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Abed Khalatbari designs the popular Harare coffee spot, Café Nush

What makes a restaurant become your go-to place for coffee catch-ups, morning meetings and dinner dates? Interior designer and restaurant owner, Abed Khalatbari knows the secret. We had the pleasure of working with Abed on the newest branch of Café Nush, an upmarket coffee shop and restaurant in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Abed at Cafe Nush

Although his formal studies were in the field of civil engineering, Abed’s real passion was design. Inspired by beautiful interiors and furniture, he soaked up all he could through online courses and gained hands-on experience through the family business in the hospitality industry. With a natural gift for commercial interior design, Abed wore many hats as owner, designer and manager on a variety of projects. 

One of these projects is family-owned coffee shop franchise, Café Nush. Started in 2010 in Avondale, the café serves up an authentic and cosy atmosphere, some of the best coffee around and amazing food with a twist of Persia. Touted as a must-visit restaurant in Zimbabwe on TripAdvisor, the store’s success led to two more branches in Village Walk and Highlands Park, with future plans for expansion in international airport lounges.  

Behind the design of Café Nush

Abed describes his décor style as simple and minimalistic with accent elements such as eye-catching furniture. His current design influence is bold and natural with an influence of the sixties and the round and thin elements of that time. While all Café Nush branches are modern and welcoming, they each have their own personality. Visiting Café Nush in Highlands Park, the central space of the restaurant celebrates the versatility of wood. Casting an eye from the tables, to the slatted counter façade, to the beams overhead and the exposed brick walls, natural elements are clearly the hero. The curves of our Abbey and Riga chairs add softness and create a well-balanced aesthetic that draws you into the space… along with the rich aroma of coffee wafting in the air. 

Choosing Woodbender chairs 

Enjoying a meal or a decadent slice of cake is a multisensory experience and so the design of the space needs to be delicious too. When discussing what he looks for in restaurant furniture, Abed puts comfort, style, durability, simplicity and uniqueness at the top of his list. We asked Abed how he discovered Woodbender and what made him choose our chairs: “I always enjoyed the feel and the vibe of Starbucks and I always wondered where this furniture is from – until one day I couldn’t help myself and I turned a chair upside down and found the tag of Woodbender. Quality and character in furniture was always a huge attraction to me and hence the appeal of Woodbender’s elegant products.”

Café Nush in Highlands Park was our first collaboration with Abed and the Café Nush brand, but they are rolling back the model to the older cafés and upgrading the furniture with this same selection of Woodbender chairs. “I have already recommended and passed on your contacts to some new projects in Zimbabwe, especially Victoria Falls new and upcoming lodges and restaurants,” says Abed.  

Our furniture suits a wide range of interior styles because it is so easy to customise. Get in touch with one of our seating specialists today to find out more about our collection of chairs and stools.