Cafe carpentry - get the look / Carpentry & construction

El Joyero easy DIY table with IKEA trestle legs

El Joyero cafe

El Joyero Cafe, Northcote

It’s interesting how often our clients look to the decor in their local cafe for ideas and inspiration for their own house. We thought it might be interesting to start to track some of the cool stuff in Melbourne cafes, especially fitouts that are easy to build and more or less DIYable.

We visited El Joyero Cafe around the corner from us in Thornbury on the weekend. Their fitout is a great example of what can be achieved on a shoestring budget with simple construction methods – which isn’t surprising because from what we hear the multi-talented owner/operators basically did the design and construction themselves.

The cafe is called El Joyero after the original jewellery store, and the owners have worked with the original 70’s shop fittings – to great affect. Cool, mix and match, sustainable nana chic.

The big trestle table down the middle of the cafe seats 10-12, and I reckon it would cost about $50-$70 in timber, another $50 for the IKEA trestles and take about half a day to put together (including sourcing materials) – free if you do it yourself, or about $200-$250 for a chippie. Even if you pay a carpenter to do the heavy work, that’s not expensive for a big table- of course you’d still have to wax or varnish it. The tabletop is basically a sheet of ply, trimmed with recycled timber, sitting on Vika Lilleby IKEA trestles.

The barista bench made from besa blocks looks great, as does the recycled weatherboard used as an interior finish. Not sure where you’d source the weatherboards from (apart from hanging around demo sites), but I generally ask Andy Mineur at Urban Salvage for help find anything like this – they’ve got a good range of really nice recycled timber, and they know where to look for stuff. Urban Salvage provided the recycled messmate for the Pint of Milk cafe fitout in Newport, which a friend has asked us to check out as inspiration for their new storage unit, maybe we’ll head down and take some photos this weekend. Looks like some nice workmanship, and beautiful timber.

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