Not Your Grandmother’s Coffee Shop: Bulka Cafe and Bakery

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Eschewing traditional salvaged and vintage decor, the Bulka Cafe and Bakery breaks out of the coffee house mold, instead favoring earthy and modern aesthetics. In fact, the Crosby Studios design looks more like a garden utility building or a summer home.

On the ceiling, the pipes are exposed but painted white, a contemporary take on an industrial look. For a darker yet subtle effect, the solid wood floors and the tabletops are stained gray with a special shaded oil finish.
The rear wall has more punch, painted with a high-contrast geometric pattern. The other walls are carved out with floor-to-ceiling glazed windows, bringing in natural light and views of the park.

Comfort aside, the sunlight is necessary for the cafe’s collection of plants. Potted cacti, vegetables, and herbs hang from the ceilings and line the shelves. In particular, the central shelf puts plants at the heart of the design, where they may be admired by visitors and used by the bakers. The piece of furniture also divides the room so that the space feels cozy from all corners.

On one side of the unit, there stands the bar and communal table as well as some small tables; on the other, there are several private nooks with a custom-made bench wrapping around the dining area. Each table is set with modern chairs and decorated with industrial lighting, round mirrors, and suspended planters. In the mirror, one can admire the scene; nature and nourishment never seem far away.

Photography by Evgeny Evgrafov

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Holly

Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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