Bag yourself a bistro kitchen

Judging by the proliferation in glossy design magazines and the number of comments on forums, the bistro kitchen is starting to make a big come back.

These café-style dining kitchens, which smack so nicely of 19th century French Parisian eateries, are a lovely quaint style to introduce into any home and are relatively easy to design. They comprise plenty of vintage elements, along with black and white floor tile and lots of marble.

Cool colouring for kitchen walls
Picture a bistro kitchen and we bet there’ll be quite a bit of black and white in there – and not just in the floor tile. White walls are cooling and provide a nice clean backdrop for colourful posters. If you don’t want tiles on the floor but prefer hardwood, then white subway tiles on the wall with black cabinets make a very nice compromise. Black pendant lights over a kitchen island can really add to the look too by introducing some drama. The latter will also add height to the room.

white walls

Cute wooden chairs
Most people are aware of what a bistro kitchen chair should look like – wooden with a slatted back and maybe even a little bashed looking. But they don’t have to be unvarnished. Painted chairs in white, or black look perfect with a black and white tiled floor. That’s not to say you can’t have bar stools leaning against a kitchen counter either.


Marvellous marble counter tops
Marble is very European (ie French) with its cooling feel and white with light grey veined colour scheme. It also adds an upmarket touch since, as we all know, marble such as Carrara and Venatino varieties don’t come cheap. It can be hard work when it comes to its upkeep (ie spills and food stains have to be wiped clean right away) but its well worth the effort for its classy bistro kitchen look, we reckon here at Planen. If you can’t afford marble countertops though, don’t despair. Purchase a couple of marble cutting boards and use them to display a large wooden pepper grinder and olive saucers. In a separate space display a large marble mortar and pestle.

Chic chalkboards
They may be in vogue for most modern kitchen designs these days, but chalkboards are the epitome of the French café. They don’t have to contain menu items either but are an excellent stylishly-appropriate way of incorporating a stylish memo board into your bistro kitchen (and we do mean a chalkboard rather than the trendy chalkboard paint). Having said that, we have seen chalkboard paint used very effectively as a unique backsplash idea.


Amazing artwork
We’re betting that that image of a French bistro kitchen we asked you to conjure up earlier contained at least one French vintage poster – whether for food, alcohol or a theatre show. Are we right? Framed reproduction posters are perfect for creating that authentic bistro feel.


Stunning stainless steel
It may have an industrial appeal about it, but stainless steel also works well in a bistro kitchen since it won’t clash with the décor and fits in well with a vintage look. It’s also durable and incredibly easy to wipe clean. Just watch out for scratches. Meanwhile, if steel counter tops and cabinets put you off because well, it just seems so restaurant-like, then simply accessorise with stainless steel kitchen implements such as a colander, a set of wall-hung steel knife and a chrome smoothie maker and toaster.

Other touches to add to a bistro kitchen include plenty of herb pots, cook books and a few cake stands sitting together. One thing’s for sure, you’ll have plenty of fun designing your bistro kitchen. For more unique design ideas take a look at our Planen website where you’ll find a number of bespoke kitchen furniture ideas.



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