Look at restaurants for home ideas. This pic is of David Hoffman's new restaurant, Back 40, and though we only have two views, we think they perfectly capture a very simple and beautiful decor approach....
In particular, we love the soft, two tone wall coloring against the warm rough texture of the wood chairs against the shiny, clear glass. Very calming, but it also puts the focus on the company and the food.
While a lot of money goes into restaurant design, it is examples like this that buck the trend. Aside from possibly the long, country table (very Pan Quotidien!) there is nothing here that cost a lot of money. As someone once said, "There are a lot of people with money, and only a few with style."
(Top Pic: Tina Rupp, Bottom Pic: Jeremy Liebman for NYMag)