Have you ever had your plans fall through, and what happens instead ends up being even better than your original idea? In my last post, I told you all about my trip with Dave to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the Global Leadership Summit. Our church staff travels to a host site for the conference each year, trying to switch up the location every couple of years for a new experience. This is the first time we have attended a host site in Lancaster. While I’ve been to this city before, this is the first time that I really explored the area, especially downtown Lancaster City, which to my own disbelief, I told Dave, “I think I could seriously live here.”
We woke up our first morning in Lancaster, slowly of course, since we get to sleep in um….never. I checked a few emails on my laptop (Dave gave me the stink eye for even bringing it on “vacation”) and looked up a place to go for breakfast. I was pleasantly surprised at how many cute places I found. We chose a place a few miles away, in downtown Lancaster. Within a few minutes, we found ourselves not in the middle of an Amish farm, but in one of the cutest downtown districts I’ve ever seen. Our GPS told us we were very close to the restaurant, so we parked, and walked around the corner, only to find it was CLOSED. Only open Friday-Monday. For real??
Without much time to sulk, we decided to find somewhere else, even if it meant I couldn’t look up the ratings on yelp or check out the menu online. We turned around and there it was- the best accidental breakfast place we could have visited- “Cafe One-Eight.” Guys, if I were a coffee shop, this would be me.
Walking in, I was immediately design-inspired. Black, white, and a mix of natural/industrial materials make me swoon. From the white-washed brick, to the wood-topped cafe tables, to those black pendant lights and more, more, more, wood. Dave just smiled as he saw the wheels turning in my head. I tried to give him my attention during breakfast but every few minutes, I would whip out my phone and take another picture.
I know what you’re saying- Leah, it’s just a coffee shop. But you can’t help when inspiration strikes you, right? For some people, it’s in the middle of a movie, or a shower, or in the middle of the night. For me, I’ve so many times found myself in a restaurant or a hotel and been so impressed and inspired by the theme or how all the elements are pulled together so perfectly to make not just for a pleasing look, but an actual “experience.”
It’s so cool to me how black and white are anything but boring when you involve so much texture and natural elements. It’s classic, but so interesting. Many people fret over having all of their elements go together, especially different wooden materials- “Does my mantel need to match my hardwood floors exactly?” “What about my dining table and sideboard?” As you can see here, we have a ton of different materials, from the light floors, to the grayer table tops, to the darker wood paneling, and it all works for a look that is interesting and not at all overwhelming. The neutral color palette really helps with this. Something to keep in mind when working on your own house.
A sweet little cafe table next to the main counter. Note the difference in wood materials here.
Who wouldn’t want to catch up on life with your best friend while sitting in this adorable window seat?
Oh yeah, and on top of having great design, this place had great food and coffee to go with it! I ordered a breakfast sandwich and a vanilla latte, my go-to hot beverage. This was one of those lattes that you actually drink while closing your eyes and smiling. It’s that good. You just want it to last forever and cherish every hot sip. Very few drinks make me do that, but this was one of them.
So if you should ever find yourself in Lancaster, be sure to visit downtown Lancaster City. It’s a great city for people who aren’t really “city people” like me. Also be sure to stop in one of the many cute coffee shops and cafes, like Cafe-One-Eight, found around town. Who knows, maybe you’ll find some inspiration while you’re there!