Decorating & Design
January 10, 2020
Ask A Designer: How To Wake Up A Tired Dining Room
In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her ideas for refreshing a dining room without changing the furniture.
Question: I’d like to pull my dining room together and give it some style, but I want to keep my furniture. Where do I start? — B.B., Montreal
Answer: The good news is that you can definitely make this room feel fresh and beautiful while keeping your existing dining set. Take inspiration from the lovely room designed by M+M Interior Design (below) — the hand-painted mural is the perfect backdrop for classic furniture.
Add a similar energy to your space by installing romantic wallpaper with a botanical motif. Then, paint the ceiling a watery blue — like Behr’s Flowing Breeze (N480 – 2) — to pick up on the tones in the wallpaper and give the room another subtle hit of color.
(Source: Peony Tree wallpaper in Aqua by Sarah Richardson Design, approx. $234.91 per roll, brewsterwallcovering.com)
Next, remove the vase of branches and chairs flanking the sideboard to give your table and chairs some breathing room. If you have a match for the white upholstered chair, consider using them at the ends of your table. Otherwise, invest in two new upholstered end chairs to break up the set and add an element of softness.
(Source: Slipcovered Host Chair, price available upon request, leeindustries.com)
Update your lighting by installing a pair of classic brass lantern sconces and add sparkle by replacing your ceiling fixture with a traditional chandelier.
(Source: Camden lantern sconce in Natural Brass by Regina Andrew Lighting, $496, primalighting.ca)
(Source: The Valentina chandelier by Feiss, $1,187, livinglightingottawa.ca)
Then, switch out your art above the sideboard for a tall mirror that will bounce light around and add brightness to the space.
(Source: Dauphine mirror in Antique Silver Leaf, price available upon request, cocoonfurnishings.ca
Finally, bring in texture and coziness with a basketweave-style sisal rug. Make sure it’s large enough so that the chairs fit onto it when they’re pulled out. A great way to get a custom-size rug is to start with your preferred dimensions of broadloom and have a band added around the edge.
(Source: Basketweave rug in Pewter, price available upon request, available through Signature by Shelley Alexanian)
With these changes, your dining room will feel refreshed and polished.
Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.