More and more, I am finding myself drawn to dining rooms where the table is stained in one shade and the dining room chairs are stained in another shade. One is darker than the other.
Like this dining room designed by Frank Babb Randolph, who happens to be the owner, and photographed by Kenneth M. Wyner (DC by Design just posted on Mr. Wyner's residential photography & his new website).
It was featured in Washington Spaces magazine Early Spring 2006 issue and a favorite inspirational photo of mine. And for more full-size photos on Mr. Randolph's home, please see a blog entry from Things that Inspire from July 2009. The photos will dazzle you.
I find this neoclassical vignette to be architecturally appealing in so many ways. From Washington Spaces Winter 2005 issue featuring the home of Fred Steckhahn (President of Niermann Weeks) and McKinley Williams.
It was designed in collaboration with Bradshaw Orrell and photographed by Paul Burk.
My eye lands on the back of the chairs where they are covered in brown fabric and pairs nicely with the dark table.
This dining room by Phoebe Howard shows a great contrast with nearly white chairs and a warm-toned table.
And this space also proves a less-matched look can be a wonderful thing.
By Caldwell-Beebe (a Virginia-based interior design firm I discovered via Things that Inspire), have inspired me with the above vignette by showing how chairs with a worn-look can complement a polished table and still look elegant.
This inspiration piece photographed by Lydia Cutter comes from Home & Design Magazine's recent issue showcasing U.S. Senator Kit Bond and Linda Bond's home in Chevy Chase, Maryland. According to the article, Mrs. Bond worked with the infamous Bethesda-based antique shop, Tone on Tone, well known for their collection of Swedish antiques, in furnishing their home.
Another great pairing of different types of wood finishes as well as stains.
Speaking of Tone on Tone, here is a dining room of the shop owners home depicting great contrast between the chairs and table.
Photographed by Erik Johnson and featured on Traditional Home's website.
The reason I chose the title to this entry as "The non-descript dining room..." will explain itself when you see my photo of our very own dining room.
With the photos and links I've shared as inspiration, my thought is to keep the chairs in their original state and provide depth by having the table refinished and stained a darker color.
The question is how dark to stain the table?
And so now, a new mission begins.