Here is the (mostly) finished dining room. I wanted the space to be welcoming and contemporary, without being trendy, but to also respect my mum’s love of traditional style. I think the result is crisp and modern, feminine without being frilly, classic without being stuffy. I think part of why it works is that it is a small room that is not afraid to make a big, bold, colourful statement.
Re-use all the (mismatched, outdated) furniture and the lovely chandelier. Replace the carpet. EDIT the very full storage cabinets and keep only the truly beautiful, useful items. Replace the skinny faux curtains with functioning ones, to allow for privacy in the evening. Take the room from dark, tired and dated to fresh, modern, feminine and bright.
We found the gorgeous stripe with the cherry branch print (I used it to make the statement curtains) and that drove our colour palette; all the colours in the room were drawn from the fabric. The walls are a smoky, lavender/grey, the ceiling is pale lilac under a wash of cream-coloured pearlescence, inspired by the ceilings of old Parisian bistros; the effect adds coziness in the evenings & a mellow warmth during the day, counterbalancing the cool colour of the walls. The wool carpet is a darker shade of the wall colour. The carpet and paint on the furniture, the two biggest investments in the room, are neutral colours, so my mum can change the fabric on the windows and the chairs in the future.
We updated my great-grandmother’s dining room suite with a coat of warm cream spray-lacquer, opting for a pale lilac drawn from the cherry branch striped fabric for the inside of the hutch. Tip: if your painter tries to talk you out of something unusual, stick to your guns! I knew the lilac interior would make my mum’s (ruthlessly edited) collection of dishes and beloved figurines look AMAZING, so I had to really insist to the painter that I was right about it and please-and-thank-you could he just do it? Rather than replace the hard-to-fit hardware, we just painted it in the same pale lilac, too!
The sideboard was a Goodwill find and getting our (actually very wonderful) painter to lacquer it in a high-gloss hot pink also took some convincing. It looks pretty great, though, right? I think it adds that oh-so-necessary sense of humour and fun to the room. Formal dining rooms can be so, well, formal.
The mosaic mirror adds sparkle and reflects light from the wall of windows. It also makes the room seem bigger and reflects the pretty contents of the hutch, so that diners on both sides of the table can see them.
More photos (including MUCH BETTER “before” pictures!) over here.