Design Rules That Were Meant To Be Broken

replica Tolix chair antique blueWhether you’re starting out from scratch or looking to remodel your cafe, it’s only natural that you’re a little wary of making mistakes. Understandably you want to stand out from the crowd, but for the right reasons.

Fortunately when it come to interior design most decorating rules were meant to be broken, and what will make your cafe stand out from the crowd, is to put your own unique stamp on it. Here are 3 pre-conceived notions that you should sweep under the carpet when planning your design.

Don’t mix old with new

One of the quickest ways to make your café’s interior look boring is by sticking to just one style or period. Rooms that attract interest are those that have an eclectic mix of modern and old pieces in a variety of styles, which make it look as if they have been collected and assembled over the years.

One easy way to do this is to consider your room’s architecture. If your indoor space is modern then add a vintage chandelier or furniture with an antique finish, such as our new replica Tolix antique collection, to give it a sense of history and warmth. If, on the other hand, your interior is 1950’s style then you could add a retro Juke Box alongside some contemporary lighting and accessories to bring it into the 21st century.

If you have the space, you could consider zoning different areas with different styles of furniture to suit different needs. For example how about an area for lounging complete with tub chairs and some high backed bean chairs; another with stainless steel bar tables and bentwood stools; and another with some communal tables and a colourful mix of industrial replica Tolix stools. All very different in appearance and all extremely functional.

Paint a small space in a light colour

Most people will use a light neutral colour on the walls and floor to make a small space appear more airy; but did you know that using a rich dark colour such as navy blue, warm grey, or dark brown, can create an illusion of more space, because it’s hard to tell where the wall ends and begins. The key here is to balance the room by adding plenty of light catching materials such as large glass chandeliers, mirrored furniture, metallics, and wall sconces or floor lamps, to create a warm glow. We’ve got a great selection of white tables and chairs which would look cool against navy walls, for example. Or how about using a mixture of colourful powder coated steel bentwood chairs and light ash tables, against dark grey walls.

Don’t mix metals

An antique gold frame is a great way of warming up a grey wall but there’s no reason why you can’t go one step further and add silver metal sconces alongside the mirror or hang some copper pendant lights. You’ll get the best effect when you mix cooler metals like silver with warmer metals like copper, gold, or brass. The industrial look comes into its own with this rule since you can use all manner of metals including stainless steel and exposed copper pipes together with aluminium tables and chairs.

Be bold, be creative, and have fun injecting your personality into your café’s interior setting and provided you serve good coffee and tasty food, the customers will keep on coming. We’ve got a large selection of cafe furniture in a wide variety of styles, materials, and colours all at great prices.

Why not browse our online store or visit our warehouse in Campbellfield to see for yourself. If you’ve any questions feel free to call us on 03 9357 9688.

5 Reasons To Embrace Aluminium As Your Cafe Furniture Of Choice

aluminium and wood communal tableFrom plastic and rattan to wood, wrought-iron, and aluminium, there are so many different cafe furniture options open to you. With this in mind, how do you know which is the right type for you? After all they all have their own advantages as well as drawbacks.

While it’s impossible to talk about the right style for a specific cafe, bistro, or restaurant, it may be beneficial to talk about a certain type of cafe furniture that has many advantages to suit a wide variety of establishments. That type of furniture is aluminium. Without further ado, let’s delve deeper and have a look at the major advantages it offers cafe owners.

It’s incredibly lightweight

When you compare aluminium furniture to wrought-iron, rattan, and even wood, it’s an incredibly light material. It lends itself to almost effortless moving, re-arranging, and stacking, that won’t leave you feeling exhausted. It’s around a quarter of the weight of a cast iron or steel equivalent, so if you buy in bulk, you might even save money on shipping costs too.

It’s weather proof

One of the reasons that aluminium furniture is used both outside and inside is that it’s weather proof. It won’t rust in damp conditions, it won’t crack, fade, or warp, in dry conditions and what’s more, it’s water-proof. It really is the ideal furniture to suit the Australian climate.

It’s low maintenance

It’s true, aluminium furniture represents minimum maintenance. It doesn’t need painting, varnishing, or priming. In fact to keep it looking as good as new, all it needs is a quick wipe down with a mild soapy solution and a non-abrasive cloth in order to remove any sticky spills.

It gives you diverse design options

Aluminium furniture comes in a number of design options from cast aluminium and wrought aluminium through to the ever popular tubular aluminium. This means that you stand a greater chance of getting the right furniture styling to suit your needs. Whether you are looking for a contemporary tubular feel or a more rustic cast aluminium look, there are a wide range of styling options available. They can also be accompanied by rattan or wood seats, or backing to give you a different look once again. There are so many options open to you that the only limiting factor could be your imagination.

It’s durable

If you’re looking for a type of furniture that can withstand the stresses and strains of a bustling cafe where customers come and go and are in and out of their seats regularly, it has to be aluminium. It gives you more ‘bang for your buck’ because first off, aluminium furniture is relatively cheap to buy, but moreover, it’s long lasting so you shouldn’t have to be replacing it one or two years down the line.

So there you have it, 5 strong reasons why you really should be embracing aluminium cafe furniture. So do yourself a favour and opt for the flexible, durable, low maintenance choice today.

At Cafe Furniture Melbourne we have a wide variety of aluminium chairs and tables available at great value-for-money prices. Why not take a look at our website? Alternatively if you can’t find just what you’re looking for, then talk to our experienced team on 03 9357 9688 who will help. Finally, if you’re in the Campbellfield area of Melbourne, come and take a look for yourself in our fully equipped showroom.

Everything You Need To Know About Pavement Dining And Outdoor Cafe Seating

pavement cafesIt comes as no surprise that many cafe owners are looking to extend their business out onto the pavement. That fact that you can instantly maximise your seating with minimal cost, and the fact that it captures the attention of people before they’ve even set foot through your door, makes it an obvious choice to make. However there are also other reasons for taking your cafe business outside.

Councils like it

Did you know that local councils are also increasingly supportive of outside dining in order to improve the overall look and feel of their community. Areas that are bustling with café’s in particular those with outdoor eating areas, portray a thriving, up-market area and one that most councils are keen to promote. So much so in fact that many councils actively encourage it. That said there are a few rules that you need to abide by.

Firstly, most councils require a minimum 3.4 metres of footpath space before they’ll consider outdoor seating. This is so that passer’s by and other street activities aren’t hindered in any way.

There are also strict rules on timings. For examples if you plan to open your cafe before 7am and close after 10pm you might have to apply for a Development Consent license by submitting a development application. The same goes if the outdoor seating is attached to a pub.

You’ll also need to apply for an Outdoor Cafe Permit Licence and make sure that you comply to the agreements pertaining to cafe furniture, barriers, and shade.

So what about costs involved?

Costs of an outdoor license are extremely variable and can fall anywhere between $625 per year for Melbourne city centre locations through to $250 for lesser locations outside of the city centre.

What about the type of cafe furniture required for pavement dining?

Councils will normally provide you with a rough guideline, but in essence you’ll need to stick to tables, chairs, screens, and umbrellas that can easily be removed if necessary (in other words, they can’t be fixed). Councils may also suggest furniture that’s in keeping with the area, or at the very least is consistent with your inside furniture. Finally it’s usually suggested that non-marking furniture or furniture than won’t ruin the pavement area is preferred.

Here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we stock a wide variety of commercial grade cafe furniture suitable for both inside and outside dining, all at seriously competitive prices. If you’d like to find out more about what we have to offer, you can check out our website at or contact us directly on 03 9357 9688.

Is Your Cafe Furniture Suitable For All?

Tub-chair-in-blackThey say that ‘You can’t please all of the people all of the time‘ but in the competitive world of hospitality that’s exactly what you need to do. The good news is that a great starting point is nailing your cafe furniture. Why? Because first impressions count and this is the first thing that customers notice when they walk into your establishment. That’s long before they’ve ordered your food or drank your coffee, so the reality is it needs to be right.

Of course you should be designing your cafe to fit your concept but it’s highly important to consider all of your customers when it comes to variables such as seating. You may for example decide to base your theme on a slouchy laid back feel complete with worn leather sofa’s, low tables, and bare floorboards. That’s all well and good but what about those with disabilities, elder people, or those with young children? How do you make sure you don’t alienate these people also without ruining your theme or concept? Let’s take a closer look.

Zoned areas

When it comes to seating, it probably isn’t wise from a business perspective to place all your eggs in one basket. A great way to overcome this is to create zoned seating areas. This way you can still have your low-slung chairs and sofas but alongside this create separate areas which are more in keeping with older people, the disabled, or those with children. You can even have fun with your zones by decorating them differently or using different lighting. Do whatever works best for you. By utilising zonal seating, you’re likely to attract a larger cross section of the public instead of alienating some.

Get your table positioning right

As well as seating you might want to look at table positioning. Being able to maximise your floor space in return for maximum profit is the holy grail of any successful establishment. However the mistake that many establishments make is to over-cram areas with tables. Not only does it make it less intimate, but more importantly your customers won’t necessarily be able to move around the tables easily, or have clear access to restrooms and doorways. This goes for mums with pushchairs, the disabled, or the elderly, so it’s well worth doing a test run before you settle on your final table positioning, by making sure that no one is going to struggle if they decide to walk into your cafe.

Young children

It might also pay you to invest in some high chairs and perhaps even some child’s cutlery and plates. Even though you might not consider children and young mums to be your target audience, the truth is that this group of people often turn out to be regular and loyal customers, so ignore them at your peril! Some cafe’s even supply colouring books, non-marking pens, and puzzles to keep this area of their customer base on-side; so you might want to consider this too.

As well as providing an array of (hopefully) useful advice, here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we also supply commercial grade cafe furniture at seriously competitive prices. Check out our website or contact us directly on 03 9357 9688 to find out more. Alternatively if you’re in the Campbellfield area of Melbourne then why not take a look first hand by visiting our showroom.