The task of divvying up the slender room and allowing it to function as separate areas was tricky. The center of the room was the prime spot for the crystal chandelier, so Melissa placed the table beneath it. The result: a center table that opens up for buffets for entertaining while serving as a divider for the two seating areas on either end.
Lauren Liess' clients asked her for a dining room to suit the laid-back entertaining style in their Maryland home. "They wanted a space that would make them go 'ahhh.' That's a sigh—not a scream!" says Lauren, who owns the home furnishings studio Lauren Liess & Co. (laurenliess.com). To hit a mellow vibe, Lauren mixed neutral colors and fabrics with a few eye-catching pieces, such as bold artwork, a blue painted sideboard, and a showstopping chandelier. The result? A clean but cozy space that reflects the owners' love of nature.
Years of masquerading as a cluttered office space left this dining room needing a makeover. Atlanta-based interior designer Margaret Kirkland (margaretkirklandinteriors.com) helped the space regain its original focus: a place for the family to gather and eat. To do this, she put together a look that's chic and comfortable with an easygoing palette and timeless furnishings.
An easy glamour permeates the historic Atlanta home of fashion accessories designer Cinda Boomershine (cindab.com). She believes wholeheartedly that high style and accessibility can (and should) coexist. Her glitzy-but-practical decorating approach comes alive in her vibrant dining room, where she created a sophisticated space for entertaining tempered with cool blues, a shot of youthful pizzazz, and a few hits of easy DIYs.
Beams were removed to allow more light to enter the room from above. Heather designed a 12-foot wooden table with a beveled zinc top to fit the narrow room. Two giant lanterns lend symmetry and balance and set the area apart from the surrounding spaces. With a skylight overhead and an expansive windowed wall, the room feels at one with nature.
Light was definitely in order here. Brown walls were painted white, and brown-on-brown furniture was shown the door. Chairs upholstered in off-white leather lend a smooth look. a round, chunky,stone table replaced the oval one, which didn’t suit the room’s dimensions. Lindsey left the existing chandelier for a spot of glamour overhead. Up the wow factor—go with open shelving with distinctive lines for an artful display area.
The dining table and four open-backed chairs anchor the expanse of glass, allowing the commanding view of Lake Hamilton to take center stage. “After that, it just made sense to put the seating areas in the middle of the room,” homeowner Kevin Walsh says.
Homeowner Fran Keenan nixed the windows on the far wall, opting instead for French doors to connect to the exterior and visually pull the eye through the space. She removed the busy floral wallpaper and bathed the walls in the same color as the adjacent living room for a better sense of flow. A mix of seating and an antique area rug keep the room from feeling stuffy.
Michele and Andy Topka were happily tucked away in their quiet Charleston-area cul-de-sac, but as their family grew, their traditional home started making them claustrophobic. The Topkas teamed up with architect Heather Wilson (heatherawilsonarchitect.com) and interior designer Jen Langston (jenlangston.com) to rework their home with a more family-friendly layout and fresh, natural style.
Here, a poorly designed addition hampered the flow of the living room.
The team removed the existing fireplace and broke the large room into two separate spaces more suited to the family—a quiet study and a dining room with two sides of windows. The abundance of windows floods the space with natural light. The owners saved big by retaining the original wood floors, stripping them down and oiling them to the perfect patina.