Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Creating a hip space from a traditional place

I recently received an email from Catherine Hopkins, from Theshinypebble about her dining room. Catherine's request? How the heck do I make my current dining room look more hip. Hula hoops aside, creating a hip dining room is all in the mix. (and sadly we aren't talking margaritas here) We are talking about bringing different items, from different styles and mixing it all up. Designers are rockstars at doing this. We don't like things to match or make sense, so we put random things together, and magic occurs! Don't have a professional designer to help you? Read my recent post on Designing a room~Where to start.

The Challenge: Traditional space that needs some hip flavor
The goal: Make it hip, fresh and updated
The prize: Margaritas anyone?
Ok, first on the agenda, Paint! The room is rich looking, however the dark furniture and bland walls are screaming, give me life! My suggestion:

Sherwinn Williams: 6179 Artichoke. 

Second order of business, get rid of ALL the current accessories. The accessories Catherine has are lovely, but in order to make this room hip, the least expensive solution is to update the accessories.  For your buffet, lets update your mirror, and get you some new lamps. This will add sparkle and bring eye candy into the room.
                      Barbara Cosgrove

                                           Curtis Jere

Next, we need to focus on the dining table. Lets move your Captains chairs to another part of the house and switch them out for something more fresh and modern. This chair from Pottery barn (shown below) is the perfect solution to update a dining room. It is simple in design and generic enough to go with any style. Remember this when buying your next furniture piece. Always mix things up. Having an entire group of similar items is too much of a good thing. This is where style comes in. Remember my post on style? When you buy an entire collection of something, and everything matches, the theme becomes too literal. Be risk takers, and try different things; mix it up!

Next on our list, draperies. The windows need softness. They look naked, so we will add some beautiful textured silk draperies. This will add comfort, and make the room cozy for intimate dining with friends.

Now lets add some funk. Catherine has a wonderful sisal rug on the floor in her dining room. Lets layer it up with a fun and exciting stamped cowhide. This will add style, texture, and show your guests you like to have a little fun,

Now for a few finishing touches. Lets throw a pillow in the chair and add some artwork on either side of the hutch. Remember my post on scale? I give big kudos to Catherine for putting art work on either side of her hutch, (Designers love symmetry) but the scale is a bit off. Lets get something BIG. Remember students, GO BIG OR GO HOME! The artwork I selected below is great. These are 31x31 and will command attention next to that large hutch.

AB HOME                                                                                              AB HOME

Last but not least, the table accessories. I would like to add two canisters and a simple floral. A table runner can be added, but I did not find one that I just loved. Im sure there is one out there just waiting to be found!
(And a runner will add additional texture and can help glue the overall look together.)

  AB HOME                                                                                                            

And on the buffet, centered between the two Barbara Cosgrove lamps, I would put this beautiful mustard leather tray. Not only does this add spunk and glamour to the dining room, it can be used for serving yummy hors d' oeuvres. And how gorgeous would this be against the artichoke color! Bellisimo!
Well Catherine I hope this helps, and I look forward to seeing the finished product! Get to work and report back to us on all your progress

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  1. Oh, I hope she takes your advice and sends pics when she's done everything !

  2. Love the green walls and black and white rug! I can't wait to see the end result, once you've gotten your hands on it! p.s. I'm grabbing your button!!

  3. OH how fun!!!! I loved everything. I am writing down that needs list right now! Also, lucky me I already have the zebra rug layered over the seagrass in another room. I'll just move it over here. Will have lots of fun with all of the new stuff and write a post on it in the future. Thank you Amanda. Great job!

  4. What a great way to do an online consultation! How exciting for this client. I will look forward to seeing the room when it is completed. Your retail shop looks wonderful. I own a retail shop, as well, and it is certainly challenging to be a full-service interior designer, PLUS run a successful retail business... and manage a blog. But, like you, it is impossible for me to give anything less than 150%... not in my DNA! I am thrilled to have discovered your blog, and I look forward to following you. I have added you to my Blogroll. :)

  5. well the great thing is she has a beautiful room to start with! love the architectural moulding, and are those lights in the crown before the trey ceiling??? if so, i love it!

    i always like posts like this, because i like to think about what i would do in the space. i love your ideas and think the room will look great--can't wait to see the finished product.

  6. Love the idea of adding color to the walls here, Amanda! After that, changing out accessories would be the least expensive to change out, I'm with you there. BTW, love the pictures you've added on the side of your blog {you in your office and the gorgeous living room and family room shots}!

  7. Great suggestions. So true about mixing things up!! I would never recommend buying a matching dining set- (chairs and tables)- it ends up looking like a furniture store. Mixing and matching gives a space so much more personality.

  8. Really useful information - decorating 101. thanks for sharing so generously.

  9. Spot on. I played along with you and hhad several ofthe same suggestions. The only additional piece I would add if budget allowed would be re-upholtsry in a contemporary/whimsical print. Nothing crazy or too distracting from the beautiful trad furniture, but you know, fun.

  10. Fabulous architectural features, what a great room to work with..Rachaelxx

  11. Can't wait to see the after pictures, I know it is going to be beautiful!

  12. Dying to see the afters too! The paint and the accessories are really going to make such an impact...great advice!

  13. I'm leaving another comment to test it out!! Your writing is really awesome these days Amanda!! Love your posts!

  14. More than anything else it is so nice to see dining rooms actually being used, and wanted, again! Time was when everyone wanted a huge kitchen/family room for casual meals. But the REAL dining room has come back into favor! Thank goodness. Whether it's used every night, or only twice a year, I think it has a critical place in our homes!

  15. Lots of fantastic suggestions that I'm sure lots of people can apply to their rooms :-) Love the mustard leather tray :-)

    One thought that occurred to me to make the dining room hipper is to replace the glass in the cabinet with mirror. But then, I do have this thing for mirrored furniture!!


  16. Amanda, great ideas for a nice current change of design!! Fresh and light! A new work of contemporary art!?

    Art by Karena

  17. I love this post. I can't wait to see the results. It was especially helpful for me, as I have a formal dining room with a rug and a table and that's it!

  18. Fabulous suggestions--what a fun challenge!

  19. Lots of great suggestions here! This room certainly has potential to be a much "hipper" space. I so agree with you about the matchy-matchy thing. Too many sets of things give an air of formality to a space, rather than a sense of hip-ness. I think your mirror selection is really cool...and the textures and shapes you suggest will really add some character. Right now the room feels a little flat. The varying textures and colors will add dimension.

    A couple additional ideas...I'd love to see a chandelier over the dining table. It will help bring a sense of focus to the space. Also, it could be fun to paint the soffit. There's a great opportunity for a splash of color up there!

  20. Amanda! I loooooooove it! I hope she sends after photos, because it is going to be absolutely fabulous.

  21. i arrived to your class through catherine's blog. enrollment is in order, hoping not be late in every lecture you give...pen and paper ready!...looking forward to more posts. the title banner is sooo cute! take care...maryann

  22. What a beatiful room Catherine has. But with your changes it is upscale and so "hip". Love the green walls and the zebra rug!
    You have a creative and beautiful blog.
    I am having an April Cornell giveaway, please stop by and enter.

  23. I am using the captain chairs so simple why couldn't I think of that. This is so perfect just a few inexpensive ways to change the feel so much, you've gotta love it!