We Like You A Latte: Most ‘Instagrammable’ Coffee Shop & Coffee Table Design Inspiration

We Like You A Latte: Most ‘Instagrammable’ Coffee Shop & Coffee Table Design Inspiration

30th Sep 2022

Posted by Seeker on 30th Sep 2022

Do you want to create the coffee shop vibe at home? Many interior design tips can be learned from your favourite roastery. 

Inspired by the coffee shop movement and its genius use of interior design to create a warm and comforting experience, we’ve analysed some of the most popular coffee shops across the country to bring you a complete guide to recreating the vibe at home.

Trending interiors: The coffee shop movement

A comforting aroma of freshly ground coffee beans, intricately hung canvas artwork, catch-ups on a sinking leather sofa, and the welcoming buzz of a busy brunch – the coffee shop vibe is a barometer of what’s trending in the interior world today. 

Today’s most popular coffee shop visions are expertly crafted for simple comfort and often resemble what we want from our own homes. To demonstrate, we analysed Google Trends data and found demand for “cafe style” has increased by 153% over the past year. Further analysis of Pinterest Trends indicates 85% more people are looking for inspiration on “coffee table ideas” compared to 2021. 

Such a pattern of demand shows the coffee shop movement is entering our homes as a means to create comfort and showcase style through our living rooms, dining rooms and coffee tables. After all, people’s sense of style is as individual as their coffee order.

Which cities have the most 'Instagrammable' coffee shops? 

In our analysis, we compared coffee shop interiors around the United Kingdom to showcase how trends vary and style changes depending on the cities we live. 

As with any design, how we value an interior is subjective. To better quantify the research, Instagram engagement data was analysed to determine the most photogenic (or Instagramable) coffee shops across the UK’s 20 most popular cities. 

Top UK cities for aesthetic coffee shops data table showcasing 20 cities with total Instagram following, average Tripadvisor rating and most popular design style. Data pulled 2022.

Manchester tops the table with a total follower count of 119,919. The total features Ezra & Gil, a mesmerising contemporary urban space in the city's Northern Quarter. We’re highlighting this venue for its inventive use of hanging industrial spotlights that capture the imaginative urban vibe of Manchester.

Belfast ranks a close second on our list. We want to highlight two coffee shops here – Guilt Trip and The Pocket. Guilt Trip takes an industrial approach that exposes cracked concrete and the building’s wiring. A red neon sign is mounted on the wall and takes centre stage. The Pocket, while remaining true to an industrial aesthetic, also takes elements of Scandinavian design to incorporate natural light, leafy plant life and neutral pastel tones.  

Edinburgh rounds up the top three. When reviewing the coffee shops in this historical Scottish city, we observed a wide variety of different styles. From minimalist Scandinavian design at Twelve Triangles to a memorable maximalist approach from Love Crumbs – each interior feels as individual and unique as the city itself. 

To uncover some hidden gems, Tripadvisor ratings were analysed to find extraordinary coffee shop spaces based on average customer reviews. Here’s what we found: 

CityAverage Tripadvisor Rating
Newcastle upon Tyne4.6

York – with an Instagram following of 94,590 among five of its most popular coffee shop destinations – is the only top followed city to also feature in the list for best reviewed on Tripadvisor. With an average review of 4.8, York is full of amazing coffee shops to explore. 

And with an average Tripadvisor rating of 4.9, we identified Glasgow as a hidden gem for interior design. BAM Glasgow is a perfect example. Taking a vintage approach, this coffee shop is wrapped in a deep olive green with natural wood and gold accents for an antique finish that is a pleasure for the senses – there is something of note everywhere you look. 

“There is a lot we can learn about designing our home spaces and coffee tables by looking at our favourite coffee shops”

– Laura Rich, Furniturebox

UK cities are unique and individual, so the purpose of this research is to highlight places for interior design inspiration outside of our traditional comfort zone. In a conversation about being inspired by our surroundings, Furnitureox Product Developer Laura Rich said “coffee shop design is not a specific trend, but rather a styling value of working to create a comfortable and relaxing space – there is a lot we can learn about designing our home spaces by looking at our favourite coffee shops”. 

The most popular coffee shop interior trend is industrial

Through our research we noted the most popular coffee shop interior design trends across the country. Here are the top three coffee shop interior design trends:

  1. Industrial 
  2. Scandinavian 
  3. Traditional 

We found industrial is the most popular trend, featuring most prominently in seven different cities including Liverpool, London, and Brighton. 

Scandinavian is a close second, with the trend appearing most popular in six cities across the country. Key examples include Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds, and Cardiff – which shows how wide-reaching the Scandinavian interior trend has become. 

A traditional approach places third most popular, present in three cities including Oxford. 

Furniturebox’s five tips for a cosy coffee shop vibe at home

After analysing some of the United Kingdom’s most popular coffee shop interiors, here are our five expert tips for creating the vibe at home:

1. Use a dark feature wall for drama and intimacy

Coffee shops often use dark bold colours to create a sense of drama and intimacy, making a space feel more impactful yet cosy. North Shore Coffee Co in Newcastle upon Tyne uses a matte black frame around the serving station and offsets the feature with natural wood. 

Recreate this coffee shop staple in your home using a shade of warm chocolate or deep navy on one living room wall. This style looks particularly striking around a fireplace or large hanging mirror. Finish the rest of the room using a lighter palette – think neutral cream and eggshell white to create a cosy vibe without making the space feel too enclosed or imposing. 

Many industrial and cottagecore style coffee shops use exposed natural red brick to create a stunning two-tone effect. If you have this feature present in your home, consider using the exposed brick as a feature wall instead. You can also cheat the look using modern cladding. 

2. Plan your layout 

The layout of a coffee shop is designed for the ultimate cosy customer experience, so there is lots to learn from these spaces when rearranging your living space. Established Coffee in Belfast shows to plan the perfect layout you should start from a blank canvas. The space is focused to encourage group conversation and create a welcoming atmosphere. Long tables are placed on either side of the room and in the centre. 

By looking at coffee shop spaces like Established Coffee, we learn that it's important to ground your home space with deliberate structure. Make the social hub – be that a dining or coffee table – central to the room and in line with any key features such as a fireplace. 

Once the initial structure is in place add additional seating, fill your shelves and incorporate throws and pillows for texture – this creates a warm ambience built from a strong foundation. 

3. Change up the seating arrangements

Seating is key whether it's in a busy coffee shop or a cosy living room. What we can learn from a place like The Danish Bakery (Brød) is that you can diversify the uses of a room through smart seating arrangements – the sofa and table may be central to a room, but fringe areas need some love too. 

Coffee shops show that your living room or kitchen can be a place to chat but also read, work, and indulge in your favourite hobby. One suggestion is to place a full-back armchair in the far corner of the room – zone this with a standing lamp, rug, and bookshelf to create a reading nook to relax and have some solitude. 

4. Embrace layered lighting

Lighting is a powerful tool for designers to wield. Many coffee shops use a trend called layered lighting to make a space feel more warm and welcoming. Layered lighting involves the use of multiple sources of light to create a sense of balance. North Star Coffee Shop in Leeds use a vast range of hanging pendants and spotlights to highlight specific areas of the room. They also use mounted wall lights to illuminate particularly shadowy areas. 

Incorporating natural light is an important element of layered lighting (think about the open front of a coffee shop that looks out onto the high street). Natural light breathes fresh energy into a space so this should be your main light source. Ambient lighting, which is a beam emanating from the ceiling, should be used to cast the room in a warm glow. Create additional focus light sources using standing lamps to put a spotlight on darker areas of the room or over seating areas. 

When creating a layered lighting effect, use LED bulbs as they are more cost-effective, eco-friendly, and mimic natural light better than most other options. 

5. Create a DIY coffee station 

The counter is the most visually striking element of any coffee shop. It’s stacked with visual treats and the machine appears vintage yet futuristic at the same time. An authentic coffee counter might feel like a hard feature to replicate, but you can create a version at home. 

Bakers and Co in Bristol display a range of ingredients on its counter, almost like a pantry. Create this at home using open shelving or cabinets, In this space, display items like eggs bread and any tasty cakes you have in the cupboard. Place coffee paraphernalia on centre stage – think bags of ground coffee, a cafetiere, and your favourite set of mugs hung from the handle. This farmhouse aesthetic looks great in a kitchen or a corner of your living room. 

The role of a coffee table in your home

Like your go-to table at your usual roastery, a coffee table is the heart of cosy social interaction in your home. This is the case whether you're hosting a gathering or settling down to watch your new favourite show (or re-watch Friends for the tenth time). 

Practical and central to the room, coffee tables are the finishing touch that completes the coffee shop vibe. Here you can let your creative flare run wild and present your values within the space – a clear personality is the earmark of a great coffee shop and home.

Coffee tables come in all shapes, sizes and materials. Some are round with glass tops to fit in a small contemporary room; others are much larger and made from stone materials like marble to make a bold statement. Moreover, woods like mango tend to create a natural and minimalist feel, fitting perfectly with the broader Scandinavian trends of today. Another option is to look at metal frames for a more industrial or modern look. 

What type of coffee table fits your home style? The decision is yours to make. 

Coffee table styling for different interior styles

To get the coffee shop vibe at home, we reimagined your living room in five of the most popular interior styles: Contemporary, minimalist, Scandinavian, industrial, and farmhouse. Is your home ready for a coffee shop-inspired makeover? 

Contemporary coffee table 

Contemporary coffee table styling flat lay

Contemporary or modern interiors balance a welcoming atmosphere without being too cluttered. With a contemporary style, expect sophisticated use of textures, lines and a unique focus on colour and layout that makes a room feel much larger than reality. 

Our imagining of a contemporary living space begins with a circular glass and chrome coffee table – it’s dressed using a trio of pastel tone candles and a bowl of wooden beads to contrast the cold metal frame. House plants are arranged around the room in vases of various shapes and sizes, a shaped wall mirror is mounted on the far wall to reflect a neutral palette with splashes of colour. 

Minimalist coffee table

Minimalist coffee table style guide

Minimalism is an interior trend movement that strips a space down to its core function, creating a sense of purpose without clutter. We imagined this space using a tiered shelving unit for vertical storage, a simple grey sofa bed for practicality, and a contemporary matte black coffee table as a bold centrepiece.

The room is decorated using an industrial steel lamp and a designer book stack to draw your eye to the coffee table – it’s then presented in a combination of white, grey, and black to establish clean lines and structure. 

Scandi coffee table

Scandinavian coffee table styling flat lay

There is a streak of minimalism found in Scandinavian interior design, but key characteristics like nature and natural lighting set it apart. Wood is a hallmark of Scandi design, and we reimagined this vibe using a solid mango wood coffee table to create clean lines and contrast the neutral blue three-seater fabric sofa

Further elements of nature are introduced through lush green plants and twisted brown pampas grass, all of which are displayed in a variety of abstract vases. These elements are placed throughout the room including a small mango wood side table beside the sofa. 

A diffuser is placed on the coffee table to envelop the room with a warm scent of natural oils. 

Industrial coffee table

Industrial coffee table styling flat lay

Industrial interior design shows there is beauty found in the very skeleton of a building. This trend displays the materials many seek to conceal. We imagined this space using a dark walnut mango wood coffee table. With the grain exposed, this table provides a strong foundation – it’s also dressed using a puzzle box ornament and a lantern to further highlight the industrial aesthetic. 

A mixture of cool metal and dark wood is used throughout the rest of the room. The space is illuminated using an exposed industrial hanging pendant. Additional lighting options like a black steel table lamp are used to create a layered effect. 

Farmhouse coffee table

Farmhouse coffee table styling flat lay

Farmhouse interior design takes elements of traditional style. It’s synonymous with natural tones, organic wood accents and homely comfort. To imagine this trend, we set the stage with a round white gloss coffee table to establish an element of chic sensibility. A set of ornate floral crockery is arranged on the table alongside a vase of flowers and potpourri for a true farmhouse feel. 

The room is filled with pastels and light neutral tones. Plush cushions and checkered throws are arranged across an iconic Chesterfield sofa and lazy fallback armchair

How will you style your coffee table?

image of mobile phone on white desk, displaying the Furniturebox UK instagram page

We love seeing how our customers style their Furniturebox products or ideas from our guides, so be sure to give us a follow on Insta and tag us in your home styling photos for a chance to get featured! We've also got lots of inspiration over on our Pinterest!


Interior experts Furniturebox analysed the UK's top coffee shops across the top 20 most popular UK cities to see which UK city has the most photogenic and aesthetically pleasing coffee shops. 

The top 20 cities were selected from YouGov's most popular cities research. 

Seedlists of the best coffee shops in each area were then analysed to select the top 5 coffee shops in each city. They then analysed each coffee shop's Instagram page to record their interior style and number of Instagram followers. 

TripAdvisor ratings for each coffee shop were also taken. 

Data pulled August 2022.  


*Data collected September 2022

Fair Use Statement 

If you enjoyed our coffee table interior design guides and would like to feature the designs or our most Instagrammable coffee shop data in your own story, then please do! We only ask that you please credit Furniturebox and link to this page. 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.