09/06/2012 07:54 EDT | Updated 11/06/2012 05:12 EST

A Fine Dining Room for a Festive Family

Flickr: Dinner Series

Christina and Gavin moved from a small downtown condo to a sprawling 1960s ranch style house just outside the city. The spacious interior and enormous tree-lined backyard give them much to look forward to on the commute home. But, moving from a small condo to a large house has left them shy on furniture -- especially in the dining room. They have a great space for big family dinners, and nowhere for everyone to sit and eat!

Christina's large Italian family loves to get together often and with Christina, her mother, and three sisters all cooking for this close knit family, they want to share meals and time together in a warm, welcoming space with room for the whole family and all the food. With a big family feast in mind, I assembled the trades to create the perfect dining room!


First I needed to update the lighting by installing recessed fixtures. Then I added a fresh coat of paint in a warm cream and a soft blue shade.

I had the crew drywall over the outdated brick fireplace leaving it a blank canvas for me to create something fantastic. Deciding to blend traditional and contemporary styles, I chose a classic cast stone surround with an updated gas insert that has the look of a natural wood-burning fireplace. Adding double-arm sconces in brushed nickel on either side, adds an extra glow to this new fireplace.

When you're hosting meals for such a large family, you definitely need more than a bistro sized table! I think a 10 foot, Seville double-pedestal table with two extensions should do the trick! The table is great for a large crowd and you don't have to worry about guests bumping their knees on corner legs.

The new table is the dominant piece of furniture in this room so the lighting above has to be just as grand. So, why have one chandelier when you can have two? This pair of classic Riley chandeliers in antique silver creates just the right presence.

Gavin really wanted a natural, rustic feel so I went with a sheer fabric that mimics fine wood grain, and a beautiful leafy pattern for our drapery panels. The dining room chairs have solid velvet chenille fabric on the front with button tufting and the back is a coordinating chenille filigree fabric accented with beautiful silver nail-head detailing that picks up on the metal finishes throughout the room.

Lots of guests means lots of dishes and platters of food. To accommodate this, I designed cabinetry that incorporates both open and closed storage and a serving area with a heavy, and I do mean heavy, granite countertop that can take the heat and the weight of all the food.

After some final touches -- including a large, gorgeous carpet and perfectly placed mirrors to help bring some of the beautiful outdoors into view, this dining room was ready to be revealed. What was once an empty space with seating for four, is now a contemporary and classic, old-world inspired dining room that is perfect for large gatherings and the mountains of delicious food that goes with it.


A Fine Dining Room