Remember this insanely rad playroom? Well the designer behind that beauty, Kendall Simmons, has another pattern happy space to share and this one is downright gorgeous and all for the adults. It's a dining room that maximizes color and pattern and one that's just begging for a fabulous dinner party (or ten). Plus, Kendall is sharing a few insider tips she's picked up along the way to really make your space shine. See even more captured by Catherine Truman in the VAULT.
Natasha and Jeff love bold color and pattern. Since we had worked together before on other rooms in their home, I knew that I could push the design envelope further with them than with most clients!
The existing dining room had good bones to begin with, including wainscoting, applied fretwork detailing on the ceiling, and a beautiful crystal and gold chandelier that we decided to keep and work around. For everything else, we started with a clean slate!
My starting point for the design was the wallpaper. I reviewed many different bold colors and patterns with them before landing on this classic Schumacher Queen of Spain print. I then layered in the bold green velvet on the settee, and the black and white custom drapery with wide greek key trim.
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If you are starting with a blank space and don't know how to get started, commit to one bold item (a wallpaper or piece of artwork for example) and build the rest of your selections around it. This gives you a rallying point and keeps you from veering off track!
Art was one of the most critical components of this room design. I prioritized original art, since this dining room is one of the most visible spaces in the entire house. The large Erin McIntosh painting over the buffet, and the pair of small 8x8 Ed Nash paintings flanking the window are all superstars. But I supplemented the original pieces with a simple black and white cactus photograph from Minted.com and stylized gold geometric mirrors from Target.
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Original artwork doesn't have to break the bank. Search your area for local artists who are just beginning their careers. You can often find their work at small local galleries, or art sales benefiting schools or charities.
Natasha and Jeff love to entertain friends and family, and they also have two young daughters, so the room needed to be as durable as possible without sacrificing style. The rug is a pieced cowhide design, which cleans easily. The green velvet settee is covered with an applied stain guard protectant, and the white host and hostess chairs are slipcovered in indoor/outdoor fabric to guard against stains.
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If you have existing upholstery, rugs or drapery in your home that are in high-traffic areas or areas prone to stains (example: food or wine spills in a dining room) consider having them fiber-sealed by a local company. Most of these cleaning companies will come to your home for free to provide an estimate. Often times the cost of fiber-sealing is much more affordable than having to replace the damaged piece later.
The bar cart is a signature element. This brass bamboo cart adds sculpture to the room, and I loved loading it down with beautiful and functional bar accessories and a generous selection of liquors and mixers.
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When stocking your bar, be sure to purchase liquors that come in beautiful, colorful packaging (not just the ones that you drink regularly). This adds visual interest and contrast to your bar, and who knows, you may discover something new that you've never tried before! A perfect example of this is Bombay Sapphire gin because of it's vibrant blue color.
The vintage style ginger jars were the final element that I added to the room. I chose to accessorize with only a few, bold items rather than many small ones in order to make a more impactful statement.
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Don't be afraid to load down your dining table with oversized accessories. Most people only use their dining rooms a few times a year, and when those times come it's quick and easy to relocate the large accessories to another room in the house so that you can set the table for dinner.