High Summer Dining–Bon Appetit!

My clients are having some friends over for dinner tomorrow evening, and I told them I’d bring the flowers for the table since the room is now completed and I wanted to photograph it.   The hostess is using her mother’s Spode china (“Buttercup”), and her own coral red place mats and napkins.  This space now feels as vibrant and warm as the owners themselves, but it wasn’t always so.



When I first met the homeowners, we talked about what they loved about the room, as well as what they didn’t like.  The antique buffet was a family piece, and the table and chairs were the first furniture purchase they made together as newlyweds several decades ago–these items were meaningful and precious to them.  The wife was tired of the peach-colored walls, and said the room didn’t feel pulled together.  The stunning painting by Shirley Gittelsohn over the buffet was a large plus, since it added a huge punch of color to the otherwise bland space.  I thought the teal rug argued with the painting, and there seemed to be an overabundance of brown wood.  This is how the room looked BEFORE:



After interviewing the clients at length about how they wanted the spaces to feel when we were finished, both husband and wife said “cheerful, happy, relaxed, and welcoming.”  We accomplished this by removing extraneous furniture, and changing the color palette:  the wall color became “Anjou Pear” green, the drapery panels a sunny yellow floral, and upholstered host and hostess chairs in the same golden yellow.  The  place mats and napkins, which the wife already owned, echo the hot colors in the painting, and now the room truly feels “pulled together.”



There are 8 Comments to "High Summer Dining–Bon Appetit!"

  • Dinah Adkins says:

    I love these colors. Anjou pear–even the name is beautiful. And it is so warm. Fantastic job, Kathia!

  • The concept of the rug “arguing” with the painting is very apt. In the final result, the painting remains bold and beautiful, but more a part of the whole. Very beautiful!

  • Judi says:

    Stunning, as always! Makes me want to serve a lovely butternut squash soup in small stone colored tureens, followed by roast pork, apples, and onions. Apple tart for dessert? The room emits warmth and I envision good friends sharing food. Lovely. Shouldn’t all dining rooms be so inviting?

  • Shari House says:

    The warm colors do suggest colorful feasts to come! Somehow the “before” colors were not welcoming. Love the change.

  • judy paleologos says:

    Feels wonderful, Kathia! This is an excellent illustration of how much one can do with relatively few actual changes. The before room really does not work and with a few well-choreographed modifications, it positively glows.

    • Kathia Emery says:

      Thanks, Judy. It isn’t always necessary to change everything. In this case it was the background, the “supportive players.” Sometimes, it’s the major pieces of furniture, which is what we did in these clients’ living room. I’ll publish that on another blog post soon.

  • Barbara Shettler says:

    I love the colors – especially going from late summer into autumn and it should be uplifting all year round. (I recognize the china pattern and its very appropriate.)

  • Donna Pizzi says:

    I always enjoy how you explain how you brought a room together. It always makes good design sense, and is beautiful to behold. Really cheerful and welcoming – just what the couple wanted. Brava!

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