A peek through the hexagonal frame of Little Nuffield’s shop front after hours reveals a cosy little cafe world within. The space is like a diorama - it is shoe-box in size and there’s an assortment of objects in pretty colours and contrasting textures arranged ‘just so’ and gently lit to create a warm, inviting glow.
Working within a floor space of less than 20sqm and an equally modest budget, it took some fresh thinking to transform this space on Auckland’s upmarket Nuffield Street into a popular coffee spot (and finalist entry in the 2012 Best Awards). The designers, Material Creative, embraced geometric shapes and vibrant colours to make less seem more, and layered old and new elements to accentuate the ideas of play and diversity. Where possible, materials were repurposed to allow funds to be allocated to the more impactful elements, a tiled counter-front for example, which ties the interior fit-out back to the branding.
From the street view, the mosaic counter of hand-glazed tiles makes a dramatic statement, while overhead, a colourful sign made from laser cut polystyrene and wrapped in layers of wool follows suit. There are sleeker, refined elements here - glossy, hexagonal tiles behind the counter, low hanging ambient lights and shiny cabinets - but these are juxtaposed with more rustic and raw materials - geometric shelving crafted from old pallets, timber panels, concrete floors and exposed pipes ‘aged’ with copper paint. Despite the sharp contrast in materials, there’s a strong sense of cohesion and a connection to the brand achieved in every element of the interior space.