Modern Or Traditional – Which Style Of Cafe Furniture Would You Choose?

Tolix chair and tableWalk round any cafe or bistro in Australia and you’ll find two types of furniture – traditional and modern. Yes you’ll probably see art deco, urban industrial, and indeed rustic, but to all intent and purpose they all fall within these two styles, so which one would you choose?

Bearing in mind that your cafe furniture should reflect a cohesive look throughout your cafe, unless you’re going for a wacky, eclectic look then mixing industrial style furniture with rustic wood panelling probably won’t work. Likewise adding rustic style mahogany furniture to a room with exposed brickwork and steel might look equally bad. With this in mind let’s take a closer look at both styles to give you a better idea.


More often than not traditional furniture is normally characterised by an abundance of rich dark woods and natural surface finishes. Key materials include oak, pine, and mahogany. Traditional furniture is usually well constructed and heavy, so generally speaking, it’s built to last and goes really well with fabrics such as chintz, brocade, and jacquard. Many cafe owners prefer more traditional furniture because of its luxury appeal and the fact that this type of furniture usually transcends time. In other words, it isn’t prone to fads and fashions and will still look great in ten or twenty years from now.

A few examples of traditional style cafe furniture are;

  • Old world style English furniture (walnut or dark oak)

  • Plantation furniture (usually foldable, but has all the components of the English style)

  • Rustic style furniture such as the Bentwood chair, the Ladder-back chair or the Cabaret chair)


Modern style cafe furniture fits in very well with trendy urban areas and with good reason too. This type of furniture is usually defined by clean lines and sharp angles with little or no ornamentation. It comes in a wide range of finishes from metal to plastic and appeals to the hoards of young professionals, young families, and mobile individuals. Many are colourful and vibrant and perfectly suit equally modern establishments. Contemporary modern furniture is normally lightweight and compact making it easy to move around. However if comfort is your key driver, then traditional furniture often has the edge.

Types of modern furniture include;

  • Urban industrial style furniture such as the Tolix stool/chair

  • Moulded polypropylene furniture (plastic chairs to you and me, but they come in a huge variety of colours)

  • Mediterranean style furniture (those that contain stainless steel and beechwood)

  • Funky designs like the ribbon chair

If you’re still undecided then why not browse through our extensive range of cafe furniture by visiting or if you need further inspiration then contact our friendly, experienced team on 07 3205 1616 who will only be too glad to assist.