Decorating your kitchen in a cafe style is a fantastic way to create a warm, inviting space for dining and entertaining. Cafe kitchens blend casual comfort with chic, contemporary details for a look that’s cozy yet still polished. Here are some of the best cafe kitchen decorating ideas to help you achieve this aesthetic in your own home.

Choosing a Color Palette

The colors you choose for your cafe kitchen will set the tone for the whole space. Here are some charming color palette ideas to consider:

Warm Neutrals

Stick to warm neutrals like cream, tan, light brown, and soft white. These earthy hues create a soothing, laidback vibe. Add pops of color with your accent pieces.

All White

An all-white cafe kitchen looks fresh and bright. Include distressing and natural wood tones to keep it from feeling too sterile.

Black and White

For dramatic contrast, pair black cabinets or countertops with white subway tiles and vice versa. Add wood accents to warm it up.


Soft pastels like mint green, lavender, or pale yellow are whimsical. Pair with white for a delicate cafe aesthetic.

Bold Hues

Make a statement with ruby red, cobalt blue, or citrus orange cabinets or backsplashes. Keep the rest of the space neutral.


The flooring sets the foundation for your cafe kitchen decor. Consider these flooring ideas:

  • Distressed wood flooring or reclaimed wood planks add warmth and casual charm.
  • Classic black and white checkered tile floors instantly give a cafe vibe.
  • Natural stone or concrete tiles complement the industrial cafe aesthetic.
  • Vinyl flooring or linoleum in fun retro patterns or solid colors is budget-friendly.


Cabinetry makes a huge impact in any kitchen. For a cafe style space, look for:

Wood Cabinets

Wood cabinets, especially with visible distressing, add organic warmth and keep the space feeling casual and inviting.

Glass Front Cabinets

Glass front cabinets maintain an open, airy feeling while still providing storage.

Open Shelving

Open shelves lined with glasses, mugs, and dishes have a cafe display quality.

Black Cabinets

For modern contrast, bold black stained cabinets pop against light walls and floors.

Painted Cabinets

White, cream, mint, sky blue, or another pastel painted finish creates a soft, vintage cafe vibe.


The countertops you choose can complement the cabinets for a pulled-together look:

  • Butcher block countertops add organic warmth and work well with wood cabinets.
  • Marble, especially Carrara, has an elegant, cafe style appearance.
  • Quartz countertops come in a wide range of solid hues to match your color scheme.
  • Concrete countertops complement industrial style cafe kitchens.


An eye-catching backsplash brings personality to your cooking space:

Subway Tile

Classic white 3×6 subway tile evokes French cafe style. Go bold with black grout.

Penny Tile

Tiny mosaic penny tiles pack a punch of retro color and pattern.

Herringbone Tile

Herringbone tile adds visual interest with its zigzag design in contrasting colors.

Patterned & Distressed Tile

Terracotta tiles with patterns or visible distressing and cracks boost the rustic cafe feel.


Ambient lighting sets the right cafe mood:

Pendant Lights

Glass pendant lights add a touch of elegance while still remaining understated.

Track Lighting

Track lights provide focused task lighting over workstations.

Recessed Lighting

Recessed can lights give even, ambient lighting for the whole space.

String Lights

For a twinkly, festive touch, hang bistro string lights along open shelves.


Include furniture that’s inviting, but not overly fussy. Think:

Bistro Tables & Chairs

No cafe kitchen is complete without a classic bistro table set! Round tables with two chairs fit nicely in modest kitchens.

Bar Stools

Bar stool seating along a kitchen island creates casual ambiance. Opt for wooden seats and exposed metal legs.

Banquette Seating

Build a cozy banquette for seating using distressed wood, comfy cushions, and throw pillows.

Window Seating

Maximize space by including a built-in window seat with storage underneath. Top with colorful cushions.

Decor Accents

Finally, include fun finishing touches like:

  • Vintage-style cafe signs and coffee advertisement prints in simple black frames.
  • Floral accent walls with shabby chic peeling paint effects.
  • Pretty cafe curtains in cotton or linen, with pom pom or tassel embellishments.
  • Display plates, cups, and utensils on open shelves or plate racks.
  • Fresh flowers and plants like ferns or succulents in cute planters.
  • Chalkboard menus, mirrors, and clocks for utilitarian retro charm.

7 Tips for Achieving the Cafe Kitchen Look

Follow these top tips for designing a warm, casually elegant cafe-inspired kitchen:

1. Incorporate natural and distressed wood elements throughout for organic, vintage appeal.

2. Opt for an earthy, muted color palette of creams, whites, and wood tones accented with pops of cheerfully bold hues.

3. Include small bistro seating, banquette benches, or window seats for casual dining areas.

4. Add subtle industrial touches like exposed brick or piping and fixtures in matte black.

5. Use glass front cabinets, open shelves, and plate racks to display dishware to mimic a cafe menu.

6. Incorporate retro-inspired geometric floor tiles or checkered patterns for visual interest.

7. Finish the space with vintagy accents like simple blackboard signs, flowers, and string lights.

Cafe Kitchen Decorating Ideas on a Budget

Creating a cafe style kitchen doesn’t have to bust your budget. There are plenty of ways to get the look for less:

Buy Secondhand

Shop thrift stores, garage sales, and online classifieds for charming vintage bistro furniture and accessories at a fraction of the cost. Refinishing and repainting can give them new life.

Use Contact Paper

If you can’t swap out pricey countertops or backsplashes, transform them temporarily with stick-on contact paper printed to look like marble, brick, or patterned tile.

Paint Floor Lampshades

Pick up some inexpensive basic floor lamps and paint or decoupage the fabric shades with coffee graphics or floral designs to complement your color scheme.

Embrace white

White is a budget-friendly go-to. Paint your cabinets, create shiplap walls, or frame basic mirrors for a bright cafe look.

Use Peel-and-Stick Tiles

Vinyl peel-and-stick floor and backsplash tiles come in fun retro patterns. They install easily without messy mortar or grout.

Craft your Own Chalkboards

Make your own menu chalkboards with wood frames, plywood cut to size, and chalkboard paint.

Fake Architectural Details

Add trim, shiplap boards, or brick wallpaper to create faux architectural interest for less.

10 Inspiring Cafe Kitchen Decor Ideas

Need some visual inspiration to help style your dream cafe kitchen? Here are 10 striking yet achievable cafe decorating ideas for the kitchen:

1. Exposed Brick Wall

An authentic exposed brick wall instantly gives your kitchen an urban cafe vibe. Add a rustic wood table and bench seating.

2. Half-Tiled Wall

Only tile the lower or upper half of your kitchen wall. The effect is eye-catching yet still cozy.

3. Charming Open Shelves

Line open shelves with vintage-inspired ceramic tableware for a casually chic restaurant feel.

4. Two-Tone Color Scheme

Make a statement by painting upper and lower cabinets contrasting hues like black and white.

5. Signage for Days

Fill your space with charming custom signage like “EAT,” cafe, or coffee shop style script logos.

6. Built-In Banquette

Reclaim unused space for storage by building banquette seating into corners or nooks. Top with plush pillows.

7. Hanging Menu Board

Mimic a cafe order counter with a large framed chalkboard menu hanging on the wall.

8. Patterned Floor

Bold black and white checkerboard tile flooring screams classic French bistro.

9. Covered Front Porch

Bring the outside in by extending your kitchen into a 3-season glassed-in front porch sunroom.

10. Herb Garden Wall

Plant vertical hydroponic herb gardens on your kitchen wall for the ultimate farm-to-table cafe feel.

8 Key Features of Cafe Kitchen Design

To highlight the defining details of decorating kitchen spaces in the popular cafe style, here are the 8 must-have features:

  • Natural Materials – Cafe kitchens incorporate wood, stone, brick, metal, and greenery to create organic warmth.
  • Vintage Elements – Aged patinas, rustic finishes, and antique-style accessories evoke a timeworn, charming vibe.
  • Casual Seating – Informal bistro table and chair sets allow for relaxed dining and mingling.
  • Displayed Dishware – Glass-front cabinets and open shelves exhibit pretty plates and mugs like menu items.
  • Retro Color Palettes – Earth tones, neutrals accented by pops of pastel or saturated color emulate midcentury diners.
  • Custom Signage – Handwritten chalkboards and decorative logos and prints add personality.
  • Abundant Lighting – String lights, pendants, and recessed lighting create an inviting ambiance.
  • Textural Details – Varied materials like wood, tile, metal, and fabric add eclectic visual interest.

Q&A About Cafe Kitchen Decorating Ideas

Get answers to commonly asked questions about achieving a warm and welcoming cafe style kitchen:

What paint colors work best in a cafe kitchen?

Soft neutrals like cream, light tan, and pale gray make ideal cafe kitchen wall colors. For cabinetry, consider glossy white, mint, sky blue, or black.

What type of flooring is best for a cafe look?

Vintage-style wood or stone floors suit the casual cafe aesthetic. Black and white checkered tile is also iconic.

Should I add a small bistro table set?

Definitely – a compact bistro table with two chairs is ideal for creating an intimate dining spot without taking up much room.

How do I display dishes without clutter?

Keep dishware organized using glass-front cabinets, wall mounted plate racks, hanging pot racks, and neatly lined open shelves.

What are inexpensive ways to get the look?

Paint existing cabinets and furniture, use budget-friendly peel-and-stick tiles and contact paper, buy secondhand, and craft your own signs.

How do I infuse my industrial kitchen with cafe character?

Bring in wood and softer colors like pastels. Add greenery, vintage-style lighting, and cozy banquette seating.

What type of cafe decor should I avoid?

Steer clear of overly cutesy, kitschy themes. Focus on timeless vintage pieces and add bold pops of color for interest.


Decorating your kitchen in a charming cafe style is an inviting way to spark creativity and connection through cooking and gathering. By incorporating elements like vintage bistro seating, elegant marble and wood materials, eye-catching tiled backsplashes, abundant greenery, and custom signage, you can craft a cafe aesthetic that’s cozy and full of character. With strategic secondhand finds, DIY projects, and bold paint choices, this look can also suit modest budgets. Use these comprehensive cafe kitchen decorating tips and ideas to start designing your own warm, welcoming space.



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