In the octagonal entry/dining room of Nina Farmer's Boston brownstone, Farrow & Ball’s Lamp Room Gray in Full Gloss shimmers below the etched skylight and a vintage Sputnik pendant. The Baker Shansi table is ringed by Zentique Louis side chairs. Bright seats and fronts (in Holly Hunt Made in the Suede) contrast with dark backs (Rogers & Goffigon’s Biarritz) against the 19th-century pumpkin pine floor. Photograph, Lynn Geesaman.
In the dining room of an Atlanta house, curved banquettes that seat three people each were custom-made to conform to the curve of the table. "It makes the dining experience a little bit different and definitely creates intimacy," designer Kay Douglass says. Ebony dining table and Noella chair from South of Market. Drum light customized with Galbraith & Paul Fern fabric.
"It's a square room, so I wanted a round dining table, which sort of nestles into the lighter center of the Tai Ping rug," Phoebe Howard says of the dining room in a New York apartment she decorated with her husband James. Madeline Stuart's Rebecca chairs, covered in Holland & Sherry's Rive Gauche, are gathered around Julian Chichester's Dakota dining table with a nickel-plate base. A vintage Art Deco mirror is the focal point of one of the zebrawood-panel walls and is flanked by a pair of Baker's Perla lamps, set on a custom parchment sideboard. Palmer Hargrave sconces from Dessin Fournir. The curtains are of Pollack's Flaxen Satin. More elegant details: The ceiling is covered in Phillip Jeffries's Pewter Leaf, and the wood floor is inlaid with a Greek key motif, designed by James Howard.
The dining and living areas are combined in one large room of a Nashville house. Homeowner Jeannette Whitson hung two English street lanterns that were originally pole-mounted: "I like to bring what would naturally be found outside into the home."
A 1940s French chandelier and de Gournay Plum Blossom wallpaper give the dining room of a Georgetown town house decorated by Hillary Thomas and Jeff Lincoln a shimmery glamour. Thomas Pheasant dining chairs by Baker are covered in Kravet Versailles velvet and Lee Jofa Fiorentina Matelassé.
Electric colors bring zest and zing to a 1960s-inspired beach house. The starting point was the dining room table: designer Mona Ross Berman based her palette on the orange, yellow, turquoise, and white tabletop. "In a summer home you have greater license to have fun, be irreverent. The 'surfer' part is a laid-back feeling. The 'chic' is taking all those elements and distilling them in a new way." Eames chairs by Herman Miller. Custom chandelier.
In a Corona del Mar, California, house, Barbara Barry took the edge off the dining room's formality with a Nevo pendant by Arturo Alvarez and a Swedish cabinet. The graceful curves of the vintage and custom chairs echo those of the 1940s table.
The dining room walls in Liza Pulitzer Calhoun's Palm Beach house are painted mustard yellow "because yellow goes so well with candlelight," Calhoun says. Chairs are covered in Peruvian wedding blankets: "I love their ethnicity, the patterns, the colors — they do it all for me!" Shell chandeliers were custom made for the room. "I like them less for the light and more for the sound they make when the breeze hits them."
Because her house in Bridgehampton, New York, "meanders around corners and up and down steps," design consultant Ellen O'Neill couldn't make sense of the flow. So she painted everything Benjamin Moore's Linen White: "It's the blank-canvas approach." A vintage English road sign gives the dining room a focal point. Red chairs from Design Within Reach. Curtain fabric by Les Indiennes.
To make the Tony Duquette chandelier feel more at home, Ruthie Sommers had decorative painter Peter Bolton create an elaborate tree design in gold leaf on the dining room ceiling of her Los Angeles house. Jacaranda and plum trees inspired the vibrant pink Penny Morrison fabric on the front of the chairs and the Claremont floral on the back. Rug from Melrose Carpet.
Black window mullions and door and chair frames add graphic punch in a family vacation home on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. For beachy boldness, designer Sally Markham lit the dining table with rattan Orbita pendant lamps by Tomoko Mizu. Gervasoni's Otto dining chairs are woven rawhide on ebonized wood.
Jane Austen-inspired ballgown curtains and matching silk blend on the walls — Vervain's Caserta Satin — give Kelee Katillac's dining room in her Kansas City, Missouri, apartment its romantic, rose-quartz flush. An antique Breton armchair, slipcovered in linen cut from a vintage tablecloth, stands out like a white rose. Below the chair rail, Kravet's Velvet Gat anchors the room.
Designer Amanda Nisbet tucked a Macassar ebony banquette into the combined living and dining rooms of a New York apartment. Moore & Giles Cleopatra leather cushions have a shimmery glamour, and an antique bubble chandelier is a whimsical note. Resource Furniture side chairs are covered in Nobilis Filomena. Julian Chichester Dakota table. Chris Leidy triptych. Treillage hurricanes.
A Z Gallerie abalone chandelier in the dining room of Tobi Tobin's Hollywood Hills farmhouse is a luminous foil for the elegantly distressed La Mer table from the Tobi Tobin Vintage Collection.
A beloved dining table was resized by its maker, Alma Allen, to fit the dining room in this Los Angeles house. "It's been with them forever, which we love," says designer Pamela Shamshiri. Hans Wegner's Wishbone chairs pick up on the Asian sensibility. Hanging lantern from Lawson-Fenning. Vintage patchwork rug from Lawrence of La Brea.