Our dining room started life as play room when we moved into our home 20 years ago. The bones of the room were excellent as the house was a new build, so had perfect walls and a solid junkers oak floor. The room was painted a warm yellow (yellow was really big at the time) and was complimented with beautiful navy curtains with colour splashes of orange and yellow. The room was filled with the usual array of children’s toys.
The drama of the Half Door?
This room is adjacent to the kithcen, sitting room and sun room. My thinking at the time, was to have a room where the kids could play close to the kitchen and the sitting room (our sunroom was added later). I even had a half door installed between the dining room and kitchen so I could keep the bottom part shut, ensuring the kids could not come in the kitchen when I was cooking!! What was I thinking! Best laid plans don’t always work out! It wasn’t long before they caught their fingers between the top and bottom doors so ultimately, we had to bolt both doors together. (What a waste of a beautiful door feature).
Eventually the play room became a Dining Room
Anyhow I digress, some years later, the room was turned into a dining room and furnished with a dark brown metal and glass dining table, brown leather chairs and a matching shelf unit. I was definitely going for a monochromatic colour scheme at the time. All the walls were painted cream which served as a backdrop to gallery walls featuring family photos in dark frames.
Recycling existing furniture and furnishings
It’s funny how you accumulate things over time and how things can be moved from one room to another. Last year, we added an island to the kitchen, so there was no longer room for both the island and the kiitchen table
Here’s what happened next
We swapped out the metal glass table for our elm kitchen table and chairs, (my pride and joy) which were handmade by the wonderful Bevel Furniture company from Fethard on Sea in Wexford. I love the design and warmth of the wood and the modern ‘sally chair’. The wood has obviously matured over time (a bit like myself) and the veins of black compliment the darker elements in the room like the metal in display unit, the dark colour of the picture and art frames and lamp shades. Originally, I just had the table on the oak floor, but did not like wood on wood, so used an older neutral coloured rug from the sitting room to break up the woods as well as adding some texture to the room.
The feature wall is papered with a textured type metallic brick wallpaper. The walls are painted Dulux Wheatgrass and flow well with the adjacent rooms which are all painted in the same colour.
The colour palette is quite neutral but works well with the warm wood tones of the table, chairs, floor and metal finish of the shelving unit. The next thing to do was to accessorise the room. An interior shop in Waterford was closing down and I managed to pick up some beautiful ceramic artwork. These pieces have thick dark wooden frames but the ceramics pieces are beautifully glazed in a warm olive green with gold metallic tones. I added some family photos together with a metalic mirror I had in my daughter’s bedroom.
Further accessories included some large green vases with foliage and have kept the shelving unit simple with dark brown wooden, glass and crystal bowls .
I believe I have created a nice natural feeling enviroment with the mixture of woods, metallic finishes and warm green accent colour.
My hope is that this blog highlights that when designing a space, its very important to get the basics right. You need to take into consideraton the size of the room and the key traffic areas. I think you will agree, there is plenty of space to walk around the table and to pull the chairs out for sitting. The table and chairs themselves are the focal point of the room and function well in the space.
Investing in good flooring has stood the test of time. You can see, the oak flooring is 20 years ago and still looks great. Moving the table and chairs from the kitchen gave the space a new look. Using green as a accent colour in the artwork and flower vases adds further warmth the room and the dark wood of the artwork and metal shelf compliment the black vein in the table.