This week the majority of design questions that came through our Just Ask category pertained to dining rooms and entertaining. I just love re-defining the tradional dining room, creating dining rooms that my clients enjoy spending time in so let’s explore some ideas.
Q. I am not a fan of china cabinets for dining rooms but need some storage, can you make suggestions? Elise
A. When I graduated from design school over twenty years ago I could tell you the manufacturers for the “perfect” china cabinet for any style LOL. In addition to my full-time job as a commercial interior designer, I was working part-time in the evenings for a furniture store. Those days are long gone my friends, I haven’t specified a china cabinet in the last ten years, with the exception of ”antique” china cabinets. I have re-purposed dozens of the bottom half, the buffet portion like this image above and have used them in living rooms to display collections.
One of my favorite options for dining room storage options are are built-ins. They can be elaborate with crown moldings and glass or as simple as this built-in pictured above. Here a soap stone top provides a functional work surface and I just adore the built-in wine cubbies and stainless shelves. Below banquette seating is the perfect fit in between these lovely built-in cabinets.
For the cottage inspired dining room; a simple wall mounted plate rack is aesthetically pleasing and functional, an eclectic take on cottage design infuses a pop of turquoise for a stunning wet bar area and lastly re-purposing vintage pieces is always a fun way to bring in some character.
I have several clients that still cannot let go of the traditional concept of a china cabinet so I found this piece below that brings a modern twist to an old friend. Sleek, chic and functional. For the French country inspired room the last example is a sweet cupboard that adds some weight to the design while providing storage and some surface space. Try to break away from the image of what you “think” traditional dining room furniture should be and design a room that fits your lifestyle. Mix pieces of furniture from sources and styles, you are going to LOVE the look you create.