A few years ago, I started working with a lovely couple in the process of designing and building their dream home. There were only two pieces of furniture that were moving over from the existing living space; a dining room table with six chairs and a matching china cabinet. These items were treasured hand-me-downs from an older family member and it was the home owners wish that they be incorporated into the design (see before photo below). The challenge that I faced was that the couples preferred style was transitional and these furniture pieces were traditional in style; the visual weight of them together in one room was heavy and overpowering.
Transitional is neither period nor modern. I would describe it as a well-balanced marriage of traditional and contemporary materials. Executed properly the result will be a classic, comfortable, and timeless design. In order to transition the dining room to a more contemporary 21st century look I had to balance the heavy, traditional elements with light, modern elements.
I started by selecting a neutral colour scheme of soft grey and yellow that was light in tone, but still had some warmth to it. These colours coordinated with other rooms in the home. The walls were painted in grey to give the room a more modern feel. I was able to source a neutral non-patterned carpet with subtle yellow and grey swirls, that we had cut and bound into the perfect dimensions for the room. The window treatments were designed in a simple contemporary style using solid blocks of colour; and accompanied by unadorned ceiling mounted rods. Modern light sconces were installed in the coffered ceilings which balance the more traditional chandelier over the dining room table.
The existing fabric on the dining chair was too moody and intricate, and gave the chairs a granny vibe. The chairs were reupholstered in a contemporary fabric that coordinated well with furniture and the colour scheme. The modern artwork was displayed in a simple light gold and black/brown frame with basic white matting. The table was accessorized with unadorned dishes in clean lines and solid colours; a light gold charger replaced the homeowners existing placemats; and a modern vase was selected to show off a stunning bouquet of hydrangea flowers.
Design for Conscious Living® is a full-service decorating and design company. If you have traditional furniture that you can’t bear to part with but prefer a more contemporary look to your home let our expertise help you make the transition.