Wednesday, May 23, 2012

a place for friends

This is the location of where the exterior of the
"Central Perk" coffee house was filmed for the television series, Friends.

Almost a decade has passed when the popular show, "Friends" was on air.  It was a show that was centred around the personalities and relationships of those who frequented a coffee house...where friends would meet at a place that was almost like home to them.  It was refreshing to hear the teenaged daughter of our friends "hang out" at Starbucks...I know when I was her age, coffee shops were destinations after a night out...not a destination place in itself.

Coffee houses and cafes have evolved to become cozy, amazingly beautiful and sophisticated spaces. The design of these spaces may not be the focal point for it's patrons, but more of a supporting role in creating a comfortable space where friends can meet and spend time together.  I like to look at the designs of public spaces to give me inspiration for the private ones.  Places that evoke a sense of warmth and friendliness that remind you of home, but designed to serve large groups of people efficiently and effortlessly.  

Below are samples of how you can incorporate elements from these public spaces and use them in your own home or cottage...a comfortable place for friends to hang out.

Retro Style
When my husband and I were in New York last autumn, we enjoyed our cafe breakfast at The Standard Grill, which was just below the hotel we were staying at.  I loved the checkerboard floors, slick black schoolhouse chairs and wood tables and countertops.  
The above pics were from our trip to New York
{above pic: source}

You can see the same mix of black, white and wood in this home, giving it a cool, retro feel.

Sophisticated Lodge Style

Here is the Wildwood Restaurant, in Portland, Oregon.  Elements of wood and grey provide a rustic, warm feeling. A cozy nook could be created in a kitchen or breakfast area.  

Or taking the colour scheme from the above restaurant, you can incorporate the grey and wood into a kitchen like here...

Casual/Beach Cafe Style
Here's the Sweetwater Cafe, in Melbourne Australia.  I love how the white subway tiles and marble counters work with the natural rattan chairs.  It's fresh looking but still comfortable.

You can see the same mix of marble and rattan in this cottage bright and inviting is this?

I love all these styles, and hopefully I can incorporate elements of all of them into my home, to create an inviting environment for friends.

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