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.

dark wood dining room table with white chairs

4 Most Asked Questions About Dining Tables in San Francisco

When upgrading your home furniture, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. And in today’s connected world, you’re likely turning to a search engine to answer them. Of course, you may also ask friends and family for their opinion, but they’re not always available at 9pm while you’re halfway watching Netflix. Here are some of the most Googled questions about dining tables in San Francisco, and how we answer them!

1. What’s the Most Fashionable Dining Room Furniture for Sale in San Francisco?

Everyone wants to stay ahead of the trends and avoid looking stuck in the past. When you’re upgrading your dining room furniture, look for consider choosing something in the farmhouse style, for a cozy authentic look. This style will feature a lot of wood. Think of a natural wooden table top with black metal legs. Mid-century modern, with its clean lines and geometric shapes, is also back in style. Consider having neutral colored furniture so that you can dress it up with colorful table settings or change them out for the various holidays and seasons throughout the year.

2. What Size Dining Table Do I Need?

The best size dining table for your home will depend on the space you have available and how many people you intend to have seated there at each meal. If you space is on the smaller side, consider a table with fold-down sides so you can make more room during the day when you don’t need the table. If you have a larger family, you might think of choosing bench seating on one side to add a few more seats to the table instead of everyone having their own chair. Take measurements of your space before you start shopping so that you won’t be disappointed by falling in love with something that doesn’t fit.

3. Why Choose a Round Dining Table?

A round dining table is perfect for smaller groups, usually with four seats. If you need something a little larger, consider an oval-shaped table that can seat six guests. They offer a more intimate setting than the standard square or rectangular tables which makes them great for at-home dates or dinner parties with close family and friends. These round styles can also be a design that works well for smaller spaces since you won’t be taking up room with the corners of the table. Accentuate the look with round placemats and curved chairs to match the smooth, flowing lines of the table.

4. Where to Buy Dining Chairs in San Francisco?

When you’re shopping for the highest quality pieces to add to your home, look no further than California Stools Bars and Dinettes. We are one of the top furniture stores in the Bay Area and have a wide selection of choices for your dining room. Shop our inventory online or visit our stores in San Jose or Pleasant Hill. Our furniture experts will be able to help you choose the perfect size and shape dining room furniture for your home.

Wood round pub table surrounded by wooden and metal bar stools.

5 Ways to Incorporate Pub Tables Into Your Home

Over the last year, we’ve all learned how important it is to enjoy spending time in our homes. One way to make it better is to have the right furniture for your lifestyle. If you’re really into watching sports, we know this year has been difficult. However, with the Super Bowl coming up in February, it’s a great time to order some pub tables to watch the big game from home! Here are five different ways to use pub tables in your space.

1. Basement

If your home has a finished basement, it can be the perfect place to set up the TV, add a couch and side tables, and do some relaxing. Putting a pub table in this space gives you some extra seating, a place to lay out all your snacks and drinks, or a spot to sit and eat without worrying about getting buffalo sauce on the couch.

2. Home Bar

Many of us have added a personal bar to our homes this year. What better place to sit and enjoy a drink than at a pub table in your home bar! It can also provide you with some extra space to make your signature cocktail if your home bar simply consists of a loaded bar cart and not an entire mini-kitchen.

3. Man Cave

Getting away from it all is vital to maintaining your sanity. If you have an extra room or basement space that you’ve turned into a man cave, it’s the ideal spot for a pub table. Use it to play cards or board games, have a meal, watch the game, and enjoy a drink of your choice.

4. Kitchen Nook

Learning how to make the most of our spaces has been a big theme throughout 2020. Kitchens are doing double duty as a place to eat and work. If you’re looking for a little extra room to spread out, a pub table can be the perfect fit. Place it up against a corner with two chairs for an intimate setting. If you have a small nook, a pub table is the ideal way to utilize that space and make it work for you.

5. Dining Room

Of course, a pub table doesn’t have to be a small addition. They also work as your main dining table! If your family is on the taller side, or if you just like to have a leg room, the longer legs of a pub table set the surface up higher, leaving more room for your feet, legs, and even the dog who is begging for scraps.

Find Your Perfect Pub Tables Today!

Shop pub tables from California Stools Bars Dinettes. With two retail locations in the Bay Area you have the widest variety of choice. No matter what your budget or design style is, our furniture professionals can help you select the best pieces. Visit us today!

Wooden chairs at table in natural white dining room interior with poster and lamp. Real photo

Granny Chic? 3 Features of the Cottagecore Trend in Home Decor

With many of us staying home more throughout 2020, a love affair with our spaces and the need for comfort has grown. From baking bread and making big pots of soup, to wearing cardigans and leggings 24/7, many of us are embracing an interior design trend called “cottagecore”. It is reminiscent of a rural farm lifestyle from decades ago where people would grow their own food and make their own clothes. If you’re looking to bring this cottagecore style to your home, here are a few tips for making it work.

1. Wooden and Wicker Materials

The main goal behind the cottagecore trend is to go back to a simpler time with simple living. Essentially, if it looks like something straight out of the Anne of Green Gables book series, it likely fits the cottagecore decor and aesthetic. This means using natural materials and natural elements for your furniture, decor, and accessories that are easier to find and build. Think of natural wooden tables and chairs, rustic wooden furniture, wicker baskets, and cloth napkins. You won’t find as much metal or plastic with this style as those were not popular materials in the early 1900s.

2. Indoor Florals and Greenery

Getting back to nature has been a way for many of us to cope with the 2020 pandemic. Greenery and water bring peace to many of us. During the winter months, we can bring this sense of the outdoors inside our homes by adding floral wallpaper, floral wall art prints, floral patterns, botanical prints, botanical motifs, and greenery throughout our spaces. Whether you buy fresh-cut flowers every week or choose to go for the fake variety, your senses will appreciate the gesture. If you have pets, be sure the flowers and plants you choose for your home will not harm them if they choose to bite or nibble on the stems, leaves, or petals.

3. Muted and Natural Colors

Many people would think that the cottagecore look and cottagecore design can be boring when it comes to the decorative element of color palette. Certainly, there is a lot of natural colors including brown wood and white or cream shades of linens with this style. However, you can still incorporate other colors, but they will tend to be soft colors that are more muted or pastel than the bright colors of recent decades. Look towards baby pink or blue, mint and lavender, or creamsicle and daffodil shades of your favorite colors to decorate your cozy spaces. You’ll also have the added benefit of a color palette that’s easier on the eyes with cottagecore charm!

Shop Cottagecore Trends Today!

As we look towards 2021, it’s likely that we will still be spending a lot of time at home. If the cottagecore interior design trend, the cottagecore movement, and the cottagecore lifestyle has you inspired, check out the wide selection of home furnishings at California Stools, Bars, and Dinettes. With two retail locations in the Bay Area we are your go-to source for dining setsdinette sets, and more! Shop online today or visit us in Pleasant Hill or San Jose. Our home furnishing experts will be happy to help you find the best cottagecore pieces to bring comfort to your home at a price you can afford.

Round Wooden Table With Centerpiece And Wicker Chairs

5 Dining Room Trends for 2021

It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a weird year for us all. Being separated from those we love is hard to do. We are all looking forward to seeing our extended families again in 2021, and that will likely happen around dining room tables throughout the country. When you’re ready to invite people over again, impress them with an up-to-date dining room set! Here are a few trends on our radar to help your dining space ring in the new year!

1. Small Changes

Sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest effect. Try adding a new table cloth or placemats to the table. Decorate with a centerpiece. Bring new wall art or greenery into the space. You might be surprised how much these small, affordable changes can really transform your dining room into something new and exciting.

2. Multi-Purpose Solutions

Many of us will still be working or learning from home after we turn the calendar, so it’s important to make the most of our spaces. Dining sets that can double as computer desks or homework stations is a great way to make your space work for you. Keep the accessories simple so they can be moved when it’s time to work and replaced when you’re not using the table.

3. Natural Materials

Today’s dining rooms are going for a more natural vibe. From wicker furniture, to open weave caning material, and woven seagrass baskets, these natural elements are seeing a comeback. Homeowners are looking to lighten up their space and make it more breathable by using white walls and upholstery with light colored accents such as gray and tan.

4. Marble Accents

Marble is a timeless material that is often associated with kitchens and dining rooms … and for good reason! Not only does it make for a chic and durable countertop, it also is great as scratch-proof serving pieces, heat-resistant candle holders, and wine-chilling vessels. It comes in a variety of colors and grains so you’re sure to find a pattern you like that brings beauty to your tablescape.

5. Outdoor Dining Rooms

Given the current pandemic, many people are trying to be outdoors as much as possible. Thankfully, in beautiful Northern California, this is possible all year long. Take advantage of an outdoor deck or patio and move the dining room table outside! This gives you a safer space to gather with friends and family and still enjoy your time together.

Upgrade Your Dining Space for 2021

With two retail locations in the Bay Area, California Stools Bars Dinettes is your best bet for finding dining sets to suit your style and budget. If you’re looking for singular pieces, we also offer a variety of dining room tables and chairs that can be purchased separately. Conveniently located in San Jose and Pleasant Hill, you can contact us online or call your nearest location to speak with a furniture professional. We can discuss your current space, budget, and needs to help you find the perfect dining room set for you.