Starbucks design for your dining hall | Pinnacle Furniture

Adopt Starbucks Design For Your Dining Hall


Schools and colleges often request a dining hall design that mimicks the popular Starbucks café.  We will look at how school dining areas can be styled like Starbucks by adopting the Starbucks design tactics.

The Starbucks approach

With nearly 800 Starbucks cafés in the UK, the recognisable brand and eye-catching store design has been sought after by schools over the country.

Starbucks design their stores to be a “welcoming, inviting and familiar place for people to connect”.  The retail stores use dark woods and patterned fabrics to provide a homely, relaxing environment.  These warm and natural tones create a memorable experience for customers that they will enjoy again and again.


Starbucks Furniture Style

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.

Some customers may wish to use the comfortable seating areas for a drink and chat – these typically consist of dark leather sofas and wooden coffee tables.  Those grabbing a drink in a hurry may use the perimeter benching with wooden high backed stools.  This benching usually runs inside the windows of the Starbucks store, facing out onto the street or mall.  Other customers who wish to spend longer in the store and have a bit to eat could use the more traditional seating areas with tables and sturdy wooden chairs.


This mixture of casual and traditional seating areas in your canteen or dining area can create a relaxed setting for students.  This environment is especially popular to create an adult space for sixth formers and secondary students.  It gives students a break from lessons in an environment vastly different from that of a classroom.


Starbucks Lighting Design

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 present in all refectories or breakout 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 many stores to differentiate between different seating areas and create a welcoming environment.


Why not be creative with your lighting? Starbucks stores use a wide variety of different lighting types to compliment each specific location.  Speak to our designers about how to use lighting to add some oomph to your student dining design.

Personalisation and Motivation

Starbucks uses personalisation to make every store unique.  Most of this personalisation is designed to compliment the local surroundings and neighbourhood of the stores.  Sometimes local artists are commissioned to create artwork for the store.  Why not display some of your student’s artwork within the area, or your school motto or logo?


The Starbucks store in Dazaifu, Japan features 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”.


While this is not very realistic for a school or college canteen, an imaginative and motivational drinking area will inspire pupils and encourage relaxation and healthy eating.

Speak to us about how we can incorporate your educational branding and values into your refectory for that extra level of personalisation and interest.

Summary of Starbucks Design

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 our experienced designers, it could be easier than you think to create your school or college’s own Starbucks-esque dining area for students or staff.

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
  • Personalisation

For a bespoke dining area design like Starbucks, get in contact with our experienced designers.  We can help create a tailored solution for your dining area or staff room.  Call us on 020 8641 1000 or email us at to book an appointment.

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