Same chairs different upholstery (or seat cushions). Another way to mix up a set of matching chairs is to re‐cover the seats in an array of different fabrics. Or for nonupholstered wooden chairs simply add fresh seat cushions in a pleasing range of colors and patterns.
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.
Mismatched chairs same material or shape. If you love hunting for vintage chairs a great way to build a set is by keeping an eye out for chairs made of the same material or in a distinctive shape – cane‐backed ladder‐back wood metal wicker and so on. Once you have your set you can determine whether or not you also want to unify them with paint (see No. 2).
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.
Smoky glass chandelier. Smoky glass paired with filament bulbs creates a one‐two ambience punch that is ideal for intimate dinner parties. In the dining space shown here the sculptural chandelier is complemented by a smooth walnut dining table and midcentury teak chairs.
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.
The deep blue walls are upholstered in a Romo fabric complete with soft batting behind it. The upholstery nails were put in by hand and match the nails on the chairs and bench. Their satin nickel finish picks up on the other finishes in the kitchen.
Swing‐arm sconce. A swing‐arm sconce designed to extend over the table (like the one shown here) is an unexpected alternative to the traditional chandelier and can work even for renters if you choose a plug‐in version. Because the bulb is exposed you'll need to use a lower‐watt filament bulb to create that lovely soft glow. But because one low‐watt bulb is not enough to light a room on its own it is necessary to supplement with additional lighting – try a second sconce or a pair of lamps atop a credenza.