Take a look at the dining room shot below. There’s a lot of dining room doo-doo going on here!
Where to start? The dark wood hutch and buffet cabinet and dark wood chairs and table (hidden under an oddly placed flower print table-cloth) make this room feel claustrophobic, or at least it makes me feel claustrophobic when IN this room. The burgundy/merlot colored curtains block out all the light while the frosted glass chandelier blares in your face. The two-tone taupe (say that real fast five times) colored walls only help to mute out the light even more.
The two bright spots in this room are the hard-wood floor and the chair rail molding along the bottom half of the walls. The wood flooring provides a nice warm color to the room while the white molding at least gives us SOME contrast.
Sadly, this is my dining room. All these mistakes took some time to coordinate. An inherited china cabinet and dining set mixed in with a chandelier that was in this home before we moved in, combined with curtains that seemed like a good idea at the time and a table cloth that looked great in the store, all came together to make this room look like doo-doo! But not for long!
Here’s a sketch of a few ideas I have so far. Obviously not all these things will be making the final cut, but it’s a start. I like to use these kind of sketches as a frame work for the design of a room. I like the two porcelain heads on the wall, but if I can’t find them, I can find something similar in size and shape which will work just as well, and the same for everything else.
The most obvious change is the brightness in the room. It doesn’t get a great deal of sunlight, but you can create light using small amounts of contrast. A dark paint color on the bottom half against a brighter creamy color on the top half suddenly opens this space right up. I’ve already wrote about the buffet cabinet in a previous post (To Display or Buffet…) so let’s talk about the chandelier.
This would probably be considered a Sputnik style chandelier, popular in the 60’s when the whole space craze took flight (cough-cough). They have since become a part of the mid-centruy modern movement and you find them in all different sizes and shapes. Usually they are fairly round and have several extensions coming out from the center like a star, or satellite, or UFO! They range in size from 18″ or so up to several feet for the big $$$ buyer.
The model above is called the Zuo 50028 Pulsar and I found it on Quill for $249. Many other websites cary this same chandelier so shop around for the best price. Amazon carries it, through a 3rd party seller, for $75 more. Even Staples carries this light, but they’re out of stock right now. If you don’t like this particular chandelier but like the Sputnik style there are a lot of options out there, and many of them are very affordable.