Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dining room library combination...

Now, that's the ticket.... a library, dining room combination might be the perfect answer! 

Oh..... sorry.   I'm get a bit ahead of myself.  Allow me to explain.

Last weekend, I visited my friend's new farmhouse.  It is simply charming and I would steal it from her in a minute.

Unfortunately, as with any older home, there are always a few rooms that are -- how do I put this politely -- difficult to decorate. 

Consider the following diagram.

So, in Suzi's house, there is a wonderful room which connects the living room and the kitchen.  It has a fireplace, built-in bookshelves, and an enormous picture window.  It is a lovely, well-lit space.  But, that little bastard has doors on 3 walls... and a window on the only remaining wall.  WTH were they thinking????  Where does the furniture go?

The original idea was to use it as a library and an art room for the kids.  Ok, that sounds great, but.... furniture placement?

Hmmmmm.... a loveseat cannot be floated in front of the fireplace or your feet will be resting on the hearth.  (Did I mention that the room is narrow?)  A sofa in front of the windows might work, but there is nothing that can visually balance the opposite side of the room because of the barn door.  A couple of club chairs might work at the window elevation, but nothing really fits on the opposite wall. 


Last weekend, we literally walked around the room... measured, placed "make believe" furniture in the room, and scratched our heads.

Then....  Why not think outside the box?

I've got an idea!

Let's start with the basics.  There will be no structural changes.  It is what it is!

The floors are great old hardwoods that look fantastic.  The ceiling... well... needs a tweak.  Most of the house has old wooden ceilings that are in lovely shape.  But, since this ceiling needs to be changed, why not use tin ceiling tiles???

Ok, I'll admit, the cost of antique tin ceiling tiles would make a millionaire choke, but new tiles aren't really expensive.  New tiles in an antique finish are only about $6-11, each, for 24x24inches.  So, the cost would be about $600 plus labor. 

Vintage inspired tin ceiling tile
Check out the ceiling in this room by CWB Architects

Ok, next... since there are only bookshelves adjacent to the fireplace, lets put some on the opposite wall.  Visual symmetry is, sometimes, the best option. 

Not the best photo, but you get the idea.  And, check out that bench beneath the window.  Hmmmmmm.....

A long bench beneath that picture window might work well.  What about.....?

The Raleigh Bench from Pottery Barn

Louis XVI Bench from Ballard Designs

On the wall beside the barn door, we need something a little fun and funky.  Suzi loves antique map chests and this could be great!

Vintage map chest

The patina on the chest could dictate the finish on the barn door.  Perhaps....

Now, back to the center of the room.  Making this space into a dining room would be great.  The table needs to be round with a leaf or two... that would allow seating for as few as 4 people or as many as 8 guests. 

Reclaimed hardwood round pedestal extension table
Adams Furniture, Highpoint, NC

So, a few examples of how the room could look include....
Pretty.. but a little too rustic.

Too masculine???? 

The white table is an interesting option

Great curtains and bookshelves

GREAT room.... for Colorado... not North Carolina

Fantastic room... and those pink chairs are amazing

 But, these last three are my favorites!!!!

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  

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