modern dining set with plain decorations

5 Inspiring Dining Room Design Ideas

Everyone loves having a well-designed dining room. However, not everyone has the skills to do it themselves or the budget to hire a professional. To help you out, we’ve gathered a list of five important interior design tips to think about when designing your own dining room.

1. Bench Seating

The farmhouse style has become a popular trend in the last few years. To match this esthetic, many homeowners are choosing to use bench seating at their dining tables. This can be done either to replace the traditional dining chairs, or in addition to them. For example, you may have the heads of a rectangular table as traditional chairs, while the sides are benches. Or, the heads and one side of the table have chairs, while the opposite side is a bench.

2. Table Shape

The shape of your table will depend a lot on the size of your family and the shape of the dining room. If you have a room that is shaped like a square or rectangle, you may want to maintain consistency by choosing a table in the same shape. If you’re looking to spice things up, you can contrast a room of right angles with a round table instead.

3. Color Palette

Some homeowners like to have all their rooms with a matching color palette. Others want more variety to evoke a certain feeling in each room. Whichever side you’re on, California Stools, Bars, and Dinettes has a variety of dining room sets to suit your taste. If you want a cohesive look, choose from black, brown, or gray dining furniture in San Francisco. For a little more vibrancy, try peach-colored upholstered chairs with a glass table-top and navy blue accent wall, or bright blue dining chairs in an otherwise monochromatic room for a little “pop”.

4. Materials

Along with the popular Farmhouse-style trend of bench seating, wooden dining tables and chairs have also made an impact on interior design. They offer a natural, rustic look for the casual and cozy home. For a more streamlined and industrial home, metal table and chair legs give a sleek look. You can pair this with a metal or glass table-top and upholstered or metal seats. The idea of minimalism is also popular among young homeowners. Glass tables and slim dining chairs lighten the visual clutter in your space.

5. Accessories

Of course, any room doesn’t feel like “home” until it’s accessorized! If you’re brave enough, or don’t have small children and pets, try placing an area rug under your dining table. You’ll also need plenty of light, so look for a pendant or chandelier that matches your esthetic. Show off your personality with a table centerpiece and framed art on the walls.

Start Your Dining Room Design Today!

California Stools, Bars, and Dinettes is one of the best furniture stores in the Bay Area. We offer a wide variety of dining tables, dining chairs, and dining room sets in various styles to suit any room. Come shop with us in-person today or view our inventory online. Don’t hesitate to give our furniture experts a call with questions!

outdoor furniture at a bistro with a croissant

How to Create a Coffee Bar at Home

For many of us, coffee is an important part of our morning routine. Whether you take time to savor it with a small breakfast or pour it in a to-go tumbler on your way out the door, make the process of brewing your perfect cup more streamlined with a coffee bar in your home. Here are a few ideas to inspire your DIY skills.

Start with a Small Nook

A popular trend in home remodeling is to create a coffee nook. This can be a great way to use small or awkward spaces in your kitchen and dining room. A simple shelving system, rolling cart, or repurposed furniture item can make for a quick solution. Of course, you can also go for custom cabinetry to ensure all your coffee-making accessories have their perfect spot.

Add Comfortable Seating

Once you have your coffee station set up, you’ll need a place to enjoy your morning brew. Your kitchen island or dining room table are likely your go-to locations now but consider adding a special area for your coffee bar.

Bistro tables are the ideal solution to mimic a smaller dining table. These are often just large enough for two seats but are usually around the same height as a standard dining room table, at 28″ to 30″.

Pub tables sit higher than bistro tables at around 42″. Common designs are meant for two seats, but larger tables that fit four and six seats are also available. Keep in mind that with a taller table, you’ll also need taller seating.

Barstools are the perfect accompaniment to pub tables, but they also work well for bar-height kitchen islands. If your space doesn’t allow for a small table or kitchen island, consider adding a shelf in front of a nearby window instead. This will create the feeling of sitting in front of café windows and watching the world go by.

Personalize the Space

Since this is your very own coffee bar, you get to decorate it however you like. You can choose to keep the same color palette as the rest of the kitchen area if you want a cohesive look. If your coffee bar is a bit separate from the main space, you might be interested in giving it a different esthetic.

  • Consider adding a vase of fresh (or fake!) flowers to the bistro or pub table.
  • Framed art in colors that match your current palette will help the space “pop”.
  • Vintage signs related to coffee or breakfast offer a unique way to decorate your coffee bar.
  • Inspiring quotes will set intentions for the day and start your morning off right. 

Start Designing Your Perfect Coffee Bar Today!

California Stools, Bars, and Dinettes is one of the best furniture stores in the Bay Area. We offer a wide selection of dining room tables, pub tables, and barstools in San Francisco. Please visit one of our locations today or shop online to find the perfect set for your coffee nook. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or for assistance in selecting the right furniture. Our friendly furniture experts are happy to help!

outdoor barstools and furniture area

5 Ideas for Styling Your Outdoor Home Bar

Most of us reach a certain age where it’s no longer fun to go out and spend all our money drinking at the local bars with our friends. Instead, we prefer to invite them over for a quiet night of drinking at catching up at home. Make the occasion even more special by serving up drinks at your outdoor home bar. Don’t have one yet? Here are a few ideas to spark your imagination.

1. Storage

The first thing to consider is how big you want your home bar to be. If you’re looking for a simple set up, try piecing together a couple wooden pallets with shelves on the inside. For something more elaborate, build a small refrigerator into the counter and include space for your glassware, shakers, jigger, muddler, bottle opener, etc. Also consider if you’d prefer to keep everything you need for making drinks outside in your bar, or inside, then carry it all out on a tray or bar cart.

2. Barstools

It’s always a good idea to have a couple barstools nearby so your guests aren’t stuck standing at the bar for hours on end. Keep in mind that barstools come in different sizes. For the average kitchen counter height, stick with 24″ to 26″ tall barstools. If you want something at bar height, go for 28″ to 30″ high.

3. Outdoor Kitchen

Many times, drinks come with snacks or a meal. If you want to serve up some treats at your outdoor home bar, add an outdoor kitchen. You can keep it simple and include just a pizza oven or warming griddle. If you have an inner professional chef, go all out with a grill, stove, open counter space, sink, cutting boards, and anything else you desire.

4. Additional Seating

Especially if you’re including an outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to have additional seating. Bistro tables are ideal for two guests who are just having a drink or light snack since they tend to be on the smaller size. Pub tables are better for slightly larger groups and if you’re serving a full meal since they are about the size of a standard card table. They are also perfect for playing card games while you enjoy a beautiful night outside.

5. Lighting

You’ll want your outdoor home bar space to be bright enough to see at night, but without ruining the ambiance in your backyard. Hang string lights in front of the bar and hanging pendant lights overhead. You can even opt to have dimmable bulbs that allow you to change the brightness as you wish. Turn them up when you need to mix a drink, then turn them down to enjoy some casual conversation.

Design, Build, and Style Your Perfect Outdoor Home Bar!

California Stools, Bars, and Dinettes is one of the best furniture stores in the Bay Area for styling your outdoor home bar. We have everything you need to complete the look including bistro tables, pub tables, and barstools in San Francisco. Visit our San Jose or Pleasant Hill locations today to start designing the outdoor home bar of your dreams!

Choosing Between a Metal and Wood Barstool

An at-home bar is the first step to living a luxurious life in the comfort of your own home. When designing your own at-home bar, small details go a long way. From picking out furniture as simple as barstools, you can create an entirely different look for your home bar. Barstools come in a variety of colors, bar heights, materials, and even a backless barstool these days. One of the most important choices to make is between a metal and a wooden barstool. Although this may seem like an easy choice, there may be a variety of things to consider that are not so obvious.

Wood Barstools

If you are striving for a more traditional look, wood barstools are the way to go. Homes built over 10,000 years ago typically used a lot of timber as the primary construction material, so there is no better way to give the bar a more traditional look than a wood stool. In addition, solid wood barstools are typically a great choice for many kitchen counters, especially if the floors are made of solid wood or hardwood.

Wood stools can have very intricate designs carved into them through fine-tip carving tools, or they can be designed using different staining patterns. Many valuable advantages are also overlooked when it comes to a stool seat made of wood. Aside from the décor, stools made of wood can easily be transformed into other furniture pieces. With the right shades of paint, wood barstools can make a perfect nightstand in a bedroom.

Metal Barstools

While there are many great benefits of having a wood barstool, there are equally as many benefits to having a metal barstool. One of the greatest benefits a metal barstool is that it’s easy to clean. They are easily wipeable which eliminates stains on the stool base. Metal barstools also come in handy when it comes to outdoor seating, these stools tend to be more weather resistant, and water will not cause significant damage to the stool. In addition, swivel stools are now available in metal. Swivel stools are growing in popularity due to convenience and comfort.

The design possibilities for a room when it comes to metal barstools are equally as endless as those of wood barstools. If a modern look is what appeals to you, for example, a metal barstool will likely be a good option for your home. Many newer homes have stainless steel appliances that metal barstools perfectly complement.

Shop Barstools In the Bay Area

At California Barstools and Dinettes, we offer a wide variety of both metal and wood barstools. Browse our collection of adjustable, backless, swivel, and stationary barstools online and in store. We have two locations in the Bay Area — in San Jose and Pleasant Hill. With our large selection, you’ll find a barstool that fits both your needs and style preferences. Be sure to check out our selection to find the perfect barstools for you!

8 Reasons Why You Need a Breakfast Nook

A breakfast nook is a home feature that is not often included in floor plans for modern homes. It was originally used as a spot for people to enjoy a casual meal instead of serving at the formal dining room. Most homes these days have just one area for dining, but that’s not always enough. Here are eight reasons you should add a breakfast nook to your home.

1. Homework

In today’s homes, most rooms serve multiple purposes. The kitchen is a common gathering place, and it’s likely that kids do their homework here. Give them a space to get their work done without sacrificing your dining table or counter space.

2. Coffee & Cocktails

Sharing a drink with friends or family is a popular way to catch up on life. A breakfast nook featuring dinette sets in San Francisco gives you an intimate place to enjoy this time when the weather isn’t ideal for sitting on the patio.

3. Lack of Counter Space

For smaller kitchens with less counter space, adding barstools next to the counter is a popular choice to add more seating. However, it can be difficult to prepare a meal when children or guests are seated there. Bistro pub tables in San Francisco are a great addition to give you more room at the counter.

4. Weekend Brunch

Since casual dining was the original purpose of the breakfast nook, it’s the easy choice for serving up weekend brunches of pancakes, waffles, and eggs.

5. Kid’s Craft Projects

From coloring to knitting and building blocks, kids love to be creative. With a designated area for these projects, kids can feel free to explore their imaginations without getting in the way of others.

6. Monitor Children

Cooking dinner can take a lot of your attention. When the kids are in another room, you might not be able to manage both tasks effectively. Including kitchen dinette sets into your home gives kids a safe place to play while you prepare their meals.

7. Make an Awkward Space Functional

Especially with older homes, there can be small pockets of space that you’re just not quite sure what to do with. Building a breakfast nook in one of these areas helps you give purpose to an otherwise unused space.

8. Add More Storage Space

Since breakfast nooks are meant to be casual, bench seating is a popular choice. This also gives you the opportunity to create more storage space. Whether the bench features little doors you can open from the front, or if the seat can be pulled up, you’ll add more storage space to your kitchen and dining area.

Shop for Dining and Kitchen Furniture in San Francisco

California Dining & Barstools is one of the top furniture stores in the Bay Area. We have a wide variety of bar stools, dinette sets, and kitchen tables and chairs to suit any design style and budget. Visit one of our two locations today in Pleasant Hill or San Jose to see what we have to offer. Of course, you can always contact us online if you have any questions.

How to Get a French Bistro Look on Your Patio

Spring is here and summer is not far away. If the warmer weather has you ready to explore the outdoors again, you’re not alone! But with our busy schedules, a long walk in the park isn’t always an option. Instead, enjoy some time outdoors on your very own patio with a bistro table and chairs set. Although there are many design options available throughout the furniture stores in the Bay Area, we love the French bistro look. Here’s what you need to know in order to recreate the look in your own backyard living space.

1. Small Size

Bistro tables will tend to be smaller in size. They are typically meant to provide enough space for two people. You won’t be likely to serve a full four-course meal with them, but they are ideal for your morning cup of coffee or evening glass of wine. You can also choose pub tables, which are taller than bistro tables. Where bistro tables are usually at the standard dining height of 28″ to 30″, pub tables sit higher at around 42″. This is comparable to sitting in the bar area of a restaurant. Keep in mind your table’s height when choosing chairs or barstools to go with it.

2. Simple Design

Keeping it simple is a French way of life. This also applies to your patio furniture. The French bistro look will have simple lines and appear lightweight. This is not the time for ornate decorations such as wrought iron curls or embedded design patterns. The small size of the table is also what keeps this look so simple because there is typically only room for two people. For seating larger groups, consider another area of your outdoor space and leave this small set in a secluded area for a little more privacy. It’s much more “French” to spend time alone or in a very small group.

3. Neutral Colors

Adding on to the simple design aesthetic, the French bistro look tends toward more neutral colors. Stick with white, black, gray, or beige for your patio furniture. If you absolutely must include color, stick to darker tones such as navy blue, forest green, or maroon. You may opt to keep the bistro set neutral while you decorate the nearby area with more color. For example, if you add seating near a fence, consider metal tack signs of vintage French advertisements to adorn your space and get you in the Parisian mood.

Looking for the Best Dining and Kitchen Furniture in San Francisco?

Look no further than California Dining & Barstools! We have a wide variety of bistro and pub tables, barstools, and more to ensure your patio space is ready for spring and summer enjoyment. Stop by one of our two locations today or preview our inventory online. If you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for, no worries! Our professional furniture staff will be happy to help you find the perfect pieces for you.

Recycling Your Old Kitchen and Dining Room Furniture for Earth Day

First held right here in San Francisco in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22 by over 1 billion people in nearly 200 countries across the globe. The holiday was created to promote environmental protection efforts to ensure a safe planet for future generations. Common ways to celebrate include planting a tree, biking or walking to work or school, and donating used items you no longer need. It may sound easy enough, but when it comes to large pieces of furniture, like dining sets, you might be stumped on what to do with them. Here are a few ideas.


Check your local donation centers such as Goodwill or Salvation Army to see if they accept dining room sets. If not, you may be able to find a furniture consignment store who will be willing to pay a small amount of money if they are in good condition. If neither of these options work for you, reach out to friends and family members to see if anyone is looking for a dining room set that you could gift yours to. Regardless, you know you are helping someone else get what they need for their family and also avoiding having more trees cut down to create new furniture.


Some furniture stores in the Bay Area will also be able to recycle your old furniture. If your items are not in good enough condition to be sold or donated, your next idea is likely to just throw them in the trash. However, most furniture pieces don’t fit in the standard household trash bin, and many dumpster rental companies put restrictions on what you can toss in their containers. An official recycling center will know how to properly dispose of them and will take care of it all for you.


Sometimes a table may become more worn of out of style than the dining room chairs it came with. Sometimes a chair goes missing from the set, so you have an odd number. And sometimes, the pieces are just fine but you’re bored and want to switch things up with new furniture. You can repurpose the older pieces in new ways. For example, a table can become a craft station or desk. Dining room chairs can be reupholstered and used as a desk chair. Look around your house and think about the items you wish you had and see if you can get creative and make them from existing items!

Where to Buy Dining and Kitchen Sets in San Francisco

Spring is the perfect time to refresh your home. If the winter blues have you feeling a little bored with your current home decor, come see us at California Stools, Bars, and Dinettes! We have a wide range of kitchen and dining furniture from tables, to chairs, and even dinette sets! Visit your nearest location today, in Pleasant Hill or San Jose, or view our selection of pieces online!

5 Great Barstool Ideas: How to Mix and Match Styles

Designing your home with unique pieces from furniture stores in the Bay Area is a great way to make sure your space looks one-of-a-kind. However, even when all your pieces aren’t exactly the same, they can still coordinate with one another. Here are a few ways to mix and match different styles of bar stools.

1. Upholstery Details

Sometimes the details make all the difference. When looking for upholstered barstools in San Francisco, see if you can find ones that have similar (or the same) fabrics, but with different stitching patterns. For example, one stool may have vertical stitching on the back, such as this Armen Living Journey Barstool, while the chair next to it has a diamond pattern like the Mikhail Darafeev Ponce De Leon Barstool.

2. Colors or Shades

Contrasting colors are a great way to add visual interest to your room. When looking for barstools in San Francisco, consider buying the same chair, but in different colors, such as the Euro Style Rudy Barstool, which comes in cognac and gray. If you are sticking with a monochrome color palette, try varying shades of the same color to give the same effect.

3. Legs

Another way to shake things up is to use barstools that have similar seats and backs, but different bases. Consider the sleek look of black leather seat and a chrome base, like the pedestal-style Kube Import Victor Barstool, next to the four-legged Kube Import Vera Barstool. Just make sure the chairs have the same color and texture on the seat and base, or they might end up looking too mismatched.

4. Backs

Depending on how you plan to use the space, you may desire barstools with backs for more comfortable dining. If the spot is more casual, consider back-less stools. If your vibe is somewhere in between, take a look at similar looking barstools but choose to have every other seat with a back or back-less. The Amisco Nathan Barstool and Amisco Regent Barstool are perfect options for this style.

5. Arms

Our final tip for mixing and matching barstool styles, is to choose the same chair, but have some include arms and some be without arm. The Callee Rebecca Barstool is a great example of an arm-less style which also has a sister style that includes arms. You can choose to sit these stools in an “every other” pattern or save the ones with arms for the heads of the table and place the armless stools at the sides.

Wondering Where to Buy Bar Stools in the Bay Area?

Look no further than California Stools, Bars & Dinettes! We have two locations to serve you and over 275 different styles of barstools! Our in-store furniture specialists are ready to help you mix and match your barstools to create the perfectly unique look for your home. Call us today with questions or stop by your nearest store!

3 Great Conversation Starters at Family Dinners

Throwing a family dinner party is a wonderful way to connect with those you love but finding things to talk about with extended family or in-laws can be hard. The best way to make a family dinner a success is to have some fun conversation starters ready to go to help put everyone at ease. Here are some easy conversation starts that work for all ages!

1. Jobs and Hobbies

While it may sound boring to talk about work at a family get together, you would be surprised by the number of people actually love their jobs and are passionate about the work they do. You can learn a lot about a person’s habits or interests based on the kind of job they have. Another option is to talk about people’s hobbies. Asking people about their hobbies is also a great way to get conversation going. Every person at every age has something that they love to do.

2. TV Shows and Movies

With the recent influx of streaming services, there is a tv show out there for everyone. From Disney+ to Netflix, the number of new, hit tv shows is never ending! As you know, wading through all of the media streaming services provide can be overwhelming, so utilize this time with family to get suggestions to help narrow your search. You might even find that some families watch the same shows, which will give them plenty to talk about.

3. Family News

Dinners with extended family or in-laws are a great way to hear about all of the family news that you may have missed. With family dinners, there is always something new going on. From engagements to a new puppy, breaking bread around the dinner table is the perfect place to find out!

Now that you have prepped some conversation starters, it’s time to think about having everybody over. The most important part of a family dinner, besides the food, is where everyone is going to sit. California Stools Bars Dinettes offers a plethora of dining sets in San Francisco (including stand-alone dining chairs and dining room tables) at our two locations in the Bay Area.

Two great options for your family might be the classic Winners Only Torrance Dining Table Set. Crafted with white wood and some rustic charm, this set comes with four dining chairs and a long bench that could hold two to three people, depending on how many little ones you can get to fit. Or, if you’re planning on having a larger family get together, check out the sleek Bermex 433 Dining Table Set. Made with light wood with dark accents, this table is sure to impress your guests, and it comfortably fits 8 people.

Whatever your needs for your family get together, California Stools Bars Dinettes would love to help you find the perfect dining set for your family dinner!

How to Maximize a Small Dining Space

Having a small space makes your budget more affordable, especially in an expensive area like San Francisco. But packing your entire life into cramped corners is not a fun way to live, either. There are many ways to make the most of a small space, but you might be a little short-handed on tips for the dining room. Here are several ideas for maximizing a small dining space.

1. Don’t Give Up Your Dining Area

When living in a small space, many people first think to eliminate a dedicated dining area. They might suggest eating on the couch or over the sink instead. Although this can be a great way to save space, it’s not always the most romantic or inviting situation when you want to have people over. Instead, shop for small dining room furniture at our two locations in San Francisco. Look for rounded tables to save a few inches of corner space, or tables with sides that fold down. Then they can be out of the way when you don’t need to use them.

2. Consider Your Seating

Before you fall in love with a large table setting, be realistic about how many seats you truly need. Yes, hosting a dinner party for your eight best friends is a lot of fun, but how many times will you do that in a year? Browse our collection of dining chairs and see if you can get away with just a two- or four-person setting. If having more space really is a must, look at dining tables with removable leaves that you can insert when you need them. You might also consider bench seating for your table since it allows you to fit a few more people, especially children, into a smaller space.

3. Pick Multi-Purpose Pieces

When shopping at furniture stores in the Bay Area, keep an eye out for pieces that can do double duty. For example, a dining table that can also serve as a homework station or work desk would be a great way to maximize a small dining space and still have room to do the things you need. A dining set that has storage available under the table-top could be used to house lesser-used dishes and table accessories when they’re not needed. By getting creative with your furniture, you’re sure to find a way that works for your lifestyle.

Come Visit Us!

At California Stools, Bars, and Dinettes, we offer a wide variety of dining sets to suit any size space. From simple two-person dinettes, to larger six-person dining tables and even bench seating, we’ve got what you’re looking for. Our furniture pieces come in a variety of design styles to match any decor. They are also budget-friendly at many price points. Stop in and see us in San Jose or Pleasant Hill to find the perfect pieces for your small dining space. You can also contact us online or by phone if you have any questions.