Jaime’s “Quickie” Classic Dining Room

6 01 2010

When we heard that Jaime needed help with her dining room, we couldn’t wait to whip up something classically clean and fresh.  Here’s her letter:

My husband and I recently moved into a new home and we are in need of some design advice for the dining room.  We lived in England for a while and have some pieces we would love to keep such as the console, rustic mirror and champagne holder.  Currently we only have natural light in the room and there isn’t a jack for hanging a chandelier since we are repurposing the room from an office to our dining room.  The overall dimension of the room is 171” long by 124” wide. I generally gravitate towards leather furniture and love shopping at places like Pottery Barn and Cost Plus World Market.  I would say my personal style is leaning towards more rustic and distressed mixed with classic pieces.  I really look forward to your ideas.  Thanks!


Well, what is a dining room without a table and chairs?!  This is one of those spaces with tons of potential in need of just a few new furnishings and some great accessories.  Soon, this space will blossom into an absolute showstopper.  Here is our material board:

For the quickie design board breakdown.

  1. Our color palette will include an elegant blend of taupes and whites to keep the room light and airy.  For the main overall wall color we think that Ralph Lauren’s Plateau (#NA19) is a subtle taupe that lends towards the yellow undertone rather than a pink, which will look great with the soft blue accents.  Adding a touch of white for all the trim in the room will really make the space look clean and fresh so we think Ralph’s Design Studio White (#WW09) is a nice selection to offer a restrained contrast.  We’ll add in bronze hardware for the crisp, traditional contrast along with all the soft furniture in the dark brown and soften up the scheme with some light blue accents to balance all the tones together and keep the look clean.
  2. Since Jaime mentioned that she would love to keep the rustic mirror (which we love), we played off that finish to anchor the room with just the right table.  This sturdy oak option has a lightly distressed finish that we think looks richly weathered.  We were ultra excited that the table happens to be on sale for such a great price (just $379.97) we couldn’t resist making it the centerpiece of the room.
  3. What better way to get some lush textures into the room than with leather furniture and these won’t disappoint.  We have suggested that Jaime uses 4 chairs (one on each end and 2 on one side) and accent the other side with a stylish bench in matching brown leather.
  4. Speaking of the lovely bench, we thought it would be great to have a low bench when you first come into the dining room from the entry. It will help to make the room seem more spacious and adds a little touch of the unexpected.  We loved this bench particularly because of the detailing on the top.
  5. To bring in some of the cool blue tones we replaced the rug with a fun, new patterned one.  We think it adds a touch of playfulness for under the table and provides a subtle, yet sophisticated mix of traditional and contemporary into the space.
  6. We would love to see the console table centered on the end wall that currently houses the champagne rack and send the rack to the side you just removed the console table from (placing the rack nearest to the end wall.)  Soon enough we will get to what to do with the console table and good things happen for those who wait.  Getting on with the champagne rack wall we were so excited to see this artwork!  Doesn’t it look like it was meant to go with a champagne rack?!  It is referred to as “Taittinger Black Box” and this particular piece is a humongous (approx. 4’ x 5.25’) printed canvas.  We suggest that if you buy the canvas you could just hang it on the wall as is.  However, the canvas tends to be quite pricy so another other option is to buy a print and have it framed (we suggest either a black or white simple frame.)  Scale is an important factor to filling this wall and making an impact so whichever you choose make sure it is LARGE.
  7. In the corner between the champagne rack and the console table, this floor lamp would be a nice addition to brightening up the space.  Since the lamp is the primary light for the room, we thought it was nice that it can accommodate up to a 150 watt bulb.  Our suggestion would be to have a 3 way bulb (50-100-150) so you can control how much light is generated and thus control the ambiance.
  8. We referred to the console earlier in step 6 and we are back to spill the bean on what we think changes should be to that area.  First, we think you should rotate the mirror to be vertically positioned.  We loved the bronze chain hanging the mirror so thought that we would have you switch out the pulls on the drawers to match.  This will help the console table to blend in with the rest of the furniture and give it some weight.
  9. On the side opposite the floor lamp, we would love to see an oversized clear glass vase with tons of iron next to the console table on the floor.  The iron gives off that green/blue hue that we want to replicate throughout the room helping to further pull it all together.
  10. On top of the console, we love the glass vase holding wine corks as well as the hourglass that is paired with it.  It would be fun to see something that completes the triad in a light blue hue, maybe another wonderful treasure from your travels?  Opposite the accessories, we think this table lamp would really look nice and give height to the vertical mirror.
  11. Last, but certainly not least, we want the mirror to move off center towards the table lamp end and place this hanging votive on the wall.  While completing the rustic look, it adds a warm, traditional elegance that really pulls the whole room together.

So there you have it, Jaime’s traditional and worldly dining room.  We can’t wait to hear what you guys think-especially you Jaime!  And if anyone else out there needs a custom “quickie” board makeover, click here to get the ball rollin’.




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