SCENARIO: You've settled into the house and desperately need to
ditch the folding table and chairs. Budget-wise you're not ready for a
total makeover, but you'd like to gradually purchase core furnishings
and accessories that add substance, color, and comfort to the room.
Your final decorating style, however, is still undecided.
TACTIC: Evolve from French bistro to crisp botanical style. Buy
furniture and build on the basic white and black accessories, adding
color, texture, and substance.
COMMITMENT LEVEL: Moderate. You're investing in furniture and nicer
How You Grow
After a few months, basic becomes blah. It's time to buy a table and chairs, add to your accessories, and shift your look from cheap-chic bistro to verdant botanical.
Green With Envy
If you're not yet ready to commit to a new color scheme, pick up on the soft green walls with botanical motifs in special napkins and fresh-cut or potted plants and flowers.
Clear as Day
Keep the interior airy with clear glass vases, candle hurricanes, and water carafes. Strong curves add shape and interest to the table, yet the glass lets light shine through. Plus, glass pieces are ultimately versatile.
The strong bones of this black furniture are classic yet crisply current. The pieces will look great if you elaborate on this clean green scheme or go formal in the future.
As you begin to invest in tableware and accessories, this cabinet stores your wares. It also serves as a bar and a buffet server. Tall vases, crystal barware, and the same framed photo keep this area a focal point until you invest in new art.
Set a more sophisticated table by layering new square plates on woven chargers atop linen runners. Grandma's silver flatware and your original glasses still work great. Potted-fern place cards are special and inexpensive.
The long, bare back wall needed attention. A round black mirror ($200) chimes in perfectly with the classic table and creates a much-needed focal point. A pair of affordable glass wall vases ($40 per pair) widens the arrangement and allows you to add fresh-cut blooms in seasonal colors.