My dining room has two large windows and two separate arched entries leading to it, one off the home’s main entrance, the other just off the open living/kitchen area. The bones of the room itself could be considered quite formal with its high ceiling, large moldings, medium width maple floors in a bark colored stain, traditional style windows and a dramatic light fixture by Kichler. However, its the eclectic furniture and decor that make the space feel more modern and relaxed.
My home can be described as a red brick colonial, which I custom built, and so while choosing the finishes I tried to keep in mind that this type of architecture is traditional and elegant yet simple; I wanted the look and feeling of an older home that had been updated and modernized without compromising its integrity -oh and of course, all of this on a very tight budget!
My dining table is from Restoration Hardware and the aluminium chairs are vintage Emeco, which I re-furbished myself. The red voluptuous armless loveseat is far from new -but is a new addition to the dining room. It looks great here against the wall color, although it sits a little too low, I have plans to raise it by either replacing the legs or doing some kind of diy project to it. The vast empty wall behind it was initially going to get an art installation but I’ve since grown to appreciate its plainness.
The lamp and drapery rods echo the finish of the light fixture, yet the burlap curtains are a surprising contrast and are definitely key in helping to make the room feel less serious (more on my DIY burlap curtains here).
The vintage steel lawyers bookcase is my pride and joy; I refurbished it years ago. sanding off the powder coated charcoal paint to expose the industrial steel underneath. I use it to store and display my wine glasses (which I collect) and wine related accessories.
The three floating steel shelves are a nod to the vintage cabinet and make a great place to display more wine items along with my collections of mushrooms (more on the mushroom collection here).
The moody wall color is called Intellectual and I love how it changes from brown to charcoal to black depending on the lighting. The molding, trim and ceiling is the most milky of high gloss whites, Ultra Pure White both from Behr.
The 101: To avoid the cold and boring ‘dining room from the store’ look don’t buy a dining set, instead try mixing different furniture. Mixing eras can help make the space feel inviting and eclectic. If you have a collection, display it together for the most impact. Paint can do wonders for setting a mood. Moldings and even ceilings can take on a different vibe painted in a high gloss finish.
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