Monday, January 25, 2010

Solution for a Windowless Dining Room

Earlier in the month I had wrote about my dilemma in decorating my small, windowless dining room that now functions more as a pass-thru than a dining room. I received so many terrific ideas comments - thank you. Prompted by a suggestion from Beth of Chinoiserie Chic, I've been giving alot of thought lately to the power of scenic wallpaper to visually expand a windowless space. Recently I came across this windowless dining room designed by Laura McLaughlin - you can see it just beyond the couch.
The misty English landscape was painted by Boston area artist Patricia Trapp. I'm not sure I would like to make that type of commitment, but I'm wondering about a landscape scene in muted tones or grisaille painted on, or applied to, an oversized canvas. Being a bit fickle, the trick will be in finding something we won't tire of and appeals to us personally, like the country side of the Finger Lakes in NY or Co.Kerry, Ireland.

Also, thanks to your comments, the bench has been moved out of my dining room and the table is now centered in the room. Instantly, the room felt more balanced. Now instead of 44 inches of space to walk by on the left, there's 39 inches on both sides of the table. This also solves the lighting problem and now I'll plan to go with a chandelier/hanging fixture.

For more pictures of this beautiful home, originally published in Traditional Home Nov 2005, go here. (Photography by Frances Janisch)
For additional ideas on scenic papers, SW Design has a very comprehensive post here.


C.J. said...

Hi, it's really pretty, but I agree it's a real commitment. You mentioned the finger lakes region in NY are you from around there? I live in Buffalo. Hey, we could be neighbors lol. Have a good one today, well and tomorrow too.

little augury said...

I adore the scenic papers-it is a commitment, but it never tires.

Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll said...


I love scenic papers, especially in dining rooms. I have a copy of a Zuber in my dining room, long story how it came to be (that's definitely a blog post because I'm struggling with mine too). I recently had an artist take photographs from a client's farm in Kentucky and then she painted a mural in her dining room of those images. We did it "tone on tone" so it has some interest, dimension and movement but not something they will tire of. Have you thought of that? I probably have some images of it you need to see them. Have a great week.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I think Chinoisere Chic is definately on to something. The other thing that really struck me about the beautiful images from the link is the tone-on-tone and the overall softness...a common thread from the original post. A monochromatic scheme would be perfect for this space that is in view of so many other rooms as well as a main thoroughfare. I don't think you would tire of a well chosen, subtle scenic paper.

Style Redux 2 said...

Thanks for the mention of Chinoiserie Chic. I'm also so glad you centered the table and that you are going with a chandelier. I'm so excited to see it finished!

home before dark said...

You might look into the archives of (In)decorous chic. Lauren and her mother painted on canvas an AMAZING doesn't begin to explain it scene. Portable. Easily changed but dramatic. Love the idea of this room being what it is. Interior rooms have their own charm. I agree with you about the high contrast of trim/wall color and would do it in same color. My preference would be for a dark green. In my own study, which I chose to make an interior room because the view is not a great one, I upholstered the walls in a deep teal satin/matte stripe and painted the woodwork to match but in a muted faux finish (no wild patterns, just underglow of lighter color. I have had this room this way for 20 years, and I still love it. (Yup, I painted the ceiling too! Go bold. And agree with previous posts about books and mirrors can be a room's best friend.

La Maison Fou said...

I have done entire walls with a mural or jusr pinted panels with a scene. Either way it is a great way to make a focal point from a windowless / viewless space.
And, yes I think you are right, you must pick something that you will not tire of.

Anonymous said...

Love the scenic ideas!!

Would also LOVE your support on the ELLE DECOR window I did for the Big Window Challenge this year with Apartment Therapy. Check it out at - http://www.bigwindowchallenge com. As we all know, AT doesn’t make it easy, but you can vote TWICE a day, once online and the other by texting “1” to 89800.

Your support means the world to me!!


pve design said...

I'd fly down and paint for you! I have a file of vintage scenes. There is something so special about them.
I could see yours in grays, sepias.

pve design said...

I'd fly down and paint for you! I have a file of vintage scenes. There is something so special about them.
I could see yours in grays, sepias.

Debra Phillips said...

what i additionally love is how the mural is "framed" with decorative molding.
as gwen said at r.h. social a zuber would be outstanding.
did you see my recent post? it has a zuber inspired tone on tone scene.
enjoy the process!

Southern Aspirations said...

What a great idea-- love scenic papers as well and in the right room/setting, can be fabulous!

Jennifer Sergent said...

What a fabulous idea. I've always loved this kind of paper. Draza used Gracie paper brilliantly in last year's DC Design House, but are there papers out there that don't cost as much as your mortgage per roll??

katty said...

I am trying to looking for a house which have a great dining room, once I saw a beautiful house through costa rica homes for sale
I think those houses are very wonderful. I am really interested now because they are very wide and beautiful.

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Anonymous said...

The whole thing is so pretty! the scenic papers made the impression so nice and very historic.
dining table


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