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Posts Tagged ‘dining tables’

Dining Room Transitional Style

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Transitional style dining room furniture is that pleasant mix of traditional and contemporary. While decorative detail might display the occasional flourish or two, transitional dining tables are less formal in appearance, tempered by contemporary design principles. Therefore, lines are rounded or tapered rather than ornately curvy. Transitional style dining tables and dining chairs typically use texture and shape to create visually interesting furniture. It doesn’t matter whether you use your dining room every day or if you only gather around the dining table when it’s a holiday, a special occasion or you have company. The dining room should be a place where you can linger for a little while in comfort and in style.

Transitional Palette

Start with neutrals such as pearl grays, soft ivories, gentle taupes and lighter shades of earth tones that are quiet and understated. Nothing sets the right mood as wall color (shown here from Benjamin Moore) that is pleasantly soothing. Use it to its full advantage by adding pictures that emphasize or highlight other objects in the room such as the window treatments, the area rug, a favorite vase or a floor lamp.

The dining table is the room’s natural focal point. This essentially means that you will want to choose a dining table that expresses your personality and lifestyle. The Canterbury Home Furnishing Plantation 7 Piece Dining Set has a classy appearance without being too traditional. The dining chairs have a lovely lyre back design that give this dining set true distinction.

A buffet increases a dining room’s entertainment savvy quotient. It also makes the space more functional, allowing you to conveniently store tableware and table linens in the room in which they will be needed. The Hillsdale Frankfort Slate Top Buffet has a simple style that borders on contemporary, but the beautiful slate inlay top lends this otherwise “simple” furniture piece texture, creating visual interest.

Lighting for a transitional style dining room reflects both traditional and contemporary design elements. With its combination of the metalwork and the soft amber blown glass shades, the ELK Lighting Phoenix Five Light Chandelier has a warm, casually elegant appearance.

For something more neutral yet just as warm, choose the Quoizel Lancaster Two Tier Chandelier With 9 Uplights. The traditional flavor of the metalwork is gracefully restrained, giving this beautiful chandelier a transitional style that is both versatile and unique.

An area rug pulls the dining room together. The flowing lines of the oversized pattern of the Nourison Tropics TS09 Brown Area Rug Collection dresses up the room.

Should you prefer a smaller patterned design, the Abbyson Oceans of Time Himalayan Area Rug Pattern 0012 has a transitional style that reflects the ideal balance between new and old.

Since it is a mix of other styles, typically traditional and contemporary, transitional style is easily adapted to the dining room, when you might want a dining set that has classic lines but also possesses a stylish contemporary look.

Speaking with a French Accent – The French Country Dining Room

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

A French country dining room is warm, inviting and intimate. This is where you close the door on a micro-waved meal; where glasses are raised in a toast to good fortune or in celebration of a happy event; where friends and family take their time over a good meal to share their stories. Since French country tends to mix old with new; painted furniture with washes and wood furniture with low-sheen finishes; and wood furnishings with ones fashioned from metal, stone, terra-cotta or cane, this style is perfect for anyone on a budget. The timeless feel of French country style is created by layering all of the main elements in the room – the color scheme, the furnishings and window and floor treatments – in such way that is elegant and sophisticated but contains a rustic touch that keeps it “honest.”

French Dining Palette

Typical colors used in decorating a French country dining room have their roots in nature. Wall shades are sunflower yellows, soft autumn leaf golds, rust reds and oranges, forest greens and lighter shades of leaf and sky. In French country interior design, terra-cotta, marble, slate and ceramic tiles are popular materials for tabletops and decorative accents for case goods such as buffets and china cabinets so it makes perfect sense that the color scheme reflects these natural elements used in the making of dining room furniture.

To give the space an authentic French country look, use faux painting techniques or choose a textured paint product to make the walls look like stucco or weathered plaster.

Another way to create a casual, French country look for your dining room is to use half paint (top half) and half bead board (bottom half). If bead board doesn’t appeal to you, use wallpaper instead, separated from the painted section with a chair rail (a type of molding). You could also opt for painting three walls and using wallpaper on the fourth wall. Choose wallpaper with smaller patterns, especially floral ones.

Think curves; even straight lines have rounded corners or are softened in some way. Wood is a good place to start. However, as mentioned above, other materials like stone, wrought iron, ceramics and cane or wicker are integrated into the designs of furniture pieces, revealing their rustic nature while imbuing them with an inherent sophistication. The trick to creating a room that will have an ageless, old world charm and appeal is to mix oversized furnishings like an armoire or a china cabinet with a whimsical cast iron tea cart.

The Hillsdale Wilshire 5 Piece Dining Table Set in Rubbed Black displays classic woodworking elements like a pedestal table with scrolled feet and barley twist posts. The dining chairs have a wheat sheaf splat that gives the dining table set a studied elegance, but the motif is pure country living.

For something that is still essentially elegant, but with a carefree casualness and air of a French country antique, choose the Stanley Furniture Portofino Ivory 7 Piece Dining Table Set. The dining table is typical of this style, with its antiqued metal base, scrolled metalwork legs and wood tabletop with a distressed finish. Ladder-back chairs are a popular choice when decorating a French country dining area.

The Stanley Furniture Portofino Ivory Buffet paired with the Stanley Furniture Portofino Ivory Tasting Server perfectly qualifies as an oversized piece. The server has a bead board panel, fluted finials and metalwork accents.

While the Ultimate Accents Italian Wine Center doesn’t have curves it displays plenty of other French country attributes such hand painted decoration and harvest-related themes like grapes.

Because of its beautiful hand painted designs, antiqued metal door and drawer pulls, floral motif, fluid lines and framed door fronts, the Pulaski Accents Credenza in Sedona has the appearance of a much-prized heirloom.

Think that just because you live in an apartment or condominium that you can’t have a French country dining room? Try substituting a standard dining table for a gathering table (also known as a counter-height dining table. Because it stands approximately six inches higher than regular height dining tables, it allows you to utilize space vertically rather than horizontally. With its clotted cream color, lattice back chairs, and vine motif, the Standard Valencia Garden Counter Height Table Set has an enchanting French country flair.

When there is not enough room for an oversized buffet with hutch, choose a smaller furniture piece such as a sideboard or serving table. The Hillsdale Wilshire Sideboard Table has a paint washed appearance that is typical of French country dining room furniture.

A French country dining room is ideal for someone with more eclectic tastes. French country décor can be as laid-back, inviting and comfortable as you want. It’s also true for the flipside; French country can be beautifully formal when it needs to be. By following the three basic French country decorating principles – mix and match second-hand store finds with antiques (or reproductions for those of us on a budget); use colors taken from the French countryside; and include classic motifs like the rooster, orchard fruits, wildflowers, etc. – you’ll have dining room that you’ll be proud to share with family and friends.

Country Dining Room Decorating Ideas

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Country style is an ideal choice for a dining room or kitchen eating area because it is laid-back, inviting and comfortable. It creates the feeling of welcome; of having been here before, even though this might be the first time guests have visited your home. While they all share these relaxed and welcoming design elements, country style has many faces, from rustic and cottage to Colonial and Americana to English country and Italian country.

Casual Country Dining Room Furniture

A casual country dining set will have a “lived in” appearance. Casual country style dining room furniture typically is made of wood with a milk wash, distressed or matte finish. Furnishings possess a folksy warmth that inspire people to hang out, take their time and catch up on all the news. Dining chairs might have turned legs, spindles and sheaf backs.

The International Concepts Dual Drop Leaf Table & Windsor Chair Set displays several casual country features. The dining table and dining chairs have both a natural and a white-painted finish. The table has a turned pedestal base that gives it a simply enchanting appearance, while the chairs have Windsor backs, resulting in a relaxed, homey feel.

If casual country appeals to you but you prefer medium to dark finishes, the Lifestyle California Jamestown Windsor Dining Set with Trestle Table has a relaxed charm. With its trestle base table and two-toned finish and matching chairs, this dining set is as inviting as it is functional.

The Klaussner Furniture Urban Craftsman 7 Piece Rectangular Dining Table Set is truly rustic in nature. The farmhouse kitchen style table has angled legs and a rough-hewn appearance that has a real “at home” feel. The spirit of country style dining furniture, whether casual or more formal, is simplicity and this dining set certainly qualifies.

Formal Country Dining Room Furniture

Still maintaining its philosophy of simplicity and its inherent hominess, formal country dining room furniture might mimic many decorative details of traditional style but with underlying differences, such as utilizing other natural materials like cane, wicker and wrought iron. The result is functional furniture that is well-made and possesses a timeless elegance in its own right.

The Home Styles Homestead 7 Piece Dining Set in Warm Oak is distinctly Colonial Revival. Like the dining table and dining chairs, the Home Styles Homestead Side Board Server has a utilitarian design but incorporates and adapts Jacobean, Queen Anne and Chippendale influences. While still retaining its traditional roots, it has a country style that graceful and elegant.

While the Lifestyle California Fallbrook Oval Pedestal Dining Set displays strictly formal country style, the sage tones paired with a sunburst oak finish will make the dining room appear brighter and warmer at the same time.

For a really formal country feel select the Hillsdale Wilshire 7 Piece Round Dining Table Set in Pine and Rubbed Black Finish. The chairs have a classic wheat sheaf back and turned legs. The two-tone finish emphasizes the dining table’s elegantly designed pedestal base.

Country style isn’t just one definitive style. It can have many looks from casual to formal. It can display the practicality of a farmhouse kitchen table or showoff its more sophisticated elegance with an understated élan. Whatever look you would like to achieve, there is a country style to accommodate the dining room of your dreams.

Accessorizing Your Home in time for the Holidays

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

1 Server in Currier Brown

I find that at this time of year I’m moving stuff around my apartment to make room for Christmas. The occasional upholstered chair with the splat back that stands near the north end of the couch in front of the bookcase needs to be moved into the hallway to make way for my little 3-foot artificial tree. But first, the large round wicker hamper must be wrestled into the bedroom. The top shelf of the low bookcase in the hallway must be cleared off and re-accessorized with various Christmas collectibles I have acquired over the years, including a Santa Claus mug that sat on the coffee table of my childhood home. Everything must be removed (and have a temporary home found for it) from the top of the china cabinet so that I can set up my gingerbread house and Christmas candlesticks. 

Preparing your home for the holidays, whether it’s Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, is a great opportunity to rethink how you have accessorized the rooms of your home. Especially if there will be young children visiting, and you don’t currently have young ones yourself, reorganizing accessories will also give you the opportunity to “childproof” your home (or at least move the antique vase that’s been handed down for a few generations out of reach of exploring little fingers). Photographs, ornaments, trophies, a collection of dolls, antique jugs and other family treasures are important additions to interior design because they give our homes personality as well as a comfortable, lived-in look. 

 Mission Cherry Bookcase

While these very treasures can transform a room into a warm, inviting place, accessories can also make the space appear cluttered, cramped or untidy. To avoid this decorating pitfall, there are some things you can do when accessorizing or reorganizing your home for the holidays that will draw your family and your guests into the room. 

  • When placing items on a bookshelf or in a curio cabinet, don’t cram in your entire collection. Be selective and give each treasure some “breathing” room and the viewer a chance to appreciate each one individually.
  • Collectibles should be arranged in groups by type; jugs with jugs, porcelain cats with porcelain cats, etc.
  • Collectibles should also grouped by color.
  • While you don’t want everything in the grouping to be the same height, color, etc., you will also want to stay away from extreme contrasts, like paring a very tall vase with a very short one. Such extreme contrasts tend to jar the eye.
  • Accessorizing in a particular way can create visual interest or a focal point in the room. For example, placing a collection of antique ornaments on a contemporary style sideboard will make them standout. 

How you display your collectibles and other knickknacks makes just as much of an impact as what you display. 

Hexagonal Glass Tall Hurricane

Even if you don’t celebrate any particular holiday at this time of year, reorganizing the accessories of a certain room in your home, such as the dining room or the living room, and introducing seasonal elements can breathe new life into your living space. A display of silver and white candles paired with an oil lamp or a vase filled with twigs or seasonal flowers are ideal ways to accessorize a room with a winter theme.

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