Neutral Sophisticated Design

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This is the slickest, hippest restaurant design I’ve seen in a long while. The elements here could easily translate into residential design. It’s wonderfully masculine and modern with industrial lighting, geometric wallpaper, and smooth leather-like upholstery. Don’t you think it’s so great how they’ve brought in throw pillows? It gives the space a homey touch.

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A strong Scandinavian vibe provides sophistication in this dining space. How about that incredibly tall potted plant? I love how it is simple in form but makes such a statement because of the scale. The concept is mimicked with the candlestick.

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Speaking of playing with scale! The enormous Chinese lantern is not even my favorite part of this room but it sure is fun. I wasn’t quite sure if this is a dining room or living room… how often can you say that? In this case I love the ambiguity. Turns out is in fact a living room, though I’m sure it would happily do double-duty. I have a feeling this is a love it or hate it kind of room. Which is it for you? I love it. That rug is fabulous, the architecture is stunning, the furniture arrangement is unexpected, and there’s a swan.

one // Café Artcurial designed by Agence Charles Zana, photo by Jacques Pépion, via Yatzer
two // photographed by Anita Calero via desire to inspire
three // the home of Mats Gustafson, photographed by Magnus Marding for NY Times

Different Kinds of Elegance

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When I was pulling images together today I was struck by how these dining rooms are fairly different in style and yet I would classify them all as “elegant”. I think elegance is a great direction to go in for a dining room. For many people it’s one of the more formal areas of the home where you want guests to feel comfortable and pampered. The above room is very modern with its slick surfaces and angular lines. I’ve always loved the look of the Eames molded plastic chairs, especially with wood dowel legs like these ones. (Though I sat in an imitation once and it was about as uncomfortable as it looks; maybe the real deal is better.) This room’s simplicity and gorgeous finishes exude good taste.

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This room is probably the most “classically” elegant of the bunch with its strong traditional influence. Dramatic molding, a glimmering yet tasteful chandelier, tonal drapery that adds depth to the design without shouting for attention. That and much more make for a very elegant room.

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Less classic, more quirky, still beautiful. A lovely dining set gets shaken up by a bold modern armchair in mint green. Naturalistic plant arrangements feel less stuffy than a traditional bouquet, but no less elegant. I’ll admit I am not the biggest fan of this type of chandelier, but I do like how it adds a punch to the design. Which of these elegant rooms is your favorite? I’m having a hard time choosing!

one // photographed by Sharyn Cairns via homelife
two // Gluckstein Home
three // photographed by Nicole Franzen

Pretty Dining Rooms

I am super sorry for disappearing the last couple days. Work has been a little crazy. I hope you’ll forgive me. :)

Also, I adopted a second kitty yesterday! I have a long history with this cat already. Here’s the short version of the story: He used to be a stray that showed up on my porch one day, I caught him and had him neutered, and then when his personality blossomed I took him to a shelter that caters to kitties with the Feline Leukemia Virus, which he faintly tests positive for. He spent a few months there, during which time I started volunteering at the shelter. When my boyfriend gave me his blessing to get a second cat last week I immediately requested to take this guy home. The folks at the shelter gave him the name P. Kiddy. He is the most affectionate cat I have ever met. <3


Alright, how about some interior design? Here’s some pretty dining rooms.

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Super simple and Scandinavian. Not for me but oh how lovely.


I love a beautiful, bold tapestry. An excellent way to fill up a wall and add some easy color. (If you can afford a tapestry that is.)

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Now that is an interesting dining room. The chairs are so freaking cool. But other than that I don’t actually love the space as a whole. I’m not a fan of art that looks like scribbles. And while I like ornate chandeliers, that one isn’t doing it for me. But oh those chairs…

one // photographed by Sharyn Cairns via home life
two // the home of Vanessa Partridge, photographed by Nik Epifanidi via The Design Files
three // by Nate Berkus via dustjacket attic

Dining Rooms With One Dominant Color

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For a really snazzy effect, try creating a room with a neutral backdrop and only one color thrown into the mix. There’s something very sophisticated about a limited color palette, and yet it’s far from boring if you choose something exciting like the above purple chairs.

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Here again the chairs have been given a vibrant color while the rest of the room is kept quieter. The idea that yellow is a “happy” color is a cliché but it sure does seem to ring true in this room. I think it would be much duller looking otherwise!

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How about this for using one dominant color? In this case we’ve ditched the neutral backdrop and gone all deliciously monochromatic with a deep beautiful blue. For those who are familiar with the term monochromatic, it may tend to have a slightly negative connotation, conjuring up images of beige-on-beige color schemes and a lack of dynamic and visual interest.

But monochromatic design doesn’t always have to be that way. While it can be taken to an extreme to mean literally only one color, a more complete way of looking at it is that a monochromatic color palette includes any number of variations in lightness and saturation of one color. We see this at work in the above dining room where there are many versions of blue ranging from blue-black to a light teal. So yes it’s all blue, but it’s anything but dull. It’s easy for the eye to look at such a well blended palette. Plus, blue is lovely and calming and an enduring favorite. I love everything about this dining room. I have swooned over dark blue walls like this for a long time now. Hopefully some day I’ll have one of my own!

one // Adelto via nicety
two // Maurício Arruda via desire to inspire
three // Michael Graydon via desire to inspire


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