A few months ago, we were called by a couple asking us to help them update their home.  The rooms they wanted to update were the front areas including the entry, dining room, and living room, the den and adjoining bar, and the master bedroom.  I thought it would be fun to do a 4 part series over the next few weeks to describe the design plan we came up with while we wait for everything to come in for installation.

Design Mandate:  Help them to fall in love with their home again by updating and refreshing their spaces

 The Dining Room

interior design, dining room, grass cloth, wallpaper, gray, traditional, transitional

Let’s start with the dining room since most of the furnishings that had to be incorporated in the design plan are from that room.  I’ll break down some of the parameters of the plan.

Items that must stay:

  • china cabinet
  • dining table
  • 4 side chairs
  • area rug
  • crystal chandelier
  • art
  • wood floors

Items that go:

  • buffet console
  • host and hostess chairs
  • paint color

Wish list:

  • window coverings that provide light control and privacy
  • new paint color
  • host and hostess chairs
  • sideboard
  • updated accessories
  • update the traditional style with more transitional elements

The Challenge

The challenge in this space was the existing furnishings and the wood floors.

I worked at Ethan Allen for a little while about 20 years ago which gave me a deep appreciation for the Queen Anne era furniture they have in their dining room.    However, it is not a quiet style of furniture by any means, and it has a definite deep rooted traditional feel.


Second, when the homeowners originally selected the wood floors for their home, they did not understand that it had such a red color tone until it was installed.  And the existing rug was a gray that had a greenish blue base and lots of greens in the pattern.  Because it had a lot of green, which is red’s complimentary color on the color wheel, it made the red tone of the floors even stronger.

Dining Room Rug

Existing china cabinet

Existing dining side chair

So, we needed to embrace the traditional lines of the furnishings while making the room younger, cleaner, and fresher.  And we needed to tone down the red floors while keeping the existing rug.  No problem!  We already had a vision for their home and was excited to started!

The Plan

The first thing we had to do was select a new light gray for the walls.  This was trickier than it sounds because of the red floors, all the exist green colors – either obviously seen or in undertones that are in existing pieces, and a new blue based rug for the living room.  However, the perfect color was found, Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.

So, the new color palette for the adjoining formal living spaces is now grays, linen whites, stones, soft blues, and chocolate browns.  You won’t really see the chocolate brown show up until the next blog.

The rest of the selections of the room came together beautifully, but I felt something was missing.  We needed something to keep the room from falling flat.  The answer came to me at the Kravet showroom – grasscloth!  Grasscloth is the perfect answer because it is as timeless as the Queen Anne furniture is, but not as pushy and visually heavy.  We knew the sample would perfectly blend in color with the Agreeable Gray while still adding a depth of texture to the space that it really needed.  It would create the perfect focal wall that didn’t scream for attention but still commanded the room.  And, it is fresh, clean, and youthful feeling.  Can you tell how much I love this wallpaper?! 🙂


Plan Elements

Below are the new furnishings selected for the dining room:


Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray SW7029


Bernhardt Host and Hostess Chair Fabric




Drapery Fabric

Drapery Hardware – Finial


Dining Room Lamp for Sideboard


Project Update

The room has been painted and the wallpaper is up!  The grasscloth is everything we knew it would be, and more.  Now, the shell of the room is complete and awaiting all the furnishings to come in.  🙂

Garvin dining room in progress


Stay tuned for next week, where we will show you the plan for the living room and entry way.

Do you have a room that needs help?  We would love to help you fall in love with your home again, too! Book a complimentary discovery call or design consultation today; we would love to meet you and talk with you more about your project!