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.
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.
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.
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.
Black is always the new black. If you aren't expecting your table to suffer wear and tear choose the most sophisticated and elegant table you've always dreamed of owning. Black tables are notoriously tricky especially if they are veneered because the smallest scratch will show up. If you are the careful type however black is super cool and will always be so.
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.
Settle on a shape that will work in most rooms. Round tables look good in compact rooms and living areas that have square dining zones. They also offer flexible seating. If you buy a six‐seater eight can usually be accommodated at a pinch – the larger the diameter the more people can be seated. On the other hand rectangular tables have limited seating spots due to the position of the table legs and because only one person can be seated at each end. However if you choose a rectangular table with leaves the table can be extended to accommodate extra guests whenever an event is planned such as for a family Christmas or birthday party.