Four Simple Remodeling Ideas to Bring Starbucks Home

There's something so relaxing about sitting at the local Starbucks, reading a newspaper, chatting with a friend, or typing away on your laptop. And it has very little to do with coffee or those yummy blueberry muffins that go with it so beautifully. It's more about one word: atmosphere.

Starbucks has perfected atmosphere down to an art form. Yes, every location looks somewhat different, but you can pretty much walk into any of them and know exactly what to expect. That's great branding and it's incredibly smart. Even the corporate offices in Seattle have been decorated with the cozy, warm feel of a local Starbucks cafe.

Have you ever wanted to bring that coziness home with you? You can! With a few strategic remodeling choices, you can have a welcoming atmosphere much like Starbucks - right at home.

Remodeling Tip #1: Mix Dark and Light Woods

Starbucks does a great job mixing a variety of wood colors and styles and making the contrast look great. From light maple shelves to walnut chairs to pine table tops, each cafe includes dark and light shades. So don't be afraid to mix woods. Choosing wood colors that are "matchy-matchy" when you're remodeling will feel much easier at first, but the outcome can seem a little bit boring and sterile. Remember, you're going for cozy here.

Remodeling Tip #2: Use Bold Graphic Elements

Most Starbucks cafes stick to a warm but largely neutral color palate of browns, creams, and an occasional green for the main elements like flooring, tables, and chairs. But you'll always find some bold, graphic splash of color on one or more walls--usually orange, red, gold, or a combination. Consider a painted or wallpapered graphic element in your own room to provide a simple focal point and create a sense of energy.

Remodeling Tip #3: Make the Most of Lighting

You'll find a mix of recessed lighting and track lighting at your local Starbucks, ensuring a well-lit but streamlined look with focal points in the spotlight. Remodeling with recessed, or canned, lighting will help provide adequate illumination to your cozy space while not placing undue importance on any one lighting fixture. Strategically placed spotlights focused on artwork or interesting architectural features lend warmth and visual interest.

Remodeling Tip #4: Install a Great Stereo System

Anytime you spend more than a minute in a Starbucks, you'll notice the music. The eclectic combination of pop, blues, folk, and other music styles enhance the experience and add to the atmosphere in the cafe. Including musical elements as you remodel will allow you to create a cozy, warm atmosphere at home using all of your senses, including your sense of hearing. A great stereo system gives you the chance to add mood music to any event, whether a dinner party or a romantic night at home.

What the coffee giant has figured out is that people don't come to its caf��s so loyally just for drinks. Instead, they come because it's a cozy, welcoming place to socialize or work or just be away from home. Bring Starbucks home with you and enjoy that cozy feeling any time day or night.


Starbucks, Inc. • http://www.starbucks.com • accessed November 2009

About the Author

Natalie Morris is a freelance writer who loves to learn and ask questions. Her favorite home improvement activities include gardening, organizing, and painting large expanses of wall while her husband does the trim work. Natalie holds a bachelor's degree in English from Arizona State University.


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