Even though recreating the rustic look might seem like child’s play, it can appear cheap and tacky, rather than understated and elegant if not done properly. For this reason if you’re looking to bring a touch of backstreet Paris to your Brisbane cafe, you’ll need to follow a few simple ground rules.
Keep it authentic
Anything that doesn’t belong in a Paris cafe will look out of place in your recreation, so it’s worth taking a look through popular websites such as Houzz and Pinterest to see what authentic looks like. For instance old and weathered is good, whereas, new stuff made to appear old and weathered, generally isn’t. Copper in the form of pots and pans and tarnished trinkets personifies the rustic French feel, while anything gold or silver will appear about as French as Vegemite! Objects and trinkets don’t have to be expensive. If you look hard enough you’ll find a good selection of all things rustic at any half-decent flea market. An old rusting bicycle for instance can be picked up for a song provided your bartering skills are up to scratch, and makes for a perfect wall hanging. Likewise, if you can get your hands on an old cart wheel or farming implement, then even better.
Say it with furniture
Nothing screams Paris more than a set of bistro style chairs. Tolix chairs and bar stools for instance have been gracing Parisienne cafe’s since the 1930’s when Xavier Pauchard first realised there was a demand for them. Despite the fact that original Tolix chairs were cheap disposable items, in today’s market, originals from that era don’t come cheap. That said there are a number of specialist online stores which deal in authentic period furniture so if you want authentic original you’ll need to budget accordingly. Alternatively, there are also other websites that stock replicas and these are cheaper alternatives. I know I mentioned earlier that new stuff made to appear old and weathered might appear out of place, however those who recreate replica Tolix stools and chairs really do a great job of keeping it real. As a result this is an exception to the rule, that will save you a boat load of money in the process.
Display display display
The rustic French style is about having things on display. The perfect example is a hanging pot rack or some open shelving to showcase all your pots, pans, and plates. Also look to show a selection of carefully chosen trinkets that compliment each other or tell a story. Old French advertising posters for example immediately tell the diner what your establishment is all about, while giving it an authentic look and a kaleidoscope of colour. If you have an open kitchen, it’s a great opportunity to display your authentic cookware. If not, then a strategically placed display shelve or two will incorporate selective pieces that all work to recreate that backstreet Paris Bistro feel.
Let there be light!
Finally, any self respecting bistro has to have the right lighting. Backstreet Parisienne cafe’s are romantic and moody, not light-up-the-room bright, so go for softened down lighting in doorways and seating areas, while careful use of up-lighting in corners can create a sophisticated glow. If you have individual booths consider smaller individual pendants and don’t forget the table candles.
So there you have it! 4 important points to follow if you want to recreate an authentic slice of France in your Brisbane cafe. While we don’t confess to being design gurus, here at Cafe Solutions we know a thing or two about the what makes the perfect cafe furniture. A such we have a wide range of affordable commercial-grade cafe furniture available for you to browse and buy. To find out more, check out our website or contact us on 07 3205 1616