Monday, August 17, 2009

oh my dining room

these days, i have dining rooms on the brain since we have a first floor revamp project underway at home...more about that later in the week. while bouncing around online looking for inspiration, i found this feature on the architectural digest website showing before and after shots of several dining rooms.

naturally, i cared for some more than others, but what was universally true was how totally different the same room can look with different choices. look how the manhattan dining room below becomes an entirely different style. granted, it is a little 80's cici bloom in beaches, but you get the point. oh and btw, that's a picasso on the wall. how nice for them.

i love how in the austin, texas dining room pictured below they took a very stuffy, traditional dining room and totally reworked it to be a clean, crisp white room that looks much larger than its former incarnation. this transformation is very much a study in stripping away bulk and excess to use a certain spareness to accentuate style. the busy floral wallpaper has given way to milky white walls, the stodgy valance and draperies are replaced by slender hardware and neat white drapes.

the room is still classic looking but in such a more appealing and modern way. this room solidified my decision not to paint the white walls on our main floor, which i was wavering on. i also love how the wainscoting sets the line for the entire room and all the furniture lines up at that height. it creates a very serene, composed look and draws attention to the height of the windows. i think the large painting above the buffet by an artist named ANDY WARHOL serves the same purpose. where do they find these homeowners?

what i love about the transformation above is that it turned the dining room into a space that is very much informed by its surroundings, rather than one that has no relationship with where it is, in this case, the catskill mountains. by enlarging the windows and making them the defining feature of the room, they established the feeling of being nestled in the woods, which is so nice. i love the choice of wood paneling - it gives the notion of being in a treehouse, which is so cozy and specific to its location.

and speaking of a house in the woods...


this is my absolute favorite. i really love the combination of wood (even on the ceilings!) with the stone. that combination of natural materials is something i am really in love with these days. they didn't make that many aesthetic changes to this room as their efforts were more in the electrical and mechanical areas to increase energy efficiency, but they did swap out the blue-gray oval table and sideboard for a natural toned, rectangular wooden table and a natural tone sideboard as well. though i will say, i think the painting they used in the "after" is a little small for the wall. though i wouldn't go as large as in the "before," i think somewhere in the middle would have been best, and something wider than it is tall.

this dining room looks like it should be in this house that mitchell and i drive by in our neighborhood and drool over regularly. i want to go to there.


and i might be served a restraining order if i drive by it or photograph it again.

i'm sorry, i just had to. okay i'm done.

all photos except the house in our neighborhood i stalk are from

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