Dining Room Before & After

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I love before & afters.  (And if you're new to it, I love before & afters.)  There's something so satisfying about them with their instant gratification.  You get to see the meh "before" and then scroll down a little and the room is finished.  

{Before}

{After}


In my mind when I'm planning rooms, one way I look at them is by thinking about each wall and each view or "elevation."  I think about how it will look from the camera's eye.  When I'm finishing up a room or accessorizing it, I often take photos myself of rooms to make sure I'm happy with how the space is looking.  The camera helps me be more objective & more critical.  

The dining room I'm sharing pictures of today was the type of room that I can see with pretty much crystal clarity in my mindseye as I'm creating the plan.  It was easy for me to envision because it was a fairly square room and had an important focal wall that is seen right when you walk into the house.  I worked with my clients throughout the first floor of their home (It was their family room I showed above, and you can view the full family room here) but the dining room was actually the first room we did, because it was empty. My client wanted a relaxed yet elegant dining room that made her go "ahhh." (And that's a sigh, not a yell ;)  Like I mentioned in my previous post about this client, she & her family love to spend time on the water and she loves nature.  

We started with this blank slate:


And ended up with this:


I was so excited about this plan when I presented it to my client.  I typically work with my clients throughout almost their entire homes so the first presentation meeting for the first room or set of rooms is really important in setting the tone for the home  and for determining how we're going to work together.  As much as I love designing a home in its entirety, I also love for clients to get the chance to experience a room entirely through from conception to completion because after that, the trust between us is incredibly strong as we go through the rest of the home.  Decorating a house can be worrisome for lots of people and so having this trust is key.

When I started working on the plans for this room, I knew I wanted to do a painted blue sideboard and a wood-topped table.  I love a mix of painted and wood furnishings in a room and thought blue would be perfect for my client's coastal leanings.  All of my client's inspiration rooms seemed to have slipcovered parsons chairs so we decided to go with those and I had them made with simple linen slips that didn't reach the floor, to keep things casual.  I thought adding a casual striped dhurrie would bring the formality down another notch and relax everything a bit.   The branch chandelier was one of the most important elements in the room to me & when I presented it to my client (at our first presentation meeting) I really wasn't sure that she would go for it.  (I'll be honest, most clients wouldn't go for it.)  I think I probably hugged her when she said "yes" to it like it was really no big deal.  (Thanks Colleen!!! :)

{Custom Side board & Windsor Chairs by Furniture from the Barn

For the artwork, we found these big black herb prints to go above the blue sideboard that would really create a dramatic focal point.  We've used black accents throughout the room and I liked the idea of doing a big jolt of black in the middle of the room.  We flanked the artwork with some gorgeous sconces by Julie Neil.  We had curtains made in my "Live Paisley" in a custom brown colorway to bring a little bit more organic movement into the room.  

 And, although it doesn't look like it, we did repaint this room.  The color we chose (my favorite go-to ivory, Benjamin Moore's "seashell" just had the slightest bit of glow to it that the original paint was missing.  It's something that doesn't necessarily show in photos, but when you get the right light neutral up on a wall, it makes a room sing.  It was that trust I mentioned that really made this project so special and such a pleasure to work on.  The Bamboo Windsor Chairs initially made my client a bit nervous because she thought they might feel a bit too traditional, and so we held off on them. Once the room was installed without them though, my client was ready for them.  They're one of my favorite elements in the room and that little addition of warm wood was just what it needed.



I'm off for an installation in DC, but hope you enjoyed!! I'll be sharing our clients' foyer soon too. And thank you, especially, to my client, for being so open-minded about everything.  (She's the one who is an artist and doesn't know it yet.  See here.  She's said she's open to doing more paintings, so if you're interested, send me an email.)  Have a great day!!




If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

*All after photos taken by my insanely talented friend, Helen Norman

40 comments:

Inspire Me Heather said...

That dining room (and the living room!) is just gorgeous!!

Crystal (theweekendhomemaker.com) said...

wow - this is one of my favorite dining rooms. So pretty, yet casual and inviting. Love all the touches and especially the chandelier.

tori said...

I love your blog! I have never posted a comment, but felt compelled to do so here. This room is incredible. You have totally outdone yourself. Your talent is impressive and inspiring!

Karen Albert said...

Lauren I adore the dining room. The blue sideboard with the paisley curtains and dhurrie, amazing. I cannot even start on the chandelier! Perfection!

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Karena
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theanatomyofdesign.com said...

such a pretty, peaceful, traditional space...but, then you throw in that chandelier....and wow! also, i love that you included that giant fern!

Judy said...

Could you possibly give the source for the black botanical prints?

I love this room.

Jennifer said...

The chandelier is my favorite piece--really unexpected and eye catching! Love the re-do!

Mary Ann at classic•casual•home said...

Love the sconces, too!

Diane Haynie said...

Great room Lauren. I used that branchelier in my client's Montana Lake House and it is certainly the focal point...love it in this dining room! Also love the painted sideboard with the white accents...the whole house is so fresh and inviting compared to the befores.

Jan Harris said...

Oh my word... you are genius!

Nancyd said...

Hi Lauren, I love what you did here. can you tell me where you got the upholstered chairs?

8a8ffe32-c7b3-11e2-876c-000bcdcb2996 said...

Beautiful room, Lauren! Is that your fabric for the drapes or if not, can you tell us where you found it?

Kristi Lynn said...

Lauren, seriously. I just cannot get enough and the before compared to the afters are simply amazing. I love your work!

Erica {let why lead} said...

This is so beautiful, Lauren! Of course, I'm not surprised. I follow a good handful of designers, but I always learn something new from seeing your work and reading what you share here. You are definitely my favorite. :) Thank you!

Anna said...

Such a lovely room. You are so incredibly talented. Love the gorgeous curtains, the chandelier, so unusual, the black and white botanical prints, and the blue sideboard. It is beautiful. Have a great day!

Laura O. said...

Hi Lauren - Both of these rooms in this house are A-mazing!! Love your work. Do you mind sharing where the dhurrie rug is from - I have been looking for those exact colors for some time. Thx! Laura

http://www.preciouslyme.com/ said...

Very beautiful room!
The atmosphere is really soothing.

Vel Criste said...

You are truly Amazing Lauren- another masterpiece room! Love it!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Lauren this room looks amazing! What a great compliment to the living room! A modern and comfortable space.

Love it all!

Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design said...

Such a great room!!! You are a true talent!

dmsmith said...

I really do love those prints. Can you say where they are from? Thanks!

Carol@HouseandHomeDefined.com said...

Oh my heavens, Lauren, this made me gasp. There's so much blah and sameness in blogland. You, however, are true talent. It's so thrilling to watch what you put together, looking like it's so effortless.
Carol (6Wilson on ig :)

Nina John said...

very nice publish, i definitely love this web site, keep on it..
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savvy shopper said...

Wow! Love what you've done with the client's living and dining room. Now can't wait to see the other rooms you worked on in this house. I'm a big kitchen buff, so hopefully we get to see what you did there too.

Laura Casey Interiors said...

Gorgeous, Lauren!! No wonder your client is thrilled :)

My Little Bungalow said...

Lauren, this is a beautiful room! What a transformation. I love, love, love those chairs on either side of the sideboard, and the scones are very unique. I really admire your work and your style. The fact that you put plants into your rooms is terrific too.
Claudia

Sarah K said...

I love it Lauren. Amazing transforamtion. I dont think there is one thing I favor above the rest-all beautiful. It must be fun to work with a client that gives you so much creative freedom. It truly reflects more accurately your style (which I LOVE)
Sarah

Holly Irwin Fine Art said...

Both rooms are gorgeous....you are so talented. The draperies in the dining room are my favorite.......love the pattern and color. You always bring that element of freshness and nature to your designs. Beautiful!
xo
Holy

An Urban Cottage said...

You rock!

lori said...

I live in New Orleans and will have to visit Julie Neil's shop!!

Jamie {Better With Age} said...

Gorgeous! You always do an amazing job!!
Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

Dawn @ Inspired Living said...

I love this project too! What a lucky client. I need to find a plant stand like the one above....and then I need to find out how to keep my kids from knocking it over.....

Chase Howard said...

Very exciting, thanks for sharing! I just moved into a new house and I just bought some dining room sets to fit in with the rest of the house atmosphere. I just set everything up this past weekend and it looks great!

Capella Kincheloe Interior Design said...

Lauren - I love how clear your design aesthetic is, each room you design has your stamp on it. I'm a little envious of your clarity. Beautifully done.

Danielle said...

That branch chandelier is amazing!

vignette design said...

I love this beautiful, organic dining room. I would say yes to the chandelier ten times! And the black herb prints too. Love your paisley curtains. The whole room just sings. I'm going to have to get me some of the BM paint too. Great job Lauren. BTW, love that living room too. What a dramatic before/after! ~Delores

muhammed waqar said...
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Julie S said...

Both of these rooms are so wonderful. You really know how to take all the elements and make them work together in a way that looks fresh yet lived in, and not too "decorated". I love love the dining room - the balance of the layout and the hits of black are just fantastic. Great job!!

lauren micaela said...

Hi, I love this dining room makeover! Do you mind please sharing the paint colors for the sideboard? Thank you so much!

Christine Freeman said...

Something in your absolutely lovely room caught my eye: The "bamboo" chairs. I have four, without the arms. I'd be interested in the maker, if you know them. I bought them at a flea market. (Women's Flea Market in Bethesda) I did a double take, since they're not bamboo -- and to find they match mine!
I'd be interested in anything you know about them. Thanks!