Café table and invisible chairs. This itty‐bitty seating area proves that even truly tiny spaces don't need to sacrifice style. Seek out the smallest sleekest café table you can find and place a pair of clear chairs (made from acrylic or Lucite) around it. Style it up between meals with a cute fruit bowl.
Same chair same color family. A riff on the same‐chair different‐colors idea but with more subtlety. The idea here is to choose closely related colors – try earth tones or shades of a single hue.
Budget box. Make the most of a breakfast nook by installing a complete compartment that keeps diners out of the way of the cooking action in the kitchen. Additionally those on a budget will benefit from copying the style of the boxed‐in nook pictured here. Inexpensive wood can be painted white to make the area bright. To add value choose a more expensive tabletop and treat it with a good sealant oil to keep it looking good with use.
Upholstered chairs at the ends. This is perhaps the most popular way to shake up a set and with good reason – it nearly always looks great. Choose matching side chairs for the long sides and put matching upholstered armchairs at the ends.
Bright and breezy. This built‐in banquette needs little more than a small table and a couple of light‐colored chairs to complete a fine‐looking and functional kitchen nook. The window bench extends from the end of the kitchen cabinets to create an ideal space between two big windows. The banquette can also double as storage with a hinged lid seat covered by cushions.
Cool and clean. This spectacular dining banquette is sited in the middle of a living space in a renovated 1960s apartment in Melbourne. It was decorated by interior design company Mr. Mitchell within a stand‐alone all‐white cube. This "allowed us to introduce the macramé screen which is a fun reference to the retro era of the apartment" says Mr. Mitchell director Andrew Mitchell.
You can't go wrong with a classic country table. Generally the country‐style dining table is large and therefore suitable for families or for people who regularly entertain. These tables are usually made from a solid timber like oak or pine making them very robust. They also have an uncomplicated design suitable for most schemes although pleasingly many country tables feature elegantly turned legs that support the tabletop. The only real consideration in buying this style of table is whether to go for an upmarket one such as a French colonial table or one with the rustic appeal of an English country farmhouse. Whatever you choose to suit your home you can be assured that both will look drop‐dead gorgeous when they are set and dressed for a country farmhouse feast.
Wood is tops but don't discount glass. The advantage of a glass‐top dining table is that it works well with many decor themes. And because it has a reflective surface it is an excellent choice for a space that might need to look a little lighter and brighter. Glass dining tables are tough too. Today's versions are made with tempered safety glass which means the glass resists scratches and heat and won't shatter if knocked. You can also choose glass that is tinted in a range of different colors even black. Another benefit of a glass table is that you can surround it with versatile seating arrangements from mismatched dining chairs to multicolored options.