Dining in doesn’t have to mean eating takeout on the sofa, binging Netflix. Not at all! In fact, if events over the past two years have taught us anything at all, it’s that our home can be a retreat, a place to settle into instead of just “live in.” And with Thanksgiving just a little over a week away, I’m feeling the urge to get out the pots and pans (who am I kidding, call the caterer) and serve up a delicious home cooked meal in my dining room!
I personally love dinner parties, and I love creating amazing spaces in which to host them! One of my favorite things about designing a dining room is that you can really make it special, go over the top if you want! You don’t spend a ton of time in the dining room, so you can really pull out all the stops and let your personality shine.
And remember, a dining room is just that…a room meant for dining…so if you don’t have a dedicated space in your home, don’t worry. Dining areas that are part of an open floor plan or even a breakfast room can serve up food just as delicious and look great doing it!
Today I want to share with you some fabulous dining rooms and dining areas we have designed for our clients. They are all different but each is special and wonderful in its own way. And if you don’t like to cook? Well, takeout is still always an option. Just ditch the paper plates and break out the good stuff. I’ve found that pepperoni pizza tastes especially good on my Christian Dior china 😉
A Formal Affair
Big or small, a room dedicated to dining is definitely not passé as some might tell you. Formal dining rooms are alive and well, and we love them. Here are a few of the more formal dining rooms we’ve designed:
(left): This stunning, classic contemporary dining room is black tie ready. Our client wanted to keep her existing black and silver chandelier, so we used that as our starting point. Timeless white wainscoting accentuates the rich black walls above and gives the room major dramatic appeal. Mixing golds and silvers in this space adds interest, as does the striking etched tabletop. The buffet serves as a bar for a more casual get together.
(right): Two small plants and a beautiful orchid in black and gold containers are a trio of lovely on this beautiful tabletop.
For this dining room, our goal was to create the illusion of a Tuscan courtyard, wrapping the space in the warmth of a sunset. To achieve this look, we faux painted the walls and molding to resemble old world plaster. The ceiling’s custom faux mural adds evening sky interest overhead, and together with the bright blue upholstered dining chairs, completes this room’s rich, bold color story. Faux painting by Cynthia Danielle.
Design by Marcia Moore | Photo by Alise O’Brien
The dining room we designed in this midcentury modern Kirkwood ranch home is stunning in its simplicity. We refaced the existing brick fireplace with sleek stone and added an asymmetrical mantel, anchored on the end with one vase. Paired with the metal wall sculpture, this fireplace is minimalism at its best. One of the most striking features of this space is the iconic midcentury modern Sputnik chandelier, which seems to float in space above the table.
To see more of this midcentury modern ranch home, click here.
Design by Marcia Moore | Photo by Suzy Gorman
MAKE IT CASUAL
If formal is less than fabulous in your opinion, a casual, laid back dining room could be more your style. Casual dining rooms are still beautiful, just a little less buttoned up. And remember, a dining room is just that…a room meant for dining…so if you don’t have a dedicated space in your home, don’t worry. Dining areas that are part of an open floor plan or even a breakfast room can serve up food just as delicious and look great doing it!
(left): The breakfast room in this new Clayton home is a bright and sunny place to start the day. It’s also an ideal spot to have lunch or even an intimate dinner for two or with another couple. If additional seating is needed, the table expands to comfortably seat six by using the banquette window seat.
(right): The dining table in this glam condo is really one of the stars of the show. A custom, live edge wood table is topped with glass to showcase the beauty of the wood. We like how the acrylic chairs enhance, rather than distract from the table.
This brand new addition to our client’s home gave them a spacious, open concept breakfast room and family gathering area. The large dining table, with its durable metal top is perfect for casual family dinners and can be dressed up if guests arrive. A favorite piece in this space is the unexpected gold leaf chandelier.
Here’s another view of the table and chandelier looking into the kitchen.
SMALL SPACE DINING
Short on space? No problem! Dining areas don’t have to be big to be beautiful. Here are several we designed that prove great things really do come in small packages.
For this modern farmhouse kitchen, we removed a half wall between the eat-in kitchen and formal dining room, which created a spacious area that works well for an intimate breakfast or a dinner party. The new banquette and table with additional leaves comfortably seats eight (with a cozy niche for feline guests tucked below.)
To see more small space solutions in this modern farmhouse kitchen and breakfast room, click here.
Design by Marcia Moore | Photo by Matt Hughes
Design by Marcia Moore | Photo by Matt Hughes
Is it a desk? Or…is it a dining table? Guess what? It’s both! The space saving, white, high gloss desk we chose to go behind the sofa in our client’s Ballpark Village city loft plays double duty, becoming a table for 8 when the occasion arises. How cool is that?!
To see more of this city loft, click here.
LET YOUR PERSONALITY SHINE!
Since you don’t spend tons of time in a dining room, they are the perfect places to let your personality shine and even take some decorating risks. Here are two completely different dining rooms: one done in coastal style and the other eclectic, boho chic.
This dining room is a clear reflection of the homeowner’s desire to bring the beach home. Wrapped in Sherwin-Williams “Composed” (#6472), the space is casually elegant. A beautiful chandelier made from natural seashells glistens above the round pedestal table, its shape also resembling a seashell. Four “woven grass” armchairs with loose cushions invite leisurely dining and sit upon a rug chosen for its ocean-like palette.
Three mermaid corbels, each distinctly hand painted by local painter and muralist Mary Hanson support a custom glass wall-mounted console. The console’s glass was purposely cut to mimic an ocean wave and wall-mounted to save space in this cozy dining room. Coral accessories, seaweed prints, a large clamshell filled with coral and a whimsical ibis lamp are perfect finishing touches.
To read more about this coastal-inspired home, click here.
This view from the dining room into the foyer features palm trees hand painted by Mary Hanson.
And finally, this dining room is pretty special to me because it’s mine, and it’s always dinner-party ready. I chose an industrial-style table and a boho chic collection of chairs in mixed textures and fabrics, including family heirlooms that are 100-150 years old, 12 year-old Parsons chairs recovered in a bold black oval cut-out velvet and two 25-year-old Sheraton arm chairs outfitted in tribal and tweed. It’s all illuminated by a stunning new chandelier from Hubbardton Forge that is reminiscent of the Brutalist movement of art and architecture.
My “china cabinet” on the other hand, is a midcentury modern design that perfectly displays my collection of Christian Dior Casablanca china (yes, I have cheetahs and palm trees on my china). Live plants soften the room’s edges, and an accent wall painted in Sherwin-Williams 2021 Color of the Year, Urbane Bronze is an awesome, moody backdrop for a few of my favorite art pieces.
To take a full tour of my townhouse, click here.
So have I whet your appetite? Is it time to get back into hosting mode? Hopefully, this holiday season, we can gather more comfortably and safely around our dining tables with friends and family. I will be taking a break from the blog next week to enjoy Thanksgiving with my loved ones. Have a wonderful Turkey Day, and I’ll see you in December! Oh, and as always, we’d love to help you design the dining room of your dreams! Give us a call at 314.395.1114 or send us an email if we can help!
Until next time,
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