7 Tips for a French Style Café

Here at Total Fitouts, we all love the look of a French bistro and getting that style just right is of utmost importance! We specialise in cafe fitouts, so Here’s our top tips for creating an old but new, Frenchy feel!

1 – Research, research, research!

Start your fitout process by compiling a folio of all your favourite Frenchy looks. Fill your folio with all your favourite ideas (even if they are a bit mix + match!) and organise them later – this process might see you change your direction from a ‘Persian Bistro’ to ‘French Country Kitchen’ or French beach modern to rustic Parisian. If you’ve hired professional shopfitters like Total Fitouts, even in the initial stages of your café planning, you can discuss ideas and they will point you in the right direction with your design should you need it. Your shopfitters will help bring the ‘practical’ to your ‘pretty’ and help you navigate design decisions.

2 – If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!

If you’ve been lucky enough to find a beautifully aged space with cornices, wall panelling or Parquet floors – respect the history and keep them! In this scenario, “new” is not necessarily better – beautifully fresh yet rustic is ideal. At most, sand back and freshen with paint, just make sure you don’t lose that character!

If, like many will, you’ve got a space that lacks a little in the ‘character’ department, create charm with the décor and layout. Steer away from adding ornate corner features; character cornices in a 1980’s space is not going to achieve an authentic look and will more likely just seem out of place. Go ahead and “cheat” a little by finding some good vintage pieces at a flea market, or antique store and fill the room with character using décor.

3 – Use the Right White

Generally speaking, you don’t see a lot of bold colour on the walls of French bistros – it tends to be more about textures and subtle patterns. Particularly in Paris, it’s all about white. It’s worth noting though, this white is not a cool white, and nor is it an overly yellow tone. Parisian white is just a touch warm of centre: picture a creamy white that’s had an almost indiscernible touch of pink added – that’s the white you’re after! If you’re dying for a feature wall, consider your traditional French stencil patterns or textured white wallpaper.

4 – Go a Little ‘OTT’ with the features!

If there’s one thing the French are known for, it’s complete and total indulgence!
Whether it’s adding aged cheese to every meal or wearing opulent jewellery on a Wednesday – they know how to do it well! When it comes to your café fitout, don’t be afraid to talk to your trusty shopfitters about how to add a little flair! It could come in form of a velvet daybed in the entryway, or a beautiful, bronze ceiling fan. When it comes to creating a French look café, it’s all about the details and the visual tour your customers take as they walk through those café doors.

5 – Walls – Embrace the Negative Space!

Persians, well they don’t underestimate the value of minimalism, and neither should you! So engage your inner minimalist and leave the walls alone – when it comes to French styling, ‘eclectic’ can quickly turn into ‘clutter’.
If you opt to fill your walls with a piece or two, try for something large and singular, perhaps striking.

6 – Floors – texture, texture, texture!

Still looking to add a little more ‘oomph’ for your café? If your budget allows, consider installing some gorgeous parquet floors to complement your traditional French café décor & features. If your budget doesn’t allow, talk to your expert shop fitter, they’ll be able to help you out with some alternative options so your dream can still be your dream!

7 – Add Some Eye Candy!

For perfect finishes, your French/ Parisian cafe, you’ll need either, a touch of glitz or some French country florals! It might be a traditional gilded mirror or a large vase full of bold, beautiful flowers – just make sure something in the room grabs your customers eyes when they walk in and enhances your favourite parts of the café. If you hire an expert like a Total Fitouts shop fitter, they’ll be with you to the very end to ensure that your final fitout result is everything you wanted and more. Until you’re happy with your French café, office fitout or commercial fitout, the job’s not over! You can trust that our shopfitters will give you their absolute best and help design you a fitout that works for you and simply dazzles!

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Ready to kick off your cafe fitout? The experts at Total Fitouts are experienced in all types of hospitality fitouts, including bars, restaurants, speciality kitchens, cafes, drive thrus and franchised businesses. Learn more about our hospitality fitout services here and to get in touch with our team today!