Designer-Approved Advice for Creating a Dreamy At-Home Coffee Bar

·7 min read
Photo credit: Courtesy of Young Huh Interiors
Photo credit: Courtesy of Young Huh Interiors


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While we're not proponents of adhering to every design trend that comes our way, we are currently loving the latest kitchen design inspirations that seek to expand this ever-important space as more than just a place to prepare dinner. The kitchen is seeing a major return to becoming the heart of the home again, thanks to pandemic living, which has forced us to see the ways our dwellings do and don't work for us while giving us a greater appreciation for a life at home. And what's more important for fueling the heart of the home than creating a chic coffee station?

Whether you have a glorious second kitchen to christen as your home coffee bar or simply a single kitchen cabinet, here are six tips to help you create the most idyllic spot to begin your day each morning. It just might have you jumping out of bed to get there.

Assess Your Available Space

First things first, it's important to decide the most realistic and appealing location to begin your day. For those with smaller kitchens, it's worth thinking outside of this space to create your at-home coffee bar (think: a cozy sitting room, a home office space, a hallway closet, or even your bedroom). It might be as simple as adding a bookcase or a bar cart to an adjacent room or corner of your kitchen to get started on creating a coffee haven.

If you have the space, going all-out with a fully equipped coffee bar may be the perfect use from some neglected space. We love designer Young Huh's use of Miele's integrated coffee machines in this second kitchen, which can be easily replicated in your own main or secondary cook space. Huh's addition of a wine fridge below makes for a fun bonus feature that makes the space a popular spot day and night.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Young Huh Interiors
Photo credit: Courtesy of Young Huh Interiors

"We used a plumbed version of the Miele coffee maker which is my favorite," Huh says. "Cabinets above hold coffee cups and espresso mugs while a sink is conveniently located in the same location. There's also a small dishwasher to wash out cups!"

We are also big fans of designer Marie Flanigan's transformation of her 500 square-foot guest house into the ultimate multipurpose space, featuring a stylish closet coffee bar.

Photo credit: Julie Soefer
Photo credit: Julie Soefer

“I wanted a place where our guests could feel perfectly at home and have their every need met, all within the same space,” Flanigan previously told VERANDA. “A closet, compact utility room, and a fully stocked pantry and bar are cleverly hidden behind a wall of cabinetry. When closed, the tranquility of the bedroom space is restored and you would never know what lies on the other side.”

Invest in the Right Tools

Next up, it's important to ensure you're fully stocked with all the tools you need to make your favorite morning beverages with ease. Depending on your preference for a frothy latte or a straight-up cup of java, you'll want to start with a chic coffee maker, be it a high-tech option or a simple yet beloved french press.

If you're looking for a do-it-all machine for whatever type of caffeine kick you're needing that day, try Miele's countertop or built-in offerings, per Huh's advice. Their machines allow for making up to two cappuccinos, lattes, and more at a time to ensure your household gets their fix in half the time. If you have a standard daily beverage of choice, designer Gillian Segal advises investing in a design-centric coffee maker from SSENSE, which offers chic espresso makers, pour-over stands, and drip coffee vessels.

Designer Stefani Stein says she loves Bodum coffee grinders for making her morning ritual instantly easier and Fellow's electric (and plastic-free) kettle for making her daily pour-overs ultra-stylish.

Several designers also shared that installing a small bar sink can make all the difference in creating the ultimate coffee station. Designer Stephanie Brown says a pretty yet miniature sink can make prep and clean-up much easier, while having a filtered water faucet will ensure each brew tastes its best.

Get Organized

Organizational trays, bins, and baskets are a few other essential tools for creating the ultimate at-home coffee bar, whether it's hidden or on constant display. This makes transporting parts of your station to be more accessible for guests in the morning easier, not to mention tidiness.

"Putting everything on the tray including the coffee maker not only keeps everything easily accessible in one place, it also creates a tidy, organized feel, like your favorite luxe hotel," says designer Sarah Stacey. "You can add personality and unique style by dressing it up with one-of-a-kind items, like storing your sugar in a pretty vintage lidded dish."

Monelle Totah of Hudson Grace keeps it simple in her kitchen by housing a tray with glass jars for storing small spoons, coffee, and additional ingredients, while also housing her shop's namesake, hand-glazed mugs.

Photo credit: Monelle Totah
Photo credit: Monelle Totah

Upgrade Your Mugs

Several of our designers stressed the importance of owning mugs that feel comfortable in your hand. Even if you just invest in one or two new finds, choose vessels that fit nicely in your hand and hold the right amount of coffee for your needs. Designer Stefani Stein is a fan of Japanese ceramic mugs, like Kaneko Kohoyo's creations that have the delicacy of porcelain with the warmth and feel of hand-formed clay.

Stir In Some Personality

Now, it's time to really have some fun. While many of your coffee station tools may be stainless steel or glass, your bar's environment can still be full of life and color.

"Whereas the rest of your kitchen may be more neutral, a coffee nook is a great place to introduce a bolder color or pattern using tile or wallpaper," says designer Tiffany Piotrowski. Even if you just have a single kitchen cabinet to designate as a coffee station, you can paint or wallpaper the inside of it to jazz up the small space.

Designer Gray Walker brings personality into her kitchen coffee bar by adding a piece of Hunt Slonem artwork, a vase full of flowers, and a colorful tray. The coffee station blends in with the rest of the kitchen while having its own individual personality.

Photo credit: Gray Walker
Photo credit: Gray Walker

Consider Accessibility for Guests

Photo credit: Courtesy of Ketih Smythe Meacham
Photo credit: Courtesy of Ketih Smythe Meacham


"There’s nothing I love more than arriving in someone’s guest house and seeing a full-on coffee set up at the ready, so I try to do the same for my guests," says Keith Smythe Meacham of Reed Smythe. "I’m a big fan of the Keurig and figure you can mitigate its functional-if-not-so-attractive form by placing coffee pods in a pretty, handwoven basket and having equally lovely mugs on hand. Organize everything on a tray with small vessels for milk sugar and the low-cal stuff!" While your coffee station may be in one designated location, placing a few essentials on a try expands its reach to a more accessible area in your kitchen or home.

Casa Felix's Vero Torres and Marta Galaz advise keeping some beautiful cocktail napkins on deck for guests (and yourself!) to bring their beverage around the house until they find the perfect reading nook or so they can bring it back to bed and revel in the morning a bit longer.

Photo credit: Casa Felix
Photo credit: Casa Felix

Creating an at-home coffee bar can be as simple as a rewarding Saturday project or as involved as a month-long experiment in personal design. Get creative, have fun with it, and know you'll reap the rewards of this addition for years to come.

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