Cooking & Living in Small Spaces with Style

Dining Areas

Black And White New Year's Eve Party Decoration Ideas

Holiday Decor Ideas, Table Settings, Dining Areasshirley byrdComment

Plan a black and white New Year’s party and just ask guests to wear at least one black item. Then you just reduce some of the other colors in your small living space, store them in a closet, even under the bed. Break out as much black and white you have—or not. Just set up a lovely buffet of drinks, snacks and sweets.

Check out these simple ideas, get to a party store and start selecting . . .

How To Create A Stylish Dining Nook With a Settee

Dining Areasshirley byrdComment

A settee is the perfect seating to create a dining nook that has both style and comfort. You'll love how it embraces you when dining--whether it's just breakfast or that special dinner.  It expands the seating space, a particular concern for apartment dwellers.  

  • Add a round table and stackable chairs.

  • Class it up or down but for the transitional style, make it a classic traditional or contemporary piece in which it plays the starring role.

  • Consider how much space you have, of course.

  • Don't be deterred if you have a really small space, there are lots of settee sizes from which to choose. And you'll see below, you can even install a bench with a wall backrest to create a settee-like seating.

  • One critical element to consider is the height of the seating. Chair seat heights are generally 18" to 19." So when you sit down on a settee with a cushion (in which you will sink), it's important to note that height. Otherwise, you may be shoveling your food into your mouth with your lips close to the table edge!

The Louis Ghost chairs and translucent table gives the above dining area a very spacious and ethereal feel.  I'm a huge fan of the  Kartell collection of translucent furnishings, such as these chairs.  See my post on Designs That Fascinate:  Translucent Furniture.  

And from my own decor, here is an image of my Louis Ghosts in a previous home.  I had chosen a chaise lounge to escape the classic four chairs and a table setting.  Although the seating height is about 19," when one sits on the chaise lounge, the seating sinks to level one's mouth being nearly at the table top level!  That was a bummer, for I so dearly love my chaise lounge.  A better option would have been a settee in which normally the required seating height is taken into account in the construction.  Still, if you are interested in a chase lounge in your dining area, see my very popular post on The Case For A Chaise Lounge.

Shirley Byrds DiningNook2004.png

I absolutely adore the soft colors in the dining space below.  More than likely it is in a home.  However, it can definitely serve as a blue print for smaller spaces.  Just scale down the pieces, such as substituting a smaller table.

For do-it-your-selfers, you can build a back for a bench and create a type of settee.  Even a girl can do it.  Check out Creativity Happens by Shana on You Tube.  It's for a headboard but the principle would be similar for a bench with a tufted bench back.  Or if you're like me, just call a carpenter!


More lovely examples of using a settee in your dining area:

Settees come in a wide range of styles from the transitional to traditional to modern.  Here are just a few of the very common ones found in the transitional decor style:

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The settee has always been enjoyed as a fine piece of furniture to own with a history that dates back to the 17th Century.  Its style and use continues to change with creative ideas in home decorating projects.  Learn more about it at One Kings Lane, The History Of Settees

Apartments, condos, any small space really is ideal for a settee where you can create a cozy dining space, work on your laptop, have a lovely tête-à-tête with a friend or just a place to daydream.  

Would you consider a settee for your next dining decor project?

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This is an updated post that was originally published in December 2014 on my previous blog: