café make-over – Low budget but high outcome

Combining old and new and to deal with „complicated conditions“ is one of the things I like most. To make the whole potential of a space visible and create new atmospheres out of old things.

It’s more than a year ago I designed the new Café Sternzeichen in Potsdam. It got a new make-over at the beginning of last year and should had been re-opened on Women’s day March, 8th
But we all know the 2020 story. The pandemic came, the café is closed and some small details are still missing. But I took the chance and made some photos a few days ago.

The café belongs to the Demokratischer Frauenbund, a non-profit organisation that cares for democratic community, fair social living conditions and female rights and offers space for workshops, meetings and education. Mainly it’s a meeting point for those who live in the neighbourhood with educational and leisure offers for seniors as well as young parents and toddlers.

A cozy launch for senior’s tea dance and toddlers and parents in the morning
Warm leather fits perfect to green and plants
One room is more simple and pure, the arrangement can be changed easily for parties and meetings

So my idea was to create rooms of different character because they have to fulfil different functions – conference/café/meeting point – but it should be also recognisable as an harmonic unit. The arrangement of the rooms should be easy to change so it could be used for different events and amount of people. The design has to be inviting and cozy so everyone feels welcome. But it also has to be functional. It should be a place that’s attractive to all generations and speaks to all people. Warm and inviting, inspiring and calm.

Because it’s a non-profit organisation there was only a small budget for that make-over. Some of the old elements had to stay what gave a great challenge to make it a lovely space anyway.

So we kept the old counter that’s not really up-to-date. But I gave the rest of the café a new look that matches perfect to it. Barstools made of brown leather and green walls that match perfect to the red wood of the counter. Lounge chairs, upholstery in brown leather and dark green velvet. Baskets and rattan, plants and pictures that bring in the urban jungle feeling. A cozy couch in addition with poufs and chairs should welcome parents and toddlers in the morning or seniors during tea dance.

Inviting arm chairs in dark green velvet and brown leather underline the urban jungle atmosphere
The new leather barstools and the velvet arm chairs match great to the old wooden counter
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