Go continental - café style dining

At the heart of Italian culture is the Italian Café - a public space that has been around for centuries and whose continental interior design styles haven't changed much over time - with the exception of more modern coffee machines. We can achieve this look back home in the kitchen and/or dining area - a look that will essentially remind us of our holidays in Italy.

Stylish yet casual and laid-back - café-style dining is a great way to introduce some charm into your homes. Not sure where to begin? Have a look at our advice and ideas for bringing the essence and aroma of the Italian Café Style back home!

  • We will start with colour and painting the walls of your kitchen/dining area. Traditionally, the Italian café uses dark and deep shades of colour - mostly reds and greens. Brown is also a good choice and can be complimented with cream. If you fear your space is too small or dark then you might want to choose cream for the walls or go with a darker colour on the bottom half of the wall and cream above to give the impression of more space/light. Another great idea is to use chalkboard paint on a part of one wall that you can use to write your daily specials on! You can use it for creating lists or simply writing some of your favourite quotes on - this addition will certainly play on the café theme to good effect.
  • Furniture will play an important role in this theme. A bistro-style table will work well especially if you have a smaller household. It should be decorative and preferably with wrought iron legs in black and a wooden surface - try to buy a set with matching chairs where possible. Dark woods or even black furniture and a decorative finish is the way forward, so if you have a larger family make sure you can at least tick these boxes when a bistro table doesn't offer enough dining space.
  • This theme doesn't stand a chance without the right coffee-making appliances and condiments. Make a display of your chosen espresso or cappuccino machine - whether it be traditionally styled or modern. Try to begin a collection of Italian coffees that can also be used in the display in their original containers or a set of Italian themed canisters.
  • A variety of coffee mugs displayed on shelving or a hanging rack will be an effective addition to this theme. You can also bring in some colour with a red and white checked tablecloth and/or café style eyelet curtains ready made. Alternatively, voile curtain fabric used to create full-length curtains will take advantage of natural light and offer privacy should you need it or a chic and stylish roller blinds made to measure. Classic white will be a great contrast with darker woods and black furniture.

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