Updated: Sep 30
It all started in a small coastal town Pula, Croatia. In a search for a cute space with a good location, we found this tiny shop for rent with nothing but white walls and breathtaking views on the Arena. It was love at first sight - an empty sheet to write a brand new chapter. The initial idea was to have a coastal feel with lots of greenery.
How we designed and completed a small juice bar on a budget. Our story...
1. The Vision
The Rough Sketch
Looking back, I find it almost ridiculous how bravely we entered the whole project not knowing the town, without having any contacts, or where to find good shops for all the material, a handyman, accountant. Pretty much nothing. All we had at that point was a vision and a brief sketch I drew on a piece of paper. But you gotta start somewhere, right?
Even the name was a joke between my husband, and I. Lazy Haus sounded fun, memorable, and I'm sure many people thought we misspelt word 'Haus' :) which is actually house in German. The 'Lazy' bit just felt right for a holiday destination like Pula, where everything and everyone is super laid-back and relaxed. That's something we got used to quickly. :)
2. Finding the right contractor.
Quickly, I realised - finding the right person is easier said than done. Soon after roaming through several paper adverts, I started asking random builders I met literally in the middle of their construction job (I know - not ideal). I would ask if the team leader could come and take a look at the space. In the end, I had a few people coming over to take a look, do some necessary measuring and provide a rough quote.
The way I approach any work - beyond the price, I believe finding someone easy to communicate with, someone you can trust (so important), who understands the vision and not trying to change the design without explaining the technical reasoning behind it.
Since it was my very first project, I needed someone with patience and attention to details. I am so grateful I met a gentleman called Dario, who was everything I was looking for, he did everything as I imagined if not even better!
3. Building material
It really depends on the budget and what are your priorities. For us, money-saving bits was the counter, shelving and the mini kitchen. For example - instead of spending money on distressed looking wood, I found this gorgeous inexpensive wallpaper for the bar. Instead, I invested more in the actual equipment like a good fridge, freezer, juicer, coffee machine, etc. P.S. Bauhaus is a great place when it comes to pretty much everything, from start to finish.
4. The layout
Dealing with a tiny space (less than 20 m2 in our case) was challenging enough, and it meant we really had to think about every centimetre and measure at least twice. Things to consider - having enough space for the customer to walk in and feel comfortable without compromising on the much-needed working corner. For a room to feel airy and visually bigger choosing brighter colours is always the right choice. Also, adding a mirror where possible is a perfect way to trick the eye of thinking there is an additional space beyond the wall.
For me, decorating is probably the most therapeutic and exciting thing ever! In our case, Bauhaus was a perfect choice when it comes to finding some adorable decor and plants. Jysk is also an excellent place to find decorative bits. There are probably a few other interesting shops, but we were on a tight schedule, and the big shop like Bauhaus is definitely a time saver.
Lazy Haus Juice Bar Final Look
Not a huge fan of taking selfies, but thought saying hi is in order. :)
I'll be honest with you; there were some challenging points when it comes to finding things online and in general, just doing a project in a foreign country where we just moved to. But as it turns out when you put your mind to it and truly invest yourself, anything is possible. I was beyond happy with the very first project we built from scratch with zero experience and lots of love and enthusiasm. If I can do it, you can too! 😊
Hope our example is helpful in any way, and hey, if you need any additional info, feel free to message me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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