Before and After: Villanova Modern Organic Dining Room

Recently a longtime client called us back to design her dining room.  It sat empty for the first few years of living in the home and she was finally ready to enjoy the space.  But she didn’t want your typical formal, no-one-ever-uses it, forgotten dining room.  Instead she was envisioning more a lounge space.  The catch was, while it DIDN’T want to FEEL LIKE A DINING ROOM, it still needed to be able to functionally sit 20 at holidays.  Huh?  How do you create a LOUNGE that can seat 20 people and doesn’t feel like a banquet hall?  Turns out, it just took a little creative floor-planning and one custom multi-functional table.

Let’s start with the space itself.  Pros: vaulted ceiling, nice natural light, french doors out onto a deck.  Cons: the red and gold color scheme, the lack of furniture.





We needed a focal point.  We chose a textural ledgestone for an accent wall in the dining room.  While the room would be mostly neutral, we opted for a little pattern in the seating area.  Natural materials are star of this room; stone, rustic woods, leather, bronze.  The scheme of mostly gray with a hint of teal/ turquoise felt just right.


Once Dad and the guys started setting the stone, I knew we were onto something good…


I’m super pleased with the final result…






A big “loungey” part of the scheme is the beautiful patterned sectional that wraps two sides of the farm table.

It’s cozy enough to plop into for a game of cards, reading, or a homework spot, yet also is super functional for dining.  We had the fabric treated so there is no worries devouring pizza or wine while lounging.

As for seating for 20?  Well we accomplish that with this reverse drop leaf console table.


Most of the time it lives against the stone wall and serves as a buffet.

But when needed, the top can flip out into a full sized second dining table.

Coldren Design built it to match the store-bought dining table perfectly.




One fun element was transforming my client’s existing hutch.

We took the doors off, painted it turquoise and moved it to the side wall below.




We also added mirror to the back of the dining hutch.

I love that it modernizes the piece and reflects both the stone wall and light from outdoors!









The stitched leather side chairs.


And the structured, modern sconces against the stone wall.


The Everday Floor Plan

standard layout

The 20 seater Plan

holiday layout

Get the Look

Dining Table – Restoration Hardware

Console Table – Custom by Coldren Design

Sectional – Ballard Designs

Chairs – Rejuvenation


Images by Courtney Apple

  1. Caroline

    Naomi, this is such a beautiful space!! Our Coventry Collection looks absolutely fantastic here, especially in the fabric you chose. Thank you so much for including our pieces in such an inspired room!

  2. Trish

    Absolutely fantastic! Quick question, where are the other chairs needed to seat all of those people? And how lucky is she to have such a large family gathering space?!

    • Naomi

      Trish, the chairs are kept in another room and brought out when needed!

  3. Monique

    Wow! Another beautiful makeover. The leather chairs are one of many favorites from this room.

  4. patty blaettler

    You have outdone yourself!

  5. Robin

    What a gorgeous transformation and brilliant use of space. And I would never have believed that hutch was the same piece of furniture. What a fantastic recycle. Brava!

  6. Simply gorgeous. I love how you updated that hutch – it’s as much of a showstopper as the wall!

  7. Karena

    Naomi, I can’t say i am surprised because you never cease to amaze me with your creative and artful transformation!! The Coldren console, the painted hutch and that stone, it is ALL a wow!!

    The Arts by Karena
    Artist Brad Oliphant

    • Naomi

      Thanks so much, Karena! I love how the room has many special moments 🙂

  8. I love a good before and after and your afters are always sooo good.

  9. Brenda

    Wow, just wow.

  10. Jessica

    You hit it out of the park again, Naomi! Wish I lived in PA; I’d be calling you to start work on my house STAT!

    • Naomi

      Thank you, Jessica! We may be offering long distance design soon. Would love to work with more people enjoy our style.

  11. Stunning room! I actually took a second to try and imagine how I would do this floor plan. I thought of Moroccan style but I like your plan much better. I don’t want to have a formal dining room, so I will have to remember this idea! Fantastic job!

  12. Fabulous! Love how you transformed that dining hutch….I had to do a double take thinking it really wasn’t the same piece. You always inspire me Naomi!

  13. Susan

    This is perfection! You are so talented and your work is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful room.

  14. Laura J

    OK, Naomi, I am picky, picky, picky and VERY hard to impress. This room blows me away — probably one of the best transformations I’ve seen you do.

    And that’s saying something.

    I’m pinning every shot. Can you share details on the chandelier?

  15. stephanie

    love everything about this!

  16. I love it! It’s fabulously creative–just as you are. Would be be willing to let me know where you found those gorgeous handles for the hutch? Such an inspiring transformation!

  17. Amy

    What a fabulous room! All of it is amazing but my favorite thing is the hutch! I love the punch of color and it has incredible lines! What a great way to recycle what you have.

  18. Kelly

    What a creative way to solve the problem of a bigger table when needed, but still keeping things from looking like a banquet hall. Beautiful work, as always!

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