Most rooms are not purchased as a package; they evolve from hand-me-downs, trades, great sales or antique finds, and with endless sources for adding the final touches and colors. Case in point: My dining room includes a Room & Board rug from Craigslist, a wood table with woven chairs on indefinite loan from a friend who moved to LA with no space for the set, a buffet from an Evanston garage sale, vintage curtains from a demolition sale, a large mirror that's been in the family for decades, and our favorite artwork by friends. Nothing was meant to go together, but everything does. Even from these rooms featured in past Domino issues, we think ideas should be mixed and matched, not taken as a whole:
#1: A bench instead of chairs on one side of a dining table feels inviting and saves space.
Photo by Angela Moore / April 2006
#2: For a room that spills into a yard, rugged floors and fixtures offer a seamless transition to the outdoors.
Photo by Paul Costello / November 2006
#3: Curvy chairs work with a harder-edged table when they have clean lines in common, just as prints with a common palette intermingle harmoniously.
Photo by Michel Arnaud / April 2006
#4: Walls, windows and ceiling get a stroke of elegance. A high-functioning casual setup lives below.
Photo by Melanie Acevedo / October 2006
#5: Here's an easy formula for mixing chairs: just make sure materials match. Add energy to a simple setup with a bright runner.
Photo by Paul Costello / October 2006
#6: Mounting a mirror along the wall that's parallel to your table makes the room feel bigger and creates a lively, restaurant-y ambiance.
Photo by Matt Albini / December 2006
#7: Unusual wall surfaces can completely change the mood of a dining room. Soft, warm cork creates a cozy vibe.
Photo by Michel Arnaud / November 2006
#8: An understated approach—including clear accessories and a simple centerpiece—maximizes a pretty view.
Photo by Erik Otssea / April 2006
#9: An oversized floor lamp is an offbeat alternative to a pendant over the table. Double the glow with a mirror.
Photo by Don Freeman / September 2005
#10: To pull off stylish chaos, stick to a simple palette (black, white, wood) and an even simpler dining table.
Photo by Simon Upton / June 2006
#11: Shake up a traditional dining set with a fringe-y, elaborately patterned focal point.
Photo by Justin Bernhaut / September 2006
#12: A sculptural table can elevate casual dining.
Photo by Jason Penny / October 2005
#13: There's subtlety to this unexpected pairing (city-sleek chairs and rough-hewn table) because the shapes fit comfortably together.
Photo by Paul Costello / November 2005
View them all here.