Create a Colorful, Eclectic Breakfast Nook
A mix of period trim and vintage-inspired furniture in vibrant hues creates a casual gathering spot that's both classic and contemporary
Want to inject personality into a blah space? Borrow elements from the past and make 'em pop. Case in point: this cheerful breakfast nook, where glossy blue-painted Craftsman-style millwork mingles with red-lacquered British Colonial dining chairs arranged around a dark mahogany table. Above it all is a multihued collection of bottles lined up on a bracketed plate rail. "I love the way the light comes through the glass," says Steven Gambrel, the New York City interior designer who envisioned the space. The bottles' earthy greens and browns balance the amped-up red and fuchsia tones on the chairs and striped armless sofa while hinting at the lush garden glimpsed through the divided-light windows. The combined effect is a relaxed, airy space that's rich in character and color. To bring this look to your home, read on.
Red armchairs with upholstered seats make it comfortable to linger longer at the table.
$499 per chair;
Bring the outdoors in with a grass-green tray. Use it to corral a utensil holder and fresh-cut blooms.
Holder and decanter-style vase, $13 and $17;
A candelabra-style hanging fixture adds formality to a casual space.
Bronze-finish chandelier, $179, and shades, $6 each;
Hit thrift stores or your own fridge and medicine chest for bottles to create a luminous lineup on a shelf or atop kitchen cabinets. Old bottles, such as this cobalt-blue Milk of Magnesia one, can be found for a few bucks.
Make a Craftsman shelf using stock parts from the lumberyard; only the brackets are special-order. Use 18 for the shelf ledge and back, cove molding where they overlap, and half-round to trim the shelf edge.
Cove brackets, $6 each;
About $5.50 per linear foot for all stock parts
The dark finish on this round table has an anchoring effect in a room full of vibrant color. An 18-inch leaf lets you seat a crowd.
Group unmatted botanicals pressed between glass for a garden-fresh display. Print this red poppy and others for free at .
Floating frame, $10;
Get a new white sofa and accessorize it with toss pillows and throws for the same price as (or less than) a custom-made slipcover.
Fade-proof pillows, $39 for solid and $30 for striped;
Throws, $29 each;