When Susan wrote to us in need of some dining room swankification, we trolled the web and tore through our paint decks to create a crisp and inviting space just in time for Turkey day. Here’s her letter:
We definitely need your help with our dining room. It’s a work in progress. The dining room table and chairs must stay but I can easily make new slipcovers if you object to the pattern of the material. The dark sideboard stays but the other can be removed (on the right). The rug is new but it can find a new home in another room if you think it needs to relocate. I was also thinking of getting a capiz shell chandelier- I saw one on your blog that I like. I will be adding crown molding and painting the shutters white. The blue paint is new and I sort of like it. I was thinking about curtains for beside the shutters. I really need accessories to make this room look finished. My style is kind of nondescript- I like things crisp and uncluttered (like Pottery Barn). We moved into a house that was very Southwestern and we are slowly trying to rid it of this influence… adios wrought iron and terrecotta! – Susan
Those floors! That window! Those shutters that will soon be painted white! This room is bursting with potential. So without further ado, our trusty custom mood board to take Susan’s dining room from basic to brilliant:
Here’s the mood board breakdown.
1. We haven’t done a beachy and textural mood board in a while but Susan’s pale blue walls, sand colored rug and request for a capiz chandelier really got our wheels turning. The result was this soothing and calm color scheme of layered tan tones for depth and interest and some whites and ivories to keep things open and airy. Of course the walls will remain that serene blue hue, but once the shutters get painted a glossy white, and some crisp crown molding goes up, the space will really start to transform.
2. Something that we’ll definitely be bringing in en masse are natural materials and textures, and this $9.99 water hyacinth vase will add interest on either of the sideboards (both of which will stay) or in the center of the table for a natural, beachy vibe. Filled with everything from tall dried grasses, a cluster of flowers, twiggy manzanita branches, or even a few long white feathers it’s sure to be a show stopper.
3. True to our word, we dug up an affordable yet iconic capiz chandelier from West Elm with a rectangular shape to echo the shape of the dining table below. This one simple light switcheroo will add eons of atmosphere and elegance to the room in a flash.
4. This stunning set of three shimmering metalic panels (with gorgeous movement and interest thanks to a school of fish swimming from panel to panel) will add endless elegance and shine to Susan’s new dining space. Hung on that right wall above the existing buffet, they’ll positively gleam with glitz and glamour. And while they’re hardly cheap, they’re massive, memorable and definitely family heirloom material ( it’s three pieces of art in one).
5. And for the opposite wall we hunted down another nature inspired find, two leafy candle sconces that we’d love to see hanging on both sides of a mirror that we dug up for the buffet on the left wall (stay tuned). The sconces are patina’d with a lovely gold color worked into the finish, but should Susan order them and think that they look too dark and jarring on the wall, spraying them a glossy white will also work them right into our natural, beachy scheme. And at only $19 bucks with free shipping, you can’t beat this deal.
6. Here’s the gorgeous mirror we’d love to see hung over the buffet on the left wall (to reflect those amazing metallic fish panels that will reside on the right side of the room). Again textural and inspired by nature, this cut twig wall mirror is another conversation piece that will look right at home in Susan’s space.
7. And since Susan requested some help with accessories to liven things up and polish off the room, we sleuthed out these capiz platters, plates, and bowls for serving as well as displaying on those lovely sideboards when they’re not in use. We love that they’re made of capiz shells just like the chandelier, but they won’t look overly matchy thanks to the rich tan tones that are noticeable throughout each piece. Gotta love that layered look. And the large platter could also double as a tray atop one of the sideboards full of glittering champagne glasses or wine bottles to create a stylish little mini bar.
8. This swatch of fabric is actually burlap, and while we love the striped slipcovers and don’t think Susan needs to pull out her sewing machine to redo those, we’d love to see her whip up a burlap runner for the dining table to break up all that wood and add more- you guessed it- natural texture!
9. And for another injection of elegance and fabulosity, these bicolored silk curtains will balance out all the natural elements for a crisp and polished finished product. The ivory and tan tones fit perfectly within our palette, and flanking those gorgeous soon-to-be-painted shutters they’ll soften the rectangular lines of the window for an inviting and heightening effect (floor to ceiling drapes are miraculous when it comes to lifting the ceiling and creating drama).
So there it is. Susan’s serene and inviting dining room makeover. We can’t wait to hear what you think!
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!