Mood Board: Colorful Everyday Dining room

This room was designed for a couple who felt they had neglected their formal dining room for years. Their dining room was used maybe twice a year and they felt the 40-year-old heavy furniture made the room feel lees inviting than they wanted it to be. When I arrived for the project, they had already sold their old furniture set and replaced a small window with a new pair of French doors that led out into the back yard. Then, they had become stuck trying to pick out new furniture and decor. They wanted the new room to be colorful, more casual for everyday use, and above all, welcoming…

First, we chose a gentle buttery yellow for the wall color. This color is great for the natural light coming into the dining room during the day and is elegant at night under the new chandeliers, and especially, candlelight . The new chandelier chosen is a wrought iron carriage chandelier. This traditional open frame allows the chandelier to be larger, but not dominate the eye with formal sparking crystal when you enter into the dining room. Two chandeliers spaced over the table and connected to a dimmer allows for a wide variety of lighting settings.

The table, shown here with the leaf extension in, brings some warm wood tones to the room, while the light cabriole legs of the table keep it from having a heavy footprint in the room. The leaf extension still allows for those large family gatherings. The dining chairs echo the table’s cabriole leg and also offer the comfort of a natural woven seat. The upholstered banquette, with its light green stripe, offers a more relaxed seating option for one end and one side of the dining table. This is the perfect place for a lazy brunch or a great board game night.

A painted sideboard lends an antique feel to the room, fighting the common formal dining room phenomenon: everything-was-bought-new-on-the-same-day. A classic round mirror with a gold frame (one of my favorites, you might remember it from this post) placed above the sideboard and opposite the new French doors gives the room some extra natural light.

The area rug was chosen for the creamy, but neutral background color and the crisp blue scroll pattern, which offers a nice contrast to the orderly stripes on the banquette. The wife of this client couple had originally wanted to paint the whole new room red, but the husband thought the room would look too dark. (This was the stumbling block that brought me in to help with the project.) We put these rich red curtains up around the window and French doors as a compromise that worked for everyone. The simple panels are timeless and the bold color really shows some personality.

Speaking of color, we used some modern art to help some brighter colors into the palette. As I said in a previous post, each client should choose their own art. My clients wanted landscapes for their new dining room. After looking at lots of traditional prints in muted tones, the vivid hues of the large Gauguin landscape I suggested really spoke to them. We framed this print in a slightly metallic bronze frame to add a little sparkle to the print when light hits it. We also used the painting to inspire some bright accessory choices, including the orange candle lantern, the turquoise decanter and all of the throw pillows.

Having such a beautiful landscape in the room meant we had to have some real green in there, too. A couple of simple English boxwoods in neutral planters are easy to maintain and move around, depending on the room’s seating needs.

Last, but most importantly, a little good luck was added to this new dining room. This family has always had bulldogs as pets, so it seemed appropriate to put a small bronze guardian by those new French doors. We hope he will watch over many great meals and occasions in the coming years.

Mixing the furniture pieces creates a casual, collected-over-time look that allows the room to feel more personal and welcoming. Using a large, bright color palette with several patterns allows for more flexibility of style, making this room part of the everyday life of the rest of the house.

Unique, affordable, comfortable living.

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Posted on April 27, 2011, in Mood Boards. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I love the wall color. Who makes the paint and what is it called?

    • Great question, Brenda! This wall color is Benjamin Moore’s “Old Straw Hat” (#337 in their Classic Color collection). I love it as a warm neutral. It works great for many rooms.

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