Tucked away on the third floor of a massive glass building, Tea Trails is a new tea lounge in Bandra Kurla Complex, the commercial hub of Mumbai. It is the second of a chain that launched its first outlet in Thane. Spread across 1100 sq ft, the cafes decor much in contrast to its industrial surroundings, is soothing and classic - just the feel that Design Works, the design firm behind its chic look, was expected to bring out. A challenge for the designers, this unique cafe was initially an open space that did not even have four defined walls. They have utilised this open space to advantage by maintaining its high-ceiling, which reflects the feel of an open lobby or loft.
Tea Trails serves gourmet tea from all over the world and therefore the proprietors wanted an environment that showcases the ´tea-leaf´ as its theme. The colour palette is, thus, an amalgamation of light and refreshing colours such as green, yellow and amber, all pertaining to the theme. Design Work´s innovative design enables the 1100 sq ft area to seat about 35-40 people. The first space saving concept of the layout is the central open kitchen and snack counter. On one side, it has a table and chair setting whereas on the other, it has an informal couch-chair and stool seating arrangement.
Since there is no wall separating the cafe from the outside, the design team has made wooden frames to create this partition visually. This wall, adorned with wooden frames that are filled with interactive info-graphics and posters with fun facts about ´tea´, as well as the wooden frame partition that showcases varied tea-sets and cups, both significantly contribute to the theme and amplify the concept of the tea cafe. The wooden partition and frames give this cafe a homely vibe.
Light and easy
Although the corner table next to the window receives bright sunlight, the rest of the cafe is playfully luminated with bright DIY cookie-jar light fixtures that add a homely element to the environment.
Unlike many other places which intend to follow themes but often waver off course, this space surely reflects the tea culture and has stayed true to its refreshing vibe.
Design Team: Design Works
Total Area: 1,100 sq ft
Design Works, A104, Shiv Chamber, Sector 11, CBD-Belapur,
Navi Mumbai 400614
Tel: 91 22 27573030
Meet the designers
Jinu Kurien & Raj Singh
Firm: Design Works, founded in 2000.
Firm specialisation: Architecture and Communication Design. Their portfolio is currently dominated by projects from Institutional and Hospitality sectors.
Design philosophy: Connecting people, the context & design through a cross-disciplinary process. As a team, our work culture can be referred to as ,collaborative individualism´. Philosophy towards life: We are a team, so there are probably many philosophies at work.
Favourite architect/Designer: There are so many favourites. Difficult to pick one.