Dining Rooms – Setting the Stage for “Dinner Theater”

Dining Rooms – Setting the Stage for “Dinner Theater”

Of all the rooms in the house, the dining room allows for visual theatricality. It is, after all, a room devoted to one purpose – entertaining – so why not make it entertaining? The perfect dining room should delight the eye just as the perfect meal delights the senses of taste and smell.

Since we love entertaining, be it casual or formal, intimate or grand, we are naturally drawn to dining rooms. Fortunately for us, we can live vicariously through our many clients and design a vast array of dining rooms, each specifically created for the hosts to conjure their own magic.

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Photo: David Phelps

In this decidedly feminine dining room, we created a trompe l’oeil setting that suggests a winter garden. Painted treillage covers the walls while elegant European furnishings complete the look. A delicate, neoclassical chandelier hangs lightly above an intimate table surrounded by a stunning set of 18th century armchairs. Guarding the entrance to the room is a pair of mid-19th century, English, terracotta garden figures.This elegantly turned out couple further enhances the feminine essence and garden atmosphere.

Photo: Art Gray

Photo: Art Gray

In lofts and apartments, dining rooms are often part of a larger space, but they should still have their own unique drama. In this loft, what is normally a large work/library table can be easily transformed into a dining table for ten. The table is an iron and glass piece of our own design, which is surrounded by chairs with clean, modern lines. More importantly, the chairs are comfortable enough to allow guests to linger after dinner for great conversation and perhaps a chocolate or two (or five!). Set with simple white china and hurricane candleholders from our collection, White Webb’s Intaglio, the table marries old and new for a striking, dramatic look.

Photo: Art Gray

Photo: Art Gray

Dining rooms suggest formality and good manners. Both good things, but if you mind the manners and tone down the formality, you’ll have a dining room that everyone loves to be in. Here, in a Spanish-revival house, we used several antique pieces to create a comfortable place for family dinners and festive gatherings. The table is an old Spanish piece, which is enhanced by antique Mexican pottery and comfortable chairs. Even though the room feels more casual, it doesn’t preclude an evening where guests are properly dressed and elegantly served. At the same time, it’s a great space for decorating holiday cookies, completing craft projects or doing homework with the kids.

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