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Making Bistro Work For You

Aug 9, 2008
Because the bistro style of decorating has become such a huge sensation in clubs, bars and restaurants, many of us can see lots of ways to adapt that style in other interior decorating settings. The pleasant, relaxing and yet cosmopolitan style that bistro brings to a room makes it a perfect choice for any setting where people will relax, mingle and enjoy one another's company. So more and more the bistro style is finding its way into reception rooms, youth group buildings, dance halls and even homes. It is a style that is endlessly adaptable in that way.

But as with any interior decorating scheme, there are always two considerations especially when it comes to buying tables and chairs for a space where people will mingle and perhaps eat and drink. The first consideration is capturing the feel and atmosphere that a well done bistro decorating plan creates. And in that way, a beautiful and exotic bistro table and chair combination can't be beat for creating that atmosphere and for tying in with the overall decorating plan of the room.

The second consideration is not directly about your guests but the behind the scenes part of owning any fine furniture. That consideration is the quality of construction and the selection of materials you might decide to go with particularly for your bistro table or tables that will be the real heart of your new decorating scheme. Now if we asked out loud - do you want the highest quality of construction for your bistro table possible? - naturally your answer would be yes. But that is a trick question because there is always a balancing act between what you are prepared to spend on your bistro tables and the level of quality you can get.

As in any product choices, whether to buy the "Cadillac" of the industry or the "Chewy" can make a difference in price and quality. But unlike our example, when it comes to the tables you will use to serve your quests in your bistro, the name brand doesn't mean a thing to them. So the reason you would start you research into what bistro tables to buy with the top of the line and most popular table makers is to find out why they are ranked so high to develop your quality check list to use when evaluating other makes and manufacturers or bistro tables.

But along with the issue of quality of construction, what materials to look for in bistro furniture will also impact the look of the piece and the long term care issues. It seems that the dominant belief concerning what a bistro table should be made of pushes us toward wood tables. That is because the image of a bistro setting is one of a earthy setting decorated in natural tones and dominated by wood furniture and accessories. So the first thing to think about is whether we can achieve that same look without going with all wood furniture and whether stipulating that we will only accept wood bistro tables is going to be a rule in our selection process.

Before we go very far into the wood versus other materials discussion when it comes to bistro tables, it should be understood that the thing customers or your friends will enjoy about the interior design of your bistro bar or lounge will be the look of wood because it is so warm, intimate and inviting. But many fine bistro table create that look using other materials that require far less maintenance and offer other advantages too. However, it is understandable if you have a "only the purest of wood for me" approach to the purchase decisions you make for your new bar room or restaurant. It's just a good idea to be fully informed on the downsides of going with a solid wood table design, particularly if you need a good number of tables for a fairly large bistro project.

When looking at all wood bistro tables, keep in mind that all wood could mean that table may have an outer veneer of oak or pine or whatever the wood look you want is but the bulk of the table is an inferior substance. Many times that substance is a composite of sawdust and glue which makes the table cheaper to make and sell. Now of course as long as the table is in good shape, your friends and customers may never see this hidden construction secret.

But wood veneer is usually glued on to the composite substance underneath it. This is fine for some pieces of furniture that are not going to get wet or have heavy use. But of all the furniture in your bar, lounge or restaurant, the tables and chairs get the heaviest use of them all. Drinks and food are constantly being spilled there which is wiped up with damp sponges many times during a single busy night at your bistro. Over time this can cause that veneer to peel up and expose the composite wood under the veneer which is ugly and distasteful for your guests. The only alternative is to discard the table and buy all new.

Its good to add this information to your background research so if you start shopping for all wood bistro tables, you know what kind of questions to ask. If you go with your instincts and buy only solid oak tables or some other solid wood, you will pay a higher price for that level of quality. Usually these kinds of high standards are reserved for rooms where refined activity will take place and the table will not get much use or everyone will be reserved enough to always use coasters. That is because with pure wood, you have to be concerned about the finish and whether glasses or food will damage the wood underneath. This is why your mother drove you crazy about always using a coaster.

But a bistro is far from a refined and sedate setting. The entire idea of creating a bistro lounge environment is fun and good times. So you don't want to have to always running around worrying about your guests using coasters and about whether the table is well cared for on a long night of entertaining friends or hosting customers in your club or restaurant. If you think about it, that would make the table more important that your guests and that won't do at all.

These are all good reasons to consider going with another material as the primary construction of your bistro tables. You can still achieve that wood look and feel but you will have much fewer worries about the tables so your guests can relax and use the tables rather have to be custodians of the care of the tables. And the tables will usually be lighter so you can move them around easier which is a big part of life in a bistro club.

You will probably find that your costs of purchase for your bistro tables is more manageable going with an alternate base for the table and they will last much longer giving you better value for your investment. This is not to say to drop your insistence on only the best for your customers who come to your bistro. But it does say that you are making the choices you make as you put together your bar or club work for you and making choices that are beautiful and stylish and practical as well.
About the Author
To view over 2,000 contract furniture products including cafe furniture, bar chairs and hotel furniture please visit http://www.laytrad.co.uk/bar-tables-chairs.htm, http://www.laytrad.co.uk/commercial-bistro-chairs.htm and http://www.laytrad.co.uk/commercial-hotel-furniture.htm
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