Wanda's Dining Room Makeover Notes

from Creative Home
Find out what Creative Home editor Wanda Ventling had to consider before starting the makover on this large dining room.

Fabrics: Robert Allen's Simply Leaves fabric in the grass colorway is the perfect motif for this clean-styled, nature-inspired room. Graphic leaves floating on a neutral background are fresh yet reminiscent of fabrics popular at midcentury. Robert Allen's Pixie Stix, also in the grass colorway, sports dashes of red, blue, brown, and orange that break its monochromatic palette. This fabric worked well to cover the family's dining chair seats. I also chose Zoffany's linen-look rough-spun cloth with slubs (twists or slivers of texture in the weaving) and neps (flecks or dots of color) in three slight variations of green. All three were used throughout the room: for the drapery band, on the table runner, and on the chair cushions at the kitchen bar.

Foundational Needs: The homeowner requested a clean and comfortable contemporary look. I found the dining table at Slumberland for about $550 and the slightly damaged sideboard in the store's discount room for about $350. The table was half to a third the cost of one from a trendier shop, so I bought it and had it painted in a matte-finish black. The sideboard was a real find. I knew it would have to be a slim piece because the space for it was only 18 inches deep. I also wanted it to have a tall enough profile for it to be seen above the table from the entry. With a coat of black paint, it was perfect.

The Light Fixture: We combined two basic white lampshades to make a stylish pendant-light for above the table. A fixture like this can cost upward of $325, but we made this one for less than $150. Start at a lamp store to purchase the parts such as tubing, wiring, a socket, and a pull chain. Refer to a book such as The Home Depot's, Wiring 1-2-3 for detailed how-to instructions, or ask your lamp shop to assemble the lamp for you.

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