Corner window seat and decals. Storage‐filled bench seats tucked into a corner are cozy and practical fitting plenty of people at the breakfast table. Pep up the corner with a few fun and easy‐to‐apply window decals that pick up a hue in your bench cushions.
Select a dining table made of sturdy stuff. If you want a table to last through years of dinner party wear and tear choose a table made from a hardwood such as mahogany walnut maple oak and teak. Tables made from engineered or composite woods which include plywoods and MDF are durable and economical but are never as strong as a hardwood.
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.
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.
Massive paper lantern. Suspended over the table like a full moon the paper lantern is on a grand scale making this dining space so impressive. And while an authentic Noguchi paper lantern is stunning there are paper lanterns available at all prices and in all sizes.
Statement chandelier and flowering branches. A gorgeous statement‐making chandelier like the hot‐pink one shown here plus tall vases of flowering branches creates a subtle separation between spaces – perfect for an open‐plan home.
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.
Dramatic flair. In an all‐white kitchen introduce color and texture with bold and cheerfully patterned upholstery. Brighten up the nook with glass pendants a colorful table setting and freshly picked flowers. Note how the pullout drawers under the benches provide storage – a perfect place in which to keep all your board card and trivia games for after‐dinner fun.