Upgrade the look in your kitchen with an easy and fun café theme. You can create this look a number of different ways, going for the look and feel of a quaint French or Italian bistro, a coffee shop, or maybe an all-American hometown café. However you choose to decorate your café-style kitchen, the goal is to make it a comfortable and welcoming space for friends and family who come in for home-cooked food and pleasant conversation.
Italian Bistro Kitchen Décor
European bistros typify the small, hole-in-the wall family restaurant with small dinette sets located both inside and outside the establishment, either along the sidewalk or in a small patio or courtyard. Italian bistros, in particular, are welcoming little cafés all about wine and family recipes for extraordinary pasta dishes.
Elements to convey this kitchen style include:
- Walls with faux textures resembling aged plaster
- Stoned or terra-cotta tile floors
- Exposed wood beams
- Wrought iron bistro-style table and chairs
- Wine and grape-themed framed art
- Sunflower or lemon-themed art
- Chalkboard bulletin board or menu board
- Brightly painted Italian pottery and ceramic pieces displayed on a hunch or wall shelves
- Countertop wine racks
- Hanging baskets filled with fresh vegetables
- Decorative bottles filled with flavored oil
- Glass containers filled with different types of pasta
- Wrought iron hanging pot rack
To complete your design, include floral greenery on cabinet tops, where you can also display cookware, urns or decorative serving platters. Grow fresh herbs in small terra-cotta pots along the kitchen windowsill.
Shopping for Italian Café Décor
- Marcel Home Décor & Gifts carries the adorable Fat Chef line of kitchen accessories, as well as sunflower dinnerware and Tuscan serve ware and storage items.
- Etsy carries a variety of Italian cafe decor, including wall art, coffee makers, cups and saucers, and more. The site often has unique items you won't find anywhere else.
French Café Kitchen Décor
French cafés are quite similar to Italian bistros, especially with wine and grape themes. However, the menu and décor is centered on French cuisine, including pastries and baked goods. Wrought iron accents, rustic wood or painted wood all complement this theme.
Other elements that complement this theme include:
- A wrought iron baker's rack
- Striped awnings over windows
- French country or Paris-themed framed art
- Baskets of silk flowers hung on walls or displayed on shelves
- Tiered cake and pastry stands
- A chalkboard bulletin board or menu board
- Antique enamelware and glass jars
- Checked or ruffled table linens
- French ceramic pottery
- Rooster-themed kitchen décor
You could pull this look together with black and white checkered tiles or distressed wooden flooring. Add some vintage wall art with a French or Parisian theme.
Shopping for French Bistro Kitchen Décor
Coffee House Style Décor
The perfect theme for coffee lovers, a coffee house café-style kitchen celebrates this popular beverage. Start with bistro-style seating with a small kitchen dinette set. Consider painting wooden chairs in different colors, or use a coffee-inspired color scheme that includes various shades of brown, tan and cream. Accent these warm neutrals with bright pops of yellow or red.
Include decor such as:such as:
- Coffee-themed wall art
- Rows of coffee mugs hanging on the wall
- Coffee-themed place mats, kitchen towels or hot pads
- Bright café-style curtains
- Vintage or enamelware coffee pots displayed on a shelf
- An antique or vintage coffee grinder
- Vintage coffee canisters
One way to pull this theme together is to pick up an eclectic mix of vintage dishes and serve ware at thrift stores and yard sales. Display your favorite pieces on a shelf or freestanding cupboard. Paint all or part of a wall with chalkboard paint, and create a menu of the types of coffee you like to make. Invest in an espresso machine to make all of your coffee house favorites. Keep a few baked goods on a covered cake stand.
Shopping for Coffee House Kitchen Décor
All-American Café Décor
From truck stops to fifties-style diners to small country kitchens, the All-American café-style kitchen embodies the look of small, family-owned restaurants that serve home cooked food. Key elements to an all-American, vintage café kitchen include black and white checkered floors, stainless steel furniture, Formica tabletops, and vinyl upholstery.
Other ideas to give your kitchen a retro or vintage café feel include:
- Vintage signs
- Tin ceiling tiles
- Vintage restaurant glassware and dispensers
- Vintage Coca-Cola decor
Create a rural café look with quaint, country kitchen-style décor. Provide bench seating on one side of the kitchen table or in a breakfast nook. Convey a café feel with open storage and dishes placed on shelves or open cupboards for quick access. Add character and charm with tiered café kitchen curtains, red checked or gingham style table cloths, and old-fashioned placemats.
Shopping for All-American Kitchen Décor
Make This Style Your Own
The variety of options for café-themed kitchens creates a wide appeal. Choose the theme that works best with your overall decorating style, cooking style, personality and lifestyle.