Inspiration Album

Dining

Dining room

Flipping through one of my old decor books the other day, I noticed a room that gave me pause. At first glance, you'll notice that this is a delightful little reading nook, but if you look a little closer, it becomes clear that it's in an odd spot: the kitchen. I wish that there were a better image showing the whole room, but in general, I'm quite taken with the idea of a wingback in the kitchen area. It's a refreshing departure from your average eat-in kitchen or your typical island with stools. It's not as practical for eating, but if you have a separate dining room, then it seems like an ideal use of space. A friend can hang out, lounge, have a glass of wine; a partner can read and keep you company while you cook; a child could do homework, play, or read; while a stew simmers, you can have a quiet moment, enjoying the smells of the dish to come. It's a departure from the norm, but one that I would certainly emulate if I my kitchen layout were different. It sent me back to our house tour archives to see if I could come up with some other examples of this idea. None are exactly the same, but here are some instances where spare chairs or odd wall space have been added to give a companion a place to rest while dinner's on the stove. A Day in the Life: Katie & Soloman's California Homestead. What do you think about using spare kitchen space for purposes that aren't related to eating?

Asian inspired dining room

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Dining room

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Dining room

This question has popped up four times in the past two days, and we still haven't figured out a foolproof solution. So we're asking you, dear readers, to help us out: What kind of window treatment could you use for a bay window? We're thinking maybe breezy panels to add a punch of color, but we're afraid of the movie theater look.

Round orange dining table

If I were to use my wardrobe as room inspiration, this summer it would be colorblocked with cyan, magenta, and yellow. I've been steadily scooping of fun neon pieces to add to my closet, and the bright primaries of printing turn just as many heads in a room as they do on the street.

Living room

Who says you have to go the route of tradition and put up a typical Christmas tree? For those looking for a more minimal and modern contemporary spin on the old yuletide decoration, why not take a cue from this IKEA catalog setup where they've taken a trimmed tree branch and decorated it with a striking monochromatic selection of ornaments. Our only qualm is that presents don't look hardly as nice under this as a traditional tree, but it could be executed as a smaller complimentary holiday decor detail with smaller vases also instead of a replacement for a traditional tree. A good friend created something similar for her wedding reception centerpieces, and they were such a big hit, attendees fought over who could take them. Either way, it's a great way to recycle and reuse some wintertime yard trimmings.

Modern white kitchen and dining room

We had the pleasure of seeing Vincent van Gogh's The Bedroom and Egon Scheile's The Artist's Bedroom at the Neue Galerie last week. We'd always loved the perspective, colors, and intimacy of both bedroom paintings.... Egon Schiele's The Artist's Bedroom, 1911. It reminded us of Jack's Think Big from the Smallest Coolest Apartment contest! In all three rooms, we see highly personal spaces enriched by care and a mindful eye. We were tickled to stumble on such a striking resemblance between these century-old paintings and Jack's small cool apartment.

Classic dining room

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Dining room

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Funky small living space

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Dining room

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Dining room

We love a make-over, even if it's only imagined. In this Sketch Pad, Lynn Gaffney and her colleagues at Lynn Gaffney Architect reimagine a two-bedroom prewar apartment in Washington Heights to take full advantage of the view of the Hudson River in the communal areas.... As usual, the Audio Slideshow component is full of information.

Dining room with red chairs and table

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Dining room

Q: As a girl fresh out of college and moving into my new apartment, I inherited these 4 black chairs. In the pressure of time and money, I bought a simple brown table that has hints of black in the varnish. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can renew these chairs? The leather is somewhat worn and scratched and I don't think they really go well with the table. I'd just hate to throw them away since they're still sturdy. Editor: Leave your suggestions for Samantha in the comments - thanks! Got a question? Send us yours with pic attachments here.

Dining room with red details

Havalah's family room fireplace featured an extra-long mantel that also spanned some strange built-ins. With an update, this focal wall becomes much more functional. When we moved into our house, there was this funny looking mantel in our back family room. Then next to the fireplace, there were these two 'holes' like cabinets that were completely useless to us. We started by tearing down the old mantel, then my husband added wainscoting to the back of the holes and added some built in shelves. To tie everything together, he also added some white trim, which also matched the window and the finished mantel. For more photos and details, check out Havalah's blog, Sisters, What!

Dining room

A local favorite shop, lille, always has carefully chosen pieces for sale. It is not surprising that they carry these ultra-usable cubes designed by Sandy Chilewich. A few of the design attributes: a classic piece redone, tons of texture and they will play well with other furniture. Practical pluses: lightweight, easy clean, and dual functioning. The cover, made of the woven Chilewich plynl, is removable and available in multiple colors and textures. We'd like a pair of them tucked under a lucite console.... Available at lille, North Ave., Chicago.