Turquoise and green hues provide continuity between the dining room and the parlor. They also continue into the kitchen. Note the small branch side table in the living room which plays off the whimsical forest look in the dining room.
First‐class compartment. In keeping with the warm minimalist elements featured elsewhere in this California ranch house this nook has cedar ceilings Sheetrock walls exposed timber framing and structural steel windows. The site for the house is edged with mature evergreen trees and opens to a field with views out to the Pacific Ocean. With its panoramic‐size window and glorious outlook to a countryside vista this sleek dine‐in nook is a stylish way to eat at home.
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.
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.
Bump‐out table and globe light. A waterfall‐edge table attached to the wall takes up little floor space yet has a big presence. Hanging a simple pendant light directly over the table focuses attention on the area and provides a warmer glow than the regular kitchen lighting.
For buyers on the move choose a table that is easily transportable. For those who don't stay put a heavy table may prove to be an annoyance weighing you down each time you move. If you fall in love with a metal or marble table don't be discouraged from buying it but do think about how you might safely transport it. As suggested above choose a small round marble table or go for a wooden table with detachable legs. If you are looking for a table to suit an urban‐industrial decor theme don't go all‐out with a (heavy) metal table but consider a (lighter) wood table with some metal design features such as the one pictured here. Plastic as an alternative to wood is light and can be molded into some cool shapes but be aware that the color can fade over time.
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.