Whenever you look at design trends, there’s always a healthy mix of modern and traditional styles. When you want something that’s more on the traditional side but still looks awesome in any modern home, one of the best things to do is to look at French design.
Eating is a big deal in France, being a very social thing to do, so both kitchens and dining rooms at home and restaurants and cafes out and about are important. If you’re thinking of a dining room makeover at home, French bistros can provide you with a great deal of inspiration.
Whether you want a cute vintage look or something a bit more contemporary, a bistro-style dining room can add some warmth to your home.
– Consider Classic Bistro Furniture –
When you think of a bistro, certain furniture styles probably come to mind. In fact, there’s likely to be one particular chair that you think of without even knowing what it is. The Thonet bistro chair has been made since the 19th century, created using an innovative way of bending wood. Today, you can find many other chairs in the same style by different brands. If you want the real deal, look for numbered chairs by Thonet like the No. 18 or No. 14 for a classic bistro look. You can also find a range of styles that offer a traditional look, some with a modern twist, like industrial chairs. Don’t forget your dining table too, which could have a classic wooden or even wrought-iron look.
When you think French, you probably think of both cutting-edge style and traditional, homely decor. The shabby-chic look is a great combination of vintage and contemporary, which looks perfectly French. If you’re going for a bistro-style dining room, looking for some shabby-chic elements could give you the room you’re looking for. You might find some slightly distressed chairs or maybe some accessories like a clock. If you’re worried about it being too far on the shabby side, look for French country pieces to make sure that it stays smart. You can also add some modern elements to make sure nothing looks too old-fashioned.
– Choose a Bare Table or Simple Table Linen –
Dressing up your dining table with fancy linens can be fun, especially for a special event or a dinner party. But if you want to choose a bistro style, it’s important not to get too fussy. Keeping things simple is much better and can still look super smart and sophisticated. As you can see from tablecloth experts, Richard Haworth, solid colours for your table linens are best. Don’t pick fancy patterns if you want to avoid going overboard. Of course, if you want to go really French, a check or gingham pattern wouldn’t go amiss. A bare table works well too, perhaps with a perfectly-placed runner down the middle.
– Pick Easy But Effective Centrepieces –
What you put on your table, even when you’re not using it, can make a huge difference to its impact. You don’t have to leave the table empty when you’re not eating. In fact, it looks much better if you don’t. But for a French bistro look, you don’t have to do too much, either. Simple centrepieces can be super effective. Try some fresh wildflowers or even a few sprigs of greenery. A little potted plant can look good, and lasts longer than fresh flowers too. Or you might like some items like a water jug – things that belong on the dining room table but looks great too.
The use of primary colours is a great idea for a bistro look, but you do have to be careful. Don’t use too much colour or overwhelm the room with very bright shades. If you do want to use a large amount of colour, it’s often best to keep it soft. Choose a butter yellow for one wall or pick a dusty blue. Brighter shades are good too, but they’re usually better in small amounts. Perhaps the seats of your chairs or even the artwork on your walls could be brighter. Of course, red, white and blue are the best choices for a French-inspired room!
– Try Some Contemporary Chic –
Remember that it doesn’t all have to be super traditional. In fact, you don’t have to take inspiration from classic French bistros at all. Look at more modern places instead to see what the French style gurus of today are doing. What about a little bar area in your dining room, with a sleek bar and some high stools? Or maybe mix in some of today’s popular design trends, like mid-century modern furniture. If you look at contemporary French bistros, you’ll find that many draw on tradition or styles of the past.
– Don’t Forget the Candles –
Candles are almost a must if you want to create a dining room inspired by bistros. They’re ideal for making your dining room feel intimate, whether you have two or twenty people sitting at your table. You can do so many things with them too, with so many options for both candles and candle holders available. Put some long candles in some empty wine bottles for a traditional bistro look. Or get something a bit fancier and float some candles in glass bowls or choose some beautiful silver candle holders.
– Add Some French Artwork –
If you feel like your new dining room needs a bit more personality, a bit of French artwork will spice things up. Try some traditional posters, maybe for restaurants or French food and drink brands, or perhaps some vintage travel posters. You might also like something like a Monet print. A chalkboard is a great addition to your bistro dining room too. You can draw on it, write out a daily menu, or just use it to keep a shopping list. If you want something more modern, you can look for contemporary French art too.
The French bistro look could be perfect for your dining room. Make it modern or choose the traditional avenue for a chic space.