Top Contemporary Barstools

Nothing ruins a great drinking or dining experience more than a bad backache. If your barstools are the wrong height for your bar or table or if they feature a fabric seat that’s lumpy or torn, your customers can become quite cranky. And cranky customers tend to leave nightmare reviews. Fortunately, you can solve this problem easily by updating worn or outdated furniture with modern barstools that add both comfort and function to your home or commercial space. Here’s what’s trending in contemporary bar furniture for the savvy restaurateur.

Swivel Barstools


Swivel barstools prevent guests from turning or bending in awkward ways. Swivel barstools can be backless or not, but backless stools allow you to fit more guests at your bar or dining table. Swivel is a popular style of barstool because of its bold simplicity. Guests can chat with friends on all three sides with minimal repositioning. Advantages of swivel barstools include:

  • Available in a range of styles, including with backs, without backs, and with or without arms
  • May swivel 360 degrees or feature a 180-degree memory-return swivel
  • Allow you to seat more guests comfortably in less space
  • Allow convenient interaction between guests

Bucket Style Barstools


The bucket barstool is a beautiful addition to any modern counter, commercial space, or home bar. Optimized for guest comfort, it features a cozy backrest with or without arms. Bucket barstools may or may not feature a swivel option, and the backrest may be high, to extend up the back, or low, stopping around hip level.

Bucket barstools take up a bit more space than their backless counterparts, but most guests find them to be more comfortable. If you don’t mind patrons lingering longer at the bar, bucket-style stools are ideal.

Velvet Barstools


Velvet is a fabric usually associated with high-end decor. Soft and cozy to the touch, velvet barstools fit nicely into contemporary design. Equally well suited for commercial spaces or your home bar, velvet barstools bring extra comfort to evening cocktail hour. If your dining or drinking establishment caters to older, more established clientele, barstools that feature high density foam padding topped with elegant velvet or soft leatherette are beautiful choices.

Caring for Velvet Furniture

Velvet does require a bit more maintenance than other fabrics, especially when used for commercial applications. To keep velvet looking fresh and new, vacuum it regularly. The brush attachment of any standard vacuum works fine to remove dust, crumbs, and debris.

To combat spills on velvet, pat dry right away using a clean, dry, absorbent cloth. For dried or stubborn stains, use a velvet-approved cleaning solution and gently brush when dry. It’s important to note that barstools upholstered in velvet fabric may require occasional dry cleaning by a professional. This material should also be positioned or stored away from direct sunlight, which can cause it to fade.

Wood Barstools


Wood barstools are highly functional and super durable. Most are able to withstand the moderate wear and tear that comes with frequent traffic. A contemporary barstool crafted of wood may be lightweight enough to tote around, or heavy and ornate, depending upon the vision you’re trying to create. They add a certain rustic appeal as well. So, if your drinking establishment or home bar mimics an Old West Saloon, wood barstools are the solution. Wood furniture has many advantages, including:

  • Available in a range of beautiful finishes to fit any decor
  • Can be refinished or painted when needed
  • Available in a full range of styles including with or without backs, arms, and padding
  • May feature decorative details such as cross-back or ladder-back design
  • Highly durable

Caring for Wood Furniture

Wood barstools are relatively easy to keep clean. An occasional wipe down with mild soap and water is usually all that’s required. After washing, you may want to polish the legs of your wood barstool, however, and avoid putting polish on the seat as it may become slippery.

Metal Barstools

Plain metal barstool

Metal barstools are as suitable for your home kitchen island or dining room as they are for your commercial space. And metal has the added advantage of being suitable for outdoor use if you forego padding or upholstery. Plus, metal offers a range of designs, styles, and colors that aren’t typically found in other materials. It may look like bright chrome, or it may be plated, powder-coated, oxidized, or even painted.

Metal is a lovely addition to a cafe dining room or coffee house because it can be both formal and informal. And it’s equally well suited to upscale or casual dining areas. A black wrought iron counter stool looks lovely flanking a gray marble countertop in your home. And a bar height metal barstool is a serviceable and functional addition to your commercial bar area. Metal holds up well and can support more weight than other materials.

Low Back Barstools

Modern brown leather barstool

A low back stool features a back that’s typically waist high. Taking up less space than a high-back barstool, it’s a bit more modern, fitting nicely into a contemporary kitchen, dining area, or bar. A low back stool may or may not feature a padded seat, may or may not swivel, and may be constructed of a variety of materials. In most instances, it will feature a metal or wood seat frame.

Faux Leather Barstools

Classic brown barstool with leaf design

Faux leather is a good choice if you like the look of leather, but not the upkeep that comes with it. Faux fabrics are good choices for eateries that cater to families with small children and for homes that have pets. More stain-resistant than real leather, the faux alternative is typically a savvy and economical choice for luxurious interior design and offers the ultimate in comfort and style.

Faux leather has distinct characteristics that make it a good choice for commercial applications:

  • Vegan-friendly. No animals are harmed in the making of faux leather.
  • Lower price than real leather
  • More durable than real leather
  • Easier to clean and maintain
  • High-end, upscale appearance

Caring for Faux Leather Furniture

Leather cleaner and conditioner is ideal for cleaning faux leather. It removes spots and stains while preventing the material from drying out, which can cause cracks. Always test your leather cleaner in an inconspicuous spot before using it as an all-over application. And like velvet, faux leather should be kept away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.

The Modern Barstool Verses Counter Height Stools

Is there a difference between the standard barstool and counter-height seating? Surprisingly, they’re not one and the same, though many people use the terms interchangeably. In reality, a modern barstool measures roughly 5 to 6 inches taller than a counter-height stool. This makes it suitable for the standard-height bar top, which is usually 40-42 inches tall.

Counter height stools, alternatively, are designed to seat guests comfortably at a counter height table or kitchen island that measures a standard 36 inches high. As a result, they’re roughly 24 inches tall.

It’s important to choose the right seat height to host guests comfortably. Choosing wrong could make your customers feel uncomfortable or awkward, which may impact your business in a negative way.

Modern Barstools for Beautiful Home Décor


While barstools are a perfect addition to any dining or drinking establishment, they’re not limited to commercial use. An elegant set of barstools looks equally at home in your kitchen area or living room. Grouped easily around a kitchen island or serving as non-traditional seating around a counter height dining table, barstools provide casual but comfortable seating for the whole family. And if you prefer the clean lines and sleek details of industrial design, the simple seating provided by barstools is the ideal solution. Trending in-home applications for barstools and counter height stools include:

  • Seating for a kitchen island or peninsula
  • Seating for an outdoor kitchen or basement bar
  • Eat-in seating at a kitchen pub table
  • Game-Room seating
  • Seating for outdoor dining

Today’s modern kitchens combine classic elements with contemporary details without sacrificing comfort. Barstools make an interesting and functional addition.

Contemporary Barstools From California Dining & Barstools

If you’re ready to upgrade the appearance of your existing bar, pub, or restaurant, California Dining & Barstools has an exemplary selection of seating and dining options from which to choose. Create a beautiful, contemporary look without sacrificing function or comfort when you shop our spacious showrooms in Pleasant Hill and Sunnyvale. While other furniture companies show you digital representations of their current lines, at California Dining & Barstools, you can see, feel, and touch the merchandise you’re about to buy. In this way, you’ll know exactly what to expect when it arrives.

With over 7,500 hundred square feet of display space, California Dining & Barstools is your one-stop shop for commercial furniture. We proudly serve the South Bay area, catering to many of its top drinking and dining destinations. Stop by one of our gorgeous showrooms or browse our selection online today.

Extended rectangular table and cream colored upholstered chairs.

Types of Dining Chairs: Which is Right for your Dining Room?

When it comes to designing a dining space, quality of life and happiness hinges on the furniture. Your dining table and dining chairs must be comfortable, but serviceable. They should look nice and add to the room. At the same time, they must be able to withstand the demands of your family. So, if you have toddlers, young children, or pets, your choice of dining room furniture should as indestructible as you can buy it. A great place to begin, especially when selecting dining room chairs, is with the materials they are made from.

Dining Chair Materials

Superior Fredonia Dining Set white and dark wood

Most people think of wood when someone mentions dining room chairs and tables. However, wood is only one beautiful option. There are many, many more, including metals such as aluminum, steel, and cast iron. Or perhaps you’ve always dreamed of a light-filled dining room decked out in wicker or a spacious, cozy nook where plush armchairs surround a glass-topped table. Regardless of the look you’re trying to curate, there’s a dining room material out there to help you achieve it. Some of the most popular types of materials include:

  • Wood: Wood dining chairs can be solid wood or use a combination of wood and other materials like metal or upholstery. Traditional, classic wooden chairs such as Queen Anne are great for creating formal spaces. And versions that are sleeker and more simplistic, such as those that mimic the style and craftsmanship of Charles and Ray Eames, are minimalist, yet modern.
    Regardless, wood dining chairs are elegant, durable, and delightfully classic. They also come in a range of finishes to fit any decor.
  • Metal: Dining room furniture crafted of metal is perfect for contemporary design. If you’re attempting to create a dining room that’s ultra-modern and industrial, metal is an ideal material. It’s durable and easy-to-clean, and a metal chair is perfect for those who favor simple lines and a lightweight metal frame. Also, metal-framed chairs are very durable.
  • Upholstered: Upholstered dining chairs are available in several different types. These include parson chairs, French country style, and the classic armchair design. Upholstered chairs offer ultimate comfort and lend a more formal appeal to your space. However, they’re vulnerable to staining and may show more wear than their wooden or metal counterparts. So, keep this in mind if you’re furnishing a dining room that doubles as the home art room. Upholstery is more difficult to clean, as well.
  • Leather: Leather upholstery has its place, and who’s to say it’s not the dining room? If entertaining is your life, and you’d like a dining room that offers a high-end appeal, leather dining chairs may be the solution. Leather furniture is fun, yet formal. It looks and feels expensive and is sure to please even the pickiest guest. But if you have pets with teeth and claws, you may find yourself replacing leather dining chairs more often than those made of less luxurious materials.
  • Wicker: Wicker furniture in the dining room is a must for homes that are beach-adjacent, or for whose occupants wish they were. Wicker furniture may be made of grasses, vines, or synthetic materials, is durable and long-lasting, and is always classically pretty. If it’s an ultra-feminine space you’re going for, a wicker dining table and chair set is a gorgeous choice. Wicker isn’t as indestructible as wood or metal, though, so it is important to keep this in mind when deciding on a dining chair type.

Dining Room Chair Designs

Of course, the design of your dining room table and chairs is just as important as the craftsmanship and materials used. If you love a rustic vibe, for example, then whitewashed wood chairs flanking a farmhouse table is a beautiful sight. But if your personal preferences lean toward elegant or antique, then a Queen Anne style or Windsor chair is a better choice. Few things feel worse than walking through a dining room that feels as though it was designed with strangers in mind, so spend time defining the look you love before making the leap. There are different types of classic dining chair options including:

  • Armchair: Simply stated, an armchair is a chair that features armrests. Armchairs are cozy, upholstered options, but they tend to take up more space than more traditional chairs. If you’re set on having armchairs around your dining table, consider limiting them to the head and foot.
  • Parsons Chair: The Parsons chair offers clean lines, but with a decorative side note. Always upholstered and featuring a straight back with no arms, the Parsons chair is often adorned in some way with buttons or rivets. The Parsons chair was originally designed by French furniture makers, which means it’s an elegant and refined choice for most dining rooms.
  • Side Chair: By definition, a side chair features a straight back and no arms. Side chairs may or may not feature upholstery, and they’re ideal for tight dining rooms where you need to seat more guests with less space.
  • Wingback Chair: If your wish is to cradle your diners in luxury, the wingback chair is a solid choice. Featuring cozy upholstery, wings on the sides, and armrests, a wing back chair elevates your dining space to a higher level.
  • Ladder Back Chair: The ladder back chair has horizontal slats across the back. If you’re furnishing your dining room to appear antiquarian, ladder backs should top your list.
  • Slat Back Chair: Super traditional, slat back chairs feature vertical slats or spindles down the back.
  • Cross Back Chair: Cross back chairs have exposed cross pieces that form an “x” in the chair back. Usually made of wood, they’re great for informal or rustic dining rooms.
  • Splat Back Chair: This dining chair features a decorative, vertical, exposed wood “splat” down the back that echoes (and may identify) the furniture style. Splat back chairs give a room a more traditional vibe.

Choosing Your Dining Room Chairs

Dark wood rectangular dining table with wooden and beige upholstered chairs.

You may even want to consider purchasing plastic dining chairs or the classic folding chair to create a unique dining space, especially if the area you’re furnishing is outside. Today’s higher-end plastic chairs are usually composed of resin, which makes them impervious to the elements. It makes them attractive and affordable, too. Chairs that fold away will never go out of style, simply because they’re so extremely functional.

The most important takeaway when choosing furniture for your dining area is to make sure it works well for the people who will be using it. You want ultimate comfort, extreme durability, and good value for the price you pay. Whether you choose plastic frame or wooden frame chairs and a farmhouse or colonial-style table, the furniture in your dining or living room should make you smile when you pass by. It should also make your guests feel welcomed and valued.

We suggest using these tips to help you choose the best dining room furniture for your space:

  • Partner with an interior decorator or furniture consultant to help you make the right choice for your space.
  • Survey family members to find out which elements they most appreciate in their choice of dining furniture.
  • Consider the level of wear and tear children and pets may wreak.
  • Make sure you have a well-defined image of your finished space in mind before you buy.
  • Set a budget and stick to it.
  • Purchase your new dining furniture from a trustworthy and reliable source.

Finding the Perfect Chairs in the Bay Area

In the Bay area, California Dining & Barstools is your go-to source for quality dining room furniture at an affordable price. And there’s always a professional furniture consultant on site to help you make the big decisions. Our showrooms in Pleasant Hill and Sunnyvale are well-stocked with our most popular pieces, so you can see and touch your new furniture before you commit to buying. And our valued customers always have the option of mixing and matching pieces to create a truly customized space.

When you’re ready to invest in dining room chairs, table sets, or more in the Bay area, stop by California Dining & Barstools to view our stunning collections. We have the furniture you’ll love at prices you can afford. Call today to learn how our furniture professionals can help you create the dining room of your dreams.



Low-Budget Outdoor Restaurant Design Tips

It’s not unusual for new restaurant owners to be lacking in extra funds. After all, it takes a lot of time and money to open a restaurant. There are the costs of building or renting a brick-and-mortar structure, outfitting the kitchen, dining, and outdoor dining areas, and hiring and training the staff.

Then there are all the food costs associated with an eatery. Whether you’ve opened a coffee shop, a formal dining room, or an upscale Italian restaurant, it all costs money. And money is difficult to come by in those first few years of operation. That’s why you need economical choices for decor ideas and seating options.

While it is important to seat guests comfortably in your indoor or outdoor dining space, your first priority should be on the quality of foods and beverages you serve. That’s why it’s helpful to find economical choices with design choices like outdoor seating.

The increase in outdoor seating can be seen across the United States. According to Restaurant Dive, searches for businesses offering outdoor dining increased 292% in year two of the pandemic. Consumers are still wary of indoor dining and have turned to the benefits of enjoying an outdoor seating area.

With this new trend in mind, restaurants have been quickly looking to expand or create their outdoor seating areas. These additions can be costly with new furniture and design considerations. California Dining & Barstools shares our low budget design tips for creating an outdoor eating space that both consumers and your budget will appreciate.

Different Types of Outdoor Seating Areas

Offering an outdoor dining option is a great way to draw in foot traffic, especially if your restaurant is nicely situated along busy city streets. It’s a nice option for your guests during those transitional months of spring and fall, when nearby trees are either bursting into bloom or turning lovely hues of red and yellow. There are several low-cost options for creating an outdoor dining area that increases revenue and guest satisfaction without breaking your budget.

  • Front Porch Dining
  • Rooftop Dining
  • Outdoor Patio
  • Sidewalk Dining
  • Beer Garden

1. Front Porch Dining


Cozy, informal, and usually semi-private, a front porch dining area might easily accommodate two or three small parties at the same time. Think small-scale furniture made of metal, resin, stainless steel, or treated wood. This area might best fit bistro sets or cafe tables. And if your front porch isn’t spacious enough for dining, you could always create a cozy conversation area for guests to use while they wait for a table to open up.

2. Rooftop Dining


Rooftop dining is especially nice if your establishment is located in a historic or scenic part of town. Diners may be privy to the bright lights of a city skyline at night or the boats along the river throughout the day. A rooftop is a separate space that’s usually roomy enough to accommodate several tables and/or a rooftop bar. And it could easily be the only place in town where diners can go to experience the thrill of a romantic, rooftop adventure.

3. Outdoor Patio


Outdoor patio ideas include adding lots of big, beautiful plants, attractive outdoor lighting, and possibly the addition of outdoor heaters for those uncharacteristically cool days. If your patio is a small space that provides limited room for patio furniture, not to worry. You can increase the number of guests you’re comfortably able to accommodate by bringing in barstools, armless, or other forms of small, compact outdoor furniture.

4. Sidewalk Dining


Sidewalk dining is always a popular choice, so long as your dining area is outside of regular foot traffic. You may want to opt for shaded tables, such as those that feature umbrellas, to outfit your sidewalk dining area and protect your guests from inclement weather conditions. A second possibility is adding some type of small, shaded pergola for guests to dine beneath.

5. Beer Garden


By definition, a beer garden is an outdoor space where food and beer are typically served. But to create a true beer garden, you’ll need additional elements, including a grass or dirt floor and lots of communal seating. Communal tables can be a very cost-effective solution to outdoor seating. It promotes more casual dining but provides an abundance of seating areas to enjoy with big groups. Beer gardens allow restaurants or breweries to stock with picnic tables or bar seating, where guests can sit close together, drink beer, dine, and relax. If your new restaurant has access to a large back lot, putting in a beer garden could make it the most popular spot in town.

You Can Overcome Challenges of Outdoor Seating on a Budget

The way you arrange your outdoor space, and the size and scale of outdoor furniture you choose go a long way toward building a beautiful space while keeping to a budget. Restaurant design does not have to be complex. As long as you have the staples in place, including:

  • Easy access
  • A clear path through and around your seating areas
  • Lots of ambient lighting
  • Shade and protection from inclement weather
  • Outdoor furniture that’s sturdy and comfortable
  • A feeling of privacy from street traffic

Guests will have no trouble settling in and trying your delightful dishes. And if your kitchen and serving staff make them feel welcome and valued, odds are good they’ll be back with all their friends in tow.

Factors to Consider in Outdoor Restaurant Seating

As a new restaurant owner, budget may seem like the most important thing to consider when it comes to designing your outdoor area. However, you must keep the guest experience always at the forefront of your mind. Customer must-haves include fresh, tasty food choices, excellent customer service, safety, and comfort. Everything else is simply icing on the cake. So, as long as your outdoor patio ideas include these basic features, you’re already ahead of the game. This means your outdoor dining space should have enough room for guests and servers to maneuver around tables easily. It should be well-lit and attractive. It should be free from slip, trip, and fall hazards. It should be somewhat shielded from passers-by, and it should be a comfortable, relaxed place to unwind and enjoy a quick lunch, dinner, or drinks.

5 Tips for Low-Budget Outdoor Seating Design


So, once you have a clear idea of what type of restaurant you plan to operate and you’ve secured the location and outfitted the kitchen, it’s time to begin furnishing your dining areas. For outdoor dining spaces, use these five tried-and-tested tips that other successful restaurateurs have used before you:

  1. Use a Minimalist Restaurant Style
  2. Consider Your Lighting Choices
  3. Maintain Attractive Curb Appeal
  4. Adopt a Simple Seating Layout
  5. Bring in Classy Accessories
  6. Consider Your Furniture Options Carefully

Mostly, this means you don’t want to jampack every square foot of space with furniture. It means you should keep your seating area simple. And it means adding an attractive focal point to the space. A stage that accommodates live bands is ideal.

Lighting should be adequate, but affordable. For many of today’s open restaurants, this means the addition of string lights or solar lights. And use accessories such as plants, table covers, statuary, or even water features, to boost the curb appeal of your outdoor area. 

And when it comes to your choice of outdoor dining table, dining chair, or barstool, opt for ones that fit your space and that are durable enough to hold up to the

How California Dining & Barstools Can Help You Design Your Restaurant on a Budget

If you’re a restaurant owner in the Bay Area, California Dining & Barstools are here to help elevate your outdoor space. At California Dining & Barstools, it’s our personalized touch that restaurateurs value the most. Often, you’ll find one of the owners on site at our Sunnyvale or Pleasant Hill locations, providing top-notch customer service and advice that stems from more than half a century of experience. And second only to our dedication is our beautiful selection of dining furniture and barstools, after which our company is named. If you visit our showrooms, you can see, touch, and experience our furniture in person. You can also pair our individual pieces up any way you like, so they fit comfortably into any space, big or small.

At California Dining & Barstools, we understand how challenging it is to become a successful new restaurant owner. That’s why we offer quality dining sets, dinettes, pub tables, and chairs at prices you can afford, and that’s why we encourage you to pair them up in the configurations that work best for your space. We invite you to stop by one of our showrooms in Pleasant Hill or Sunnyvale today for all your indoor and outdoor dining needs. We offer one of the most comprehensive selections of dining furniture and bar stools in the Bay Area. Contact us for more information on designing your Bay Area restaurant.

Dark wood rectangular dining table with upholstered dark wood chairs.

Types of Dining Tables

The style of your dining or kitchen table adds a unique touch to your eating space, and it brings comfort to the friends and family who are seated around it. And making sure that your dining furniture matches not only your dining table but the space it’s in is also important. Dining sets come in an array of different design styles and choosing the right one is ideal for a put-together space. Become your own interior designer, and put time and effort into browsing different furniture styles, shapes, materials, and designs before choosing the perfect choice for your family. 

Dining Table Shapes

When it comes to the shape of your dining table, what speaks to you? Maybe you prefer rounded edges as opposed to sharp corners? The shape of your table is a design element for your space and can also set the mood for your dining area. There are many table shapes from which to choose, including:

  • Rectangular
  • Round
  • Square
  • Oval

And the shape of your table should also match the job you need it to perform. For example, large family events or special occasions call for elongated or larger shapes such as a long rectangular dining table or an oval dining table. Conversely, tables for two or in a small space are usually square or round shape. Match your new dining room table to its purpose and to the space you have allotted to get the most enjoyment. 

1. Rectangular Tables

Rectangular wooden table with wooden and cream upholstered chairs.

Rectangular tables are classic and can fit in most spaces. They’re practical and simple and use space better than round or oval-shaped dining room tables. If you’re tapped for space, a small rectangular table may be just the ticket. However, this shape also works well for grand dining rooms that must accommodate whole, extended families at Christmas and Thanksgiving. The straight lines and angular corners allow guests to move about easily, while leaving room for additional furniture such as hutches and sideboards. 

2. Round Tables

Round wooden dining table and upholstered wood chairs.

Round tables, on the other hand, eliminate sharp edges that may not be to your taste. They’re great for smaller settings, too. So, if you’re just starting out with your significant other and small, intimate dinners are the norm, a round dining table may suit your exact needs. Keep in mind that round tables are intended to seat guests all around the circumference. This means to function as intended, it must be placed away from the wall. If you have a small apartment or miniscule dining room, a round table might not be ideal. 

3. Square Tables


Square tables, like round tables, are usually better for smaller, more intimate dinners. A square dining table can be placed against a wall or even in a corner, while still providing enough space for two to dine comfortably. When positioned in the middle of a room, square tables are usually able to accommodate four to eight diners.

Many modern square tables feature extended heights and require taller, pub- or counter-height chairs. Tables like these are beautiful additions to the contemporary or minimalist dining room, as well as for smaller spaces. 

4. Oval Tables


Oval tables serve roughly the same purpose as rectangular tables but with clean lines. Oval tables are good choices for larger families with active children because they provide ample room to dine with lower threat of injury. These elliptical shapes tend to look more classic, too. This makes them ideal for formal dining rooms that require a more traditional design style. And an oval shape lends itself well to rich, old woods that feature glossy, dark patinas. 

Dining Table Materials

Rectangular glass top dining table with metal base and beige dining chairs.

Aside from the shape of your new dining room table, you’ll also want to take care when selecting the best material. Metal, wood, and laminate are all solid options. However, each has its own benefits and disadvantages. While each can be a beautiful addition to your space, not every material will be a match for your decor style or for your family. Learn more about the unique properties of the materials used in crafting dining room tables before you buy. 

  • Metal: Metals such as stainless steel, chrome, or wrought iron are both sturdy and stain-proof. They’re great for a modern look, and they’re all highly resistant to damage and wear. However, they’re usually heavy. If you require a dining room table that must be shifted around on occasion, such as to accommodate the placement of a child’s table nearby, metal may not be the best choice. And if you’re trying to create a more classic or traditional look in your dining room, a metal table may look out of place. 
  • Wood: A solid wood table is a classic and visually diverse choice. There are many different kinds of wood used for tables, including oak, ash, maple, mahogany, pine and cherry wood. All are stunning to the eye, and all will stand the test of time. Just look most wood furniture, wood dining tables are more prone to scratches and gouging. Unpainted wood, especially, is tricky to clean because liquids may seep into the stain. If you have small children or pets with claws, a wood dining table may not last as long as another material, or it may need to be sanded and refinished over time. But, for classic appeal, a wood dining room table is a sound investment. 
  • Laminate: Laminate tables are worry-free additions to homes that see heavy dining-room traffic. If you need a place where kids can do homework and art projects while serving as a second office for you or your spouse, a dining table covered with laminate may be a perfect solution. Laminate is usually an affordable option that looks nice while being ridiculously easy to clean. A simple wipe with a damp cloth is usually all that’s needed to wipe up spills on stain-resistant laminate. 

Dining Table Styles


The style of your new dining table matters, too. There are probably more options than you realize. And you might be surprised to learn how many different options you have. 

  • Traditional: Traditional dining tables are simple, blending with any environment. They’re ideal choices if you’re trying to avoid an atmosphere that’s too busy.
  • Industrial: Industrial dining tables are capable of adding a wonderful, rustic feeling to your dining space.
  • Extendable: Extendable dining tables are great for areas with limited space. The seating benches may be pulled out from under the table when ready to be used, and leaves can be added to make the table longer. 
  • Mid-Century Modern: Mid-century modern tables are simple and sleek, good for blending in with the room’s atmosphere. These tables are based upon styles that were popular around the 1950s. 
  • Farmhouse: Farmhouse dining tables are gorgeous and often chunky. They add a homey, rustic feeling to your dining room. 
  • Modern: Modern styles, or contemporary designs are usually simple tables with complex and unique shapes.

Dining Table Capacity

Both the size and shape of your new dining table determine how many guests you can comfortably seat. For example, a rectangular table can seat anywhere from four to fourteen guests comfortably, as long as your dining area is capable of accommodating a table up to 10 feet long. Meanwhile, an oval table of the same length can seat up to 12 people. A large round table, similarly, can usually seat around up to eight adults comfortably. This refers to a table that’s roughly 72 inches in diameter. Most large square tables (54 inches), similarly, are capable of seating eight people as well. 

Dining Table Bases

Deluxe CAP Lifestyle

The base of your dining table is another consideration. Available options for diverse table bases are:

  • Single post
  • Double-based
  • Four-legged

A single-post table base is just how it sounds. The table is supported by one post in the middle. Double-based tables are similar to the single-post tables, except there are two posts, one at each end, sometimes these can be called double pedestal tables and come in a variety of shapes. Two posts are used if the table is an oval or rectangular shape, creating more support. Meanwhile, four-legged tables are a classic, popular choice, offering support at each corner of the table. These types of tables offer the most leg room for guests. 

Dining Tabletops

Rectangular glass top dining table and chairs.

Often, your new dining room table will be crafted from one material for the frame and base and a second material for the tabletop. Popular types of tabletops include:

  • Solid wood: Dining tables that feature solid wood tops are good investments because the older they become, the more appealing they look. Most woods age well, and the small nicks and dings they accrue over time only add to their value. 
  • Veneer: Tables with veneer tops are easy to clean and long lasting. They’ll still look new down the road, regardless of heavy traffic. 
  • Natural Stone: Natural stone tabletops such as granite, marble, and quartz lend a high-end appearance to your room. 
  • Glass: Glass tabletops are modern and appealing, but they may not be the best choice for families with small, active children. 

Bay Area’s Largest Selection of Dining Sets

There’s so many places to browse dining tables and other furniture. Trust California Dining & Barstools as your go-to furniture store in the Bay Area. With a variety of dining table styles and materials to choose from, we are happy to help find your perfect piece. When you’re ready to invest in a new dining room table, come shop California Dining & Bar Stools in Sunnyvale and Pleasant Hill today.


5 Contemporary Dining Room Ideas

What does it mean to evoke a mood in a space? If you’re a homeowner or a restaurant owner who’s setting up a new dining room, it’s important to have an answer to this most basic question. In interior design, mood is what keeps people coming back to the space. When you enter a room that’s decorated in a contemporary design, for example, it should evoke comfort and relaxation. A contemporary dining room should instantly feel spacious. There should be a visible lack of clutter, which is soothing to the mind, and clean lines. With an overall, neutral palette your eyes should be drawn to the most dramatic pieces in the room, whether that’s a piece of furniture, a piece of artwork, or another modern design element. 

As a designer, creating a contemporary home involves making use of blank space, and showing restraint when it’s time to add accessories. With a specific color scheme and plan in place, anyone can create a contemporary space of their dreams. If you’re interested in creating a contemporary dining room in your space, we have tons of ideas to share. 

What Is a Contemporary Dining Room?

What comes to mind when someone mentions contemporary dining room ideas? If you instantly envision large windows, bold colors, and furniture that is simple yet sophisticated, you’re on the right track. Contemporary style is minimalist and dramatic. It makes great use of space, light and neutral colors. There’s plenty of room to move about in a contemporary dining area, and there’s a distinct lack of frills and clutter. 

If you’re collecting contemporary or modern dining room design ideas for your next big home or commercial project, we suggest choosing your dining table set first, and building the rest of the room around it. The table is often the biggest piece of furniture in the dining space. Whether you choose a round table or rectangular table, it’s important to make sure the style you choose is simple and features clean lines and little-to-no decorative details. 

Contemporary Dining Room Ideas

The most important design rule when creating a contemporary look is to remember that less is more. Less art, more bare wall space. Fewer window coverings, more natural light. To the untrained mind, this may sound sterile and uninviting, but a well-decorated contemporary dining room is anything but unwelcoming. In fact, it’s quite relaxing to walk into a room that’s completely void of clutter. Your eyes are instantly drawn to the most dramatic pieces in the room. In this instance, that should be your dining table set. 

1. Large Lighting Fixtures

Dark wood rectangular dining table with grey upholstered chairs.

Light is vital for a contemporary space. But remember, less is more. One dramatic, significant light fixture should reign supreme in your dining space. Usually, this is centered over your dining table. Keep your light fixture simple, and opt for a single large piece, as opposed to a grouping of lights. Finding the perfect fit for your space is difficult. Choose one that features straight lines, instead of flowery, curvy details, and add a dimmer switch for relaxed, intimate dining. Good choices for showcasing your contemporary dining table include:

  • Flush-mounted fixtures
  • Large, single pendant lights
  • Orbs
  • Geometric fixtures, such as rectangles or squares
  • Light bars

Nix the showy chandeliers and candelabras if you’re trying to create a modern space and stick to lighting that features smooth metals with light or dark casings. 

2. Benches


Benches are always in style. But you’ll want to steer clear of anything too “shabby chic or “farmhouse” style. Metal benches, benches painted in black or white lacquer, and benches crafted of composite materials are good choices. Wood is fine, but the lines of the legs should be straight and clean without curves or other ornamental details. Padding or seat cushion is okay too, but the fabric used should not feature a bold pattern. Plain or neutral padding is best . Think of benches with lightly padded seats of tan or gray. 

If your contemporary dining room furniture features all dining chairs, consider switching several out for a bench. This will reduce the visible noise in the room, while still providing ample seating for family and guests to dine in comfort. 

3. Natural Light

Light wooden rectangular table with wooden and brown upholstered chairs.

Every space is made better through the addition of natural light. And in a contemporary dining room, you can bring in more natural light by uncovering your windows. If you’re planning a future renovation, make sure the dining room features plenty of glass to let in the light. Even rooms located in the center of the house or commercial building can benefit from natural light with the addition of solar tubes that tunnel through your attic space. If you have close neighbors, or your dining room windows open out onto a busy street, add an attractive window film that gives an added layer of privacy without blocking out the sun. Solar window films are also good options if your dining room receives too much blazing afternoon sunshine. This will help keep your furniture and flooring from fading in the sun. 

Or, if you simply can’t accept an uncovered window, consider using light window coverings such as sheers. Stay away from lace because it may detract from your room’s modern feel. You might even consider using plants to add privacy in front of a large window in your dining room. Select two or three large floor pots in lieu of lining small pots along the windowsills. 

4. Complementary Décor

Extended rectangular table and cream colored upholstered chairs.

The funny thing about contemporary decor is that a room decorated in this design tends to leave out the throw pillows, the table runners, and anything else that could be misconstrued as clutter. When decorating a dining room, complementary decor may mean things that feature complementary colors, which are those colors that reside opposite each other on the color wheel. It may also mean finding pieces such as a bench that pairs nicely with your dining table set or a wall color that goes well with the colors in your flooring.

Finding pieces that complement each other is part of what makes a room feel cohesive. Usually, that’s why we bring in elements such as wall art, rugs, vases, flowers, or throws. You can still add these design elements to a contemporary space, but you must be careful not to overdo it. Overdecorating will take your contemporary dining room from modern to mishmash in very little time. 

We suggest ideas such as adding a single, large piece of art to one wall, or an oversized geometric vase to the table. And always think of it as an either/or situation. You can either add the wall art or the table vase, whichever most pleases the eye. 

5. Choosing the Right Dining Table

Dark wood rectangular dining table with upholstered dark wood chairs.

The right contemporary dining table sets the mood for your entire space, so choose wisely. Opt for the largest table you can comfortably fit in your space. This will immediately bring the eye to that piece of furniture. Choose plain woods or metals, bold colors, straight legs, and lack of ornamentation. This is not the space to bring in a stately old Victorian dining table, consider a more timeless piece. And remember — your chairs should be just as simple as your table. Solid-backed chairs are ideal. But if your chairs aren’t solid, at least opt for ladder-back or wishbone chairs. Stay away from complicated designs and bright upholstery. But you should also keep comfort in mind. You’ll need a dining set that comfortably accommodates your family or clientele, too. 

Best Contemporary Dining Room Furniture

The best contemporary dining room furniture ideas have several features in common:

  • They’re comfortable.
  • They’re sized to fit your family or clientele.
  • They look nice in your space.
  • They feature clean, straight lines and smooth surfaces.
  • They complement the other pieces in the room.
  • They’re dramatic and appealing.

So, when you’re ready to begin shopping for your new contemporary dining room table and chairs, make sure you keep these features in mind. Knowing what you want beforehand will make choosing the best dining set much less complicated. Know what type of finish you want, how many chairs you need, how big the table needs to be, and what height you desire. In this way, you can eliminate dozens of dining room sets right out of the gate, saving you time and frustration as you shop. Simplicity is best, especially when you’re trying to create a dining space that’s both functional and attractive. 

Visit California Dining & Barstools for Contemporary Dining Pieces

If it’s time to bring your dated dining room into the 21st century, California Dining & Barstools has a variety of modern dining to choose from. Your dinner parties will reign superior in the eyes of your friends with our contemporary dining sets. Stop by one of our showrooms in Sunnyvale or Pleasant Hill today to see our grand selection of dining room sets, bistro tables, pub tables, and more. Whether you’re styling a formal dining room, a contemporary space, or a commercial business, we are sure to have items to help invoke the right mood. Stop by today or contact us to talk with one of our friendly and experienced sales consultants. We’ll help you find the dining room set of your dreams. 


What is a Dinette?

Everybody loves to shop, but when you’re the boss, shopping for furniture to fill your new commercial dining room, few things compare. To help make your new venture a runaway success, you’ll need sturdy, comfortable commercial furniture pieces that fit well with your motif. One way to do this is to explore the many options available in commercial kitchen dinette sets. A dinette table set is typically more compact than a large, formal dining table. As such, it allows you to comfortably seat more guests in a smaller area. It’s usually portable, too. This means it has the versatility to seat just a few guests or more when needed.


The classic dinette consists of one table and two chairs — ample space to seat two people for coffee and cozy conversation. Historically, this furniture set is small and inclusive, designed for nooks and crannies in your dining area where larger table sets aren’t feasible. However, the dinette has grown somewhat throughout the years, and now the term is used to describe any dining set that features a table with two to four included chairs. So, realistically, today’s dinette table and chairs are capable of seating up to four people comfortably. 

History of the Dinette

If you’re like many people, you envision a 1950s kitchen when you hear the word ‘dinette.’ You might picture a chrome-and-Formica creation, complete with chairs upholstered in bright red leatherette. Toss in a checkerboard floor, and you have the makings of a retro 50s diner. But it’s interesting to note that dinettes and dining room furniture actually have roots that go back much further. 

The ancient Greeks, around 480 B.C., are the first culture credited with having a designated room for feasting. Although their stone benches and wood couches bore little resemblance to the commercial restaurant furniture of today. As time wore on, dining rooms became more customized. Stone platforms or tables to hold food were added. Benches became shorter, and around the 1500s, dining tables and chairs as we know them came to be. Still, as late as the 1700s, many kitchens were still separate from the rooms where families gathered to eat. And by separate, this could mean they were located in a different building altogether. The idea was to reduce the risk of harm to diners, because kitchens during this time were often the scene of housefires. 

Then came the Victorian Age, when dinner was considered more of a social event than a necessity. Dining rooms in those days were ornate, decorative places, where tables were expansive and intricately carved, and seats were covered in fine velvet. 

Today, dining and drinking with friends and family is no less a social event. We’ve just scaled back the accessories. Most modern dining rooms feature some form of the classic dinette — chairs of two to four, grouped around a small table. This restaurant furniture is versatile and usually portable, meaning tables can be pushed together and chairs easily added to accommodate larger parties. 

How Are Dinettes Used?


Traditionally, a dinette table and chairs went in the kitchen. The dining room table and chairs were placed in the dining room and reserved for more formal gatherings. A dinette set was very much informal. This meant it was where Mom or Dad grabbed toast and coffee in the morning and kids gobbled down cookies and milk after school. Today, we would call this area the eat-in kitchen. But back in the day, it was just the kitchen — casual, family-oriented, and convenient. 

As an aspiring restaurant owner, you can use the traditional dinette table set any way you choose. This classic grouping of commercial restaurant furniture is perfect for any space that features a casual vibe or family-friendly dining. You can even mix and match the pieces in your dining room in such a way that they create separate areas. For example, you might place a small dinette table and chairs under the front window and add conversation seating next to the stone fireplace. You might toss in a few counter-height tables and chairs to give guests the feeling of being seated at the bar, while placing dinettes near the restrooms to better accommodate parents with small children. 

There’s a lot you can do with a modern dinette table and dinette chairs. This particular category of restaurant furniture is quiet and small, allowing it to fit into cozy corners that would otherwise be wasted space. 

Types of Dinettes

There are probably as many types of dinette sets as there are dining establishments. You’ll find dinettes made from wood, metal, or even plastic for outdoor dining spaces. You’ll even find retro dinettes made to mimic those Formica tables from the 50s that were previously mentioned. Some dinette tables feature elegant glass tops, other sets have chairs with casters for easy movement. Be sure to explore all the options available before settling on dinette seating for your new commercial eating establishment. After all, guests will only frequent your restaurant if they love the service, food, and atmosphere they find there. Your dining furniture plays a large role, both in how many customers you attract and in how long they stay. And whether they love it or hate it, they’re sure to spread the word. 

Dinettes We Offer

At California Dining & Barstools, we offer a generous selection of dinette sets. Each grouping comes complete with a dinette table and dinette chairs in styles and colors to complement every decor style. Regardless of what mood you’re hoping to evoke in your new commercial dining room, we have a dinette set that’s the perfect addition. 

1. Casters

Our Callee and Chromecraft dinette sets provide perfect seating for high-traffic areas. Comfortable seats are outfitted with smooth-rolling casters that give guests mobility as they dine. We recommend sets such as Callee London, Burnet, or Rebecca for use in conference areas, party rooms, or any uncarpeted areas where guests may need to stand or move about frequently. 

2. Expandable

Our expandable dinette table sets grow to seat additional guests when required. Tabletops expand via a single leaf, allowing room for additional place settings and ample space for guests to pull up an extra chair or two. Expandable dinette sets are ideal for smaller restaurants because they easily shrink down to an inconspicuous size.

3. Glass-Top

Commercial restaurant furniture that features glass as an element creates an upscale, elegant appeal. These glass-top dinettes are good choices for establishments that cater mostly to adults and that are trying to create a more formal lunch or dinnertime experience. 

4. Metal

Metal dinettes are durable and attractive additions to any dine-in area. Often paired with wood or glass tabletops, these pretty dinettes are tough enough to handle anything your guests can dish out. Consider metal dining furniture for restaurants where dinnerware is heavy, where young children are welcomed, or where chairs and tables are frequently moved about. 

5. Rectangular-Top

Rectangular dinette tables give guests more room to eat, drink, do paperwork, or use a laptop. They can be formal or informal. And they can evoke any mood you’d like to display, including casual, elegant, informal, or corporate. Rectangular tables work well for holiday dining because they provide ample space for the centerpiece. 

6. Round-Top

Dinette sets that feature a table with a round top are inherently informal. These are the sets that create those cozy nooks where ladies can meet for tea or coffee in the afternoon and young couples can occupy at night for intimate conversations. Round tables take up a bit more space than square or rectangular tables that can be placed against a wall. You’ll want to keep this in mind as you shop for commercial restaurant furniture to fit your space. 

7. Upholstered

Upholstered dinette chairs are king for many guests because they provide comfortable seating over a long lunch. Be aware that guests may linger longer over their meal if they’re seated on comfortably upholstered seating. Then again, when the chairs are comfortable, your guests may be more inclined to order an additional coffee, beer, or dessert before departing. 

8. Wood

Next to metal dining furniture, wood is the most durable choice. Commercial furniture crafted of wood can be heavy or lightweight, suitable for indoors or out, depending upon the type of wood and materials used. For inside dining areas, wood is a good, family-friendly choice. It’s easy to clean and tends to be a bit heavier, which discourages guests from moving chairs around from place to place. 

Visit California Dining & Barstools Today

When you’re ready to embark on your new dine-in adventure, California Dining & Barstools stands ready to help. Visit our beautiful showrooms in Sunnyvale and Pleasant Hill to see all we have to offer in person. Our friendly and experienced sales consultants are always happy to guide you through the latest styles and to show you what’s currently trending in the world of commercial restaurant furniture. Stop by today to learn more. 

outdoor restaurant furniture

How to Choose Outdoor Furniture for Restaurants

Picture your favorite outdoor dining experience and ask yourself why that experience was so memorable. It may have been because you were sharing the moment with a trusted friend or loved one. It may have been because the food you were served was so delicious. But there may be another reason why you had such a good time, and comfort likely played a big role. Outdoor restaurant furniture that’s sturdy, dry, and allows room for movement is always an attraction. When you’re searching for a dining set or pub table for your outdoor dining area, be sure to keep the comfort of your patrons at the top of your list of must-haves. There are many styles and materials of commercial patio furniture available, and California Dining & Barstools happily stocks a beautiful variety. We invite you to visit us in Sunnyvale or Pleasant Hill to see and experience our inventory for yourself. 

Types of Outdoor Restaurant Furniture


Once you’ve decided what type of tables and seating best suit the needs of your loyal patrons, you must choose a material. Common ones include wood, steel, aluminum, wrought iron, and plastic or resin. All can be made weather-resistant, and all can be designed with comfort in mind. However, each material has its own distinct benefits and limitations. To aid in your decision, we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons associated with each one. You can find them all at California Dining & Barstools at affordable prices. 

1. Wood

Wood is classic. It’s timeless. And it’s lovely to look at. An outdoor patio featuring all wood furniture will lend your restaurant a definite mood. Whether you’re looking to create a space reminiscent of a ski chalet, a rustic cabin, or a cozy den, wood is a wonderful choice. You can even use unusual woods, such as bamboo, teak, or acacia, to create a lighter, airier atmosphere if your restaurant is located near the beach. According to This Old House guru, Bob Vila, some of the best woods for outdoor furniture include:

  • Acacia — Acacia is naturally scratch- and dent-resistant but requires occasional re-sealing to protect it from sun and weather.  
  • Black Locust — Black locust is extremely resistant to weather, but it’s also heavier than other woods. 
  • Redwood — Redwood is gorgeous, but it’s pricey. It’s also a less sustainable choice than woods such as bamboo or acacia.
  • Cypress — Cypress is pretty. It’s highly resistant to pests and weather. But it also requires regular re-sealing to keep it safe from the sun. 
  • Cedar — Cedar is a soft, lightweight wood that’s easily portable. However, it’s vulnerable to dents, dings, and scratches. 

Finding the right furniture pieces is simply a process of weighing the advantages with the opportunities and seeing for yourself which material is the best one for your establishment. 

2. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is mostly impervious to extremes of weather. As a result, it’s highly resistant to rust. Stainless steel is also relatively lightweight, so your patrons can easily pull up an extra chair if needed. And the addition of a stainless-steel pub table or dining set can lend your outdoor dining space an attractive industrial appeal. Steel is minimalist. It’s sleek and simple, and you won’t have to worry about it soaking up water on even the wettest days. This material easily wipes dry with a cloth.

At the other end of the spectrum, steel is not typically considered a cozy material. But you can warm up this commercial restaurant furniture by topping tables with flower vases, candles, or tablecloths. And in covered patio areas, simple seat cushions add comfort, too.  

3. Aluminum

If it’s portability you desire, you can’t go wrong with restaurant patio furniture crafted from aluminum. This material is one of the most lightweight on the market. It’s also rust-resistant and cleans easily with the spray from a garden hose. Commercial restaurant furniture made of aluminum can be powder-coated in colors to complement every decor. Aluminum is also malleable, so you can find furniture that features different shapes and decorative designs. Maybe best of all, this material is easily recycled, which makes it a solid, sustainable choice. 

Still, though aluminum furniture is highly affordable, it lends itself more to casual dining. So, keep this in mind if your restaurant features a more formal dining experience. 

4. Wrought Iron

rought iron is another intriguing choice of material for patio furniture for restaurants. Wrought iron is heavy. It’s durable, and it lends an upscale feel. You can use it with or without cushions, and it will look nice either way. This material is ultimately more durable than wood, aluminum, plastic, or resin, and will require less care throughout the years. Eventually, it will rust if left out in the elements, but it’s easily sanded clean. 

In commercial restaurant furniture, wrought iron is popular because of its ability to hold weight. Wrought iron tables can handle even the heaviest of buffet settings, and chairs make it easy for larger patrons to dine in comfort. This material also often features ornate details that add charm and personality to a space. It’s perfect for cafes and coffee shops, and a wrought iron bistro table is a perfect choice wherever dainty desserts are a given. 

5. Plastic or Resin

Restaurant patio furniture crafted from plastic or resin is ideal for outdoor spaces that offer a casual dining experience. So, if your restaurant is located next to the boardwalk or inside the city park, plastic or resin is a good choice. Highly affordable and easily replaced, plastic or resin is a good fit for families with small children. It’s easy to wipe or spray clean, and you won’t have to worry about rust or deterioration. These materials are also very lightweight and portable, and they come in every color imaginable. 

However, these furniture pieces may fade over time when placed in bright sunlight, so a shaded patio is best. They’ll need to be replaced every few years, as well because they may eventually become brittle with age. Still, for the price, it’s hard to beat commercial patio furniture that’s made from plastic or resin. And if your outdoor patio caters to the casual crowd, we heartily recommend it. 

How to Choose Restaurant Outdoor Furniture

While the comfort of your guests should always be utmost in your mind when choosing commercial restaurant furniture, you’ll have other considerations, too. There’s the return you can expect on your investment, whether the furniture you choose complements your restaurant’s theme and mood, and how everything fits in the space you have available. We recommend keeping the following factors in mind as you’re actively shopping:



Does your outdoor restaurant furniture leave enough room for your wait staff, servers, and clean-up crew to move freely about? Stuffing too many furniture pieces, or pieces that are too large, into your space can cut down on your staff’s efficiency. Wait times may be longer, and guest satisfaction could be impacted. Fewer is usually better. And you might consider buying pieces that serve a dual purpose, such as pub tables that can accommodate either cocktails or dinner. And opting for benches instead of individual chairs may help you comfortably seat more patrons in less space.



And everyone must be able to navigate your dining room easily. This means not placing large, immovable pieces too close to doorways, stairways, or areas where guests need to walk, or where they may want to gather and converse. This includes check-out stands, entrances, exits, and near the restrooms. 



Your new furniture should add to the attractiveness of your outdoor space. Essentially, you’ll want to ensure it matches the theme you’re trying to convey. Remember to leave room for accessories, such as umbrellas, awnings, potted plants, statuary, water features, or whatever else fits with the mood you’re trying to evoke. Have these items firmly located in your space before you begin bringing in tables and seating. 

And if your outdoor space features rugs or floor mats, be careful to purchase furniture with legs that won’t grip or catch on the corners. This will help you avoid creating a slip, trip, or fall hazard. 

Shop Commercial Restaurant Furniture at California Dining & Barstools


When you’ve considered all the scenarios, and you’re ready to choose the best commercial restaurant furniture for your needs, come see us at California Dining & Barstools. Since 1977, we’ve been helping restaurant owners beautify their dine-in eating spaces, both indoors and out. When you visit one of our on-site locations in Sunnyvale or Pleasant Hill, you’ll find a friendly, knowledgeable sales team that’s ready to assist. Even better, both locations feature showrooms where you can see, touch, and try out an impressive variety of pieces, including barstools, dinette sets, pub tables, and dining sets. Seeing is believing, and at California Dining & Barstools, we know you’ll find it easier to decide if you can see our furniture in person. Stop by today and sample the California Dining & Barstools difference. We’re happy to answer all furniture-related questions, and we’ll help you find the best, affordable options to suit your needs. 

people sitting on barstools in an outdoor bar area

8 Types of Restaurant Bar Stools

Surprisingly, for most people, the bar stool is an underrated piece of furniture. While friends often mention how much they enjoy cuddling on the couch and how eagerly they anticipate falling into bed at night, none ever think to thank their bar stool. And they really should. After all, think of how many hours you’ve spent cozied up to the bar in your favorite dining or drinking establishment. Those hours would have been a lot less comfortable and a lot harder on your feet and back without your loyal friend — the bar stool.

Without bar stools, you wouldn’t have enjoyed that bachelorette party nearly as much, and you most certainly would never have met your ex. (Admit it, it was fun in the beginning.) Without bar stools, busy executives would have no comfortable spot to unwind at the end of a frustrating day, and relationships everywhere would have to begin on the dance floor. 

Oh, the horror. 

So, enter the bar stool. These compact pieces of commercial restaurant furniture first began gaining popularity in America around the 1920s, though they’d long been ensconced in European establishments. The first bar stools were utilitarian in nature — made of wood and designed without backs or arm rests, so they could fit into small spaces. They served a single purpose, to allow patrons to linger at the bar in comfort where they could part with more of their hard-earned cash without becoming unduly stressed.

Fortunately, bar stools, like saloons, have improved over the years. Today, they’re beautifully designed to fit into even the most upscale establishments. And while some are still minimalist in their design and construction, others are cushy and ornate, made to cradle patrons in lavish comfort as they recline at the bar.

As a restaurant owner, whichever type of bar stool you favor, you’ll find a limitless supply available. The key is to match your style of bar stool to the preferences of your most loyal patrons. Give the people what they want, and they’ll keep coming back. And it all begins and ends with the bar stools you provide. 

Though you could likely find a bar stool out there to fit any specification or purpose, there are several diehard styles that will never go out of fashion. Each has its own unique features and design, and some overlap. But ultimately, if you’re in the market for bar stools, eight categories will stand out. 

1. Bistro Style Bar Stools

Bistro bar stools make nice restaurant bar stools because they feature a back. This provides more comfortable seating for longer periods of time. The bistro-style bar stool does not feature arm rests, which makes it sleek and highly functional. It fits well into small dining areas, cafes, and anywhere space in front of the bar is limited. Bistro bar stools are traditionally made of wood. But today, everything goes. You can find simple bistro styles made of traditional wood, bamboo, or metal, and featuring both plain and padded seats. 

2. Stationary Bar Stools


A stationary bar stool is one which doesn’t swivel. These are crafted of various materials, may or may not have a back or arm rest, and come in every size, shape, style, and color imaginable. Picture a regular chair, only taller. Most bar stools measure between 28 and 30 inches tall, which is taller than a kitchen, dining, or counter-height chair. 

Stationary bar stools are usually more suitable for dining or drinking around a table, because the patrons sitting on them have no need to swivel to hold conversations to the left or right. 

3. Swivel Bar Stools

Trica Aramis Barstool

Restaurant swivel chair bar stools, as you may have anticipated, swivel all the way around. They’re perfect for prolonging conversations at the bar. However, they work well in dining and conversation areas, too, because patrons can swivel to talk to someone across the room without leaving their chair. 

4. Metal Bar Stools

Euro Style Cafe Barstool

Metal bar stools, as you can imagine, feature metal as their main material. Although many feature mixed materials to add comfort and flair. Metal bar stools may be made of steel, aluminum, or even wrought iron. They’re among the sturdiest of their kind, so if you’re in search of modern restaurant bar stools that will stand up to rowdy revelers, metal may be your best choice. Metal bar stools come in every imaginable design and color — some with arm rests, some with backs, some with both. Keep in mind how long you would like your patrons to stay before deciding how comfortable your bar stools should be. 

5. Backless Bar Stools

Backless bar stools simply feature a flat surface for your customers to seat themselves as they drink, dine, or converse. Simple and practical, they take up less space than more ornate styles of seating and tend to become less comfortable the longer one sits in them. Backless bar stools work well in front of the bar or situated around a tall, pub-style table. But they’re also good choices for seating along a bare wall where guests can lean back if needed. 

6. Pub Style Bar Stools

Amisco Kyle Barstool

Pub-style bar stools typically feature a back with no arm rests. They’re nicely sized to fit the bar and pub-height dining tables. More often than not, pub-style bar stools feature padded seats for added comfort and an upscale atmosphere.

7. Upholstered Bar Stools

Trica Olivia Barstool

Any of the stools previously mentioned may come upholstered. Upholstered bar stools generally cost more than scaled-down versions, and they make customers feel a bit more pampered. Many upscale dining and drinking establishments feature upholstered barstools because they want their patrons to feel more like guests. 

8. Wooden Bar Stools

wooden barstool seats

Wooden bar stools, of course, are made of wood. Sturdy, elegant, and often pricier than metal, wooden bar stools most closely resemble those vintage stools of old. You’ll find them in every beautiful finish and every style, from backless to ornate. 

How to Choose Bar Stools for Your Restaurant

But with all these restaurant quality bar stools from which to choose, which ones are best for your business? Most modern stools run between 15 and 21 inches wide. You’ll want to keep these measurements in mind as you shop, especially if space is limited. The wider the stool, the more space there should be between it and its brother. A good rule of thumb is to allow a minimum of 36 inches from the center of one stool to the next. You’ll also want to allow a good foot or a foot-and-a-half between your patrons knees and the front of the bar. Some bar stools are stackable, too, which can come in handy for floor cleaning and events that require the whole dance floor.

Shop California Dining & Barstools

When you’re ready to outfit your bar or dining room with the perfect stools, California Dining & Barstools is ready to help. Since 1977, we’ve provided the Bay Area with top-quality restaurant furniture at affordable prices. And when you buy from us, you get the added benefit of our years of experience. Let us help you choose the best barstools for your restaurant today. Stop by our showrooms in Sunnyvale or Pleasant Hill to learn more. 

retro American diner furniture

The Best Retro Diner Furniture

You may not remember the 1950s, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t still love to experience them. Perhaps this explains the popularity of the 1950s retro diner. The 1950s were an exciting and vibrant era in America. The race for space was on, and focus was on home-cooked dinners and nuclear families. The anxiety of the war was only a memory, and prosperity and rock-and-roll loomed on the horizon. These were happy days for families whose members had survived the Great Depression and the second World War, and the good times were echoed in several exciting decor styles from this era, including:

  • Atomic
  • Geometric
  • Scandinavian
  • Minimalist
  • Abstract

It was perfectly acceptable to smoke in public everywhere you went in the 1950s. Afterward, family members returned home to play board games such as Name That Tune and Outburst. Or they listened to records by Elvis Presley, Rosemary Clooney, and Kitty Kallen. In the evenings, they gathered around the console/cabinet television if they owned one and watched Bonanza or I Love Lucy

Sit-down dinners were the norm, so was gathering around the radio for a listen. The 1950s kitchen bore little resemblance to today’s modern marvels in several ways. Think pastel appliances and furniture with rounded corners. Toss in acres of Formica and chrome, and add countertop accessories like pink cannisters, and you have a solid vision of how the 1950s home appeared. Local diners surged in popularity, both as hang outs for local teens and as hot spots for families who could suddenly afford to dine out one or two nights a week, and the living was mostly easy. It makes sense that today’s restaurateurs should want to revisit this joyous decade in time.

Recreating the Retro Diner Aesthetic


If you’re a restaurant owner who wants to recreate a retro 1950s dining experience for guests, it all begins with your decor. Vintage-look flooring, era-appropriate wall colors and patterns, and even lighting all play roles. Several surprising colors were popular in the 1950s kitchen from which most modern designers would shy away today, including:

  • Petal Pink
  • Cadet Blue
  • Canary Yellow
  • Turquoise Green
  • Sherwood Green
  • Woodtone

Even kitchen appliances like stoves, refrigerators, toasters, and coffee pots boasted vivid pastels. Earth tones were also gaining popularity, with the warm, wood tones of couches and end tables made from mahogany, teak, rosewood, and walnut. You can echo these elements in your choice of 1950 retro dining table and chairs.

After all, it’s your restaurant furniture that makes or breaks your retro diner feel. To give guests an authentic experience, you’ll need specific items, including 50s retro dining chairs and tables, soda fountains, and other pieces of commercial restaurant furniture that echo the theme while holding up well to everything your guests dish out. California Dining & Barstools has everything you need to bring back the excitement and enthusiasm of the 1950s. 

Retro Dining Table

Glass and metal high top round pub table and metal and blue upholstered barstools with backs and swivel.

If you’re in the market for a retro dining table and chairs, look for pub tables or dinette sets that feature molded-body or upholstered chairs with simple chrome-plated or metal legs. Bright colors, such as red, green, or yellow are always solid choices in 1950 diner furniture, so are tabletops that feature Formica or inlay designs. Shapes are important in recreating the feel of diner-style furniture from the 1950s. Therefore, restaurant furniture that features futuristic designs, such as our Elite Modern Crystal Dining Table Set is ideal. The Elite Modern Mason Dining Table Set is another solid choice for bringing in gorgeous retro diner style without sacrificing comfort. Both sets pair modern features such as glass tabletops and counter-height seating with the minimalist design features and comfy upholstered chairs of Mid-Century Modern design. 

But if glass tables are more high-end than you desire for your kid-friendly, retro diner restaurant, California Dining and Bar Stools has many other options from which to choose. Our sturdy Borkholder Simplicity Dining Table is easily paired with our Saloom Bowtie Dining Chair or our New Pacific Direct Valencia Red Dining Chair to provide a top-notch dining experience for guests of most ages. And for retro diner furniture that’s up to the task of seating larger parties, the Borkholder Double Pedestal Dining Table seats six comfortably, when paired with the Saloom 64 SU Dining Chair.

When combined with authentic Mid-Century Modern accents, such as brightly patterned wallpaper, colorful Formica countertops, and retro fabric window treatments, your 50s retro dining chairs and tables will go far to create the fun diner environment you’re hoping to invoke. 

Retro Dining Chairs

Regal Seating 513 Dining Chair

Mid-century dining rooms were airy and sleek. Furniture choices were lightweight and simple. Ornate, heavy pieces became echoes of the past, and in their place, dining room tables, chairs and dinette sets took on a new, minimalist feel. In local diners, jukeboxes became fixtures, allowing patrons to play their favorite songs in exchange for a single coin. Cherry Coke and milkshakes were staple beverage choices, along with coffee and root beer floats. You may want to incorporate several of these fun features into your own retro restaurant, beginning with styles of seating. Several were popular in the 1950s diner, including:

  • Upholstered booths
  • Upholstered chairs
  • Barstools
  • Banquettes
  • Chairs of molded plastic
  • Wood

Today, commercial restaurant furniture, and retro seating specifically, is one important way to recreate those happy days of the 1950s. At California Dining and Barstools, we offer several seating options that look and feel as though they could have been salvaged directly from your favorite mid-century diner, minus the odor of stale cigarette smoke. We recommend the following:

  • Regal Seating 513 Dining Chair: Sunny yellow upholstery provides comfort and a fun, vintage feel to every dine-in experience. 
  • Regal Seating 513V Dining Chair: Metallic red and white, these 50s retro dining chairs will make guests feel like they’re in the backseat at an old-school drive-in again. 
  • Regal Seating 513CB Dining Chair: Colorful, comfortable, and slim, this dining chair features a happy burst of red and functional, non-skid feet. 
  • Regal Seating 1107 Barstool: Vibrant red upholstery and a sleek, chrome appearance give this little barstool an automotive feel, perfect for a 1950s drop-in diner. 
  • Regal Seating 1106 Barstool: Green upholstery and chrome-look legs make this handy little barstool a mainstay for tight spaces. 

Crafted from durable metal and swathed in the bright, cheerful colors of the 1950s, our Regal Seating options are tough enough to handle big crowds and heavy traffic. Yet, they’re attractive and functional, too. Best of all, they recall that simpler time, when prosperity peppered every dinner conversation and expectations were high. You can bring a little of that joy to your own establishment by outfitting your dining room in authentic mid-century reproduction furniture at a fraction of the cost of high-end retailers. 

The Best in Restaurant Furniture

Glass and metal round pub table and beige barstool.

California Dining and Barstools offers only the highest quality retro-style restaurant furniture for your vintage-feel diner. When you’re ready to outfit your dining area with pieces that bring back the nostalgic era of the 1950s, we invite you to shop our diner-style furniture, including our dining room sets, dinettes, pub tables, barstools, and dining chair collections. You’re sure to find pieces to enchant and delight guests of all ages and to transport diners back to the happy days of 1950.

Modern restaurant and lounge area

How to Choose Modern Restaurant Furniture

Modern restaurant furniture, not surprisingly, is based on Modernism — the art movement that developed after the Second World War.  Modernism, at that time, was a broad shift from the overly ornate woods, wrought iron accents, and Art Deco styles that came before, focusing instead on minimal design and simple, elegant comfort. Today, this style of restaurant furniture is governed by function. It’s light in both visual and physical weight and attractive without sacrificing comfort. Interchangeable pieces are easily moved around to accommodate large or small groups, and versatility is king, with barstools and bistro tables taking center stage alongside pub tables and dining chairs. In the modern dining room, emphasis is on creating a simplified dining experience, rather than on decorative elements that clutter and detract from the quality of food being served. 

If you’re a new restaurant owner who hopes to create a gratifying dining experience for future guests, the furniture and decor you choose will serve as your first impression. Make sure your dining room says what you want it to say by selecting simple, quality pieces that provide comfort, longevity, and visual appeal. 

Deciding on Your Restaurant Style


Restaurants are diverse in how they look and operate, and to be successful in your restaurant endeavor, you must have a firm idea in mind of who your customers are and why they should frequent your establishment over others in the area. That’s to say, you must have a style in mind. Examples of popular restaurant styles include:

  • Fast Food
  • Casual Dining
  • Family-Style
  • Fine Dining
  • Bar or Pub
  • Cafe

Each style of restaurant caters to a different clientele. And each has its own appearance and expectations. Pub tables and barstools, for instance, aren’t typically needed in a family-style restaurant that welcomes small children. Just as casual dinettes are not the best choices for upscale, fine-dining establishments. Before you begin investing in commercial restaurant furniture, you should identify who will be walking through your doors and anticipate what their needs will be. This will help you better set the stage for a more refined dining experience. 

Benefits of Modern Restaurant Furniture


Modern restaurant furniture is comfortable, not clunky. It’s small enough to allow customers to navigate freely around and between tables, yet large enough to seat guests of most weights and sizes. Best of all, it says whatever you want it to say. Modern commercial restaurant furniture can be elegant or casual, family-friendly, or for adults-only. It can seat young couples or retired businessmen, babies, or barflies. It’s adaptable and completely versatile, yet comfortable enough to keep patrons coming back again and again. There are many benefits to choosing this style of furniture for commercial dining:

  • It’s on-trend and stylish.
  • It’s versatile and highly customizable in regard to color, fabrics, and materials used.
  • Much of it is height-adjustable.
  • It’s easily moved from place to place.
  • It’s made of durable materials that support tall or large guests.
  • It’s low-frill and made for comfort. 
  • It’s sleek and defined, eliminating the feel of a cluttered space. 
  • Many pieces are interchangeable and/or multi-purpose. 

Your modern restaurant furniture supply store can help you choose pieces that make the best use of the space you have available. This is true for indoor pieces and for modern outdoor restaurant furniture as well. 

Choosing Modern Restaurant Chairs and Barstools

Your choice of restaurant seating will set the tone for what guests should expect, so it’s important to select dining chairs, barstools, or dinette pieces that are the right scale for your space. The pieces you select should optimize comfort without taking up unnecessary room. They should seat guests at the right height at your tables, counters, or bar and should be positioned in a way that encourages friendly conversation. And if your establishment offers different eat-in areas, make sure you furnish each area accordingly, including:

  • Formal dining rooms
  • Casual dining areas
  • Outdoor dining spaces
  • Play zones
  • Conversation areas
  • Cafe tables
  • Counter or bar dining

This may mean investing in modern restaurant tables and chairs, outdoor metal tables and benches, casual fireplace seating, pub tables, dinettes, or commercial restaurant furniture that’s kid-sized or adjustable to accommodate infants. 

Choosing Modern Restaurant Dining Sets, Dinettes, or Pub Tables


Your choice of tables is important, too. You should fill your space without crowding it with furniture pieces. Patrons should be able to move freely between tables without bumping into other diners. They should also have adequate elbow room once seated. Booths should feature enough space between the bench and the table edge that larger guests can be comfortably seated without feeling cramped or crowded. 

When choosing modern restaurant tables, look for pieces that are sturdy yet compact. Choose pieces that can be combined in the event you need seating for a larger group. Tables should feature easy-clean surfaces and corners and edges that are customer-friendly. And they should work well with your choice of seating. While it’s not necessary to be matchy-matchy with your commercial restaurant furniture pieces, tables and chairs should complement each other, and they should provide a comfortable dining experience for your guests. 

Where to Buy Your Commercial Restaurant Furniture

California Dining and Barstools carries all the best in commercial furniture for restaurateurs who want to create a modern, trendy atmosphere. Since 1977, we’ve been outfitting the Bay Area with affordable, quality commercial furniture that’s comfortable and beautifully crafted. And if you need help choosing the right furniture pieces, our team is always onsite and ready to help. Visit us today at our location in Sunnyvale or Pleasant Hill to see all we have to offer new or existing restaurant owners in the way of attractive, high-performing commercial furniture. We proudly keep pieces in stock for you to see, touch, and experience before you commit to buying. From bistro tables to barstools, Regal to Pacific Direct, our furniture is all top-notch, durable, and easy to maintain. It’s capable of standing up to the years of use and abuse doled out by passionate diners who may frequent your restaurant and is sure to save you money with its quality construction and design. 

If you’re in need of commercial restaurant furniture that will keep patrons returning day after day, look no further than California Dining and Barstools, with two locations in Sunnyvale and Pleasant Hill. Stop in and see us today, or visit us online to view our beautiful gallery of commercial furniture pieces.