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How to renovate your bar : 3 proposals – one for every budget

Do you want to update the style of your bar, but don’t have the time or the money for a full makeover? Don’t worry, because you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to give a total makeover to your bar; instead, you could opt for a restyling operation and, in this post, you will find three solutions for renovating and furnishing your bar according to the budget you have available. 

In this era of Instagram and social networks – where images change quickly and constantly and all the attention is focused on aesthetics  – even business activities, bars and shops are involved in a real image revolution where  architecture, design and even furnishing of outdoor areas (link) contribute to creating a successful concept.

But regardless of the style you would like to give your bar, there is one thing you must always bear in mind. Indeed the first piece of advice we want to give you is precious, useful and at the same time inexpensive: the thorough cleaning of all the surfaces (floors, wall facings, furnishings and fabrics) is an excellent starting point for breathing new life into your bar.  The attention dedicated to the client and the attention to detail can be seen in even the most simple gestures such as cleanliness and tidiness.

Low budget: all the “ploys” for renovating

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Only having a small budget available for restyling your bar may seem like a real limitation, but it is possible to achieve an excellent result by channeling the energy and resources you have available in the right way. 

A simple way to give character to a neutral environment is to hang  themed or seasonal objects on the walls according to a particular topic. For example, if you like sport, it would a brilliant idea to hang vintage sports items such as old skis, tennis rackets, baseball bats, catchers’ mits or autographed t-shirts. 

If, on the other hand,  you are art lovers, you could involve an artist or a photographer and exhibit some of their works in your bar, that way your bar or coffee shop will be transformed into a temporary art gallery, by attracting curious visitors and creating an eclectic and continually changing environment.

Furthermore, if you have a flair for any type of D-I-Y work you can find endless ideas on social sites like Pinterest (link) or on home decorating blogs which can help you to liven up and personalize the walls of your bar. 

Furnishing your interiors with indoor plants is a great green choice and has a good impact, so yes to small glass jars or tin pots to place on the table where you can put flowers or small cacti which are easy to look after, such as Echeveria, or Crassula Ovata.

Window stickers are an easy and cheap solution, aimed at communicating an advertising message or for creating a themed window dressing . You can find many different varieties on sale and ready to use, if however you prefer a made-to-measure personalized product ,we recommend contacting a graphic artist.

If you use table menus in your bar, you could change the graphic page layout, choosing a new format and background on which to write. Renewing your menu (link) always guarantees a good result because it communicates a fresh and up-to-date image of the services you are offering. 

Even the chairs are an excellent place to start for refurnishing your bar. Are the ones you have worn out and old-fashioned? If the basic structures are in good condition, you could simply change the fabric covering, or if you have hard chairs or stools, you can simply give them a new coat of varnish.

And finally, if you have curtains and fabric furnishing accessories in your bar such as cushions and tablecloths, you could renovate them, getting a great result while spending relatively little! 

Medium budget: what to ask the professionals

professionisti per rinnovo bar

If you have a few more funds available to devote to restyling your business, then the range of possibilities really opens up and allows you to call on the expertise of real professionals. Here are some of the most important points:

• Repainting the walls of your bar is a fundamental way to revive and renovate the style of your establishment. Do you love bright colors?  Try painting one wall of your bar in a bright color that you love and leave the others in a softer tone. Or otherwise, if you are fans of the classic style  you can paint the walls in large vertical stripes with neutral colors to create a chic and welcoming environment.

• Does your counter have an outdated look but not enough to be considered fashionable? No problem, you can always repaint it with enamels or resins or even cover it with adhesive films rather than having to resurface it by using the decoupage technique. Besides panels, often it is possible to replace the bar counter top by asking a professional expert to make you a made-to-measure counter top. What material should you choose? There is a wide range of things to choose from on the market. Say yes to Fenix, one of the latest generation laminates with a soft look yet resistant, synthetic quartz is always an excellent idea, or alternatively,  a covering in varnished steel to astound your customers.

• Would you really like to replace all your tables and chairs but you don’t have sufficient budget? Just buy some chairs and stools, you will save money without having to sacrifice that new look for your coffee shop.

• Change the wall menus, personalize them! On Pinterest.com there are so many ideas for displaying the price list of drinks and foods that you serve in your establishment.

• And finally, the lights. With a medium-sized budget it’s not possible to replace the entire electrical system of your business but you have to be smart. For example, if you have hanging lights over your counter area, you could replace them by creating lampshades out of recycled items  rather than buying a whole new light base. A coffee shop or bar should be well-lit, environments which are too dark are a no-no unless the mood of your establishment calls for it. In general, we recommend replacing your light-bulbs with the LED version in a warm-white color; you will undoubtedly create a more warm and welcoming atmosphere.

How to re-furnish a bar with a higher budget

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If you have a reasonable amount of money available, you can opt for a major renovation job involving an architect or an interior designer who can follow all the phases of the work, from the planning and design phase to overseeing the work.

Always start off with an idea, if your business already has a strong image, the aim will be to update the design without detracting from its identity. If not,  you can always decide to change the look of your bar completely, starting from a new concept or theme, so let your imagination run wild!

  • When you decide to carry out major restructuring, it is always good practice to check and, if necessary,  overhaul all of the electrical,  plumbing and air conditioning systems, so as to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.
  • Renovating the flooring is an operation that can have a great impact and really give a fresh new look to your bar. It is not always necessary to replace the existing floor but quite often it is possible simply to cover the surface with a new material such as, for example,  porcelain stoneware, vinyl laminate or even parquet. A highly successful  alternative is to use resin, which can be applied to cover the existing floor with a very thin layer, without needing to demolish anything. The final result is that you can obtain an interesting continuous surface effect which it is not possible to achieve with ceramic materials.
  • A good furnishing project is fundamental for creating an eye-catching and functional environment. The bar counter should be designed to accommodate all the various functions : storage, preparation, and service. The espresso machine should be positioned where it is easily visible, preferably also from outside the bar. The choice of refrigerated display case is definitely something worth thinking about. The vertical model is more suitable for smaller spaces while the drop-in version is the best choice for displaying pastries and croissants.
  • Tables and seating should be chosen according to the design concept. On the market there are many design companies for all budgets.  Be careful when choosing your coverings, if you like fabrics and want to use them in your bar, make sure they are water-proof or washable. 
  • The lighting is an area not be underestimated in the planning, light is an integral part of the architecture and is fundamental in creating the right atmosphere. Where possible, take advantage of natural light, and use artificial light only where absolutely necessary. Put your trust in a  lighting designer who will help you to choose the best types of lighting to install in your bar.
  • The Shop Sign is a fundamental element, it is the business card for your coffee shop and it is very important that it is in line with the identity and the mood of your bar. A new and captivating Shop Sign will certainly catch the eye of passers by. Get in touch with a graphic artist to create a logo which reflects the name and the style of your bar and contact a professional to get the sign made. 

These are just a few useful suggestions for boosting your business, but what your customers will  notice and remember most, more than a great espresso, is the care and attention you show them and the way you treat them. 

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Il team redazionale del blog “Laboratorio dell’espresso” è composto dagli esperti di Filicori Zecchini: tutti professionisti che mettono a disposizione la loro competenza nei vari ambiti di specializzazione, dalla formazione, alla consulenza, alla creazione della migliore offerta per la vostra attività.

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