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The Applecart Arts community cafe was my first ever professional design role. 

The space was brought to life by a small tight-knit team on a tight budget, within a grade II listed building in need of some serious tlc!

The design role came with a short brief- the cafe needed to have a community focus, be true to the buildings Victorian roots and be as environmentally friendly as possible.

When approaching the design I knew I wanted to create a sense of togetherness in the space; I chose larger tables that would fit more chairs around them as well as one large trestle-like table; perfect for encouraging customers to sit together and converse with one another. I wanted to include bookshelves filled with donated, second hand books to eventually act as a community book swap scheme and as a nod to the buildings original purpose- a public library. 

The colour scheme was sampled directly from Victorian living room reference pictures- I went for bright, bold reds and yellows against a soft sage to create a friendly, playful feel while maintaining a calming atmosphere where people could come and work, read or relax. 

All of the furniture featured in the space is second hand; made up of items I found on facebook marketplace within the Hastings and st Leonard’s area- this was a personal touch, referencing some of the coffee shops i enjoyed visiting as a child growing up in Hastings, East Sussex. 


Community cafe designed by Hannah Williams

Refurbished by Hannah Williams, Meg Bird, Peter Moreton, Will Alder, Steven Alder and Suzie Alder

Special thanks to all the volunteers to helped bring the cafe designs to life and to Forest Recycling Project for helping us achieve the exact shade of sage green and supplying us with second hand, up-cycled paints.

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