2016 Idea House: The Dining Room

Step inside our 2016 Idea House in Birmingham, Alabama. In the stately Southern dining room, traditionalist Margaret Kirkland pulls together a colorful eating area, complete with punchy modern art and coral-colored chairs with velvet seat cushions. Margaret's room was inspired by a vintage dining room from the March 1989 issue of Southern Living, which was full of deep colors and dramatic drapery.


[MUSIC] For this idea house, Southern Living sent us inspiration photos from the past 50 years of the magazine. We really took inspiration from great images back in the 70s, and we translated it in a way that felt fresh today. The wonderful thing about this dining room first and foremost is the architecture. There are gorgeous 11' ceilings, we really wanted to highlight those, so we painted them a really soft aqua color, so people would look up when they walk into the room. [MUSIC] Instead of doing a traditional wood lattice on the walls, we found a really beautiful fabric from Cowtan and Tout that is an applique that we applied to the walls as a wallpaper and it went underneath the chair rail, and it really makes the room feel. Fresh and new. It has a real outdoor feeling to it. There are also floor to ceiling windows in the room. We thought they were so beautiful. The best way to highlight them was to frame them out with really special draperies. It's a printed linen that has flowers and birds on it. It's that feeling of bringing the outdoors inside, which I feel is such an element of southern decorating. One wonderful thing from the inspiration photos that we got from Southern Living was Modern art from the nineteen seventies and we really wanted to touch on that and capture that idea. A great way to amp up classic timeless design is to add modern artwork to the space. For this dining room we really wanted comfort to be a big priority. We did really comfortable upholstered chairs that invite a family to really sit and linger around the table. We all have Such busy lives. Everyone's running a million miles an hour. And we don't have time as much as we would like to entertain at home. And so the biggest gift you can give to people you love is hospitality. [BLANK_AUDIO]
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