before and after

before & after: brick & mortar cupcake shop redo

by Kate Pruitt

One thing I miss most about living on the East Coast is seeing brick interiors. If I were opening a place in Oakland, I would follow the brilliant example set by the Flirty Cupcakes shop in Chicago and expose as much brick as possible. Renovated by architect Matt Nardella of Moss Design, this new space has incredible warmth, charm and history. I love the contrast of the clean, smoothly tiled display cases and the rough salvaged pieces. The candy-colored oven door display on the wall is just the icing on this already delectable cupcake (shop). Congrats on the new space, Emily! — Kate

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Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: The design and permitting process took about 2 months. The actual construction took 2.5 months. We had been helping Flirty Cupcakes assess potential locations for 5 months prior to selecting this one.

Cost: Approximately $35,000

Basic Steps: By spending some time researching, we knew the building had some interesting historical features that were covered up by years of previous uninspiring remodels, like the stained glass window and masonry walls. The first order of business, though, was carefully scaling back the extent of interior walls and obstructions to allow for natural light into the formerly dark back seating area.

We tied the history of the building with the nostalgia of historic Chicago bakeries and garage spaces (which relates to Flirty’s food truck side of the business). The client had been collecting some furniture pieces over the years, which we integrated into the architecture of the space. The clean and modern design of the cupcake display (which doubles as the check-out counter) was meant to contrast with the more rugged quality of the exposed masonry and Corten steel elements. We also sourced reclaimed oven doors to create an “oven door mosaic” on the back wall. The lighting is a combination of reclaimed and found industrial fixtures.

My advice is to spend as much time on the design and planning as you can. Once a space is found, there is usually a rush to start construction right away, but taking a thoughtful approach to the master planning for the space will make the construction process so much smoother. Identify a budget as early as possible with some contingency built in. This will greatly reduce the need for last-second changes and reduce the time needed for construction.

Lastly, have a program in mind for how you might use [the space] along with some kind of identity or story of what you want to do. The design can go a long way in matching your business identity to the space you’re calling home. In this case, we merged the client’s idea of a dessert garage (tied to their existing food truck operation) with the architecture of the space. — Matt Nardella, architect

Downlights/Directionals: WAC, Tech Lighting
Front area pendants: Schoolhouse Electric
Main pendants: Barnlight Electric
Flooring: Epoxy by Broadleaf
Counter top: Custom-designed by Moss Design (cold rolled steel and glass)
Counter front: Ceramic tile
Tin wall covering: Reclaimed
Window trim: Stained oak
Metal wall covering: Cor-ten
Menu boards: Reclaimed
Paint: Sherwin Williams, Harmony

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