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Decorte Your Eating Places

Breakfast Nook

An airy breakfast nook takes its streamlined style and charming colors from a pretty print. Here are the five essential elements of the space:

1. Lighting: A drum shade hangs high above the table, allowing natural light to fill the space during the day and casting a warm glow at night.

2. Fabric: Fruit-pattern toile that appears on the window treatment and pillows inspired all color choices and the custom floorcloth.

3. Window treatments: A tailored toile valance with five sections separated by crisp pleats highlights the inspirational print fabric. A band of contrasting fabric gives the window treatment a subtle tone-on-tone effect, while tassels add a textural flourish to each gentle point.

4. Seating: Two French Empire-inspired chairs work in tandem with built-in seating, offering flexible dining for two to six people.

5. Personal touches: A banquette ended up being a good solution for the postage-stamp tiny room, increasing seating and allowing for nearly a dozen pretty pillows in rosy red and buttery yellow, both colors inspired by a fruit-pattern toile.

Formal Dining Room

Green and pink could easily have been too sweet in this intimate, off-the-kitchen dining space. But by deftly combining pretty with practical, a feminine, not fussy, look was created. Here are the five essential elements for this space:

1. Lighting: The intricately worked chandelier and sconces (1950s pieces) were painted, rewired, and topped with pleated mini shades.

2. Fabric: Pretty print fabric -- featuring porcelain vessels and summer blossoms -- gives the room another whimsical touch while also providing a warmly neutral taupe-and-green backdrop.

3. Window treatments: The ornate window treatments are full, functional, and rich in detail. The room's panel draperies include contrasting botanical trim and custom-painted hardware.

4. Seating: Sage-green slipcovers with crisp white piping instantly updated and softened the curvy French dining chairs.

5. Personal touches: A passion for porcelain serving pieces is showcased in a carved pine corner cabinet (top photo, above). These pink and green pieces from the homeowner's collection inspired the vibrant color scheme in this dining space.

Shown here: Antique print fabric was stretched into three panels that hang as art over a serving buffet, with the florals complementing the roses, vases, magnolias, and urns among the cadre of charming images included in the print drapery fabric.

Country French Eat-In

Unexpected color and pattern update the classic furnishings in a cozy eat-in kitchen, transforming it to country French sophistication. The essential five to get this look include:

1. Lighting: A burnished bronze fixture hangs low over the pine table, casting warm light and producing a comfy country French effect.

2. Fabric: A richly detailed print with fruit depicted in full color contrasts perfectly with a rusty-red solid and a blue-and-white plaid.

4. Window treatments: The tailored valance frames three print panels like pieces of art. Crisp pleats, a polished paneling effect, and multihue fringe make it a showstopper. (See below for a complementary window treatment.)

3. Seating: French chairs, reupholstered in contrasting fabrics and filled with generous padding, offer inviting resting spots for a busy family to gather around the table.

5. Personal touches: The homeowner's collection of transferware is on prominent display in the side hutch.

In contrast to the lush main draperies, a simple sheer hangs from an ornate rod on the side door, allowing easy access to the sun-drenched patio beyond.

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