The morning coffee craving is nearly universal, and a fresh cup of joe is hard to beat. If your at-home caffeine situation consists of a dated coffee maker, or is relegated to a small corner of the kitchen counter, it may be time to upgrade. Creating a beautiful space for this morning ritual will be well worth it in the long run.
Creating the ultimate coffee set-up at home is relatively simple, and is guaranteed to make your mornings brighter. From storage ideas to aesthetic tips, here's what six interior designers had to say about crafting the ideal coffee station right at home.
'Everyone needs that morning caffeine pick me up. Whether you are building in a Miele coffee system, a freestanding espresso maker, or a good old fashioned drip coffee carafe, there are a few design elements to your coffee bar that make it more functional and beautiful,' says Caitlin Jones Ghajar, principal designer of Caitlin Jones Design.
How to create the ultimate home coffee station
It's easy to see the benefits of having a sleek and sophisticated coffee bar in your own home, but it can be difficult to know where to start. And with the at-home coffee station rising in popularity, now's the time to hop on the interior design trend. We spoke with six experts to get their top tips on designing a high-end space for your morning coffee.
1. Think function first
When it comes to putting together a coffee station, it's important to find a balance between functionality and beautiful design. Casey Howard, principal designer of Casey Howard Interior Design, says that both are important seeing as your morning coffee or tea routine sets the tone for your entire day.
'Ensure there’s a place for everything – from small appliances to mugs and accouterment – quick, easy, organized access is essential for when you haven’t yet had your coffee,' says Casey.
And aside from storage, make sure to light the set-up right with a calm, soothing lighting scheme. And even better if you can get creative with smart lighting configurations, Casey adds.
'Soft lighting that activates when the doors are opened elevates the area and provides essential illumination,' she says.
While it's easy to get carried away with beautiful, elegant materials, your coffee station will likely get a lot of use, and planning ahead can help soften the blow. Think durable materials for the countertop and storage areas to ensure that your coffee station will last for the long term.
'Use rich, functional materials – we extend the stone surfaces from the main kitchen into the coffee station to provide a beautiful counter space that is one with the rest of the space,' says Casey.
Casey Howard is the principal and founder of Casey Howard Interior Design, a boutique, full-service interior design studio based in Danville, California.
Casey's coffee station design uses the De'Longhi Dinamica Plus for a sleek, does-it-all machine. Laura, our resident barista, approves but warns against its slightly messy milk frother.
There's more information in Laura's full De’Longhi Dinamica Plus review
If you're looking for a coffee machine that will last a lifetime, look no further. This Dutch-made drip coffee maker is incredibly durable and can brew very quick and quiet drip coffee. It's available in a range of colors too.
Our Technivorm Moccamaster KBGV Coffee Maker review has more details.
The Breville Barista Touch is pictured below. We tested the analogue version a few months ago and loved it – it makes great coffee and the integrated hopper stores your beans for you.
There's more information in our Breville Barista Pro review.
2. Take inspiration from the rest of your home
Pulling color schemes and material combinations from the rest of your home, and especially from the kitchen, can help you to create a seamless transition into your new coffee-centric space. Keep kitchen classics in mind, but don't be afraid to take a bit of creative liberty and distinguish the two spaces of your home.
Karen Frome, architect and founding partner of Rise Projects, says that she often takes cues from a regular bar set-up when designing coffee stations for clients.
'In many cases, the design of an at-home coffee station is not dissimilar from a typical bar, with an eye on metal finishes, stone, and lighting. We often take inspiration and elements from the overall design of the home – we gravitate towards earthy tones and natural materials like woods, stone and raw brass for the coffee niche,' she says.
When thinking about placement for your coffee station, aim for an area that's close to plumbing in case you'd like to upgrade your space with a small sink or more complicated appliances. But, as Karen notes, you don't have to stick to the kitchen.
'This can be in the kitchen – hidden within a built-in, in the living room where you may place a station, or in the bedroom. Don’t limit yourself when thinking about where to design your coffee station,' she says.
Karen Frome is a founding partner of Rise Projects, a full-service architecture and design firm located in New York City. She is a registered and award-winning architect with over 20 years of experience.
3. Get creative with storage solutions
Depending on the details of your coffee routine, quite a bit of equipment can get involved – and you'll need ample space to store it. Caitlin Jones Ghajar, principal designer of Caitlin Jones Design, says having a pullout drawer just underneath the coffee maker is ideal for storing extra coffee, tea, and any utensils you'll use on the regular.
'I generally like to include a single open shelf to display beautiful mugs and handled glassware. Other than a small open area it’s best to have ample closed storage to hide the extra supplies which aren’t as beautiful to look at,' she says.
Beyond that, be sure to measure the items you'll use often to ensure they'll fit on any shelves or in any drawers that you set up. And think outside of the box for storage solutions – having the option to hide the less aesthetically appealing items can really come in handy.
'When choosing your cabinet design determine whether you want your equipment exposed. If you have a simple drip coffee system, it is best to hind it behind a flip-up door, whereas a beautiful espresso unit can be proudly displayed. If you don’t have a lot of adjacent counter space, having a pullout breadboard shelf works exceptionally well,' says Caitlin.
To take your coffee station to the next level, Caitlin suggests a pot filler or hot water faucet adjacent to your coffee maker, or a drink fridge for milk and creamers. And a warming drawer to pre-warm mugs is the ultimate cherry on top.
Caitlin Jones Ghajar is the founder and principal of Caitlin Jones Design, a celebrated firm that has dedicated itself to beautiful interiors since 1999.
A coffee cup and saucer like this is a small but inventive way of elevating a simple shot of espresso. This speckled set is surprisingly affordable, too.
You don't need anything too fancy to properly store your coffee. As long as it's airtight, it will keep your beans in good condition.
Keeping a milk frother on hand is always a smart choice with a coffee station. We just tested Nespresso's Aeroccino 4 and found it's great on all milks, even milk alternatives.
4. Look outside the kitchen
Jean Stoffer, founder of Jean Stoffer Design, says she considers coffee stations to be 'the new must-have in custom kitchens' as more people become interested in having an espresso machine at home.
'Coffee is now a part of entertaining; offering specialty coffee drinks is a wonderful way of showing hospitality to guests,' she says
And because coffee rituals have taken on a life of their own, finding a space outside of the main kitchen can be ideal. In fact, Jean says that some people find it more convenient to make and enjoy their coffee away from cooking and cleaning areas. And when it comes to design, she suggests a few standby materials.
'There are certain materials that are well suited to coffee's unique needs. One such need is a durable, dark-colored countertop. Many cabinetry materials work well, including painted finishes and wood stained finishes,' she says.
Jean Stoffer leads Jean Stoffer Design, an award-winning interior design studio based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her daughter, Grace Start. She starred in Magnolia Network's The Established Home, and wrote the interior design book, Establishing Home.
5. Make it disappear
If you like the idea of an at-home coffee station, but don't want to deal with extra clutter, Blair Moore – creative director and principal designer of Moore House Design – suggests opting for a concealed, or hidden, option. 'This is one of those spaces that we know gets messy so for us it's about function with the ability to close off the mess,' she says.
There are many ways to stow a coffee station away, but Blair says she loves to use a retractable door, which makes it incredibly easy to open up and close off the area at a moment's notice.
'Using a stain grade wood over a paint grade for interior durability with style. There is something about housing a dark moment inside a neutral set of cabinet doors that I love,' says Blair.
Pictured above, a mid-century modern-style kicthen cabinet with integrated pulls easily hides away a warm and inviting coffee station. Blair says these details made the area feel 'streamlined and minimal' while still adding character and charm.
Blair Moore is an award-winning designer, as well as the creative director and principal of Moore House and Moore House Design.
6. Make your coffee station an escape
If at a loss for design inspiration when crafting your coffee station, bring in elements of other relaxing spaces. In this renovated trailer designed by Frank & Co., a boutique hotel served as the main reference point.
'Drinking coffee is an experience, so we like to make the spot you refill your cup feel like a destination. For this horse trailer turned mobile coffee cart, we brought in wallpaper, patterned floors, and sconces to make it feel like you’re in a chic and cozy hotel while you enjoy your favorite morning treat,' says Emily Frank, Frank & Co. founder.
By layering materials, patterns, and features borrowed from another upscale, luxurious space, Frank created a coffee sanctuary in a relatively small space. Set up with an espresso machine and milk frother – as well as a separate area for alcoholic beverages – the smart design would be a welcome addition to any home.
Emily Frank is the founder of Frank & Co., a bespoke interior design studio based in the Midwest United States.
Intentionally placed and equipped with stunning materials and functional storage, your new and improved home coffee station is sure to transform your morning pick-me-up. Create your own coffee sanctuary, and fuel up – your morning will be a breeze.
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I am a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, with a focus on interior design. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.
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