Fall is the kickoff to the holidays and the entertaining season. So, what better time to highlight your dining space?
One standout trend with these three designs is that wallcoverings are wonderful. Homeowners are playing with bold color and designs in their dining rooms. We talked to three design experts to get their tips for creating high-design dining rooms and what they think is trending.
Designer Mara Silber says, “Dining rooms should not be too precious to use; they should be functional and comfortable and inviting enough to spend extended time in.”
This dining room design was created for a young family of five, and at the time they started this project, the kids were all under age 3. “We had to anticipate the room being a venue for all the beautiful chaos and moments that reality entails,” says Silber.
She says she loves how the room feels elevated without being too formal. “It’s an upscale dining room that you want to eat in, while many dining rooms feel stuffy and sit unused except for a specific occasion,” says Silber.
But function should not negate style. What was once a builder-grade dining room was transformed into something truly special. Silber removed paneling, molding, and spec attributes that didn’t fit the vision. “We fell in love with the hand-painted Porter Teleo wallpaper first,” says Silber. “That set the mood and served as a jumping off point for the rest of the design.”
Silber says that people are increasingly open to having darker walls in their dining rooms, as exemplified by this design. “That said, I always try to look beyond what’s trendy to ensure we are pursuing timeless designs, and I think this project achieved that,” she says.
Next came the 11-foot vintage floating sideboard from Morentz. “Even though it was challenging to install, we had to have it, so I happily worked within the constraints it posed,” says Silber.The 10 dining chairs are vintage Joe Colombo 300 chairs reupholstered in Holland and Sherry fabric, and the table is custom by Kostas Upholstery. The light fixtures are Lariat pendants by Apparatus.
What was an outdated dining room was transformed as part of an entire first-floor renovation. “I love the mood and serenity of the space and the play between the light fixture and the ethereal wallpaper,” says designer Randi Culang.
“I always start with inspiration from wallcoverings and then build the room from there,” says Culang. “This wallcovering I chose called Skittish Monday by Westfall & Kitson/Bradley USA provided the perfect backdrop for the vision I had in mind. I wanted the room to feel natural, light, airy, and calming.”
The client preferred a neutral color scheme, which allowed Culang to infuse subtle hints of color throughout the space. She also chose fabrics that offered durability and longevity. “The color palette, furniture choices, lighting fixtures, and even the styling of accessories were all carefully curated to harmonize with the wallpaper’s theme and create a cohesive design narrative,” says Culang. “The idea of minimalist elegance is what we really strove for here. Clean lines, sleek furniture, and a simplified color palette are key in creating an elegant and sophisticated space.”Some of her do’s when designing a dining room are to be playful and take bold risks. “This is a room to try something a little different, especially on the walls,” says Culang. She adds that a standout light fixture is also key. “It captivates the attention and adds a touch of brilliance to the space.”For the don’ts, she says to not forget about functionality and don’t overcrowd the space. Space was limited in this dining room. “We sourced a stunning cabinet by Jiun Ho that effectively conceals their dishes and stemware, offering both a sleek aesthetic and ample storage,” says Culang. “In addition, we were able to achieve optimal seating capacity by incorporating a custom-sized dining table that balances both aesthetic appeal and practicality.”
The goal for this dining room in the 1945 center-hall Colonial was to keep the classic details but give it a more streamlined approach for this family of five moving from Brooklyn.The inspiration behind the design for this beautiful dining room started with the detailed and mature gardens outside,” says designer Tami Wassong. “We thought how great it would be to have an extension from the outside in and vice versa. “We wanted a conversation starter for the space and felt the gardens would be just right.”
To bring the outside in, Wassong found a gorgeous wall mural from Flavor Paper, which she used on the ceiling — a dramatic twist. “Thinking about the fifth wall in a space tends to scare people away, but I feel this is where you can really add some color or pattern,” she says. “A dining [room] is not a space you are in every day, so you can be more adventurous.”
She then paired the dramatic ceiling with limewashed walls in the same shade as the pattern’s background. “The paper paired with the limewash just completely elevates the room to another level,” she adds.
Wassong says the most important item when designing a dining room is the table’s size and shape. “How many people will you be seating here? Is it best to go rectangular or round? Lighting, comfortable chairs, and what feeling you are trying to evoke?” are all things to consider says Wassong. She says you also want to add personality and be unique.
For this design, she chose a custom walnut live-edge table from Bricker & Beam. “A trend I’ve been seeing is definitely live-edge tables as shown in this design, and the use of bold, vibrant colors, as displayed in the ceiling mural,” says Wassong. This design is certainly on-trend but sufficiently classic as to withstand the test of time.
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