Modern Farmhouse Dining Room – Before

I was originally called upon to help design two fireplace walls in this home. As renovations progressed, the homeowners asked if I could help with advice and decorating in other parts of the house. Renovations were well under way when the question was raised of adding a pantry to the dining room, next to the kitchen. It would add much-needed storage as well as a transition space between the dining room and kitchen.

We determined that the dining room was long enough to accommodate the large table that the clients desired, even with the pantry at one end. The only drawback was that the windows would no longer be centered on the wall, and the dining table would have to be centered in order to fit. I agreed to come up with a window treatment that re-established balance, so we could get on with installing a pantry.

The clients asked for Modern Farmhouse style, which we interpreted to be casual and comfortable but still elegant. The colour palette was to be gray and cream with reclaimed wood accents. They wanted the largest dining table possible, which we determined to be 9 feet.

BEFORE: The dining room as it appeared when I first saw it. Note the door opening directly into the kitchen.
DURING: Well into the renovation, a pantry has been added between dining room and kitchen. 
DURING: Adding the pantry meant that the windows were no longer centered in the room. Note the addition of a second light fixture above the dining table.

Modern Farmhouse Dining Room – After

The centerpiece of the new dining room is most definitely the custom table, made of reclaimed white oak. The stained brown top sits on a double pedestal base painted charcoal gray. The barn door was made of the same wood as the table top and stained to match.

Dining chairs were selected for comfort and style. End chairs feature cut-out backs, and patterned seat cushions. Embroidered drapery fabric also features a pattern of gray on white.

In order to balance the long dining table, we opted for two chandeliers, and selected black shades with crystal drops. Likewise, table decor needs to be doubled up in order  to match the table’s size.

A dark gray sideboard echoes the finish on the pantry cabinets, while the metal door details pick up on the other patterns in the room.

The window treatments are unique, and help to re-balance the room. Repainted, reclaimed shutters add a hint of rusticity, but the drapery panels keep things elegant.

AFTER: We punctuated the pale palette with hits of black in double chandeliers, drapery rods, barn door hardware, and end chairs.
AFTER: The table and barn door were commissioned for this project, and made from reclaimed white oak. The black and white table runner is hand-woven and adds pattern and texture, as well as providing a stage for tabletop accessories. The white glass bowls were made in Turkey and discovered at Home Sense. The driftwood sculpture was sourced from a local glass-making studio, and features black glass birds. Wallpaper in the pantry echoes the pattern in the dining room drapery panels. 
AFTER:  A charcoal gray sideboard provides extra storage for serving dishes. Note how the metal door accents echo the drapery and wallpaper patterns. We hung black and white photos above, reminders of the clients’ travels. The metal trees on the right were sourced from a local artisan. 
AFTER:  In order to re-balance the now off-centered windows, I designed a treatment that added a reclaimed shutter panel to the right side of each window. The shutters were painted to match the walls. Across each shutter is draped a generous swath of pleated fabric. Panels on the left side of each window fall straight to the floor. By effectively shifting the center of each window to the right, the space between windows could line up with the center of the dining table. 

Jeanne Grier is an award-winning interior decorator and owner of Stylish Fireplaces & Interiors. With over 25 years’ experience in the Toronto area, she has completed hundreds of makeovers. Her expertise extends to fireplaces, and she is an NFI Certified Hearth Design Specialist. She and her husband Colin operate a retail showroom in the Toronto area, featuring over 50 electric fireplaces, as well as wall coverings and fireplace accessories. 

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