Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ideas for the Dining Room

When it comes to planning how I want to decorate the new house, I find myself focusing on the dining room. Perhaps it's because it's right off the entryway, so it's one of the first spaces you see when you enter the house. Perhaps it's because I don't currently have a formal dining area, so I get to start from scratch, unrestrained by existing pieces that have to be incorporated. And perhaps it's just because I've already picked a paint color -- Farrow & Ball's Drawing Room Blue -- and that choice has given me something to decorate around. Since the room has wainscoting around its three walls that will be painted out white, I think the dark cobalt will really pop against all that trim work.

Regardless of the reason, and with only a cursory nod to my actual budget (that will either force me to select more modestly priced items or purchase one piece at a time for the next few years), I've designed a mood board of what I'm currently thinking would work in the space. Since the dining room is not particularly large, with one side open onto the entryway and another side taken up with two large windows, I tried to select pieces that would make an impact but not overwhelm the room. Accordingly, I went with a more minimal and classic aesthetic for the larger pieces in the hopes that they wouldn't take up too much physical and visual space, and selected more dramatic accessories to really give the space some personality.

So here's the breakdown (clockwise from top left):

1. Marrakesh rug by Jonathan Adler (9' x 12', $1995, but currently on sale for $1596). While I would live in fear of spillage, the infrequency with which I would probably use a formal dining space would make the occasional stressout during dinner parties worth the joy of looking at this on a daily basis. Besides, Oxyclean does wonders.

2. Kate table lamp from Circa Lighting ($336). I'd put one of these stunners on either end of the buffet. The geometric Greek key design would work well with the very linear buffet and pick up on the finishes in the chandelier.

3. Flower mirror white from High Fashion Home ($695). I love the idea of a really graphic white mirror against the dark blue walls. The more feminine shape would also create some nice tension with the linear Kate lamps and yet still relate to the curvy Ava dining chairs.

4. Logan buffet from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams ($1245). I like the simplicity of this piece as well as the fact that it's not too big since the room itself will be largely taken up by the table.

5. Bowmont chandelier from Circa Lighting ($1050). This piece reminds me of champagne glasses so it feels right for a room that I hope to do a good bit of celebrating in.

6. Logan dining table from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams ($1495). The Parsons shape of this table won't compete with the chairs, which rightfully deserve to be the stars.

Ava's Chair from Calico Corners ($795). Alas, at this price, I'd have to purchase one at a time, but I absolutely love the shape. I'd cover the seats in Tala Citrus from Annie Selkie ($24.64/yard) to carry through the green in the rug. Since the pattern is much smaller in scale than that of the rug, it shouldn't compete too much with it.

8. Foo dogs from ZGallerie ($119.90/pair). Just because I always love just a touch of Chinoiserie and the white would really pop against the deep cobalt blue walls.

9. Large Olas Tibor from Emilia Ceramics ($128 ). A pair of these would fit nicely underneath the buffet and bring a little more pattern and fun into the space.

Now, what I'd love from you, dear reader, is some serious opinions on what works here, what doesn't, what's missing, and where I might find similar items for less. Since I haven't purchased anything for this space yet (and don't plan on doing so until we move), my wallet can take the criticism.


Patch said...

The second I have my newlywed abode, I am going to consult you...I LOOOOVE your style!

Things That Inspire said...

Your new house looks beautiful, and how exciting to be planning the decor! I have done countless posts on dining rooms over the past 2 years. I think they can be one of the most interesting and beautiful rooms in a house.

Congratulations on the Washington Post blog watch!

Averill said...

TTI - Whow! I didn't even catch that. Thanks for pointing it out!

alison giese Interiors said...

I think it's all fantastic, and ALL works. Love the rug, loooove the lamp, have those foo dogs (so, yes, rather admire them), and am quite crazy about the Tibor.
Do think you could cut some cost corners...I'll keep my eyes out!

P.S. - Congrats on the Washington Post props!

alison giese Interiors said...

P.S. - You rockin' some photoshop idea board skilz or what? ;)

Unknown said...

I just love that J.A. rug! You've got such great taste.

Kara said...

I think this is a great dining room. The mirror is awesome and I love the foo dogs too. Good job!

Liz said...

Oh goodness, I'm swooning. I love the combo of the deep blue, fresh green, and classic white - just gorgeous! P.S. How cool is that about the Washington Post shout out??? Congrats!!

Kristina at The Purple Pea said...

I love that rug! I really love those color combos together too. When is your house going to be done again? All of this talk about decorating a virgin, untouched house... we are dying to live vicariously through you! Ha!

Christy said...

Where is this Washington post shout out?! I must see it!

I LOVE all of your choices, and sadly I don't have any less expensive options for you. Me thinks you'll just have to bite the bullet and buy the real deals. My favorites are: The rug, the vases, the dogs and the mirror. I would have all of those in my house in a hearbeat. Seriously - you are so talented Averill! You should be doing this for a living. Law, schmaw.

Averill said...

Christy: Link to Washington Post here:

And, but for the fact that the legal job pays the bills, I would be doing this for a living! :)

Anonymous said...

Nice and fresh! Congrats on the Washington Post nod!

Jan Jessup said...

Dear Averill,
I've enjoyed watching your design plans come together. I happen to know that Calico Corners is having a great sale in June--and you can save 15% on fabrics (such as the Tala) and 15% on furniture. Ava's Chair is like a piece of sculpture--I love the back too. If you want to space out your chair purchases, buy all the fabric at once, so that you can be assured it comes from the same dye lot. You might also consider Anthony's Chair--it's the Ava Chair with arms--it's nice for all your guests (not just the hosts) to have chair arms to rest on at a dinner party. It's only $30 more--here's the link:'
Happy decorating!
Jan Jessup

annechovie said...

Averill, I think perhaps you should consider becoming a designer! You seem to have a natural gift for it. I love the chevron ginger jars/urn. Congrats on the WP mention, too!

Jody Harrington said...

My faves are the lamp, the rug and the chairs. Just gorgeous!!!

Megan Coyle said...

Wow, I love the designs you picked out. They're so hip--they make me want to start decorating now.

Unknown said...

I love your picks! I am so glad to have found your blog. I also live in Houston. :)

Alicia said...

Clean lines meet classic thoughts with a hint of chinoiserie & exotic. I can't wait to see the results. As Jan mentioned Calico is having a sale & you may get more of if you but more than 6...a friend did just for asking jokingly.

Alicia said...

Oh & I'd start with buying the table first & add from there. It may not be perfect to begin with but it will get there. I started with my table 4 years ago & finally got completed it...then had to relocate...but actaully the journey was enjoyable.

Emily from Emilia Ceramics said...

Averill - Thanks so much for posting the tibor from my collection. It is one of my favorite pieces. Let me know if I can help in any way as the decorating gets underway!

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