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.
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.
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.
Bench on one side chairs on the other. Putting a low bench on one side of the dining table in place of chairs is an easy way to break up a set typically costs less than buying individual chairs and is great for small spaces. Try an upholstered bench for comfort during leisurely meals or a wooden bench for a sleeker look.
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.
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.
Covered dining. This dining space has a wood alcove built up and over a table creating an elegant dining space that looks like a private dining booth in an upscale bistro. The mix of materials from the timber paneling to the channeled upholstery and stone table adds sophistication to the alcove's slick urban look.
Go for the tried and true: a weathered wood table. A secondhand wood table with a farmhouse or industrial heritage has already passed the test of time. Any scratches and nicks in the tabletop surface have mellowed into design details becoming features to admire. If you accidentally add a few more to it it won't matter. For this reason these tables are great for families with children – you never have to worry about whether your brood is unwittingly or even intentionally marking the table. The damage if minor will only become part of the beauty of the piece. That said it's worth protecting your table with a hard wax polish which should be applied about twice a year.
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