Monday, June 13, 2011

Bistro Decorating Ideas

Wrought iron bistro style chairs

Bistros are small cafes found in France and other European countries. Their design is simple but inviting, featuring intimate places to sit, brightly hued walls and table settings and eye-catching extras, often in French country themes. Bistro menus are frequently posted for customers to easily see and food is displayed in vintage, glass fronted cases. The mood is relaxed and conducive to conversation over a cup of coffee or espresso and a pastry. With a few basic elements, you can capture the essence of this laid-back European eatery in your own home. Does this Spark an idea?


In a bistro customers sit at small round tables, frequently referred to as bistro tables. Some are made of wood and painted with shiny black enamel paint or covered in checkered red table cloths. Others are crafted from wrought iron with graceful, turned legs. Their tops are decorative with wrought iron formed into woven patterns. Bistro style chairs are often made from wrought iron with similar embellishments on their backs. Wicker is another popular choice and a combination of wicker and wrought iron chairs are seen as well. A simple flower arrangement of one or two flowers placed in wine bottles or milk bottles often decorate bistro tables.


Because bistros are most often associated with France, the colors of French country decorating style are used when introducing bistro décor into your home. You will want to use sunny yellows and bright blues for your walls. Try a mix of paint and wallpaper. Red plates, cups and napkins in a French country print will complement them. A black-and-white checkered floor is traditional but any tile that resembles the worn stone and tiles often found in European countries will work as well. Both these looks are replicated in vinyl floor coverings for a less expensive option. If you prefer wood, try aging your floor to simulate many customers going in and out of a bistro for many years.


If you are replicating a European bistro in your kitchen, feature appliances like espresso makers, coffee grinders, standing mixers and blenders. Heavy duty models are preferable because those are what would be used in an authentic bistro, but home models will serve you just as well. Choose them in bright colors that compliment the room's other hues. Use wrought iron items like pot racks, wine racks and napkin holders. Hang heavy cast iron pots and pans like those made by LeCreuset, in bright colors from the pot rack.

To achieve the bistro ambience in another room, hang posters in Parisian themes on the walls, cover the table with a French country-inspired tablecloth in a small flowered print or check and center with a flower. Sunflowers work well, but any brightly-colored bloom will do.

Tags: wrought iron, French country, bistro tables, bright colors, European countries