By Belle White | Photos by James Jones (Taken PRE COVID-19)
When Kyla Bidgood of Bidgood + Co. started the redesign of Hey Happy Coffee on lower Johnson Street she knew it was important to keep the vibrant, friendly, cozy atmosphere the shop was known for – but elevate the design.
“The goal with taking over the adjacent space was to create more seating and add a commercial kitchen, run by chef Brad Holmes, former owner of Olo Restaurant, who was coming on as a partner with owner Rob Kettner,” says Bidgood. “We met with them and talked about what they wanted to achieve with the new space, and were excited by the prospect of working with them on one of our favourite Victoria coffee shops.”
Bidgood + Co. took inspiration from the existing industrial materials and colour scheme. “For example,” explains Bidgood, “the chipboard and galvanized metal were details we didn’t necessarily want to repeat but we couldn’t ignore. And the original brand colours didn’t translate to a physical space, so we created a pallette that complemented the graphic design with playful, pop-art type hues.”
Behind the Design of Hey Happy Coffee
Spruce: Where did you start? Was there a specific part of the design that shaped the rest?
Bidgood: We started by looking at a variety of floor plan options, but landed on an unexpected bleacher concept that would maximize seating in the narrow space and keep the atmosphere friendly and casual. We felt that this style of seating would keep everyone connected to each other, foster conversation amongst guests, and make everyone feel more connected to the space.
To keep the new space tied to the original, we created new openings and mirrored the cantilevered tables and seats. If you look at the floorplan, the seats and tables appear to go through the wall and into the new space.
Spruce: What was the biggest challenge or design adjustment through the process?
Bidgood: We had originally intended one large window opening to connect the two sides of the cafe, but upon demolition, the crew at Strong Construction discovered plumbing and electrical running through the wall from the floors above. This is always the challenge working with heritage buildings – discovering the unknown hidden within the walls.
We adjusted our design to create two geometric openings that allowed for the existing plumbing and wiring to remain as-is. And in the end these two openings actually feel more dynamic than the original single open concept.
Spruce: What do you love most about the space?
Bidgood: Well we knew we’d nailed our goal when Hey Happy re-opened and we saw the space bustling with people, kids playing on the bleachers and impromptu conversations taking place amongst strangers. The feel-good, social aspect was a really important element of the design and we were happy to see that we’d achieved it.
(Note that Hey Happy re-opened just before COVID-19 and the closing of all social spaces. We look forward to seeing Hey Happy re-open their interior space in the future.)
Key Design Elements to Look For
→ The modernist take on evolving the existing galvanized steel by incorporated colourful corrugated metal and chrome light fixtures throughout the space.
→ The curved motif that runs throughout the design, including window openings, graphic elements and the tile layout at the entry. Even the coved floor base (where the flooring runs up the walls) plays up the curves in the space.
→ The playful colour pallette!
→ The lovely artwork by Lucy Sherston which was selected by Jesse Campbell of Partner who was simultaneously revamping their branding.
Learn more about Bidgood + Co. Interiors … bidgood.co
Shop local at Hey Happy Coffee and find hours here: heyhappycoffee.com