Twice the Style

Get two great dining rooms in one space with these clever moves.
Todd Childs

We would all like to have a large, grand place to entertain, but when the company is all gone, how do you take that same space from cavernous to cozy? With great design ideas and color choices, you can create a room that’s ready for any occasion.

Going Up
Carol and Steve Hazard’s West Point, Mississippi, dining room was a long, narrow cave o’ beige when they bought the home a few years ago. Carol loved the space but wanted to add some fashion while maintaining the function.

With the help of designer Stephen Bengel, she kept things fresh with soft tone-on-tone green wallpaper. The vertical stripes help to pull the eye up instead of toward the horizon at the other end of the room. She also emphasizes the height of the room by accessorizing above eye level. A plate rack bordering the formal dining area holds her collection of English Staffordshire china. Taller pieces of furniture such as the Welsh cabinet provide great storage while keeping the visual interest up--literally.

 

Making Ends Meet
Carol uses her dining room to entertain on special occasions. So the large, open space that bridges the breakfast area and the formal dining area is perfect for setting up extra tables and chairs and keeping everyone together. However, to avoid rattling around in a banquet hall every day, she treats each end of the room as a separate space by grouping the furniture tightly in each area. This configuration gives each space its own identity.

The formal dining area is a touch more proper with Carol’s collection of inherited antiques and china. The breakfast area is pared down and laid-back. The round table and collection of French painted chairs are a foil to the more buttoned-up dining room. Put together, this room is fun, formal, and fabulous.