Many new restaurants, coffee shops and cafes are popping up in larger cities around the country almost every week. In one of the largest cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, a 900-square-foot upscale coffee shop, known as Modern Coffee, recently established another location, which stands out with its decorative graphic tiles.

“This is the owners’ second location [in Oakland]. It was a renovation of a retail space within a historic building,” said Brooke Taylor, director of interiors at Arcsine in Oakland, CA. “The clients were very involved and actually had in mind from the beginning to incorporate a decorative tile. The overall design intent was to feel modern, considering the name of the coffee shop, but also to be as warm and welcoming, as the two owners are.”

When you enter the cafe, your eyes are immediately drawn to the floors, which feature black and white patterned 8-x 8-inch tiles from Granada Tile’s Echo collection in the deco, Cluny. The cement tiles incorporate a black and white handmade pattern that invites visitors in.

Further into the restaurant is a trio of steps that lead you to the second floor, which includes an ordering area, pick-up counter and additional seating. The space on the second floor is distinctly identified with its floor tile transition. Larger, dark gray tiles from Crossville, Inc. were used on the floors, which provide a stark contrast to the graphic tiles on the floor below.

On the feature wall behind the counter is the cafe’s brightest element — a white glossy wall constructed of rectangular subway tiles from Dal-Tile, with “coffee” inscribed on top in bright red lettering — which provides a nice complement to the darker floors. “The clients’ first location had established a charcoal and white palette with pops of red, so we knew we would build on that,” explained Taylor. “The millwork and ribbon-like wood and metal counter and drink ledges were very modern in nature, so the decorative tile provided a great counterpoint to soften the space. The simple black and white colors of the tile allowed the traditional motif to feel contemporary. The other tile selections followed from the decorative tile to complement it without competing.”

To complete the new location for Modern Coffee, around 920 square feet of tile was used, the majority of which was allotted for the second floor’s flooring. It took around three months to finish, and thus far, the response has been overwhelming. “The space gets Instagrammed frequently, especially the decorative tile,” said Taylor. “It is a beloved neighborhood spot.”

Modern Coffee

Oakland, CA

Designer: Arcsine, Oakland, CA
Tile Suppliers: Granada Tile, Los Angeles, CA (Echo collection in Cluny deco); Crossville, Inc., Crossville, TN (dark gray floor tile); Dal-Tile, Dallas, TX (white subway wall tile)
Installer: Bali Construction, Walnut Creek, CA