never know what happens to their plate after they’re done with it.


Keep the theatre alive in your space and let them magically disappear.



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