Dramatic Dining Room: Putting It All Together Like a Pro
As designers, we are often asked, "how do you put it all together?" Today, we thought we'd walk you through our process of creating a dramatic dining room for a new, Nest design client.
The starting point could be anything that a client loves! In this instance, it was this amazing, dramatic wallpaper. This wallpaper (A) is modern with it's high contrast pattern and metallic accents, but something in the pattern feels a bit traditional, at the same time. That is a big cue that this client likes the best of both worlds: modern AND traditional!
From there, we start layering on the other details. A good next step in a dining room is finding the perfectly proportioned table. (B) You will need at least 3' of clearance on all sides of the table to allow your guests to pull a chair out and comfortably walk behind other, still seated guests. A great width for a rectangular table is around 38-40". When you start getting beyond that, it becomes difficult to pass things easily to guests across the table.
Next, find the right chandelier! (C) You want a fixture that is at least 12" less in diameter than your table, to avoid hitting your head when you are trying to take your seat. The golden rule is to hang your chandelier 30-36" above the top of your table. This chandelier is the perfect modern counterpoint to the more feminine style of this wallpaper.
What's next, you ask? Well, let's hone in on a great area rug! (D) The Riad Rug has some subtle shading and a great, all-over pattern. 100% wool rugs are ideal for dining rooms, as they can be cleaned at much higher temperatures than rugs composed of synthetic fibers, so you don't have to worry about spills and mishaps.
After you have your wallpaper, dining table, light fixture and rug, what shall you select next? Storage, of course! (E) This cabinet is a great pairing with this dark wallpaper, as its light, washed finish will silhouette nicely against the charcoal tone of the paper. Storage pieces should be in the 32-38" high range. This allows them to be deliberately taller than your dining table and avoids the room being visually "cut off" at the 30" dining table height. (F) Console lamps are important because they light the perimeter of your room and allow your chandelier to be dimmed a bit without throwing the whole room into shadow. With a dark wallpaper like this one, you will want all the shades in your room to be translucent, to allow the maximum amount of light through them. A dark parchment or metal shade would be too dark in this space!
Next, a decorative mirror is a great layer in a dining room! In this space, we selected a round mirror to balance all the "rectangles". What do we mean by rectangles? Well, the dining table is a rectangle, the sideboard is a rectangle, the area rug is a rectangle and the room itself is probably a rectangle. Let's balance all that straight-lined geometry with a softer, circular mirror. This Cru mirror is in a brass, metallic tone to softly bounce light back into your space.
This room isn't short on personality, but let's inject a little bit more! Artwork is a great way to add your own personal touch to a space. (H) We selected these impressionistic pieces as a deliberate counterpoint to the laser-sharp style of this wall covering's pattern. These pieces are matted with a fresh, white band, to visually set off their subject matter and a soft, metallic, modern frame. They work perfectly in this space!
Sit and stay awhile! We might need some chairs, to be able to do that, right! ? The easiest way for a dining room to have a curated look, is to mix chair styles. By using one style for the side chairs and another style for the host and hostess chairs, you create an extremely personal mix instantly! We selected high gloss, metallic white chairs for the side chairs (J), as they are modern and sculptural at the same time. This balances the more traditional style of the table beautifully! To soften the lines of the metallic chairs, we paired skirted host and hostess chairs (I) to soften all the "legginess" of the dining table and side chairs. (If you have six side chairs and one dining table, that equals 28 legs in one space!) The skirted host and hostess are an easy way to keep your furniture from looking like it is going to "walk off" at any moment.
The advantage of mixing styles when selecting pieces for your dining room, is that you are much less likely to tire of it, than if you had picked an entire suite of furniture that is perfectly matched. When mixing your pieces, your new space can reflect your style and personality beautifully!