Corner nook. Custom woodwork and banquette seating can create a sophisticated corner nook in the kitchen. In this L‐shaped arrangement the wood grain of the built‐in banquette is matched to the kitchen countertops and complemented by a white table and cabinets. To add color and interest it has been decorated with a variety of flea market finds.
Rice paper lantern and kids' art wall. Easy affordable rice paper pendant lights come in a wide range of sizes and create a lovely glow when lit. A wall with casually taped‐up children's artwork and simple white walls and chairs add up to a welcoming space where creativity can shine.
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.
Different chairs at the ends. The end chairs don't need to be upholstered to be different – a pair in a style that's different from the rest is all you need to mix things up. Here café chairs are on the long sides of the table and beautiful cane‐back side chairs are at the ends.
Filament chandelier. Filament bulbs have risen in popularity with good reason – they exude charm and cast a beautifully warm glow. Single filament bulbs are typically available only in 40 to 60 watts but using a chandelier with many exposed filament bulbs is a wonderful way to get all the charm and the light you need.
Tile mosaic and hammered pendant light. Craft a worldly look with a mosaic of mismatched tiles like the Cuban tile shown here printed cushions and a hammered silver or copper pendant light. Benches are extra cozy but a tiled accent wall alone could add oomph to any breakfast nook.
Norwegian wood. In this country kitchen designed by architect Christine Fikseaunet a simple window seat with an upholstered banquette cushion is paired with a wood table to create a casual dining setting. With the addition of a small screen in the corner of the nook it also allows for communal television viewing among family members or friends.
Invest in a blue chip: A case for retro. Anything retro should be considered a keepsake piece of furniture that has the potential to be handed down from generation to generation. The dining table that catches your eye at a market or auction may not be particularly fashionable or even fit into your present decor scheme but don't let that deter you from buying something of quality and style from another era. It may well prove to be the best investment of all escalating in value in the decades to come.
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