Planning to decorate your coffee shop? I’ve got more than a few good ideas to help you out. If you’re looking for a retro vibe, hanging lights, bar stools, and some wooden furnishings can give your coffee shop the ambiance you seek. Here are some creative ways to decorate a coffee shop that customers will appreciate. Some of these pieces are things you’ll be able to find at antique stores or even a rummage sale if you’re looking to save money.

Good days start with coffee and you.


Signages are a great way of showing you and your coffee shop’s personality to your customers. They can be a source of inspiration and can also create a connection between you and your clients. Signages are best placed where they can be easily seen by your customers, like in front of the entrance and on walls where your tables are placed.

Take a seat.

Bar Stools

Aluminum or copper bar stools can also give that vintage vibe to your coffee shop. It may not be as comfortable but it’ll surely give out that old, classical sensation to your customers.

The coffee bar.

Neutral Color Scheme

In adopting a rustic style, pay close attention to the color palette. Choose neutral hues such as tan, brown, gray, or white instead of vibrant and colorful ones. Rustic colors are those that are inspired by nature. Rustic elements include natural materials like cotton and animal leather, as well as stone and metals. Install exposed materials, such as bricks, beams, and bulbs, to merge rustic and industrial themes.

Dry herbs and flowers.

Dry Herbs and Flowers

Using flora and wildlife in your designs is always a fantastic idea. In your leisure time, try picking flowers, which you can then press or dry. This gives your vintage style a breath of fresh air. Another fantastic design tip is to utilize old wine bottles as rustic vases for your flowers and plants, as they have a lovely vintage vibe.

Use herbs and spices in addition to flowers to give your rustic cafe décor a more homey vibe. Herbs like rosemary, dill, tarragon, basil, and thyme can be used to decorate your bottles. Setting up jars of herbs in your cafe can give it a warm, homey feel.

More stools.

Handcrafted Furniture

Because of its aesthetic appeal and usefulness, handcrafted furniture is a fantastic investment. Handcrafted furniture has a cozy character that adds to the environment of your café. You may also use distressed wood to create a vintage outdoor décor style for your café.

Outdoor furniture.

Stone Features

Try including stone elements in your layout as an alternative to wood. Covering your walls with imitation stone is one option. Another wonderful idea is to include a genuine or fake fireplace in your cafe. Natural-stone-like countertops look fantastic when combined with rustic hues and wood accents.

Inspired by the Southwest.


Western or prairie culture is one of the main influences for rustic decor. It depicts a time when having the right equipment and understanding how to utilize it was essential. This lends artifacts from this era a romantic and refined air. Antiques like a wagon wheel, an 18th-century furnace, or even a simple antique knife opener. These small gems could make a huge impact on the look of your vintage cafe.



Wickerwork is a type of furniture produced from wicker stalks and fibers that are interlaced to make specific forms and furniture types after drying. Be strategic in your placement of wicker elements throughout your café. Placemats, vases, floor mats, and chairs are the only wickerwork items you should use.

Brick and wood floors.

Natural Elements

To give your design a natural feel, include branches and twigs. To represent the seasons, place them in vases or bottles. As an added touch of playfulness to your design, look for antique geodes or crystals. Add scorch marks on wood using a propane burner or a heat gun in fast strokes to create a more rustic character. Allow for plenty of natural light and a natural view of the outdoors during the daytime.

Related Reading: 179 All-Time Greatest Coffee Shop Marketing Slogans and Taglines 

Vintage Decorative Pieces

A touch of old decors can bring that vintage vibe to your coffee shop. Old-fashioned curtains, decorative pieces like old vases, and antique wall decors will give your customers that nostalgic feel. It’s also sensible to place items of historical value like old coins, newspaper clippings, or even stamps as decorative pieces in your vintage coffee shop.

Raw Elements

The trick is to let the raw materials shine in their natural nature. Naturally exposed wood along with a few Edison bulb fixtures bring out that rustic coffee shop impression. Other ideas include using antiques as washbasins and old-style dishware.

A fancy old-school coffee maker.

Old Coffee Machine

Using antique coffee machines is one of the best ways to showcase your vintage coffee shop. Though there are a number of coffee shops that use retro-style coffee machines, using a working antique coffee machine gives that authentic vintage coffee-making experience.

Vintage looking menu at a coffee shop.

Old-Fashioned Menu Boards

Remember those old-fashioned menu boards? It was where the menu for the day was written instead of digitized or menu light boxes which were popularized by fast-food chains. Written menu boards are a traditional way of illustrating what food or beverage you’re serving for the day.

Copper lamp.

Copper Lamps

Tables lit by a few copper lights with walls encased with brick create a classic feel for your vintage coffee shop.

Exposed ceilings are very modern.

Exposed Pipes

Dislodged pipes especially in the ceiling showcase a retro-feel style for your vintage cafe. Paint your ventilation pipes with matte color and let it hang out to bring out that classy feel.

Outside a coffee shop.

Outdoor Awning

Famous coffee shops like the Les Deux Magots in Paris had this iconic awning spanning the front and the sides of the coffee shop. Les Deux Magots was once a famous haunt of French intellectuals.

That first sip feeling.

Small Counter

More space can be created by incorporating a small counter with lovely brass bar stools. Its location in front of a window lets you sip your favorite beverage while taking in the scenery.

Black Decors

You could never go wrong with black. Applying black into your interior or decors radiates a flat-toned color that resonates with the essence of vintage.

Color Contrast

In addition to your black interior decor, combining it with a light color shade like yellow give out that color contrast you need for a retro look.

A grand piano can help any coffee shop stand out.

Grand Piano

If your space can accommodate it, you may place a vintage grand piano in an unused spot in the cafe to give out that old Viennese cafe vibe. This instrument can also help you appeal to local musicians in the area.

Don’t sleep on wallpaper.

Floral Wallpapers

More than 20 years into the new century, floral wallpapers have long been a past interior trend that now radiates a retro look for any interior space. Sometimes the best ways to show your creativity is to look backward.

A very Victorian feel.

Antique Chairs

Victorian or French-style armchairs are great pieces of furniture that bring out that vintage coffee shop sense.

Chandeliers can help you stand out.

Old Chandeliers

Vintage chandeliers in place of modern hanging lights are a nice touch for that Victorian-style coffee shop interior.

Record player vibes.

Vintage Carpets

Speaking of Victorian-style interiors, placing large floral-type carpets into your coffee shop radiates that old Victorian feel that’ll surely take your customers back in time.

Take customers back in time.

China Cabinet

China cabinets will always give out that classy wherever you place them. Putting one into your coffee shop would certainly emit that nostalgic feel. Instead of fine porcelain, you can probably exhibit coffee shop items you want to showcase to your customers.

Download Now: Coffee Shop Startup Kit (Includes coffee shop spreadsheet and more for free.)

Whether you’re looking for a sleek and modern coffee shop or something with more of a retro vibe, these ideas should help get your creative juices flowing. Be sure to share photos of your finished product on social media – I love seeing what our readers come up with in their own shops.

Want to start your own food business?

Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

We interview successful founders and share the stories behind their food trucks, restaurants, food and beverage brands. By sharing these stories, I want to help others get started.

If you liked this story, sign up for our newsletter that includes our food business startup kit and most popular interviews sent straight to your inbox.

Know someone interesting that should be interviewed on the website? Tell us about them here.