20 Fantasyland Dining Room Designs That Delight

Although a lot people don’t use our dining rooms frequently (I am more of a sofa and coffee table gal myself), the area still wants to be bold and exciting. For October’s Serving Up Style 2012 fundraising event in Portland, Oregon, 20 designers generated spaces which practically kick you off the sofa. By a hot air balloon into a Lego sculpture into a reinvented retro design, over-the-top elements figured in every one of those inspirational dining rooms.

Tell us Which of those spaces is your favorite? Let us know by voting for the People’s Choice winner. The deadline is seven p.m. Pacific Standard Time, October 7, 2012. (Click on the first photo to see a slideshow.)

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc..

La Vie Bohéme
Design team: Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

An exaggerated chevron design made of sticky notes, lighting fixtures fashioned from water bottles, and a Lego rhino head offset a sleek Saarinen table in this dining room. Inspired by a contemporary and affordable spin on the bohemian way of life, Garrison Hullinger Interior Design made a sudden space that will feel at home in Paris’ ninth arrondissement.

Suggested menu: Tandoori fish taco with curried potato and peas samosa.

Abode Design

Boho Artistry
Design team: Rejuvenation and Abode Layout

Inspired by the forward thinking of the 1960s, this design team developed a space that could host your favorite Mad Men. Curated having an imaginary world traveler and artist as its owner, the room’s gallery wall and treasures (such as the blue classic Blenko table lamps) provide it personal and diverse taste.

Suggested menu: Meatloaf, peas and Jell-o salad.

Diane Keaton Interiors

Breakfast in Bed
Design team: Diane Keaton Interiors

When designer Diane Keaton found a sizable, soothing beachfront photo to fill this space’s doorway (at left), she didn’t see it accompanying a normal dining table and chairs. Instead she envisioned a romantic breakfast in bed, using a door opening into a clear view of the beach.

Suggested menu: Champagne, fresh fruit, croissants.

Jason Ball Interiors, LLC

RetrØ 12: Yesterday Once More
Design team: Jason Ball Interiors

This design team based this chamber on the query, What will 1970s design look like when the ’70s took place today? Using today’s stuff, technologies and design fashions, Jason Ball Interiors reinterpreted the expression of a 1970s dining room. A classic console outfitted with an LCD TV, a stereo console having an iPod dock and wood paneling unite to recreate a retro look for a modern family.

Suggested menu: A family breakfast to begin the day off right.

CoCo Designs

A Penny for Your Thoughts
Design team: CoCo Designs

Part abstract painting, part bold dining room, Coco Designs utilized the tiled outside of the Museo Soumayo in Mexico City as inspiration for this particular half wall tiled with pennies. The remaining portion of the design facilities around the painting of a lady, resulting in a room which can thankfully host guests with a daring sense of style.

Suggested menu: Filet mignon, an aged cognac and a badly decadent dessert.

Urban I.D. Interior Design Services

Dinner at Tiffany’s
Design team: Urban I.D.

Though Holly Golightly dreamed of a luxurious life in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she regularly resorted to eating her simple breakfast in front of Tiffany’s. Urban I.D. made an elegant dining room — complete with an Audrey Hepburn portrait — which will fulfill all Holly’s dreams.

Suggested menu: Anything from herb-crusted pork with sautéed veggies and flambé, to weekday meals of pasta and salad.

Ida York Interior Design

Where to Next?
Design team: Ida York Interior Design

Envisioned as a luxury hot air balloon basket, this space permits guests to envision themselves eating a picnic meal in a starry sky. Luxurious components put together by Ida York Interior Design communicate this theme, such as wicker chairs instead of a picnic basket and an animal hide to substitute the blanket.

Suggested menu: A picnic meal of exotic cheese and fresh fruits paired with the wines that are perfect.

J. Myers & Associates

Smell, Sip, Smile …
Design team: J. Myers & Associates

For most food and wine lovers, the ultimate meal would happen at a beautiful winery. J. Myers & Associates used that experience as the beginning point for this particular room, considering how a fantastic winemaker preps the food while the guests see, sip wine and respect the vineyard view.

Suggested menu: A seasonal and local farm-to-table meal.

Interiors by Blackwood

Where Does the Butterfly Go When It Rains?
Design team: Interiors by Blackwood

Named after a publication the designer had when she was young, this chamber brings magical castle ruins to life, complete with a starlit picnic feast and clouds of delicate artificial butterflies.

Suggested menu: French bread, fine meats, cheeses, fruit and wine or champagne.

Art Institute of Portland

An Appetite for Wonder
Design team: The Art Institute of Portland’s Interior Design Program, supplied by Ikea Portland

A host in this room are more likely to serve cake compared to steak for dinner. The team from the Art Institute of Portland designed it as a child’s fort under the table. An additional version of fuzzy grown-up legs sits just to the right of the room. A swing serves as the head of the desk, while plush blankets and sheepskins make it possible for children to eat around the ground.

Suggested menu: Cake for dinner. Or some other food item that is fun to play with, such as mashed potatoes.

Modurne Fine Furnishings & Funktional Interiors

Jane + Tarzan’s Hollywood Retreat
Design team: Modurne Fine Furnishings + Funktional Interiors

After finding an amazing leopard and zebra tea collection, Modurne Fine Furnishings wanted a room to match. A sophisticated “Hollywoodland” glamorous version of Jane and Tarzan seemed to fit the bill. Black and white chevron-painted floors and walls function as a contemporary interpretation of a zebra print, while a custom “Hollywoodland” print generates the ideal view.

Suggested menu: Steak tartare and bananas flambé.

Terrance Mason Interiors

Lost & Crowned
Design team: Terrance Mason Interiors

Terrance Mason found himself intrigued by the concept of objects with past lives and their related stories, and designed this decadent dining room round the one-of-a-kind classic wooden cog chandelier. Old papers serve as custom wallpaper, giving the space a storied sense.

Suggested menu: A luxurious meal of pheasant, lobsters and anything else that is decadent

Pangaea Interior Design, Portland, OR

The Fine Art of Dining
Design team: Pangaea Interior Design

Pangea Interior Design combined painting, sculpture, food and lighting as a representation of the fusion of the arts, emphasizing that art isn’t just what ends up in a museum. The colour palette, design and tablescape all ring back into one of those designer’s own acrylic paintings on the far wall.

Suggested menu: An Oregon pinot noir, grilled salmon with a cherry decrease, mashed potatoes and toasted hazelnuts. For dessert chocolate truffles.


Sustainable Lifescape: Changing the Conversation, Artful Living Without Extra
Design team: LooptWorks

True to its Portland origins, LooptWorks designed a dining room that reflects preservation by using upcycled, reclaimed or salvaged materials. While the team wanted to define the room with partitions, they didn’t wish to squander gutters, so they found utilized drywall from demolished jobs.

Suggested menu: Field-to-table fresh, organic, healthy and flavorful food. Everything should be seasonal, renewable and from local farmer’s markets.

Wendy O’Brien Interior Planning & Design

Merry Marry!
Design team: Wendy O’Brien Interior Planning & Design

Imagine an impromptu proposal near the peak of a Ferris wheel — how do you want to observe afterward? This scene ordered the design for designer Wendy O’Brien’s dining room. The team went with a Victorian-chic colour scheme and mimicked the motion of carnival rides with carousel horses in varying heights.

Suggested menu: A toast with Dom Perignon and a primary course of poached salmon with mousseline sauce and pineapple and lobster croquettes, followed with a swirled cotton candies and chocolate wedding cake with buttercream frosting for dessert.

JQ Design

Beyond Nourishment
Design team: JQ Jonquil-Design

JQ Jonquil-Design infused this dining room with tree-inspired shapes in a variety of materials. With a chandelier as the headboard, the room’s decor reflects in the windows, doors and mirror, enhancing each bit’s visual impact.

Suggested menu: Mint juleps with quartz-crystal-shaped ice cubes, and a meal made out of all-fresh produce.

Digs inside & outside

Michaelmas: The Fall Festival of St. Michael
Design team: digs indoors & out

As fans of Jane Austen’s work, the designers at digs indoors & out created a room which would honor the writer’s references to the festival of St. Michael and the arrival of the fall harvest. After finding the slightly spooky infant doll sconces and bold orange velvet chairs, the team featured their love of all things orange, comfy and fall related into this area.

Suggested menu: A conventional Michaelmas feast of roast goose, wild carrots, fresh baked bread and punch.

Stated Interior Design

Once Upon a Time …
Design team: stated Interior Design

Rustic and dark, this room’s design investigates the bizarre world of children’s fairy tales. Dark and dreamy portraits by Portland photographer Kim Campbell set the tone, while a rustic table setting and dinnerware communicate the forest settings of youth tales.

Suggested menu: Straightforward roasted chicken, potatoes, fresh green salad, bread and a bottle of French wine. For dessert, a rustic apple tart.

The Room Stylers, LLC

Nature’s Sky Box: Where City Chic Meets Rural Rustic
Design team: The Room Stylers with Anne Runde Interiors and Everyday Styling

This style team needed their space to catch the essence of what makes Portland a Fantastic place to live. Repurposed pallet boards and reclaimed decking replicate a dedication to green dwelling, veggies from the designers’ gardens signify a love of local foods, and a tasteful mirror on a mural of the Portland skyline highlights the city’s urban nightlife.

Suggested menu: Hazelnut-crusted Dungeness crabcakes with grilled root vegetables, garden greens with fresh raspberry puree and butternut squash soup, and poached pears Moonstruck dark chocolate.

Dyer Studio Inc..

Annica: The Buddhist Concept of Impermanence
Design team: Stephanie Dyer Interior + Product Layout with Harding Construction

The saturated blue hues, gold accents and angled walls in this stunning space cover tribute to the designer’s reflection on life’s impermanence — an element of Buddhism that is comforted her through tough times. Deep blues represent despair, whilst gold represents hope. The poufs and low chairs floor the blurred visual lines between the ground and the low table, while a well-dressed mannequin reflects the more couture side of the room.

Suggested menu: A searchable seasonal menu based on sudden flavor pairings and many communal dishes which promote parties to consume together.

Event info: Serving Up Design is a fundraising event and design showcase at the Yearly Portland Fall Home & Garden Show. Proceeds benefit Molly’s Fund Struggling Lupus.

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Transparency Guides That a Woodland Home

Two quite detail-oriented clients dwelt in this midcentury modern house for decades, contemplating how they’d love to remodel, completing a comprehensive search for an architect and mentally preparing for the huge job.

They discovered Nils Finne, an architect who enjoys taking advantage of the technology available in Seattle to create complex details for his layouts. Finne is a believer in sustainable design, especially “rightsizing,” as well as in creating a design that will endure the test of time and utilizing natural light. The resulting collaboration is a home that respects the first structure, adopts its coastal setting, functions for its residents’ lifestyle and is at the same time warm and modern.

at a Glance
Location: Lake Forest, Washington (about 25 miles from Seattle)
Size: 2 bedrooms, two baths
Year redesign completed: 2010

FINNE Architects

One of the main aims was to make transparency between the inside and the 4-acre wooded parcel around it. “Natural light is critical to my projects,” states Finne. “Especially here in the Pacific Northwest, natural light is a valuable commodity.” New windows, a new front door and a row of clerestory windows allow in as much light as possible.

Before Photo

BEFORE: Here is the same view as from the previous photo, before the renovation. “We really had a larger extent when we began the job than we wound up completing,” states Finne. “Originally, we needed a distinct garage/guest room structure from the plans, but when forced to choose due to budget limitations, they chose high levels of craftsmanship and details over having more house.” The present carport was enhanced and included, and the initial footprint didn’t gain an inch.

FINNE Architects

Finne eliminated a powder room to start the entryway.

FINNE Architects

“I wanted the front door to serve as a visual stopping thing,” states Finne. He designed a woven-like pattern from Douglas fir and satin-edge glass. The doorway’s intricate details foreshadow what is inside.

“I couldn’t dream of crafting all these details without the complex, cutting edge fabricators and machine stores which are characteristic of Seattle,” he states. Finne dubs his strategy “crafted modernism — the enrichment of a modernist aesthetic with highly personal, crafted substances and items.”

FINNE Architects

“I frequently push my clients to provide up space by combining rooms,” states Finne. “For example, having a family room where everyone hangs out and a formal living room no one ever uses is a waste of space”

FINNE Architects

A well-concealed TV signifies the living area and the family room no longer have to be separate spaces. Finne designed this custom made cabinet with flat doors which slide back to show the plasma display and a very long vertical part on the left to maintain a speaker.

The timber dividers have a scoop-carved pattern Finne designed that has been implemented with a CNC (computer numerical control) router. The pattern is repeated creating persistence.

FINNE Architects

Architectural details throughout the house include cherry cabinets, stained Douglas fir window trim, first hemlock ceilings and fir beams. Weathered steel covers the wall on the left side. “It is kind of a homemade Cor-Ten,” states Finne, laughing. “We let it rust outside and saved some cash.”

Finne designed the chandelier over the dining table with 33-inch tubes of cut glass.

FINNE Architects

Built-in storage saves space in the dining area. The carved wood details continue along these drawers; Finne was cautious to use the pattern in the ideal dosage. “The pattern is 12 inches high. I love to integrate large, flat surfaces to give relief,” he states. From the dining area, he used resin panels.

Before Photo

BEFORE: The first kitchen was filled with hot timber, but it felt dark and cramped.

FINNE Architects

Is the terrazzo. As opposed to trying to match it exactly, Finne added a darker terrazzo for contrast. Further down the hallway he used a mottled concrete flooring stained to resemble the original terrazzo.

Finne also designed the stools, which unite hard-edged wrought iron steel with handwoven rush seats.

FINNE Architects

Finne enlisted a local glass studio to kiln-fire shards of Starphire glass into a 1-inch-thick breakfast bar. Starphire is a new low-iron glass the less iron, the less of a green hue glass has.

“The glass has a Milky Way–such as wispy pattern for it,” states Finne. “The glass becomes magical when you turn on the uplights.”

FINNE Architects

The master suite proceeds the feeling of transparency between the house and the forests.

FINNE Architects

“I wanted bathing to feel quite au naturel, full of light, almost primeval … as if you’re bathing outside in the forests,” he states.

FINNE Architects

Finne’s scooped wood pattern reappears on the cantilevered vanity. The floors and countertops are limestone, the shower door is Starphire glass along with the pendant lights are all by Bruck.

Go ahead and do a double take at this photo; will you tell where the mirrors over the vanity end and the glass begins?

FINNE Architects

Lake Forest Park Renovation

If looking at the master bath pictures made you be worried about peeping Toms, don’t worry. A 1/4-inch-thick custom made metal valence camouflages the toilet window’s extensive shades. “I am always interested in taking a cold, industrial material such as steel and employing cutting-edge technologies to transform it into something organic,” Finne states. “This pattern is lyrical and fragile; the steel is no longer industrial and cold”

FINNE Architects

A sliding patterned glass panel divides the master bedroom from the hallway. Finne drew the pattern freehand with a pen, then digitized it and had it transfered into a film for its glass. The pattern is thickest at the bottom and lightens up as it moves higher.

FINNE Architects

The glass panels allow the room to receive natural light from different areas of the house while still closing it off. Finne additionally added fir into the ceilings which were not covered in timber.

The completed renovations maintain the soul of their first structure living while strengthening a poetic connection between the home and its particular environment.

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Curtain Rods: Wood or Metal?

The ideal decorative pole can turn up the “wow” quantity of your drapes and help achieve the appearance and feel you want in any area. Wood and metal curtain rods are normal choices, but which one do you go with?

A wood pole may bring in a natural element or give a stately feel. A metal pole can break a room that has a lot of wood and bring into a contemporary element. Here are things to think about.

Andrea Schumacher Interiors


Consider wood curtain rods for tall and wide windows. Wooden rods support heavy drapes better than metal since they are not hollow. Poles come in 3-inch, two1/4-inch, 2-inch, and 1⅜-inch diameters. The bigger the window, the bigger the diameter you will want.

Note: Wood curtain sticks need to be bought in the specific size you desire or cut to size, unlike some metal ones.

Heather Williamson

Wood poles can be bought prefinished in a big variety of paints and stains, or can be bought unfinished. They come in many styles, such as fluted — a very common choice, since the grooves provide a two-tone appearance.

Decor by Denise

Create a lavish and rich appearance using chunky wood sticks with a crackle finish, and also hang a good silk drape out of them on rings. This style works for both living and dining rooms.


The Antique Drapery Rod Fluted Wood Rod – $114

I feel like doing the twist with this great wood pole in a twist shape with a robust Italian walnut finish. A beautiful warm-tone drape would look fabulous with it.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design


metallic curtain rods offer you excellent options for modern and special finishes and styles. Finials come in many funky shapes (including square) and sometimes even have glass and mirror components.

Finishing Touches

Here’s a good example of a beautiful glass finial on a metal pole.

Angela Todd Designs, Portland, OR

Metal curtain rods offer a wonderful contrast in a room with a lot of wood furniture.

Designing Solutions

Add glitz into a room with a polished chrome or nickel pole.

Anna Lattimore Interior Design

If you’re using a metal pole for wide windows, go to get a 1-inch or bigger diameter and make sure it has numerous brackets to support it, because metal rods are hollow inside and may bow in the center.

Note: Unlike wood sticks, metal sticks are offered in adjustable lengths.

Ralph Lauren Home

Deco Porcelain Ball Finial 2″ – $150

This brass curtain pole has a high-end appearance with ceramic finials. It would look great in a conventional, Art Deco or transitional space. Keep the drapes easy and light.

Window Valances for Each Style
Pretty (and Money-Saving) Window Treatments
Custom Draperies 101

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Guest Picks: 20 Desks for a Stylish Office

With an increasing number of people working from your home or unwinding in front of a computer after a long day, having an office area that’s pleasing to the eye is a great method to reduce stress and inspire creativity. This is a set of a great number of desks, if you have a very small office or a grand area, prefer modern or rustic layout, or even have a large or small budget.
— Monica from Hirondelle Rustique

Modern Desks – $399

A wise and hot desk brings an air of elegance to a space. I adore this one’s U-shaped layout, rich colour and glistening chrome brings that finish it off.


Butcher’s Desk Walnut End by iNg Furniture – $475

A desk with a rustic touch adds a great deal of appeal to an office. This one’s handmade quality gives it a special character that tells stories for many years to come.


Sauder Shoal Creek Computer Desk, Jamocha Wood – $125.02

Simple and clean, this dining table serves as a sturdy location to house all your belongings. Additionally, this really is one of my favorite colors of wood stain.


Student Desk, White – $144.99

This classic, white, contemporary desk is very good for those who prefer to keep things appearing simple. The cost is excellent, also.

Brocade Home

Turned Leg Console, High Gloss Black – $499

I adore the look of high-gloss pieces. This desk is excellent for anyone who have limited space, such as apartment dwellers or those whose bedrooms (such as mine) are doing dual duty as offices.


Metal Cross Brace Desk – $1,650

This is a fabulous, contemporary, industrial dining table. The large, sturdy table space is excellent for laying out a job (or 2 ), whereas the angled design leaves plenty of space for the legs to sprawl out.


Cottage Desk, White – $169.99

With its soft shape and tasty turned legs, the word”sweet” comes to mind when looking at this desk. I can picture it painted in a fun turquoise or pink to liven up a work space.

Cost Plus World Market

Campaign Desk – $229.99

The perfect marriage of elegant and rustic, this Campaign Desk would appear excellent up against a dark wall (think peacock blue). I really like the weathered look.


Industrial Desk with Oak Top and Steel Pipe Legs by Urban Wood Goods – $575

With a butcher-block top and solid-steel-pipe legs, I doubt a much more sturdy desk has come along since the metal tanker desk. This piece is full of personality and also comes at a very reasonable cost for something handmade.


HEMNES Desk, Gray-Brown – $329

A-ha! Here’s something cute that also includes storage. The pickled-wood end of this desk looks amazing in person.


Urban Industrial Desk in Reclaimed Wood by Mortise & Tenon – $995

This really is an incredible industrial desk with raw, reclaimed wood and stout metal legs. The triangular braces with metal rivets add a fun touch.

Layla Grayce

Bungalow 5 Jacqui Console/Desk, White – $1,625

This is among my favorite desks thus far! I really like the curves and, of course, the white lacquer finish.

Clayton Gray Home

Commander Desk – $1,170

Take control of your workplace with this masculine Commander Desk. I really like the brass information and slick design.

ABC Carpet & Home

John Reeves Design Louis Console with 3 Drawers, White – $1,095

An enjoyable take on turned-leg layout, this really is a desk I would really like to integrate into my office someday.

Shop Ten 25

Mark Gold Leaf Desk – $1,247

Gold and glamorous, this really is such a gorgeous desk! This piece also comes in nickel for an ooh-la-la look.


Glass upper Cable Desk – $341.99

The interior layout makes this desk an invigorating piece.

Clayton Gray Home

Dexter Desk – $1,055

I adore this mix of rustic wood and chrome. I’d really like to integrate this desk into my decor someday, possibly in a library-like study.

Retro Office

Steelcase 60″ Double Pedestal Stick Leg Desk – $1,889

The steel tanker desk is still among my favorites. Although some might see it as big and clunky, I really like the retro feel and extra storage.

Design Solutions

Wall-Mounted Fold-Out Desk – $229

This is about the size of my desk at home. If you’re an apartment or condominium dweller like me, you’ll appreciate the compact size and contemporary style of this setup.

Neiman Marcus

Hotel Maison “Monroe” Lucite Desk – $3,099

A little lucite adds this exquisite touch. This desk would be perfect for a space that requires help feeling more open, as the crystal clear lucite sides permit light to pass through, almost like this piece were floating.

Next: 9 Ways to Enjoy Your Home Office More

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Chinoiserie Sends Rooms of Fancy on Flights

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the growing trade market within East Asia caused imaginative interpretations by Europeans of Chinese styles. Embellished tales of Chinese life illustrated in the design of interiors, furniture, textiles, art, gardens and ceramics. The style featured “the exotic” interpreted with gilding and lacquering, blue and white ceramics, carvings and Asian themes. Today we still see these details in beautiful antique bits and considerate reproductions.

There are lots of approaches to include chinoiserie in your design strategy. My favorite way is to pair this style with sudden bits, textures and colors. The result is luscious, layered detail plus a well-traveled vibe which could be pulled off in conventional or transitional settings.

Tucker & Marks

Coromandel screens were produced in Northern China and central China during the Kangxi period (1661–1722). The screens featured incised black or brown lacquer with gold foliage that depicted scenes of Chinese life and landscapes. These bits are breathtaking and have to be viewed in person to fully appreciate the workmanship that went to them. For that reason, a perfect way to showcase one of those screens is to layer it behind a couch, where guests can appreciate it as a glorious backdrop.

Branca, Inc..

The art in this office is brightly contrasted from a vibrant reddish wall. French and English pieces are layered to get a global mix. Attempt Benjamin Moore’s Ladybug Red 1322 for a similar colour in your house.

Cecilie Starin Design Inc..

This photograph, one of my favorites on , reveals a masterful mix of layers. The chinoiserie bits (the nightstand and screen) complement a side desk, a zebra rug and a classic English chaise. The success comes from the mixing of textures and the consistency of colour, in addition to the exceptional provenance of each piece.

Hillary Thomas Designs

This whimsical entry vignette features lamps created out of antique roof tiles. Notice the rounded base where they utilize to sit ornamentation on Chinese buildings. The Chinese bamboo table is further layered with Chinese-inspired footstools.

Hint: Look for tables 5 to 6 feet long and 33 to 35 inches high. These are perfect dimensions for tucking small footstools and ottomans beneath — a terrific way to hide electrical cords.

Rikki Snyder

A gorgeous black lacquered screen is shown at a semifolded fashion to conceal an architectural element within this city bedroom, improving its view.

Tucker & Marks

This gorgeous bedroom offers an excellent example of how to layer components of chinoiserie. The details here start with the wallpaper as the foundation and include classic Chinese portraits with a chinoiserie mirror, lamp and desk. All these bits pair very well with English-style upholstered chairs.

Rachel Oliver Design, LLC

F. Schumacher’s Shantung Silhouette wallpaper produces a headboard illusion within this whimsical darkened guest bedroom. The chinoiserie wallpaper feels fresh because of its two-color palette, which will interpret as transitional in style. Grosgrain ribbon simulates crown molding.

This European-inspired guest bedroom is bedazzled with metallic chinoiserie wallpaper. Inset in wall molding, the newspaper features a typical motif of cherry blossoms, birds and flowers. It is perfectly paired with antique French caned furniture so the room illustrates a European mix of styles.

Branca, Inc..

This is what I call a “money piece,” since it makes any room look like a million bucks. This attractively adorned red lacquer pub cupboard is just as pretty open since it’s closed. More contemporary and pragmatic, it attracts a sassy glow into a library, a living area or guest quarters. Antique brass hardware punctuates the chinoiserie motif on the outside.

Period Homes, Inc..

The striking overscale pattern of this DeGournay wallpaper is hand painted on silk. The colors are the perfect backdrop for the double-faced secretary in black and red. Within an otherwise very conventional dining room, the scale of the wallpaper gives the room a transitional element.

Griffin and Wong Ltd

Hand-painted wallpaper from Griffin and Wong, framed and hung as art, offers an inventive means to introduce a layer of chinoiserie to your walls. This can work in any area, and depending on the style of the frame can feel transitional or contemporary. Try a white lacquered horizontal frame for a modern appearance.

Cravotta Interiors

I wouldn’t ever want to come from this guest bedroom, with its superbly showcased chinoiserie secretary. These types of pieces commonly feature secret drawers and compartments for jewelry, documents and money.

Anthony Como of Luxe Interiors

The feeling of this room is informal, regardless of the detailed ornamentation of the classic mirror. Try this appearance with a similar mirror and punchy wall color for a great layered look. Other things for wall screen with a similar mirror may comprise plates and tiny pieces of art.

House of L Interior Design

A powder room is a great area for wallpaper. These spaces tend to be modest, and daring detail could be featured in tiny amounts. The walls here are bathed in metallic chinoiserie wallpaper, layered with sconces and a stunning bone mirror. The detail of the pattern could be valued up close in the tight quarters of this space.

Hint: Bold patterns can actually expand the walls of a small room.

Tucker & Marks

This 18th-century secretary houses a exceptional collection of small busts. One of the hallmarks of a classic secretary like it is that the patina of the lacquer. The texture on those bits has a subtle ripple; modern reproductions usually have a flat surface.

Can you adore chinoiserie? Tell us how you utilize it in your decor.

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How to Choose Living Room Furniture

It seems sensible that classic furniture tends to function best in traditional rooms. Straightforward palettes, sturdy materials and comfortable upholstery in timeless silhouettes can help you express your conventional style for now and years to come. However, while there are a couple rules for choosing decoration, what actually matters is what works for you and your home.

Here are a few pointers for creating a just lovely standard living room.

Michael Abraham Architecture

Few understand the ability of classic design better than Bunny Williams. She’s stated that the elements of her ideal space include a couch, a coffee table, two upholstered chairs, a pair of open armchairs which may be moved across, a bench, two long drink tables and two end tables.

Robin Pelissier Interior Design & Robin’s Nest

When decorating about a view, take care not to use furniture that creates a visual block. A bench or non daybed is an excellent selection for seating that maintains a peek outdoors.


A console table behind the couch is a basic for open-plan living. Console tables ought to be slightly lower compared to the back of the couch to maintain a clean line of sight. These tables are terrific for adding light also. A pair of lamps behind the couch can definitely light a space.

Jennifer Brouwer (Jennifer Brouwer Design Inc)

Mirrors are a simple way to create a living room look larger, lighter and lighter and include a hint of glitz. Mirrors are great for acknowledging the symmetry of a space as well.

A.S.D. Interiors – Shirry Dolgin, Owner

A pair of sofas is perfect for a cozy, comfortable living room. Make sure your coffee table is 14 to 18 inches from each couch. This permits enough room for a passageway, but not too much that your feet won’t achieve.


For bigger living rooms in which one enormous floor plan seems too open, consider creating two different seating areas. Distinguish the spaces by incorporating different but complementary patterns or using two distinct rugs. A bench or ottoman will help merge the spaces because it allows for visitors to sit on either side and provides continuity.

Robeson Design

Club seats are a living room staple, and while they are often paired with sofas, that is not a requirement. Pairs of seats work well in spaces used mainly for communicating. Most club seats are between 28 and 36 inches wide and 28 to 40 inches deep. To maintain a usable distance, make sure to keep an open walkway for traveling between chambers comfortably.

Benvenuti and Stein

End tables are must-haves for drinks, snacks, remotes and novels. When it comes to picking the perfect end table, go having a surface from that rings and scratches may be polished or wiped off easily. End tables ought to be slightly lower than, slightly higher than or the exact same height because the arm of the chair or couch with that they sit.

More manuals to traditional living rooms:
Wall Art | Flooring | Lighting

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City View: Denver Design Soars

I Had Been born in the 1970s, so when I think of Denver, I Believe of Alexis Morrell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan and the rest of the clan over at Dynasty. I also think about the other end of the spectrum, Outward Bound programs. Like a lot of the remainder of the country, I have a view of Denver that’s all kinds of wrong.While the city and its surrounding areas are full of people who love an outdoor experience, this does not mean they do not have style. These adventuresome Coloradans draw inspiration from viewing and exploring the magnificent landscape about them, in addition to from maintaining it.

Denver denizens also draw inspiration from the past and present, using reclaimed materials and sourcing materials and craftspeople locally. “The biggest problem about Denver is that it is a western cow town lacking any type of sophisticated design scene,” says Jonas DiCaprio of Design Platform. “The design scene here is lively; there are so many talented regional designers and designers here who are producing just amazing work.”

Let me present a Denver which has nothing to do with sporting dresses with shoulder pads into formal family dinners or cooking a can of beans over a flame.

Design Platform

Across the board, designers note a big craze in Denver is integrating industrial and recovered materials into interiors. This includes used heavy machinery parts for dining table foundations and lamps, and reclaimed wood floors, dividers and wall panels. “Using barn wood, barn doors as well as other agricultural components and pieces gives a great contrast to a clean, contemporary aesthetic,” DiCaprio says. “We are also seeing a lot of natural materials that bring about a lot of warmth and texture.”

Design Platform

DiCaprio participate in the favorite Denver tendency of keeping things local. “One local cabinet and furniture builder I work with in Denver, Jeff Faine of AvenueTwo:Design, is just 25, and he is producing cabinets in the level of a Berloni or Pedini,” he gushes. “The cabinets are all custom made, with incredible details and quality. Best of all, the materials, design and construction all occur here in Colorado.”

Design Platform

“Wall coverings and wallpapers are back in a big way,” says DiCaprio. “The painted accent wall has been replaced with a wallpapered, tiled or wood-wrapped accent wall.

Design Platform

“We truly reside in a climate where you could have an indoor-outdoor connection yearlong,” says DiCaprio. “Most men and women think Denver is cold and snowy all winter, but there have been Christmases here which were 60 degrees. Many customers are searching for outdoor kitchens and living rooms which add on to the square footage of their living area.” DiCaprio notes that homes can be left wide open much of the summer thanks to the temperatures and absence of bugs.


“Many neighborhoods have a rich background, however the nature of a locality can vary block by block,” says Beth Mikon of Chalet. “Contextual design is not only possible but highly desirable. But this does not signify that individuality has to be dropped on the outside or inside of a house.”


One way to keep a unique style in the area is to adopt western themes in fresh ways, Here a western-theme space gets a contemporary upgrade, resulting in a more Rocky Mountain transitional style.


“One of the biggest misconceptions about Denver is that it is just an outdoor town, therefore we do not have actual design,” says Craig Lawrence of Rowland Broughton Architecture and Urban Design. “But the truth is, Denver residents and businesses have nurtured a powerful art and design culture without sacrificing a sense of the power of the landscape where they reside.”


Lawrence notes that uniquely Denver style nods into the grand sweep of the plains along with the towering height of the Rocky Mountains. “This can take several forms, like the peaked tents of the Denver International A Concourse or as subtle an approach since the orientation of a house in the foothills toward the plains,” he says.

Residents also enjoy their striking surroundings by producing indoor-outdoor living spaces with large entry doors and contemporary outdoor furniture.


“Communities all across the Denver area are actually developing an appreciation for the present urban fabric,” says Lawrence. “Both residential and industrial customers are searching for ways to conserve and enhance upon the value of existing buildings, so some of the best interior design occurring right now is occurring in remodels and renovations.”

A lot of these renovations create multifunctional open floor plans which incorporate living, kitchen and dining spaces.

Kenny Craft, CNU LEED AP

Architect Kenny Craft practices mostly southwest of Denver in Buena Vista, Colorado, but the city’s influence is felt there, too.

“In this new economy, square footage is much more conservative and the overall architecture more austere, but those restraints often allow for some extra spending on additional, unique features that ultimately give the home its distinctive character,” he says.

Kenny Craft, CNU LEED AP

“For instance, on this house’s exterior, the general architecture is restrained, but additional attention was given toward a personalized steel porch along with the 9-foot-tall customized front door made from reclaimed barn wood,” Craft says. “The steel porch details, customized front entrance, Bevolo gas lamp and complex rafter tails provide a richness that ultimately balances the otherwise simple architectural character.”

Kenny Craft, CNU LEED AP

This corner chimney was created from local river rock by Denver mason Brad Pranger of BK Pranger Masonry. “We consider Brad Pranger to be an artist in his own right,” says Craft.

Lynne Barton Bier – Home on the Range Interiors

“I believe the biggest misconception about Denver style and the style for the surrounding mountain area is it is very traditional and western. On the contrary, Denver has become well known for its cutting-edge contemporary design style, where rustic components tend to be intermingled with contemporary lines and furnishings,” says Lynne Bier of Home on the Range Interiors.

Lynne Barton Bier – Home on the Range Interiors

“The rustic contemporary look, which started quite a few decades back in the Denver area, has spread into metropolitan areas across the world,” says Bier. “This style is characterized by a blend of reclaimed materials, such as antique timbers or barn board , and industrial components, such as steel I-beams or metal parts on furniture.”

A want to work with renewable materials also fuels this tendency. Within this area, rough-hewn reclaimed beams mingle with antiques and contemporary art.

Lynne Barton Bier – Home on the Range Interiors

Antique shutters take on a new life in this hall.

Perhaps you have changed your understanding of Denver and Rocky Mountain style? I would really like to hear out of Coloradans about what makes your part of the country unique. Tell us below!

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Modernist Icons Take the Floor at Brooklyn

Brazil native Daniel Vianna has attracted his fresh and contemporary style from Rio de Janeiro into his new Brooklyn, New York, apartment. After settling into his rented space only a couple of blocks from The Pratt Institute, he wasted no time putting together an eclectic collection of seminal modernist furnishings. An industrial design student, Vianna wanted to go for something different than the conventional fitting furniture collections. “When it’s done it’ll be like a shop,” he states. “A showroom for contemporary industrial design.”

in a Glance
Who resides: Daniel Vianna
Location: Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York
Size: Approximately 1,000 square feet; 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Hardwood floors run throughout the open-concept apartment. Storage cabinets sit into the far right, and doors in the end of the distance lead to a mini balcony.

Chris Dorsey: How is an architect and an industrial design student influenced how you designed your home?

Daniel Vianna: In a young age, younger than many, I have been interested in everything from furniture to building. I am 30 years old today, so I believe that it is not so much of being an architecture student who has impacted my personal design, but my design has compelled me for a student — to constantly find out more.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

CD: Why did you opt to combine the dining room chair styles?

DV: It’s wonderful to have a little comparison, as there are so many distinct pieces out there. While I have friends over, they have the chance to determine which chair to sit down in. The Victoria Ghost Chairfrom Philippe Starck took a very long time to buy because I wasn’t certain how it’d match or if I’d enjoy it here. But now, when my friends come over, I enjoy choosing that seat because it’s pretty straightforward.

Pendant lighting: Piper Grande, YLighting

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Glossy white cabinetry with doorways and hinges provides just the correct amount of storage. The countertop is Caesarstone Blizzard, as a fruit bowl, and Design serves.

Scrabble piece magnets decorate Vianna’s stainless steel fridge.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

DV: I enjoy this Experts Chair by Philippe Starck since it encompasses the shapes of the 3 classic chair forms in one piece, so it’s kind of historically referential. It reinterprets the 7 Series by Arne Jacobsen, the Tulip Armchair by Eero Saarinen and the Eiffel Chair by Charles Eames all in one.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

CD: What’s your favorite collected piece?

I really don’t know whether I could pick a favorite. Though maybe this Moooi bunny lamp. I enjoy it because it’s sort of a joke. As one of a three-piece set, they also designed one as a horse — as in, a life-sized horse with a lampshade above its mind and a pig table. The bunny is more subtle. Additionally, my 2-year-old niece is mad for this. I lifted the colour and she kept pointing to where it attaches to the mind of this bunny and saying, “Take it off! Take it off!”

Chris A Dorsey Photography

The May Day table lamp by Konstantin Grcic, a lively lamp out of FlosUSA, sits atop a Cappellini New Antique side table. A colorful Eames Hang-It-All provides Vianna a place to hang outerwear.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

On the other side of couch, a Bourgie Table Lamp, designed by Ferruccio Laviani, sits on a Cappellini side table.

What’s another addition to his group? “There are so many bits I would like to have at the end, it’s difficult to choose what’s next,” states Vianna.

CD: Where did you supply all those bits?

DV: Once I moved to New York from Brazil, everything in here was out of Ikea. Piece by piece, except for the couch, I have been in a position to substitute the Ikea bits together with the actual thing. I’ve bits by Philippe Starck, Eero Saarinen and Vitra. They’re mostly from style stores, though some are out of antique stores around New York.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

CD: Would you have a favorite designer?

DV: I’d say Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. He has this style — industrial with colorful, contemporary textures. He creates these chilly, concrete walls with every thing in grayscale. That’s what I want to do if I return to Brazil. It’s really great for me when you’re able to view something and then create it. I am hoping I will design something like that in Brazil, a mixture of modernism with unique textures.

Storage unit: Cloud by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Cappellini

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Southwest-facing glass doors allow natural light to completely flooding the space.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Framed Andy Warhol soup-can prints line the hallway leading to the bedrooms and the bathroom.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

CD: What design projects are you working on?

DV: I made a soap dish as my first industrial design project for college. I designed it with a parametric layout and fabricated it onto a 3-D printer. The dish is small, but I actually use it. I have also tested the MakerBot, which I simply got not too long ago. I haven’t been able to utilize it as much as I enjoy since there was a two-month wait list.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

The mark of any fantastic designer is a worn out workspace with some character. This second bedroom is Vianna’s office.

Vianna says his set of contemporary design icons is far from complete, but it adds a lively and lively design twist into his temporary space in the meantime. He intends to select the collection together with him back to Brazil following graduation.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Vianna’s apartment building is situated at Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood. Host to many pubs, restaurants and markets, it’s a wonderful spot to be a young professional.

c: Are you currently a student with a creative, contemporary area? Discuss it with us!

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How To Size Interior Trim to Get a Finished Look

One of the most essential questions which we all have about trim is, What size should it be? Acquiring the proportions and size of trim correct can make a big difference in the way the room is used and enjoyed. If the trim is too small or too large, it can be just like a clown wearing a minuscule hat or supersize set of shoes.

While there are a few guidelines, they’re, in actuality, just guidelines. No rule should replace what you enjoy and what you believe is perfect. Start out choosing your trim by defining the narrative you and the room want to tell. From there, purchase some samples and have mock-ups built. This is all a small price to pay for receiving your trim right.

Here are the rules — I mean, guidelines — for sizing the trim in a room.

The 7 percent solution. When sizing a baseboard at a traditional-style home, a good starting point would be to use a ratio of 7 percent. If your ceiling height is 8 feet high, try a baseboard that’s about 7 inches tall.

BAAN layout

Obviously, this is more of a suggestion than a rule. For example, if you’re seeking to produce a more contemporary inside, consider using a shorter baseboard or, even if you’re brave enough, no baseboard in any way.

Redbud Custom Homes

For casings, 50 percent is good. Generally, vertical trim elements such as door and window casings should be smaller and have less heft than baseboards. So I’ve found a good guideline for sizing window and door casings would be to maintain them at about 50% of the height of the baseboard.

Winder Gibson Architects

As always, this is not a hard and fast rule. Casings that equal the measurements of the baseboards can work quite well.

Crowning achievements. Even though there are a few guidelines which could be used to size a crown (for example, make it about half of the size of the foundation), there are many questions that come into play, such as:

• How tall is the ceiling?
• Will the crown be convex or concave?
• Will the crown measure out and up of, say, a picture rail?

Given these variables, sizing a crown is not as easy as you might think. I love to purchase foot-long parts of different sizes and profiles and construct mock-ups of the crown within the room. In reality, because most trim is easily available and affordable, this is a excellent process to use for selecting all of your trim elements.

Siemasko + Verbridge

Another principle for crown selection is to use the same crown across the kitchen if your design involves using a crown at the top of your cabinets. Actually, you’re probably going to want the crown to be finished and supplied by the cabinetmaker. Otherwise, the crown will not match, making transitions from one to another problematic.

Alix Bragg Interior Design

All together now. A well-trimmed room is something special. Its baseboard, casings and crown all relate to one another in their style, proportions, sizing and complete. In this example, the baseboard appears to adhere to the 7 percent ruler: The casings are about half of the size of the baseboard, and also the crown seems to be just slightly smaller than the baseboard. There is no doubt that the trim for this particular room was conceived as part of the overall layout.

Shirley Meisels

The rule of thirds. Installing a seat rail, without wainscoting, will split the perpendicular plane — the walls to multiple places. If you want to make the room feel taller, then place the seat rail one third of the way up from the ground.

Mark Brand Architecture

If, on the other hand, you want the room to be more romantic, consider placing the seat rail two thirds of the way up from the ground.

Tell a Home’s Story With Trim
Design Details: Moldings — Or Not?
Frame Your Views With Great Moldings and Casings

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Color Guide: How to Work With Bright White

We are not speaking here about antique black or black white or a nice Bavarian cream white. They are all lovely colours and they have their own place. But we’re referring to white-white, the type of white which architects love. The type of white that is as crisp and fresh as a snowflake.

Everyone makes it. Behr has Polar White. Sherwin-Williams has Super White. Benjamin Moore has the White of Decorator. The list goes on, and to be sure, there are subtle differences — some are bluer or grayer or yellower. A positively true bright white is an issue of your eye and the light, and what direction your windows face. (Bright white looks better on south-facing walls than northern facing ones, by the way.)

But regardless of minor gradations, we could all agree — even those people who adore color — that nothing appears quite so clean and confident because a superwhite white.

So put it everywhere. Or everywhere. As San Francisco designer Chloe Warner says, “The only place I would never do bright white is on a ceiling. It just looks like someone forgot to paint”

Rethink Design Studio

Go Big or Go Home: The All-White Room

Ceiling, flooring, walls, trim. An all-white room is a blank canvas just waiting for one to make it your own. It may go old or new, modern or cabin, but it typically goes spare. Bright white is simplicity and minimalism, maybe not opulence.

Jeanette Lunde

Bright goes with sunlight. This dining area has “spare Scandinavian” written around it.

Neslihan Pekcan/Pebbledesign

A crisp, all-white room isn’t just cozy, but it is calming. There’s no distracting clutter allowed in a room such as this, because everything which isn’t white pops into attention. I love the comparison of this conventional painting with all the modern white walls.

Jeanette Lunde

Another spare living area. A botanical theme (reflected from the prints and the leaves from the vase) adds a few earthy organic-ness to the entire thing.

California Home + Design

Pop Up: Bright White With Hits of Color

White is a fantastic alternative if you are a collector of items or artwork. Nothing makes color and pattern soda just like bright white. And it provides even kids’ scribbles a gallery-style background.

Chronicle Books

Bright white is the color of choice for an eclectic area where one color is not dominant and the eye is split among lots of vibrant shots of color. Anything else on these walls will muddy the result.

Dans le Townhouse

Vivid color, meet white. Both will get along swimmingly, what with your contrasting but complementary personalities and all.

Jill Sorensen

Blue turns bright white beachy, particularly navy blue. But turquoise does it also.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

Vegetable and Mineral: Bright White and Wood

If you want to bring out a gorgeous piece of wood, while it is a desk or any trim, go bright white. Every line of grain appears to show up when wood is against white.

More wood with bright white. The wood warms the white up, and the white makes the wood look clear and modern.


The Impact Length: Bright White Trim

A bright white trim makes wall colours seem clean and crisp. It looks especially good with dark colours and helps keep a room with dark paint bright.

Chloe Warner

“I love Benjamin Moore Atrium White to get supercrisp trim, woodwork, and picture rails,” says Warner. “My favourite is when there is background below the picture rail and a small tint above — the white actually snaps into consideration”

Pottery Barn Kids

Benjamin Moore Natura Paint, Decorator’s White – $52.99

Decorator’s White is the classic bright white paint.

Benjamin Moore

Chantilly Lace Paint

Chantilly Lace is just the teeniest bit warm (yellow).

Pottery Barn

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint, Super White – $65.99

It should be known as super-de-dooper white.

How to Obtain the Proper White

More Ways to Design With White

An Architect’s Guide to Color

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