Mixed Seating in the Dining Room

One of the most common requests my clients give me when designing their dining room is a mix of seating.  Benches, head chairs, a mix of firm of soft… gone are the days of the matching sets of table, chairs and sideboards.  People want flexibility and style to entertain in different ways.  We try to design dining rooms to be used as more than just the holiday dinner spot that sits empty most of the year.  Formal dining rooms can double as libraries, lounges, homework headquarters, or your favorite room to sip your morning coffee.

 

For our Chestnut Hill Project, we provided three types of seating in the dining room.  We wanted the flexibility to host large groups or intimate gatherings, formal adult events or children’s dinner parties.  The kids love to pull the bench up to the table and draw.  The head chairs, slipcovered in a linen are super cozy and provide a little drama in the room.  And the Louis XVI oval back chairs are surprisingly comfortable for a good price.  (Thanks Ballard Designs!)

Here is how we set up the room….

Layout Option 1: 6 chairs with 2 Head Chairs

5 chestnut hill dining room

Layout Option 2: 3 chairs, a bench and 2 Head Chairs

MIxed Seating in the dining room design manifest

When the bench isn’t needed, It sits against the window wall

dining room bench

How other people use mixed dining seating

mixed seating in the dining room christine dovey

Christine Dovey

seating with bench in dining room

Laura U

mixed seating in dining room tulip chairs with settee

Marie Olsson Nylander

mixed seating in dining room wing chairs with benches

Tracery Interiors

***

(Images of DM Dining Room by Courtney Apple)

Sources for the DM Dining Room can be found HERE

Dining Room Version 4.0

Hey, remember that time I had a house and used to blog about the great strides I was making in renovating and decorating?

I almost titled this post “Everything Sucks… At My House,” but I’m trying this new positive energy, positive life THING, so lets just discuss what I’ve got going on now and all the room I have to grow with my home.  The dining room has been a real challenge for me.  Mainly because I have these great vintage pieces that are all in bad shape.  I’m frozen in indecision about putting in time, effort and  money to fix what I’ve got, or scrapping it all and taking it a whole new direction.  Do you feel me?  Are you totally stuck in any area of your own home?

Here’s what I’ve got going on now.  From far away, while squinting, I really love it.  Like when I walk in the door, I get all giddy.  I love the dark floors mixed with the light, organic shape of the cowhide.  The traditional wood table pairs so nicely with the sculptural white tulip chairs.  And my pendant… still love my pendant.  So in theory, its all good.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

The problem is when you inspect things closely or attempt to sit down.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

The chairs have no cushions and are in desperate need to a lacquer paint job.  (IE $$$ automotive paint job I can’t do myself.)  The table is too short, so If your legs have a circumference of more than 15″, they are not fitting under there comfortably.  No big deal, just need to get some casters to raise it up a bit.  What is a bigger deal is the scratched and burnt table-top.  Sanding it down and refinishing it is like #107 on my want-to-do-list.

Oh and just ignore that bottle of Jack.  I’m not a raging alcoholic, it was just a necessary accessory for watching the Bachelor the other night.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

In other furniture news, I love my vintage chrome console table but I really need closed storage over here. I have a serious storage problem in my little cottage.  So I’m thinking I may move my console table to under the stairs.  Right now I have two black lacquer cabinets there, but they will be headed out soon to my clients home.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetThinking the chrome console and stools could look good along this wall.

So that means I need to find a credenza for under the window. ($$$)  And once that happens I can relocate my Nana’s server that’s been pissing me off ever since the table has arrived.  The two woods of the table and server just don’t play nice with each other.  Also, there is no shelf on the inside, so the storage is not functional anyway.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This is literally the only spot on my first floor where I have open wall space, so I really want to put a bookshelf here.  Where else can I store my ridiculous brass menagerie collection?

So that’s the plan.  Sort of.  Still not sure about the table and chairs.  Or the new pieces I need.  So basically I’m at square one.  Decorator decorating her own house = shit show.

Hoarder’s Paradise

tables and chairs

When you complain about having too much furniture the common response is “That’s not a bad problem to have!”  But you know what? My first floor is a crowded mess right now and its stressing me out.  Forget Hoarder’s Paradise, this is more like a drive by furniture dump.

If you haven’t guessed, my wood table was delivered last week…

traditional wood table

It’s a nice little piece.  In theory, I like how it mixes with most of my stuff.  I like that its a family heirloom and was free.  I also like that it has leaves and expands for future dinner parties.  I say “future” because I have yet to throw a dinner party, but a girl can always dream she’ll turn into Martha one of these days.

So those are the pros.

Then there are the cons…  It’s too low: only 28″ high.  Chair arms (and thighs for that matter) do not fit underneath of the apron.  It needs to be refinished/ sanded / re-stained / painted?  Oh and it doesn’t really go with my new favorite vintage chairs.

traditional wood table with chrome and leather chairs

Too much mixology?  

What if I hoist it up 2 or 3 inches and paint it black?  Or strip it and do weathered wood?

Originally, before I stumbled upon the chrome and leather goodness, I was planning to purchase some (faux) Panton chairs or even refinish my original Tulip chairs to pair with my table.  I wanted to be all Vicente Wolf and do my dining room up like this…

vincente wolf ralph pucci dining room

or like this…

traditional wood table with tulip chairs

But in order to do that, I need to fix both my table and tackle my chair project.  That means an automotive paint job for the tulip chairs and new cushions.  So $$ and some $$.

And then, two weeks ago, I found my lovely chrome and leather chairs.  And I really like them.  But they really look better with a table like this…

nate berkus chrome chairs dining roomNate Berkus

chrome chairs round table ken fulk

Ken Fulk

David_Oldroyd_SF 1179

David Oldroyd

That last one is my absolute favorite.  I just need a tree trunk and some glass!!  That’s easy enough, right?  Then I would have 3 tables.

UGG.

So I am in a quandary.  I obviously I need to get rid of a set of table and chairs because my basement is filling up quickly and my living room can’t handle this many occupants.

 What would you do?

And for those of you who like the Docksta/ Fake Tulip table… well honestly it looks like crap in person.  It’s always dirty looking and just brings down the quality and finish of my whole first floor.  So it may stay for a bit, but its not a keeper.

Vintage chrome and leather dining chair score

Hello?  Is anyone out there still reading?  I hope so because Fall is in the air and I’m raring for a comeback from my unintentional summer vacation.  Something about Autum makes me want to recharge at home and that pretty much always turns into nesting.  And nesting means lots of fun ideas to share.

I”ll start with this weekend’s flea market find: 4 Vintage chrome and leather chairs.  The brown leather has the perfect patina  and I love it paired with the  modern chrome plated bases.  On top of being handsome, the leather sling seats are super comfy.  Oh and I got them for a great price.  Holler!  I love shopping vintage.  Philly locals- I found them at Clover Market and bought them from Three Potato Four‘s stand.

 

vintage chrome leather dining chairs tulip table vasarely pop art design manifest dining room

 

vintage chrome leather chairs design manifest cottage

They are so comfortable and delicious. I really love the warm and modern vibe they add to my home.  Mixing chrome with brass and gold?  Yes Please.

vintage chrome leather dining chairs design manifest

I wasn’t planning on keeping my pedestal table (Ikea Docksta,) but it sure does work well with the chairs.    Now I have serious table dilemma because the chairs add a wrinkle in my dining room plan that I discussed  HERE.

mid century modern chrom leather chair design manifest

But we will dig into that in another post…  Man, I’ve missed blogging!   I promise to keep you in the loop as my dining room continues to evolve.  I”m feeling inspired to jump back into Cottage projects.  Summer Break was nice, but now theI’m excited to reveal some awesome projects in upcoming weeks.  Plus my own pet project, The Cottage.  Happy Fall and happy decorating to you all.

 

 

Cottage Update: Dining Room So Far

I’m going to blame my lack of blogging on this totally delicious weather we’ve been having in Philadelphia.  Seriously, the fact that I’m sitting at a computer right now is a true crime.  Here’s hoping I’m really efficient with  my design work for today and get myself in the sun as early as possible.  We have SO many fun projects going on right now  and there is SO much I want to blog about, but I just can’t manage to sit down and spend computer time organizing it all.  Sorry if I sound like a broken record…Spring Fever, I tell you.

Anyway, here are a few snaps of what my dining area is looking like right now… (not at all finished!)

design manfiest dining room and buffet half way

I’m using my Docksta table for now, but it will eventually be replaced by a leggy wood table from my mother.

(It’s being refinished right now.)

design manifest black bamboo rattan chairs

The chairs are two different sets of vintage bamboo and rattan chairs.

I love a good mix and match!

The set on the left were a great score and  just needs to be reupholstered.

The set on the right need a better paint job as I tried out a few colors before settling on black.

Eventually they will both have the same fabric seat cushions.

design manifest dining chair detail- pink showing through

You can see the remains of bubblegum pink from my previous paint job.  Time to get some more spray paint.

design manifest dining room and stairs

Those of you who follow me on instagram or facebook may have seen that I changed out the chandelier this week.

I debated for awhile between a few (see here) and I am SO happy with the results.

I haven’t snapped them proper yet, but you can spy my choice on DM’s facebook page.

That’s all for now.  Have a great weekend!

{See all Dining Room Posts Here}