Designer: id inc
All photos: Yamauchi Norito via

Minimalist design is not only used in creating residential spaces for those who choose to live a simple life. We have also seen it in practice in other areas such as modern office design. It is less common, however, when it comes to restaurants, coffee or dessert shops, places that usually attempt to wow their customers with the power of detail. This is why Cafe Ki in Tokyo (dreamed up by id inc) is a place worth visiting – and a great example of a creative minimalist coffee shop design.

The main problem of minimalist design is that it runs the risk of being boring. Working with less may mean achieving less of an impact. That is why, in the case of minimalism, it is important to make up for the lack of fixtures or details with lots of creativity. And creativity is what make Cafe Ki a charming and interesting place.

The main concept behind this minimalist coffee shop design is the tree (Ki means “tree” in Japanese). Stylized “trees” made of dark coffee-colored wood create an interior mini-forest. On a background dominated by white, these spots of dark tones become the defining element.

As it is customary in minimalist designs, the same element has a double function. Here, the wooden trees serve as both supporting structures for the tables and hat-and-coat racks. One can imagine that, when filled with these colorful belongings, the coffee shop turns into a place where every table becomes a personal space. Allowing the clients to “color” the space is a smart way of renewing the look of the shop with every customer.

The furniture is very simple, from white rectangular tables to chairs that take little space and do not block the view. If the variety in furniture is minimal, this is only a plus when it comes to presenting the shop’s sweet treats to the customer. In this unending sea of white, the colors of the desserts and the deep hues of the coffee are even more appetizing.

The design of the counter keeps with the same idea of simplicity. While, at first sight, the irregular structure of the ceiling could be seen as a disadvantage, its uneven character adds just the right amount of detail to the interior, so that it looks interesting rather than unfinished. In fact, this is where the talent of a great designer comes into place and where a minimalist coffee shop design based on just a few well-chose elements can turn into a visual feast and a joy for the eye.

Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2018 HERE.

If you are thinking to open up a new business or in a process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

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