What Is Bistro Furniture?

Patti Kate

Bistro furniture typically refers to cafe tables, pub stools, and other pieces inspired by furniture originated in 19th century France. Bistro furniture was originally created to use in small cafes across France and the rest of Europe. Many reproductions have been created and these replicas are sold throughout the world.

Bistro furniture may include swivel bar stools.
Bistro furniture may include swivel bar stools.

Although bistro furniture is often used in small cafes and restaurants, many people buy these pieces for residential use. A bistro set may consist of a small round or oval table, typically constructed of steel with matching chairs. Such a set may be used as patio furniture, or for outdoor dining. Bistro furniture patio sets generally are made to seat two people.

Bistro furniture is common in French cafes.
Bistro furniture is common in French cafes.

Other pieces of bistro furniture include folding tables that are bar height. Folding chairs or bar stools are made to match these pieces. These are typically made for cafes and clubs, as well as for home use. Authentic pieces of bistro furniture are made in France. Modern styles of bistro furniture may be available in a wide array of colors, with white being a popular choice.

French style bistro patio umbrellas are an accessory designed for use with a bistro table. Bistro tables that are approximately 30 inches (76 cm) in diameter will generally require a bistro umbrella that is about 5 feet (1.52 meters) tall. Larger tables that are about 40 inches (101 cm) will need a bistro umbrella that is typically 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall. The bistro umbrellas are made to coordinate with tables and chairs.

Mesh armchairs are another style of bistro style furniture. The synthetic materials used for this type of chair are generally resistant to damage from the sun's ultraviolet rays. These chairs are typically made for outdoor use, such as patio decks and poolside areas.

One of the most common types of bistro furniture is a round table often referred to as an opera table. These are generally about 38 inches (90 cm) in diameter. These tables are often made of steel and painted with a powder coating. Other pieces that are made of resin are specifically designed for outdoor use.

There are other types of bistro tables that have perforated tops. These are made with intricate patterns and designs and are commonly seen throughout parks in France. Many of these tables are teamed with matching chairs with perforated seats. These chairs are sometimes known as bugey side chairs and are often stackable.

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