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).
Problem‐solve with a versatile shape. Ovals are the new oblongs. Similar to a rectangular dining table the oval dining table is elongated to work in a narrow room but visually seems to occupy less space because of its rounded corners. Oval tables also have the benefits of a round table in that they provide a cozy and intimate setting but can usually seat more people.
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.
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.
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.
Same chairs different colors. Take a basic set of matching wooden chairs and put your own stamp on them by painting each one a different hue. The trick here is to choose colors that have the same value (lightness or darkness) like all pastels all midtones or all bright.
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.
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.