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Tenant Improvement for a Cheese Tea Shop

Atulea Tea Shop

A bright and cheery tea shop with an “LA Beach Chic” vibe.

Seattle’s occasionally gloomy weather can sometimes make you wish for a more southerly atmosphere. The proprietors of this new tea shop thought a beachy-yet-crisp feel would do the trick.

Sure enough, this bright, cheerful tea shop will lift your spirits (especially once you have a cup of tea). Bold wallpaper covered in a leafy print adds to the lush mood and acts as an eye-catching highlight, drawing the attention of passers-by to step in and check out this perky oasis.

It’s simple enough to design places to consume tea and coffee — instead, the common design challenge with coffee and tea shops is how to make the experience of ordering and then waiting for your beverage a pleasant one. In the often limited spaces of small shops, you have to carefully manage circulation paths — carving out room for a queue of customers, space to wait for your order, a spot to add a lid to your cup — and still meet the needs of both the clientele and those running the shop.

To avoid a pinch point at the entrance, we radiused the counter. This design move inspired the wide, arched opening to the support spaces, visually anchoring the room.

Atulea Tea Shop – Board & Vellum – Commercial Interior Design
Entry Focal Point

Opposite the entry, soft pink glows through an arched opening, warmly welcoming customers into the cheery space. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Entry Focal Point

Opposite the entry, soft pink glows through an arched opening, warmly welcoming customers into the cheery space. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Atulea Tea Shop – Board & Vellum – Commercial Interior Design
Lush Life

Cool green leaves balance just a peek of pink in the bold wallpaper, adding a lush, tropical vibe to the room. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Lush Life

Cool green leaves balance just a peek of pink in the bold wallpaper, adding a lush, tropical vibe to the room. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Atulea Tea Shop – Board & Vellum – Commercial Interior Design
Open Display

Open shelving offers opportunities to display vintage collectibles adding to the chic vibe. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Open Display

Open shelving offers opportunities to display vintage collectibles adding to the chic vibe. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Atulea Tea Shop – Board & Vellum – Commercial Interior Design
Curve Appeal

The rounded counter carves out room to keep customers moving comfortably and creates an aesthetic pair with the arched opening in the back wall. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Curve Appeal

The rounded counter carves out room to keep customers moving comfortably and creates an aesthetic pair with the arched opening in the back wall. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Atulea Tea Shop – Board & Vellum – Commercial Interior Design
Celebrating the Product

Clear glass containers on the open shelving celebrate the beauty of the tea itself. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Celebrating the Product

Clear glass containers on the open shelving celebrate the beauty of the tea itself. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Atulea Tea Shop – Board & Vellum – Commercial Interior Design
Form and Function

Tea and tools placed on open shelves keep them close at hand for staff, and they do double duty as design elements. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Form and Function

Tea and tools placed on open shelves keep them close at hand for staff, and they do double duty as design elements. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Atulea Tea Shop – Board & Vellum – Commercial Interior Design
Flexible Seating

Lightweight tables and chairs encourage flexible seating options along the bistro bench for individuals or small groups. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Flexible Seating

Lightweight tables and chairs encourage flexible seating options along the bistro bench for individuals or small groups. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Atulea Tea Shop – Board & Vellum – Commercial Interior Design
Pretty Little Things

Functional accessories with details in ceramic, wood, and leather elevate the design beyond the usual stainless fixtures, lending a homey feel to the shop. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Pretty Little Things

Functional accessories with details in ceramic, wood, and leather elevate the design beyond the usual stainless fixtures, lending a homey feel to the shop. Atulea Tea Shop | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Notes & Credits
Photography by Tina Witherspoon.

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