Design ideas for coffee shops in a church

Written by alana armstrong
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Design ideas for coffee shops in a church
Beautiful design and good service at the coffee shop will engage the church community beyond the weekly sermon. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A church coffee shop helps extend the church community beyond weekly sermons, provide a meeting space for church groups and offer employment to the local churchgoers. The design of the space will play a role in how the coffee shop engages church members, so it should be well planned. After that, most important things are that the coffee is fresh and the service is gracious.

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Overview of Design

Consider how the cafe will work in conjunction with the church. What are the hours of operation? Will it hold small functions? What is the expected demographic? Answering questions like these will help direct you to the most appropriate layout and interior-design scheme. Take some inspiration from the rest of the church building. In what era was it built? Look at the art and design concepts used in the original building and think about how can they be used in the cafe to create a natural flow throughout the church.


Select furniture to accommodate several needs. The church community will be using the coffee shop for meetings, social events, a private chat and some quiet reading time. A mix of straight-backed chairs, arm chairs, low side tables and larger tables will allow all of these activities to take place simultaneously and comfortably. Lighting fixtures should be cohesive with the overall design and keep the entire space well-lit. Use overhead lights as much as possible to cut down on obstacles in the cafe area, although some floor or table lamps can be included in corners with arm chairs.

Design ideas for coffee shops in a church
Furniture should be comfortable, functional and tied together with a cohesive look. (Jupiterimages/ Images)


To give the coffee shop space its distinct personality, turn to a few details that will reflect the values of the church and individuality of its community. Ask members of the church to contribute ideas or items, such as hand crafts made by church members, floral arrangements to match the seasons or a sanctuary lamp that has been retired from church services. Details can also manifest themselves as activities for patrons, such as a chess set, board games, a few decks of cards or a bookshelf that stocks inspiring books and religious resources.

Design ideas for coffee shops in a church
Add details like dishware and floral arrangement dontaed by the church community. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)


When the weather is right, outdoor seating will open the cafe area and give a whole new feel to the coffee shop. If you can, prop open windows and doors to help connect the outdoor seating with the activity inside. This will help servers and patrons move in between the two spaces freely. Choose outdoor furniture that accentuates the indoor decor and has weather-resistant properties.

Design ideas for coffee shops in a church
When the weather is right, extend the coffee shop experience to the outdoors. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)


The coffee shop is an excellent venue for local artists to show their work. Choose pieces that are appropriate to the church setting and reflect the values of the community. Photography, hand crafts, woodwork and paintings make beautiful additions to the coffee-shop space.

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