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.
Geometric play. This small dining nook was designed by Kimball Starr Interior Design in San Francisco. Starr says her clients wanted the area off the kitchen to be used as an activity nook for playing board games with friends; she added a touch of grown‐up glamour with impressive geometric pendants and a custom banquette upholstered in a playful fabric.
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.
Color is cool but beware the trendy hue. Today's on‐trend shade is tomorrow's fashion fail so choose wisely. Classic colors such as the primaries (red yellow and blue) usually have staying power mainly because they are so unapologetically basic. Red is a very popular color especially in homes that have a subtle Asian theme as red is a color traditionally associated with celebration and this will work even if the home is minimalist and modern.
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.
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.
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.
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.