In our third and concluding part of how to design your own bistro kitchen we take a look at the furniture choices that are open to you. This includes tables, chairs, bar stools and all other items that will fit in to your bistro design. Part two looked at kitchen lighting and accessories and now all that is left is to make a statement with the furniture you select.
When you are thinking of bistro chairs your first option is wood, whether with bergere backs and seats, upholstered, or plain wooden slats, wood is the natural choice for authentic bistro furniture. Your choice of seating will really reinforce the Parisian cafe feel you are attempting to replicate. Tables can have steel bases with wooden or marble tops and accompanied by simple wooden chairs. A great effect is to opt for non-matching chairs, perhaps from second hand shops. If you want a truly authentic look then buy a real reproduction of a classic chair such as a bentwood, this will be a feature and a talking point. Why not paint a cheap dining set that is a blatant copy of a bentwood set, replace the top with a contrasting marble top to your paint selection?
If you have opted for an island kitchen then bar stools are the perfect answer to your seating dilemma, a bar and a couple of stools give a great bistro look. A good idea if your design is modern bistro is to contrast this with traditional wooden stools but perhaps made to look more antique with paint washes etc. These stools will make a bold statement of design and patterning. A completely different option is to go super industrial, crafted stools made out of tubular and sheet metal to match the stainless-steel items dotted about.
Have a definite budget calculated before you start to design your kitchen, to achieve that great bistro look may cost in certain areas, but the total overall look may be achieved for less than you may think. Remember the odd item of interest to contrast and bring interest to an otherwise dull space. Think out of the box to maintain your budget but still get a similar effect. One idea if marble tops are out of your budget then use a marble cutting board, decorate it with pepper grinders and quint bottles that contain olive oil. Have a matching marble accessory such as a pestle and mortar elsewhere in the kitchen that combined give a bigger impression. And if stainless steel is out of range, hang up shiny pots and pans, fish kettles and unusual kitchen utensils. Create with your imagination and use antique kitchen items filled with limes or lemons or scented herbs.
There are many ways to create the bistro-style that you love, remember often this can be achieved with the most unusual of items that people do not expect to see in a kitchen. Save the majority of your budget for the obligatory items that a good kitchen must have, the rest is all left to imagination and clever design.
The second part of our adventure to discover the new neo-bistros of Paris takes us to more restaurants who have adopted this new culinary craze that is taking the French capital by storm. The old favorite dining experience of the Parisian bistro has been turned on its head with these establishments turning out very different cuisine than the old typical bistro fayre. We continue our exploration of some of the best new neo-bistros that exist in Paris today with Le Cristal de Sel. (more…)
Designing your own bistro-style kitchen should be fun and use up all your creative ideas. Take reference from some of your favorite eateries, how do they achieve the desired effect? It does not all come down to buying the most expensive fixtures and fittings that you can afford; quality items do speak for themselves but there are ways and means of making something look expensive. Save your money for the really stand out items and focus on these with good design techniques elsewhere. In this blog we give tips on how to create that bistro feel to your kitchen, and pointers how you can achieve this relatively inexpensively.
You may have paid a fortune for your cooker and marble surfaces but sometimes the wow factor can be achieved with the most simple things. A great way to get a French cafe effect is to hang a chalkboard on the wall perhaps with the menu for your dinner party written on it. You can also use slate as wall panels for an all over look. Even though your design might be an ultra-modern bistro with a plethora of stainless steel, a good bistro kitchen should also have some antique curios to act as talking points. They need not be genuine antiques but will create more interest if they are. Items such as thermometers, clocks, old kitchen gadgets hung from the walls or ceiling can produce the most striking contrasts in your kitchen.
Vintage art and posters can be most dramatic, look for pictures of French food art, or perhaps famous bistros in Paris. This will give an authentic feel to your own bistro kitchen, if you have selected a black and white theme then look for contrasting colors in your art, like bright reds and vivid greens this will add a splash of color to a monochrome background.
No matter what color scheme you decide on, stainless steel appliances always blend in. It gives the effect of being industrial and ultra-modern. It also replicates a professional kitchen which is ideal for your bistro-style effect. Stainless steel also blends perfectly with vintage and modern decor and is highly effective when it is contrasted with either dark wooden flooring or perhaps an antique style ceiling.
For the best bistro effect then choose pendant style lighting, there are many choices and you can opt for modern steel to material covered fittings. Prominent pendants provide both illumination and the impression of height, they also draw your gaze upwards towards the ceiling and provide perpendicular lines for you to play with. In addition, when the kitchen is dark they provide small areas of light that highlight particular features, this intermittent and sporadic lighting effect is really quite dramatic as it leaves dark spaces in your kitchen that in a way are segmented off the main area.
Lighting in Bistro
In our concluding part of how to design a bistro-style kitchen, we take a look at the furniture that is particularly effective in creating an authentic effect. You need not spend a fortune on this as quite often odd tables and chairs give a great bistro casual look.