Decorating & Design

August 12, 2011

Ask A Designer: Light Kitchen & Dining Room

Q. How can we get the same light, airy classic look of our kitchen in our dining room?

— K.M., Burlington, Ont. (To submit your own question, see our Ask A Designer™ page.)

A. Paint the wood.

You might be hesitant to paint the wood trim, but you won’t get the strong connection between the rooms if you don’t. Besides, your antique furniture is beautiful, so you’re better off highlighting it rather than the millwork. Use the same white as in your kitchen on the window trim, floor and baseboards for a look similar to that in the inspiration room; but keep your french doors (not shown) dark to draw attention to that architectural feature.

Build a soft palette.

Paint the dining room walls in the same soft shade as your kitchen. Next, find a fabric that complements this colour, and have drapery panels made for the windows. Cambria in Powder from Robert Allen (shown) has a lovely blue-green stylized floral pattern that will bring some interest to the room and soften the window wall. Update your chairs by re-covering their seats in a solid linen. Robert Allen’s Endless in Bermuda (shown) picks up on the colours in the new drapes, or Endless in Natural (shown) is a neutral that will work well with the wood tone of the chairs. Bring in a pair of John Derian Leaf chairs by Cisco Brothers (shown) for extra seating. The turned front legs will work nicely with your existing chairs.

Finish with accessories.

The botanical-style Green Fern serigraph art series by Longstreet Collection at South Hill Home (shown) will add a traditional element, and the dark blue and green will punch up the new palette. Lastly, a collection of chunky Avery hurricane lanterns from Pottery Barn (shown) will make an ideal centerpiece.

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1. Fabrics, from top: Cambria in Powder, Endless in Bermuda, Endless in Natural, Robert Allen. 2. John Derian Leaf chair, Cisco Brothers. 3. Green Fern serigraphs, South Hill Home. 4. Avery hurricane lanterns, Pottery Barn.