Opening my own bakery turned me into a hyper-aware consumer, and now everywhere I go eat, shop, whatever, I totally pick apart in my head. What do I like and don’t like and why? What works and what doesn’t? Through this mental exercise, I realized I am really enjoying pretty spaces right now. I am getting lost in the little thoughtful details everywhere that add up to the personality of a place.
We’ve done a lot of design changes to our front of house in the last 2 months. I started by wondering if I could rearrange the furniture for a better layout so we can fit more people more comfortably. Then I got a little carried away with all the inspiration I’ve been collecting.
(I think all crazy redecoration projects start with rearranging the furniture around the room. Turns out, we had a total of 6 seats that were not being used at all prior to rearranging the furniture, and now they are! I felt like a genius after that.)
During Thanksgiving, we built new wood benches that rest against the windows and make the whole place feel like a cozy nook. I hadn’t thought about it before but sitting along the perimeter, facing the room, just opens it up so much! We love them so much, we plan on building a few more. A bonus: the outlets are also now accessible to twice as many tables as before. I spent 3 days on this bench plugged in, studying for my finals and enjoying the chill vibes at the shop. I encourage you to bring your book/work and take a long breakfast on a weekday morning!
During Christmas break, we worked on several other design projects:
We changed the menu boards. I had 2 issues with the old menu boards: I couldn’t take them down to update them, and they were in cursive. Turns out cursive is hard to read quickly and from an operational standpoint, we really need people to read the menu and quickly figure out what they want to order. The new boards now hang from a rod (!) and are written in sharp block letters. It’s taken us a few days to finish this one because the old ones were glued to the wall, so patching things up and giving the wall a fresh coat of paint takes way longer than we can work in one go.
We changed the countertops. The old plywood counters had sentimental value to me, since I spent 2 weeks sanding, staining and sealing them before we opened and daydreaming about what operating this place would be like. But they were degrading quickly (especially the one near all the coffee) and our accountant encouraged us to invest in meaningful upgrades. We now have beautiful, shiny stone counters, with trash cutouts for your convenience (!). We’re still waiting on one final piece of countertop so we look kinda mismatched at the moment. Oops.
We installed a plant wall. I am obsessed with the houseplant explosion at The Nitro Bar. I went a bit wild buying these wall-mounted planters and stuffing them with ivies. I can’t wait for them to grow in! We’re going to add more houseplants around the room.
One of our 2019 goals is to continue prettifying the space, so you can expect to see more changes in the coming months. (Especially in January, since I don’t have school and can focus on DIY projects!) I’m curious to hear how you like to use our space and what upgrades can make it a more enjoyable experience!