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Secrets of Starbucks Designers

Have you ever noticed how good the interiors of most Starbucks coffee shops look? Have you ever wondered just what it would take to bring that same look to your home or office? According to Starbucks’ designers, one of the secrets is lighting. Lighting has the power to enhance the appearance of textures and surfaces, and even bring attention to focal points and artwork.

According to Jill Enomoto, director of design for Starbucks U.S. Eastern Region, and Min Cho, director of design for Starbucks U.S. Western Pacific Region, Starbucks has a holistic approach to design, looking at how each component contributes to the overall design idea of an environment.

They note that lighting is one such component that’s of the utmost importance. Below, the two Starbucks Designers share some home lighting tips. 

1. Use Sunlight More During the day, you want to rely on sunlight as much as you can when lighting your home. Starbucks does this with large windows and skylights, but even something as simple as mirrors, which reflect light in an interior space, and thinner curtains can bring in more natural light into your home. 

2. Layer your Lighting To layer light inside your home’s living spaces, thin of the different categories of lighting and how they interact with each other. There’s general or overall lighting, focal lighting, and task lighting. Having several types of lighting allows your space to be conducive towards any task or activity, and be useable at any time of the day.

Starbucks also uses decorative lighting pieces like hanging pendants, functional lights like track lights, and ambient sunlight. Cho notes that what you do with your lights is just as important as what lights to choose. For instance, Starbucks designers like to make the bar brighter to bring people’s attention there, choosing to make the rest of the café less bright, but warmer and cozier.

3. Use Energy Efficient Lights, Like LED Light Bulbs In an effort to reduce energy consumption, Enomoto says that Starbucks has already switched the incandescent and halogen lamps in their stores to LED lighting, Although halogens and incandescent bulbs are favored because of their warm light temperatures, LEDs are now just as good, if not better.