How To Design the Perfect Coffee Bar

Built In Coffee Maker with Warming Drawer

When I meet with clients, we discuss how they live and work in their kitchen, Beyond cooking, food preservation, and pantry, the coffee maker always ranks in the top 10. Offering a guest a cup of coffee is part of social norms. Friends often say “let’s meet for coffee” Today that coffee culture has made its way into kitchen design. Having everything you need right at your fingertips adds a level of enjoyment to any kitchen function. The same is true for brewing coffee. Today I five have examples to help you find the perfect coffee bar. 

Why do you need a coffee bar?

If you work outside the home, the office “coffee kitchen” or even the local coffee bar/truck was a moment to reset, a mental recess from the daily grind. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Back to the days of Seinfield “the comedy show about nothing”. Friday morning coffee bar chats revolved around what happened on that show. That cup of coffee got you up from your desk talking with your co-workers. Why is that important you ask?

Fast forward to our new normal, working from home. Now there are virtual interactions and sitting for hours on end at our desks. How can we find some normalcy in our new work environment?  What replaces that daily mental recess? Along with basement environments, home offices, and expanded at-home entertaining options, coffee bars became top remodeling requests.

Everything you need for the perfect coffee bar. 

Perfect coffee bar basics: storage.

Most kitchens have a least one coffee maker. Whether you are a traditional drip coffee drinker, a “K Cup” type, Chemex, or a French Press enthusiast, coffee consumption comes with an entourage.  Here are some things you will need to store.

  • beans\coffee
  • coffee grinder
  • filters
  • milk steamers/frothers
  • and lets us not forget spoons, napkins, and sweeteners. 

Designing a multi-purpose coffee bar.

This photo shows great use of space between the kitchen and breakfast room. An under-counter refrigerator is a nice luxury. Even a small refrigerator will free space in the main refrigerator for milk and creamers. The coffee maker is always ready to brew a cup of joe.  Storage of every coffee-making necessity is in one place. Coffee and tea service can be stored in the wall cabinets. In a busy kitchen, this coffee bar can double as a breakfast central or provide an additional serving counter when entertaining. 

White cabinets with glass doors create the perfect coffee bar. Designed by Sharon L Sherman Kitchen Designer NJ

Coffee Bar designed by Thyme & Place Design

This coffee bar is set up for double duty. I located this bar between the family room and kitchen. This is the perfect coffee bar location for serving coffee or brunch. I concealed the refrigerator behind a matching cabinet front. All the coffee service needs are stored right in one place.

Ebonized black stained cabinets contain everything you need for storing and serving coffer. Designed yby Sharon L Sherman Thyme & Place Design Kitchen Designer NJ

Coffee bar

Next, we have our traditional kitchen coffee bar. Here the refrigerator is disguised as a drawer base cabinet. I also included a copper sink and faucet with an instant hot to brew tea. The glass door cabinets display the client’s colorful cups and canisters. The arched valance gives the space a nice furniture touch. We have many old farmhouse-style homes in our area. This design detail is a lovely addition to the kitchen.

Hidden Refrigerator Coffee Bar

The Perfect Coffee: The hidden refrigerator


The last three designs required some space. These next two fit into small areas. Here a 36″ wide counter is the perfect perch for the coffee maker. Creamers are right next door in the refrigerator. Coffee mugs are conveniently located in the wall cabinet above along with coffee and filters. It is the prefect spot for a grab and go cup of joe. 

Small coffee bar tucked between the refrigerator and the oven. Designed by Sharon L Sherman Thyme & Place Design Kitchen Designer NJ

Small coffee bar


Built-in coffee brewing luxury.

Nothing says luxury like a built-in coffee maker.  This model not only makes coffee, espresso, lattes, and cappuccino, it is connected to a water source. No refilling of the reservoir. You can program it so your morning coffee is ready when you are. It is super easy to clean and provides consistently high-quality coffee brewing. Here the warming drawer keeps not just your coffee cups warm but your breakfast sandwiches too. Here is the best news, it is only 24″ wide! If you love coffee, I would highly recommend considering a built-in coffee maker when designing your perfect coffee bar. 

Miele built in coffee maker. The ultimate in coffee ar luxury.

Miele built-in coffee maker


I hope you enjoyed this post and have gotten some ideas for creating a perfect coffee bar for your home. Have a friend who loves coffee too? Please feel free to share this post with them. Have you created your own coffee bar? I would love to hear all about it. If you need help designing your own home, I have several service packages which might be just perfect for you. 

I am planning something special for next month. All about wine and design. I hope you will subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any of the fun.  See you in May.


Sharon is the founder of Thyme and Place Design, headquartered in Wyckoff, New Jersey. She’s been practicing kitchen and bath design for the past 40 years and is a Past President of the American Society of Interior Designers – New Jersey chapter. 

Follow her on Instagram by clicking this link:

Her award-winning designs and editorial comments have been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Design Milk, Bergen NJ magazineKitchen & Bath Design News, Woman’s Day, Country Decorating, Design NJ, New Jersey Home Magazine, 201 Magazine, The Best of Bergen, Savvy Living, The Vue, The Record, The Star-Ledger,  and Aspire as well as several books.

Her blog “Tips from the Trade” appears in digital form on and She has also appeared on HGTV’s My Big Amazing Renovation and episodes of House Smarts with Lou Manfredini.  In 2022, she was a featured *Voices From The Industry* speaker at the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s international convention and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Kitchen Bath & Business magazine.







  1. Lisa Peck

    Coffee bars are so fun! I love how you showed such different styles. Something for everyone.

    • Sharon L Sherman

      Thank you Lisa. You really do not need a large space to create a cozy coffee nook.

  2. Linda Merrill

    So true about the value of the coffee station in the office. I really miss that now that I no longer work in an office! I have a coffee cabinet in my kitchen and there is something very satisfying about it!

    • Sharon L Sherman

      Linda, I find myself heading to the local coffee shop just to get away from my desk if only for a few minutes in the drive-through. They are so friendly there, I like to visit.

  3. Janet Lorussl

    Those are some dreamy coffee bars!! And I so agree, it’s becoming a new standard in kitchens to include a coffee or beverage bar area!

    • Sharon L Sherman

      Thank you Janet. Cocktail and Wine bars are popular. Stay tuned for next month! It will be Wine Time!


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Sharon sherman

My award-winning designs haven been featured in multiple magazines, industry publications and on television. That’s nice affirmation, to be sure.

But perhaps the greatest accolade I’ve received is the repeat engagements with so many clients, project after project, year after year.

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