It’s not often that I design a room around a dog, but Samoa is a very special dog. She’s a Bernese Mountain Dog, and it was her chewing behavior as a young dog that prompted her owners, Sue and Bob Van Brocklin, to ask Emery & Associates to redecorate their family room. Eventually we worked our way to the dining room, and when we brought this rug to their home, Samoa immediately gave it her stamp of approval. Here’s what the dining room looked like BEFORE:
We spent a lot of time talking about their lifestyle and what they love. They love traveling, especially in France, and have collected French dishes in Monet’s pattern, and French Indienne linens. Their old furniture had served them well while their children were small, but they were grown up now, and Sue and Bob wanted furnishings that reflected their current taste and interests. They wanted a dining table large enough to seat their extended family for holidays, and comfortable dining chairs. They needed everything redone: walls, window coverings, rug, furniture, and lighting. When I presented them with my concept sketch for the makeover, I told them it was easier for me to draw a picture of Samoa than four more dining chairs.
Along with the concept sketch, I also presented a vision board with fabrics, furniture finishes, rug ideas, and photographs of dining table and chairs:
The “BEFORE” room was calling out for a mix of color and pattern to wake it up. I found a fresh blue and white fabric from Pindler & Pindler for the Roman shades that flank the built-in buffet, and used it to drape the large front window as well. The drapery adds softness and color, and a bit of sound dampening. The next piece was the rug from NW Rugs, which adds a pop of red to the blue/white/yellow palette, and also the advantage of enough pattern and color to hide a multitude of sins, including Samoa’s paw prints, food crumbs, and spills. The small blue and white textured fabric from Brunschwig & Fils was the perfect choice for the dining room chairs. The classic “Tula” table from Ebanista, is eight feet long most of the time, but expands to ten feet when needed for larger groups. Since Bob is 6’5″ tall, the French antique mouton chairs they both loved were not practical. My upholstery workroom created the custom-sized chairs to accommodate modern dining height, with a slightly higher and deeper chair for Bob. The trick was to make sure that the arm of the host chair, and the host’s knees, would not hit the apron of the table. So far, so good! Here’s how the room looks now.
When I took the “BEFORE” shot (below) of the dining room, looking toward the front window, the table under the window had been used to extend the former dining table for large holiday meals. It had also became a dumping spot for clutter.
Since the new table can grow to fit their large extended family, and the original built-in buffet has been re-styled, the dining room doesn’t need a secondary table anymore. The rug is sized to fit the generous proportions of the room, large enough that the chairs can be pushed back without them falling off the rug, but allowing a band of the beautiful hardwood floors surrounding it to show. This room is company ready!
We love working with families who have children and pets. Nothing is more wonderful than the fun of watching their antics, not to mention the companionship and unconditional love they give us (well, dogs give us unconditional love–cats and kids, not so much). On the other hand, nothing is more frustrating than the muck, disorder, and chaos they can cause. If you need help decorating around kids, cats, and dogs, give Emery & Associates a call. We can help. We’ve been there.