How To Design Your Dining Area To Look Like Starbucks


When designing dining areas and teapoints for our clients, we often get asked how it can be styled to look similar to a Starbucks coffee house.  In this article we look at how you can recreate the Starbucks modern interior design style within your own dining area or kitchen.

The Starbucks approach

With close to 800 Starbucks coffee houses in the UK (nearly 22,000 worldwide), the Starbucks brand and attractive store design has become instantly recognisable.

A modern Starbucks store front


Starbucks themselves state that their stores are designed to be “a welcoming, inviting and familiar place for people to connect”.  To aid this the retail stores predominately use dark woods and patterned fabrics, to give a more homely feel.  The ideas and designs are all based around relaxation, so natural and warm tones are extensively used throughout their stores.  They strive to create an impactful environment for their customers, one that they will enjoy and want to come back to.

Up until a few years ago the stores were predominately ‘kit made’, with the same items and designs being used for each store in order to quickly, easily and cheaply launch a new location.  Fast forward to the present day and Starbucks have shed this approach in favour of designing their stores image around the neighbourhoods that they serve and focusing on reducing energy and water consumption, using more bespoke items and visual identities.

Seating & table areas

Starbucks coffee houses usually feature a variety of different eating and drinking areas in every one of their stores, to suit the different needs and time allowances of their consumers.

For those wishing to have a casual drink and chat there are the comfortable seating areas which typically have dark leather sofas and a low coffee table.  For those by themselves or with not much time to spend in the dining area there is perimeter benching with wooden backed high stools and foot rests.  In the Starbucks stores these typically run along the windows inside, facing outwards.

There are standing height condiment areas which include the sugar, milk, spoons to perfect your drink.  For those who are spending longer in the store, and perhaps eating, there are the more traditional seating areas with tables and the recognisable heavy, sturdy “school house” wooden chairs.

Having a mixture of casual and traditional seating and table areas within your office dining area can create a relaxing setting for your employees similar to that of Starbucks and gives your employees a proper break from work in a café style environment.

Banquet Seating
Banquette seating with a warm walnut finish and bright seat coverings used in a modern café



Starbucks stores are usually built with an open front or with large glass windows to allow plenty of natural light in during the day.  This will not be possible for all office kitchens and dining areas, but it is still possible to get that Starbucks style by using energy saving bright LED lighting and large striking light shades.  These are used in the vast majority of their stores to draw the customers to various seating areas and create a snug environment.

Why not be creative with your lighting? The Starbucks store in Plaza de las Cortes in Madrid, Spain, even uses candle lit chandeliers to compliment the stunning backdrop and location.  Speak to our designers about how to use lighting to add some oomph to your dining design.


To give each store its own bespoke image Starbucks uses a lot of personalisation, whether this is through wall coverings, ceiling designs or artwork. Nearly all of the personalisation is location specific and is made to compliment the surroundings and neighbourhood that the store is in.  Some stores commission local artists to create canvas artwork to hang in their store, while others get them in to paint entire walls.

The Starbucks store in Dazaifu, Japan has walls that feature an intricate matrix of more than 2,000 wooden sticks that are meant to evoke the look of branches in a forest and give the impression that the store is “nestled in a tree”.

Starbucks Japan
The Starbucks store in Dazaifu, Japan that features an intricate matrix of more than 2,000 wooden sticks


The Starbucks in the Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, United Arab Emirates has a gorgeous blue-and-yellow mosaic-tiled domed ceiling and walls with a showpiece chandelier to match the extravagantly decorated location in the world’s largest themed shopping mall.

The point is to make your dining area as imaginative and striking as possible for your staff.   As the examples above illustrate, creativity is key to inspire and motivate your team.

Speak to us about how we can incorporate your branding and corporate values into your kitchen design for that extra level of personalisation.


Starbucks have managed to transfer their unique store designs and approach to a variety of imaginative locations and stores in numerous sizes and styles.  They now even have a fully operational Starbucks Train in Switzerland and several repurposed shipping containers being used as pop-up drive through stores in Dallas and Washington (nicknamed Project Reclamation).  If Starbucks can create 22,000 unique stores across the world, then with your own imagination, and the help of experienced designers such as those at Office Profile, it could be easier than you think to create your own Starbucks-esque dining area.

Here is a summary of the main design and style points to include:

  • Dark woods
  • Natural and warm tones
  • Homely feel
  • Patterned fabrics
  • Variety of seating and table areas
  • Bright LED lighting
  • Floating shelving
  • Location specific personalisation

But just remember, no 2 Starbucks stores are completely identical, so make yours as unique as theirs.

To find out how we could help you design your kitchen, dining area or tea-point, please call us on 020 8770 7077 or email us at  To view our case studies please click here.

An example of personalisation within an office dining area