Creating A Funky But Heritage Worthy Cafe On A Budget

Withington Baths Cafe Moregeous Design 2

It’s hard to believe Team LWB have only been ‘in charge’ at Withington Baths for a few short weeks and SO much has changed already! This week we had a little trial run in the new coffee stop and it was absolutely lovely to see it filled with flowers, cake and happy customers. Betty, Pat & Tommy all enjoyed some post-swim treats after our super full baby massage class mums had left 😉

Over Sixties in Withington Baths Cafe

We’re still deciding which posh bean2cup coffee machine to get plus I need two more round bistro tables but pretty much everything else is done. What was once a dingy, burgundy painted, wasted space has now a cool, monochrome half and half look, utilising & repairing the timber panelling and adding dado rail for detail, dropping it down on the long wall run for extra effect. The paints used are White Hot and Evening Coat by Valspar, and the latter colour is fast becoming one of my favourites, working equally well indoors or outside.

Withington Baths cafe before & after

The awful fluorescent tubes are gone and replaced by two delightful chandeliers from John Lewis, but not before being sprayed Withy Baths blue first to give some fun and lift to the white ceiling area. I spray primed them as they had quite a shiny finish, to ensure the top coat blue ‘stuck’.
Blue sprayed painted chandelier MoregeousOnce the walls were painted and the grey carpet tile flooring down – chosen as it hides a multitude of sins and we can easy replaced damaged or spilled on tiles – it was kitchen shopping time! We needed a super practical area as last year’s Summer Banquet showed, with a large sink area, decent counter top surface and plenty of storage. Ikea came up trumps as I designed a four unit run with Bodbyn doors, a huge double ceramic sink which has already proven its weight in Summer Camp gold and a very on trend black tap called Glittran.

Our budget didn’t stretch to marble but I knew it’d look spectacular. Hmmmm. Much sample searching later and I found one which, though laminate, really looks the part. Beautiful, affordable and practical for what will doubtless be many coffee spillages. It’s fooled a couple of visitors too, with cries of ‘This worktop’s more expensive than mine!’ Little do they know…. oh ok, they know now!

The photo of our two fav kitchen fitters makes me smile every time I see it – two builder bookends 🙂2015-08-13_0005

Eight slightly shabby chairs are now blue, grey or white and freshly upholstered using a fab fabric found on Ebay – Christian Lacroix’s Piscine for Designers Guild and a deep grey from John Lewis’ fabric dept. The chairs were quite modern so I used upholstery pins to hold the cloth in place, long lengths for ease & speed instead of individual nails. I love these chairs and the blue bubble effect fabric, it might just be my most favourite find for the cafe.
Upholstered Deisgners Guild chairs MoregeousLast weekend’s fab haul at the Decorative & Salvage Show included this old pub table with a pine circular top thick with years of varnish & grime and a solid cast iron ornate base. To give a nice contrast with our dark grey flooring,  I scrubbed it with a wire brush and sprayed the iron base with off-white Valspar spray paint. The top I belt sanded, charcoal chalk painted, waxed, lightly distressed then polished for a smooth finish. Full of character for a character fuelled Baths 🙂

Restored pub table MoregeousMore chairs were needed and Ikea came up trumps with these oak Börje chairs. Even though they’d have looked perfectly good dressed with their original cream covers I gave them a twist using this bright & cheery Stockholm fabric at just £6 a metre, cutting it to shape and stapling it to the underside of the chair seats. It picks up the bubble effect of the blue fabric and gives a sunshine lift to the cafe colour scheme. Fab!
Upholstered Ikea chairs MoregeousOn reading this back it’s clear I’m going for the world bloggin record on how many crafty DIY ideas you can pack into one blog post!

  • Grey kitchen doors
  • Marble top (affordable!)
  • Black tap
  • Monochrome half & half wall paint
  • Upcycling chair seats
  • Chalk painted table top
  • Spray painted furniture and chandelier

What do you think then? A success? Come join us for a quick coffee soon, I’ll let you know when the cappuccinos are in x

Withington Baths Cafe Moregeous Design 3

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