The nostalgia for yesterday continues unabated. New homes can be fitted with a used brick wall, an antique fireplace, old floorboards, even panelling installed over a drywall to create instant atmosphere of yesteryear.

In a dining room I designed, we decided that artifacts would be the perfect design element.

I found four elegant columns at a second-hand shop. (By the way, this shop was actually a spin-off of a demolition company. The wreckers discovered that they could salvage and sell many parts of old buildings, and make a bundle out of these by-products.)

The columns I found had been part ofthe porch of a turn-of-the-century house that, alas, stood in the path of asuper highway.

I decided to use the columns as a border for the dining area nd to build a recessed area for the table itself. To do this, I built a low wooden platform, 6 inches high, of 2-by-6 lumber cut to size, covered it with plywood and edged the walls. Fortunately, the border I created was possible because the French doors to the terrace already were stepped up and the baseboard heating was slightly raised to clear thenew floor.

I had the columns stripped to their original oak wood, sanded and finished in clear wax. The border of the recesswas finished in pale oak to match.

The new border is covered in offwhitecarpet, to contrast the dove gray walls. Dove gray carpet covers the dining area. Making the two levels contrast is also a safety factor, indicating a change in level.

A simple round contemporary dining table and four chairs are in the center of the recess. The cylindrical shape of the table top recalls the four columns. The top and base are in whitelaminate. In the future, this table and chairs will be relocated to the kitchen. A glass-topped table and four elegant all will be relocated to the kitchen. All glass-topped table and four elegant all-upholstered chairs will carry out the place theme.

I used a recessed down light in the ceiling to illuminate the table area. At a later date, a crystal chandelier will be installed.