When we heard that Diana was looking to swankify her entryway and adjoining dining area with rich colors and a few updated pieces, we couldn’t wait to get to work. Here’s her letter:
We love the open spaces in our renovated 40’s home but we’re stumped as how to make some of them work functionally and aesthetically. I’d characterize us as eclectic casual, we like clean lines and medium toned and/or painted wood furniture. And we’d love to see some more saturated color in our current neutral palette (but would like the wall color to stay). Our first dilemma is what to do with the entry area by the fireplace. We don’t want to clutter it, but it looks sparse and unoccupied (the stuff on the mantle and the wall mirrors can go). Our second challenge is the adjoined dining room, which functions as our eating area as well as a hallway between the front of the house and the galley kitchen. It needs a major upgrade: a new table & chairs, a new light fixture, colorful accessories, etc. THANK YOU so much for the help! -Diana
So without further ado, a bit of color to spice up Diana’s neutral palette and a few fabulous new pieces to update the dining area. Check out our handy dandy mood board below:
Here’s the mood board breakdown.
1. Our color palette is full of the saturated hues that Diana craves. By bringing in a rich green, yellow and red tones, we’ll add warmth to the space so people feel right at home as soon as they enter. The brown color in the scheme represents the medium toned wood that Diana adores, which we’ll be introducing into the space as well.
2. Featuring each of our accent colors, this cheerful doormat (on sale for just $7.49!) would look great at the front door (to greet everyone as they step inside and help establish our cheerful new color scheme).
3. We were so inspired by this image of four framed fruit prints, and realized an identical arrangement would be perfect for the wall that currently houses the two mirrors. Since the ones in the image weren’t for sale, we hunted down some super affordable (and super similar) fruit botanicals (at just $9.99 a pop) for Diana to frame- which will add interest and detail to the seemingly sparse corner of the room.
4. Did we mention that this design dilemma was definitely a toughie? We brainstormed at length about what we could place under our newly framed fruit prints without interfering with the fireplace or the hearth (we loved the hutch in the inspiration picture, but it’s much too deep for the space). After carefully considering everything from ottomans, baskets, demi-lune tables, coat racks, umbrella stands, and even shelving systems, we settled on a rich wooden stool from Ikea in Diana’s favorite tone. It’s narrow enough not to interfere with the fireplace surround or block the air vent on the floor, and it’ll help ground the framed botanicals while creating a place for Diana to drop her keys or the mail if her arms are full of groceries.
5. Now to gussy up the mantle. We think a simple, symmetrical display will let the fireplace shine without feeling overcrowded. And two of these super realistic faux-mint topiaries from Crate & Barrel on either side of another framed fruit botanical will definitely unify both walls so that it seems like one cohesive entry area. Leaning the framed print casually on the mantle instead of hanging it will keep with the casual eclectic feel that Diana loves.
6. Our inspiration for the dining area was a fresh, juicy pear- which incidentally we think would look lovely gathered in a big white bowl as a centerpiece. The red to green coloring fits perfectly within our palette, and they’ll serve as a subtle reference to the fruit botanicals by the front door. As for the lighting, we think this pretty, natural looking pendant would look fabulous swagged over the new dining table to illuminate the entire area for people dining or just passing through (just use a ceiling plant hook centered above the table to swag the wire for a graceful and functional result). Instant ambiance without any major electrical work.
7. We dug up this gorgeous print to replace the current artwork above the table which works within our color scheme while adding sophistication and style to spare (and where else can you find jumbo art for just $29.99).
8. Boy did we search high and low for the right dining table. It had to be the perfect medium tone and the right size for the space. We thought a rectangular table pushed up against the left wall would function really well in the room (and appear much more “built-in” than the rounded table against the wall) while allowing for a clear walking path on the right since the space is also a major pass-through. And after much comparing and contrasting, we finally settled on this JC Penney dining table (for just $249). It’s a modest 54 inches long (perfect for the space) but comes with a leaf to expand and seat 6-8 on special occasions without increasing the length of the table (the leaf makes the table a 54 inch square, which we still think will fit in the space in a pinch (although we wouldn’t recommend leaving the leaf in for everyday use). The perfect size and solid shape will really add character and warmth to the eating area, while some black painted spindle side chairs (only $149/pair) would look gorgeously eclectic and fend off wood overload and that eerie matchy-matchy feeling.
So that’s Diana’s warm and tasty makeover. Is your mouth not watering for a juicy pear right about now? We’re super excited to see the transformation and can’t wait to hear what you guys think. Any ideas to add to the pot?
Update: We sadly can no longer find the time to take on client commissioned mood boards (we now whip up general inspiration boards instead) but if we ever reinstate them we’ll make a big announcement!