We just added a screen porch off the fireplace wall and small living room on the other side of the stairs. I am trying to define the room and make it less random looking- cozy but also more sophisticated. We've added new chair rail and picture frame molding and plan to paint that white. We're trying to decide about a paint color or punchy wallpaper above the chair rail. Would love to have a combo library/dining room and have also considered using two round/square tables since we're big card players and host our card group often but we thought this might look strange.
1. I have seen the two tables used instead of one before. I would hesitate to use it in your room. I think it works well in very large rooms. The size and shape of your room lends itself more to simpy using a much larger table than you currently have.
The table above is a full 110 inches in length. (You could even go larger) You would add to that about 2-3 feet of length in your area rug. (On both ends) You will want an area rug that is approximately 15 feet in length. That gives you a little over three feet not covered by rug on either end, which is a very comfortable amount.
2. Do not try to break this room into two separate areas. (Sitting and eating) It will work so much better to use it just as a dining room, with appropriately scaled furniture in it. You can use large wingback style chairs at the ends of the table. They could easily be moved for a quiet moment by the fireplace, but then returned. Of course, be careful of seat height. You don't want to sit too low. A pillow in the back would also be helpful to turn a non-dining chair into a dining chair. You also need to be careful with the softness of the cushion. You want it to be extra firm, so you don't look like that king on Shrek when you sit down. I would just take it to my workroom and they can make that cushion sit you up perfectly.
3. Do not use a round; do not use a square. Do not use any table except a rectangle or oval. When you fight the shape, it looks awkward. I had a client once with a perfectly square dining area, and she wanted to use a rectangular table. No, no, no. Work with your architecture, not against it. If you don't do that- do not e-mail me back and tell me about your round table. I will get so frustrated I will want to stop blogging.
4. Yes, add a built-in window seat. It's asking for it.
5. Your dining room, like most, has so many hard surfaces. Use soft treatments on your windows. Layer drapes with Roman shades. Add a roller shade or similar underneath if you want to keep your sheer Roman shades but add privacy.
6. Remember the focal point in a dining room is the center of the table. This includes your light fixture. You are exactly right that I would not ever put a single round chandelier over a 110 inch table. It is not a good idea from a lighting standpoint. It is not a good idea from a visual design perspective either. You don't have to use a long fixture, if you don't want to. You could use a series of three round or square fixtures. I think three of the lanterns below would be perfect! Every 36 inches of table surface would have a 20 inch lantern above it. That would be great. 7. Remove the curio from the corner. Remove all other furniture. Add a longer sideboard. Get one that is just about as large as you can find.
The sideboard above is 87 inches in length. It has a nice large scale feel to it. Center it between the doorway and the corner.
8. Then, above it, you need some larger scale wall decor to be in proportion. This piece comes in a variety of sizes, or you can order complementary pieces to have a set of nine or twelve. You can also frame them to adjust the size. I love it when I really have control over the scale of a project. You can draw the wall elevation out on graph paper and determine the ideal size of the decor.
9. I would add a couple of sconces on the wall space to the right and left of the sideboard. Not too small. I would find some pretty big ones... Like the ones below are 15 x 15. That size would work well.
10. Now for your chairs. Scale, scale scale. Don't go small on your chairs. Stay away from small. No shopping at IKEA and World Market. ;-)
This chair's dimmensions:
- H: 41
- W: 25
- D: 26
Compare those dimensions to anything you consider. (Or just get this one, like I am suggesting, as it is totally awesome!)
Can you see the room coming together? I can. I want to move in.
11. Now for your window treatments. Add a punch of color. You already are going to get my favorite teal chairs. (e-mail me- I will order them for you...) So pull out the teal in your drapes.
I am really loving this raspberry color lately. If I love it, it means that is a hot color. A red that leans pink. I love to do my own predicting of trends. Like I did in this post in 2008. My prediction for today is that reds are going to head pinker. Raspberry is the new red. Notice how this fabric also has a little white in it? That touch of white will help the white wood work to blend seamlessly into the room. Use the raspberry and turquoise blue in your display area by your fireplace.
12. You are most likely going to need a custom rug for your room. (Since most rugs max out at 12 feet in length) This rug is from Kravet, and availble in custom sizes. You can also find a lot of sisal rugs in custom sizes as well. Make sure it looks like a rug though- not a piece of carpet with binding on it.
13. Last but not least- your walls. I would put a lovely fairly neutral grasscloth on them. It will be subtle, but add texture and warmth.
There we are. I especially like this room. You should really do exactly what I said. It will look great. If you need any specifics for purchasing let me know. Keep all of your built-ins and wood work white. Finish your room off with a nice large plant with uplight in the corner where the curio is currently, and also add greenery and a table runner to the top of the table.