Dining Room at a Glance
Who lives here: A family of four, including two small children
Location: The Amos-Taylor House, Belmont, Massachusetts
Size: 210 square feet (19.5 square meters)
Design Team: Cummings Architects, Mandarina Studio Interior Design
BEFORE: The original dining room was at the rear of the house, through the door seen at the far end of this former large living room. When the design for a new kitchen was created for that space, the architectural team divided this enormous rectangular living room to create a formal dining room at the far end and a smaller formal living room in the foreground.
Because a new kitchen also included the family’s everyday eating area, the couple wanted the dining room to be a formal space used for entertaining and holiday celebrations.
The homeowners refinished their dining table and paired it with new French-style chairs in a white finish. A French sideboard maintains the formal theme but keeps the space light and airy. A washed bright-pink area rug adds a spot of color and offsets the dark-hued walls. Besides keeping the overall tone cheery and up-to-date, the rug choice also picks up some of the mauve tones in the drapery fabric.
Chairs: Restoration Hardware
Built-in shelves on the living room side serve as supports below the columns and function as partial-height walls. “Together, they create just enough separation between the living and dining areas but appear to have existed since the Victorian home was built,” Cummings says.
The physical separation also allowed for each area to have its own color scheme. To contrast with the bright white trim, the homeowners wanted a dramatic, darker, more conservative color in the dining room. Interior designer Amanda Reid selected a deep blue for the walls.
For continuity, Reid used the same fabric for the drapery panels in both the living and dining areas. The large-scale linen floral is the primary pattern in both spaces and successfully bridges traditional and contemporary styles.
The gem of the dining room, however, is the fireplace. Though it looks as if it’s been here since 1895, it’s actually new, having replaced a dull, awkward red-brick fireplace that had been added by previous homeowners and didn’t fit the style of the house.
The current homeowners found this Victorian wood mantle at a salvage store. After an insert was added, it was finished off with a handsome tile surround and hearth in deep blues and greens.