Some of the most inspiring contemporary spaces take cues from time-honored, traditional design practices. The trick is to blend these conceptual and functional conventions with modern materials and trendy touches to create something new and authentic.

Sitting in a brainstorm session, sipping on our current “brainjuice” of choice (aka Cherry Rose Rooibus by TeALCHEMY… which you absolutely MUST try) we started to discus the idea of the teahouse.  

Teahouses have existed for thousands of years, and are found primarily in Asia and Europe. Hugely popular, and catering to all customs and classes (depending on where you were and what they served) there was once a time when the teahouse was more common than the concept of a restaurant! 

Although the function of the teahouse varies widely depending on the culture, teahouses are basically centers of social interaction where people come to, yes, drink tea and socialize! Both things that Design Shop loves to do! So, we started researching modern teahouse-like spaces, just for the sake of curiosity and inspiration, and we stumbled upon this one…

Tea Mountain, a cafe in Prague, is the product of true interior intuition. By drawing inspiration from a traditional Japanese teahouse, Tea Mountain is a perfect example of balance. Aesthetically, you can’t deny that this is a well thought out space. Just looking at it made us feel instantly calmer.

However, it’s the details that really got us.

The first detail we noticed was the tactile mixture of black plaster, coal, and pieces of straw that line the walls, emulating the clay plasters used inside traditional Japanese teahouses. Stunning! And creative.

Then, we couldn’t help but gawk at the seating, spacing, and shelving. FACT: The layout of a space is just as important as what you put inside that space. By sparsely placing the ash-wood tables and stools (note: stools vs. chairs to connote a distinctly central asian feel), and not cluttering the walls with tightly mounted shelving, the space immediately embraces an open, airy, and calming ambience – which we happen to love. The vaulted ceilings and globe lighting also add to the vastness of the room. A+

Finally, the contemporary anchors, structural and decorative elements not drawn from tradition, really help to create a true sense of balance in the space. For example, the metal finishes along the shelves contrast the raw, earthiness of the wood, and neutrality of the wall colour and slate-like flooring.

Whether you’re a tea drinker or not, wouldn’t you love to spend a little bit of time in this space!?  

With that, we wish you a happy Saturday, and encourage you to take some time today to sip some tea, and consider what traditions inspire your style!

The Design Shop Girls