Making a Formal Dining room Family Friendly

Question is, how do you put traditional formal dining furniture... a prewar New York City apartment with exposed brick walls... to the eat-in kitchen, and make it family friendly?

For my clients in exactly this situation, I started with a contemporary rug with cheerful colors against the dark serious wood tone of their dining set...

then suggested a muted golden tone for the walls.

Everyone will look good and feel good in this space...

...especially by candle and chandelier light. The modern take on this traditional shape, adds sparkle without adding weight to a long narrow room.

A substantial mirror (this one is 50" tall) reflecting light and color...

... will also offset and equally impactful piece of modern art. Make sure it's large in scale and bold in theme and color.

Traditional still life paintings can work too, IF they are very large scale (say 60x60" or so- big!) and modern in color palette.

Anything that suggests playfulness, color and light will balance the seriousness of the dining set.

Throw in transitional elements, like these barstool and pendants to connect this room to the kitchen...

...and enjoy.

Mixing styles and lifestyles successfully involves a thoughtful mix of balance and contrast. Contrast dark serious colors with fresh airy hues, and balance conservative shapes with playful art themes and confident scale. If every piece has some element of elegance, the whole look will work.


The living room next... stay tuned.


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