Colors, window treatments and furnishings in this Apex home had not been updated since 1996, when it was on the Wake County Parade of Homes. The challenge was to create an elegant but comfortable environment that would reflect the taste of the retired owners. We did a complete remodel, but this dining room is a focal point for the entire house.
We started with a blank slate, removing furniture, window treatments, mirrored walls and outdated brass light fixtures and then gave the space a sophisticated and soft color palette.
We covered the walls with Sherwin Williams Khaki Shade beige (SW-7533) and painted an accent wall in Benjamin Moore’s Van Courtland Blue (HC-145), providing a strong focal point. The beautiful molding at the ceiling had been painted ceiling white. To highlight it and add interest while keeping the space light and bright, we painted the molding Sherwin Williams Urban Putty (SW-7532), a lighter beige. Other trim was painted a warm white called Creamy (SW-7012).
The existing ceiling medallion was given a champagne wash with Modern Masters metallic warm silver paint, creating a lovely backdrop for the Aged Brass, silver leaf chandelier from Currey and Co.
The natural oak floors, which had yellowed over the years, were refinished with a new color from Minwax, Weathered Oak (No. 270). This gave the natural, light oak gray-washed overtones that play beautifully against the Jaipur area rug. Part of Jaipur’s “transitional poem” series, the 8-by-10-foot rug introduces pleasing touches of coral and green to the space.
In front of our accent wall, we selected a distressed gray and mahogany buffet (from Stanley’s Charleston Regency Series), and topped it with tall buffet lamps to draw the eye up. The floral artwork ties in with the pastels in the rug. Seat covers on the matching gray chairs are covered in a small geometric pattern with touches of coral. A hand-planed mahogany dining table from Hekman completed the tableau. A console table in the bay window provides a place for family photos and heirlooms.
Our goal for this bay window was soften the space without blocking the light. Top down-bottom up cellular shades provide privacy while letting in an abundance of natural light. We topped the shades with a Madelyn-style valance in an embroidered floral design on a natural linen background. Piping in Shalini brown silk and brown, silk-covered buttons define the scallops on the valance and repeat the color and texture of the pleated panels that frame the window below. The panels balloon at the base and break at the floor.
On the dining table, we accessorized with a centerpiece of soft green porcelain with silver accents. On the buffet, antique glass decanters sit on an antique metal tray alongside crystal candle holders with family photos and glass antiques.
The result is a comfortable yet elegant space that the owners will enjoy for years to come.
Most dining rooms have a center chandelier, which may prevent use of a buffet without some creative thinking. For the empty focal wall, we chose a tall buffet and tall lamps, and then stacked two pieces of art. In addition, we hung the chandelier higher than usual – 66 inches off the floor. Coupled with the choice of a narrow dining table with two leaves, we created a functional space that looks and feels larger than it is.
(Not) by the book
Shake up your decor: We created a casual look using pieces from several companies instead of a matched dining suite. The mahogany-topped gray buffet and chairs match and coordinate with the mahogany table and console from two other companies. We mixed styles, too: The table and console are French country, the chairs and buffet are Regency, and our accessories are a mix of antiques and contemporary pieces. Color, natural fabrics and finishes create the balance.
Roberta Frank Designs Inc.
110 Hasbrouck Drive, Apex
919-363-9236 or robertafrankdesigns.com