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Dining Room Design - Creating Elegance with Edge

As a designer, my job is to interpret my client's needs, wishes and preferences into a design plan that reflects those personal choices. But, given some room to express my vision for any space, I lean towards elegant interiors, with an edge.

A dining room is the perfect place to express this innovative, yet timeless concept. Starting with a beautifully crafted, solid wood table with a U-shaped pedestal base, in an ebony satin finish. The classic lines of the chairs have stood the test of time and are comfortable and inviting for leisurely entertaining. The magic happened in this space when I came across the Dragon fabric that inspired the rest of the elements around it.

Dining Room fabrics, finishes and colour scheme
Elegant design palette with an edge

When you have a strong, graphic fabric like this, it's best to use it in moderation - so it only went on the back of the end chairs; commanding the table! The coordinating fabric used on the chair interiors and the remaining Parsons side chairs is solid, but textured for balance.

Dining Room - elegance with edge
Artisanal quality fixtures and fabrics

We next selected the light fixtures. Inspired by the creativity and drama of the chair fabric, we selected fixtures with an artisanal quality.

This pendant features elegant steel ribbons in a luxurious gold finish, and makes a bold statement. The matching wall sconces flank an over-sized mirror in an antique brass frame.

When we couldn't find a mirror in the right scale to balance the table, we had it made and selected the finish to contrast the sheen of the sconces. The play on the gold tones works really well.

The drapery fabric was another important selection for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as with all drapery, it covers such a large area that it needs to balance everything else in the space. Also, given that we need so much yardage, it becomes a big part of the budget. We wanted it to be a sophisticated backdrop for the other finishes in the space, while continuing to echo the soft lines of the feature pieces. The vertical pattern also helps to draw the eyes up.

The silky drapery texture adds to the sophistication of the space mixing in a softer shade of blue, with silver and a delicate gold accent for a painterly effect (tying back to the timeless craftsmanship of the other pieces).

Painting by Dutch Master Pieter de Ring,  Rijks Museum
Still Life with Golden Goblet; Creator: Pieter de Ring; Date Created: 1640/1660

The final pièce de résistance was the artwork. The client loves to cook and spoke about looking forward to celebrations in this dining room, where family and friends would gather for a cornucopia of international cuisine and lingering evenings of story telling.

While sourcing artwork, I came across this painting on the Rijks Museum website and immediately felt the perfect alignment for this dining room (my clients loved it right away too!). So we had the print mounted on canvas and sprayed with a soft matte layer to seal it and give it an authentic old world feeling. It was then framed in an antique gold wood frame so that it feels like a treasured masterpiece. The colours complement the tones in the dining room and pull in the burnt orange accents of the artwork in the adjacent living room.

The overall effect is a provocative space that is unexpected but inviting and timeless. These elements of artistic expression combined with classic design define what it means to be elegant... with edge!

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