Balance. It might be the most sought-after element of good design, finding that just-right mix of high and low, bold and minimal, old and new.
The latest Temple Coffee location in Sacramento does just that. The coffee roaster’s new shop at 22nd and K (just a quick skip from Lumens HQ) has quickly become a beacon of buzzworthy design in Midtown, thanks to an effortless balance of rustic finishes, modern accents and a penny tile floor so well-loved that it has its own hashtag.
We were eager to learn more, so we caught up with Temple Coffee CEO Sean Kohmescher to hear how the design for this striking new addition came to be.
This is Temple’s 5th location in Sacramento. What was different about designing it?
I tried to work with the space, in general. When I see a space, I don’t try to make a circle fit into a square, so to speak. This space had a full brick exterior [and] large formatted windows. One of the few things remaining were the original trusses—this was originally a 2-story building. We wanted to keep the element of the trusses, and highlight them. Most people paint them a
ll white or all black. I didn’t want to take that route. We started there and continued that wood building/barn feel throughout the whole space.
I’m very much into modern design. We used Douglas fir in the ceiling and furniture, so its old-world woods and finishes used in a modern way. When I think of Midtown, I think of it as being very eclectic. There’s modern going on, but there’s Old Sacramento, which is cowboy country town. I wanted to bring those elements together.
What do you hope the space feels like?
Most of our shops, we don’t design them to be coffee houses. We design them to be living spaces. If you go to any of the shops, it could be anyone’s kitchen. You could live in this space, or at least that is the intention. It’s a mix of new and old and art.
Tell us about some of the elements—everyone loves the floor.
We meant to bring a lot of attention to the ceiling, but the floors have become more popular. The floors were going to be white, octagonal tile, which reflected the original tile that was there. But I couldn’t find one that didn’t have footprints on it the moment you step on it. So we thought of what other things we could possibly do in a space like this.
My contractor’s sister suggested penny tiles. We made the tiles with a jig, hand-laying them so we could lay them into the floor a bit quicker. Two people worked on them for two months. Toward the end of installation though, we ran out of tiles, so we had 10 people in a for laying individual pennies for three days.
The space has a lot of great natural light and it seemed like you wanted to maximize that. What role does the lighting play to complement that?
I tend to like that indirect, north facing light that’s really approachable. That space has a lot of soft light with north- and west-facing windows. It gets great lighting even with the lights off, and lets you use the lighting to highlight and accent. They aren’t just functioning lights, they are beautiful and they add something to it. When the light is soft, they’re a great highlight.
There’s one statement-making light, the Dallas Chandelier by Arteriors. Why did you choose it?
I was trying to find something to bring it all together. For me, the lighting is what brings everything together. Everything can be put into place, but without the right light, it doesn’t being all the elements in. It was hugely apparent here. The chandelier is modern in shape, but antique in finish and using the bubbled glass. The light itself has elements of the space.
What’s your favorite part about the new shop?
That particular space, is an autobiography of my life. All of the elements we have in there are symbolic of me growing up and things I’ve done. There’s a lot of symbolism. The bikes—I used to be a tattooed cyclist and spent some time riding through Southeast Asia. The motorcycle—I used to own a ‘48 [Harley Davidson] Panhead, which is extremely rare, that I restored and sold. There’s a lot of stuff. A skateboard, little stuff here and there.
Thanks, Sean! If you haven’t yet, be sure to visit the new Temple Coffee location at 22nd and K in Sacramento.
Images via Instagram @templecoffeeroasters.