The coffee bar offers homeowners on White Bear Lake “their own coffee shop” in their kitchen


The challenge:When designing a new house in White Bear Lake, NewStudio Architecture from St. Paul was commissioned to integrate a coffee bar into the kitchen for their Java connoisseurs. The design had to be practical and tidy, while also accommodating the diverse coffee preferences of the household – from a husband who preferred cappuccino and ice-cream brews to a woman who preferred espressos and drinks.

“Owners like all the accessories that come with having their own coffee shop in their home, but they don’t necessarily want their house to look like a Starbucks or a full-fledged coffee shop,” said Sean Wagner, President / CEO of NewStudio Die Architektur. “It was a desire to have an organized, clean, and modern kitchen interior, but to have the ability to create that coffee bar experience in your home.”

Sign of time:The White Bear Lake residence isn’t the only home NewStudio Architecture has created a coffee station for. Wagner said there were four or five such coffee-flavored inquiries when his company was being rebuilt or rebuilt.

“It started to happen before that [the pandemic]”, he said. “People want this coffee experience, but they don’t want to get in their car and wait in a drive-through or stand in line. Then with COVID, people looked for more ways to create these self-care experiences in their homes. “

The team:Designer Lindsay Matenaer and Coco Dugan Early, architect Sean Wagner; Guidinger Construction / General Contractor Dan Guidinger; Custom Millwork, Rust Brothers.

The solution:Custom-made cabinets were designed to hide the coffee station, which sits enthroned between the drinks bar and the refrigerator. To hide the station with coffee systems such as Cuisinart, Baratza and AreoPress, a hidden cabinet with a hinged door was created.

In order to keep the room clear, electrical and sanitary installations were installed along the wall in the hidden closet. A large pull-out counter was built into one of the shelves for ease of use.

“It allows you to use everything, drag it into place so you can fill the carafes and make your coffee and then put it back away when you’re done,” said Wagner. “You can close the door and all of your devices are out of sight, out of mind.”

Shelves for storing coffee cups and glasses as well as drawers for coffee, tea and accessories ensured a clean look.

The reward: While Wagner uses the old adage “A place for everything and everything in its place”, the design of the coffee station is downright contemporary.

“If you create a suitable area and anticipate the storage, equipment and needs, you can come up with a very functional and very useful solution,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s deliberately designed to be supportive and obscure, so you can make multiple coffee accessories, even different things to make tea, in a modernist aesthetic,” he said.

“The design was important because what happens in the morning usually sets the tone for the day.”

Everyday Solutions features projects by members of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects that solve a homeowner’s everyday design challenges.

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