Rialto Café, 2014

  • Client Intro

As a young couple took over from the parents, this dated tearoom needed a design slap. We were called upon to create a new vibe which would reflect the couple’s character and appeal to their younger target market.

  • Scope/Client Brief

The space needed a complete redesign. All fittings and old decor were to be stripped out so we could basically start again. With a blank canvas, we could actually see what we were working with and got to work to understand the new client persona we were designing the space for. A young, artisan coffee and baking appreciating clientele would enjoy this space, maybe do some remote work from here or just catch up with friends over a quality cuppa. Loyal regulars would appreciate the comfort of the real fire we discovered and continue to frequent due to the quality menu on offer.

  • Challenges

The layout was odd as the counter wasn’t visible from the entry and the finishes were so old that the paint was peeling and condensation was causing issues. There wasn’t enough well thought out customer seating to cater at volume so a better layout was key. An awkward staircase sat in the middle of the space and that would need some clever design thrown at it!

  • Interior Design Solution

We changed everything! The dysfunctional layout was reconfigured to make more space and create a clever two-zone interior. In front of the stairs the new counter location greets people on entry, and at the back of it is another sitting area with a cosy reading corner and a communal high table for real fire-side socialising.

New durable timber look vinyl dresses the floor and bespoke fitted furniture creates feature seating at the large bay windows. Rewiring enabled a new lighting scheme and the new furniture and accessories specified and sourced by us, brought the theme to life.

The shop has become a much-loved artisan café specialising in rare bean roasts and great quality home baking. We went all industrial, almost steampunk on this one, and created a stunning space that is now so welcoming it’s actually disturbingly hard to leave.