9 Easy Steps to 2 Great Kitchen Styles

Simple elegance or eclectic flair–which kitchen style is right for you? Whichever style you admire, learn to recreate the look in your home with these inspirational ideas from Susanna Salk’s book Be Your Own Decorator.


Simple Elegance


Image courtesy of: “Be Your Own Decorator” by Susanna Salk, photography by Kayleigh Jankowski, published in 2012 by Rizzoli, rizzoliusa.com.

Neutral colors and elegant lines pair up to create a formal dining room. The accent here is on low contrast. This style would work well for those who enjoy a sophisticated evening at the theater, followed by cocktails served at home.


To get the look….keep your color palette simple and neutral.

1. Consider pairing square-backed chairs with either a round or an oval table. This way, your contrast is coming from the shape of the items, rather than the color.


2. Arrange an assortment of like-colored accessories on your table. Here, all three items are a pale off-white.


3. Vary the height of the items when creating your table arrangement. The best combination is usually three, and an easy way to remember this decorating formula is to think of earth (the shortest item), tree (the mid-height item) and sky (the tallest item).


4. Add an extra “window” by including a floor-to-ceiling mirror. Keep the style of your mirror in the same vein as the furniture in your dining room. This will bring more light into your room and increase the visual space.


Eclectic Flair


Image courtesy of: “Be Your Own Decorator” by Susanna Salk, photography by Kayleigh Jankowski, published in 2012 by Rizzoli, rizzoliusa.com.

Create high drama by mixing textures, style and color. The accent here is on high contrast. This dining room would work well for an artistic, out-going extrovert, who enjoys writing plays and staying up late to gaze at the stars.


To get the look….


1. Paint your walls a deep navy blue and all your trim (woodwork, door, fireplace, mirror, ceiling) bright white. This sets the stage for what will come next.


2. Begin with a vintage table large enough to seat eight people. The more nicks and scratches the table has the better. This is a room for entertaining, so make sure you have enough space.


3. Mix up the seating with an assortment of chairs, none of which match the table. Here, four chairs are mid-century modern with bright floral cushions—their curved lines and material are a sharp contrast to the earthy table. Also note, the curved lines in the black chairs mimic the shapes found in the mid- century modern chairs, causing them to coordinate and work well together.


4. Add some textural contrast and, again, bring in another era, by placing a thick, white shag rug beneath the table and chairs. Here, you are adding an element from the late ’60s.


5. Tradition meets eclectic by including a sideboard. As expected, this piece grounds the room by connecting and relating well with the warm wooden floors, but it is a different shade and style than the dining table

By Merrie Destefano

Photography by Kayleigh Jankowski

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