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A Very Happy Nook For Friday...

A Dining Nook Intro and Update

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Hey folks, it’s Ginny here with a quick intro to a very sweet dining nook we’ve been working on. If you’ve been following along with the Griffith Park house redesign you’ll have already read the about the Sunroom, Living Room, Dining Room and Master Bedroom. We have two left after this so we’re almost there!

Once we’ve been working with clients for a while, they often increase the scope of work and add more tasks to our list. This is by no means a bad thing, especially when it comes to amazing houses (and clients) like this. This room is a prime example of that happening. This might be one of my favorite spots in the house with its curved walls, detailed paneling & moulding and those paned windows! As the olds would say, “they don’t make ’em like they used to”.  With that being said, the clients wanted help furnishing this space so that it could be used for casual eating, morning coffee & papers, and an area for their kid’s to do homework and make that crazy goo most pre-teens are currently obsessed with.

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And here is the finished room. JUST KIDDING. This is the home of the wildly talented Founder of Schoolhouse Electric, Brian Faherty. This was shot by David Tsay for Emily’s book ‘Styled’ and our clients fell in love with the dining table when they saw it. Rather than outright copy them, we sought permission from Brian to recreate it here in LA, and he agreed. The only request was that Schoolhouse got a mention and a tip of the cap from EHD. So Brian, this one is for you.

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We worked with Clad Home to custom make the table. The base is powder coated black metal (so pretty hefty in weight) with a wood top edge in a walnut veneer. Just like Brian we added a piece of glass to the top that we had back-painted in white.

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And here is the real room and a sneak peek of where we are at. There is ongoing discussions about the pendant. Whilst it is awesome (I love it) because it’s worn, and vintage, and looks really great with the table, we (team EHD) are not convinced it works with everything else in the house. In isolation yes, but bigger picture no. So we’ve been trying to convince them to do something else that feels more in-keeping with the rest of the house. As persuasive as we can be it’s not always that easy. Everything costs money and it’s actually quite hard to convince people to fork out when they’re actually ok with something. And rightly so, I’d be exactly the same. And this is no reflection on these particular clients, it happens with all. I’m not being passive or making excuses here either, we have a great relationship with them and they know our thoughts and we as designers are hired to push boundaries. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Not only that but not everyone can afford to upgrade every single thing we suggest at the same time. This is also another reason why things can take so much longer than you expect. Sorry, that just turned into War & Peace but I think it’s good for people who aren’t in the industry to get a insight as to how some things work. 🙂

We’ve also suggested painting in here (even just a slight tone) to give the moulding and paneling a pop. After going through these sneak peeks I’m also liking the idea of replacing the drapery (which came with the house) with a slight pattern. I haven’t mentioned this to the clients yet because this room is definitely one on the back burner. But I know they will be reading this so “surprise”… patterned drapery?! Will I win, or will I lose is the big question 🙂

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Here’s another sneak peek into how this room is coming along. We still have a two more small intros in this house before the final reveals, but let us know if you have any questions so far or how you feel on the paneling and chandelier debate!

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  1. I love the light! Hope you keep it and enhance with your design-I know you can do it! You all are so gifted! The curtains in a subtle stripe to the floor would be gorgeous! Good luck😃

  2. The red fixture is nice but could they use it in another room? This nook is screaming for something else! Also YES to printed drapes, but if they choose not to, could you show us a few swatches of patterns you would recommend?

  3. Ooooo! What a special room to work with! I adore the shape, the moulding, and the paneling, and I definitely agree on the painting idea. The table you designed is fantastic, and I am a HUGE fan of the Hoffmann chairs.
    I do hope that you convince them of new drapery. I love the curve of the rod, but the capri style drapes are VERY distracting. I want BADLY for them to skim the floor. (the drapery design mistake featured on the blog has ruined me forever when assessing other people’s curtains!)
    Also, I agree on team EHD’s assessment of the pendant light. It is very cool, but feels odd in comparison to the rest of the house. Perhaps they can make some decent money by selling it so it’s a more of a wash to purchase a new one?

  4. Definitely YES to a new pendant/chandelier and patterned drapes. The space could definitely use more excitement.

    Also, custom table criticism: I would have gone with 3″ flatbar on the table base. The legs are reading as too beefy for the size of the table. Brian’s table is much larger than this one and the width of the legs should have been scaled down accordingly. The table just seems off-balance to me.

    1. Exactly — the table base (so the table as a whole) reads wrong in this room because it (table top) is too teeny. Maybe in real life it looks better?

  5. For some reason I really, really dislike half length curtains. I see them in a lot of otherwise lovely English houses. I would definitely replace them and do some painting so there is some contrast. It’s all a bit meh at the moment apart from the new table and chairs and the flooring. I like the pendant but not in this context but maybe with painting and new full length curtains it might work.

    1. Same on the curtains. It just looks like you couldn’t find curtains the right size. Either floor length or some shades would look better.

  6. Wow. The room is very beautiful and has such pretty light. I feel like a tone that goes with the wallpaper in the next room would make the red of the pendant pop, the moulding would show better, and then I’d lay a rug down and call it good. Just me. I’m not a designer at all.

    The curtains are so pretty, but the curtains and pendant are kind of warm for many of the other colors I see going on I suppose. I can’t wait to see the finished room!

    1. I agree with this comment. In a way I will work with the curtains and light pendant. Just get more creative with the walls. Wall paper or paint that wakes everything up a little. New this or new that costs money and it might loose some of those interesting things that are already going.

  7. Table and chairs look really good. I’d love to eat in here. I’d love it even more if there was a little color on part of the wall to make moulding and detail pop, if those curtains were taken down, and if a bit of rust color and navyish paint were dripped onto the white canvas, to tie into the light fixture and the rest of the home.

    1. I agree that that very cool pendant could be tied in with the right artwork. Not matchy matchy, but somehow include the accent color or other bold color that works with it. (Color is not my forte, but you could do it.)

  8. White walls, white curtains, white table, and a framed piece of white paper? I don’t think this is a room you want to be using to advertise your services. And while the pendant is the most interesting thing in the room, no, it doesn’t work in this setting. You need something like Emily’s white pleated shade pendant to finish the monochrome look.

    1. This is an “intro”, not the actual fully designed/styled room.

  9. I’m interested to hear what paint color suggestions EHD has for the room. The table is amazing!

    The tone of this post feels adversarial to me. (win/lose, convince, persuade, debate, push, etc). I’m wondering if that is truly what the process feels like or if it’s just the writing style. It makes me nervous to work with designers. Is that the typical approach in “the industry”?

    1. I didn’t want to be negative, but I definitely thought in thr back of my head I would hate to be called out in public like this, let alone have a working relationship that felt like a battle. Especially after paying so much!

      I think it might be just a playful tone by Ginny? It doesn’t resonate with me, but I know some people can’t stand Orlando and I love him!

      1. Yes could be just a style thing. Ditto on loving Orlando!

      2. The difference is Orlando doesn’t trash his clients. There’s been a passive-aggressive vibe in every single one of the posts about this house and these clients that makes it clear how “difficult” the EHD team finds it to work with the family and how hard it is to “convince” them to make the “right” choices. They’re your client. It’s your job to take their preferences into consideration. If it were a joke, I would expect one or two comments, but every. single. post. reads the same way, and it really makes me wonder how the family feels about it. I really enjoy Ginny’s posts in general, but it’s not cute and it’s not funny, and it does nothing but make other prospective clients wonder what you would say about them that *isn’t* fit to print.

        1. I thought it was just me being overly sensitive but I see that others got that same vibe. Putting your work with clients into a win-lose paradigm means that someone actually loses and that should never be the client. I would cringe with embarrassment if my design team talked about our working relationship in this manner. I personally cringed for the family and hoped they wouldn’t read this post.

    2. I’ve never hired a designer (waaay out of my budget, obviously) but I did “hire” a friend (who is now a designer) to help with some design decisions once. And, let me just say, it got tense real quick. That tension was 99% (nay, 100%) my fault. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to be a designer: you’re trying to do the job your clients hired you to do and they spend the rest of the time getting in your way (without even trying to get in your way). I don’t read this post as adversarial or that these clients are especially difficult. Rather, that designing someone’s home is work that requires a lot of delicate conversations and negotiations, on both sides.

    3. Normally this blog is my first stop when I want to read something happy and interesting, but the posts about this house feel very negative to me.
      It’s their house and should reflect them. If you don’t feel it reflects EHD, fair enough, then don’t post about it. This is someone’s home (something I know Emily takes seriously).
      Also, the gracious thing to do would have been to credit Brian Faherty without telling us this was requested.
      Transparency is good, but only when it’s edifying.

  10. I like the light fixture, and the drapes. (sorry!) I do think painting is called for, and some art that references that red fixture…

    I think those things that just don’t quite fit in can often make the difference between a truly charming home, and one that is beautiful but inexplicably cold. My brain always wants to perfect everything, but I always found I was slightly unsatisfied at the end with my interiors. Eventually I learned that what was missing for me was that piece of life, that tension that arises from imperfection. And not “perfectly imperfect.” ACTUALLY imperfect. I strongly vote for the fixture. I can compromise on the drapes!
    ; )

    1. Ditto that! Quirk adds life to interior design. I would love to see the light fixture integrated into the design in a fun way. I am thinking about artwork, and some pops of colorful mid century British interiors styling. Vintage Heals mod fabric for new drapes, seat cushions, or wrapped canvas art. I like this pattern. Heals Fabric ‘Mitre’ by Catherine Netherwood 1969.
      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/442337994622169142/

      It is a beautiful and unique home, I am enjoying following the design process.

    2. I’m with you. I love the light and think it would be great to nod to the color in the art (rusty red terra cotta pottery would be so good!) and some painting on the walls to make the mouldings pop. It would add a bit of charm that overly designed rooms can lack.

    3. Yes!!!

  11. With the client on this one — keep that pendant. It tells a story. And maybe consider that everything in a home doesn’t need to “go with” everything else. Life (and a space) is far more interesting that way.

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  13. I love the pendant. Its unique, vintage, and beautiful… keep it. You can tie the room in with the rest of the house in other ways. Nothing wrong with a little unexpected… it keeps things interesting!

  14. Considering the light fixture in the more formal dining area, which looks like it is visible from this room, the dining nook fixture needs to be changed. Love everything else about this room. I am now obsessed with those chairs!!

  15. The art is likely covered to avoid trademark/copyright issues.

  16. My chairs! Those look like my exact ones (scored at Brimfield a few years ago) and I also use them as dining chairs: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/house-tour-a-southwest-inspired-union-square-condo-228532#gallery/50960/0

  17. The pendant isn’t working as is, but I think it could. Paint on the walls, artwork that brings in the red/orange in the light, and some curtains that aren’t so feminine would help. Also, the frame on the artwork is just bleh. Needs to be metal or wood so it pops a bit.

  18. I hope you keep the light 🙂 My favourite part of the room!

  19. What a gorgeous room–I love the molding on the ceiling. Very Lutyens looking to me. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. But “As the olds would say…” really? That seems a little nasty.

    1. It’s an English expression that’s not intended to be nasty

  20. What a wonderful room, but it does need a little something-something. Color on the walls would be really nice to make everything pop and, also, to ‘speak’ to the adjoining room with the awesome wallpaper. Nothing major, just a bit of soft neutral-y color for more texture and interest and to bring out some detail.

    I, personally, would defer decisions on the patterned curtains and the pendant light until there was some paint paint on the walls. Also, I really like the pendant a lot, but it seems too high. Maybe it’s just an artifact of the photography – hard without seeing the whole thing at once.

  21. I really like the pendant. I’m sure you can tie it into the room with some art that has pops of red in it. It goes well with the custom table.
    I think this room will be lovely with the walls painted a slightly different color to make the wainscoting and moldings pop, some more colorful artwork on the walls, new curtains and a centerpiece on the table.

    1. I really like the pendant too! I really hope it stays. I’d hate to have the homeowners part with it, regret it, and never find something equally pleasing.

  22. How gorgeous are those curved walls? I’m obsessed!

    Paige
    http:///thehappyfammily.com

  23. I’m very curious about the art – I wish I could see a better view of it. I’m also wondering about the length of the curtains – you didn’t mention are they going to the floor or would you keep that length, it seems like one of EDH’s no-no’s but I know there are always exceptions??

    I too like the pendant but see how it may not mesh with the rest of the house…can’t wait to see the full reveal!

  24. I actually like the pendant light and am liking the simplicity of design in this space. It’s a nice palate cleanser from the other beautiful spaces. But I agree it needs a pop and I think that can be done with beautiful artwork that brings in the color of the light fixture as well as colors from other rooms.

  25. I LOVE THE LIGHT! And the came-with-the-house draperies.

    This room feels so so easy. The custom table and chair choices obviously make a huge impact. The light and drapes make the room feel well lived in and not overly designed. So beautiful!

  26. I’m in love with that table!!! Any idea on source or idea of where I could find a similar table perhaps without the custom made price tag? Thanks!

  27. YES to patterned drapes!–and maybe that is how you could bring in the existing fixture, which I do think is cool!

  28. Agree with all of your thoughts – love the light but it absolutely does not work in the room, especially with the new table and chairs. The paneling is lovely but with everything being one color the walls need a slight tone to make it stand out more. And the drapes… I am never a fan of short drapes but the curtain rod is great!

  29. I hope you’re going to take the new curtains all the way to the floor. Half length curtains are one of my biggest pet peeves! Otherwise, lovely.

  30. Love this room so far! I’m a sucker for a tulilp table + hoffman chairs any day. However, I definitely think you should replace the drapery…it looks so awkward that short!

    1. Haha not tulip table, but those are good too! I’m going to blame pregnancy brain on that one :). The custom table you guys made is gorgeous!

  31. I feel punched in the gut with the amazing news that you can “back paint” a piece of glass for a table top. Holy shoot! I’m doing this. I’ve got a West Elm table that isn’t holding up that great, but we like the size and the legs, so I want to price out glass toppers. If it’s not too expensive, I could potentially have a summer/light color and a clear glass or dark blue for winter. Thank y’all!

  32. No drapery. It’s killing the architecture of that room. And a painting that pops.

    Good start, but it needs a coupla things to elevated.

  33. Where are the chairs from? There is no link listed for them.

    1. Yes, I’d like to know too! Thanks!

  34. I gotta say I kinda love the pendant! And I am a huge fan of the schoolhouse house, it’s a great inspiration.

  35. Great DIY article! Are you taking on any new project ideas at the moment?

  36. This room is screaming for some color. Either by paint, new curtains (that aren’t short) or bright art. Maybe a combo of all 3. I’ve loved the intros of all other rooms and the style of the house but this room feels pretty bleh to me.

  37. When I first saw these pics I was like “huh, are short curtains like that back in style??” Now it makes sense – they came with the house. I definitely vote ‘yes’ for floor-length, patterned curtains. And I love the light fixture on its own but at least the way things are now, it doesn’t really seem to go in that room.

    Love the custom table and the new chairs!

  38. As a designer I’d say you hit the nail on the head with the “win some/lose some” commentary. It was therapeutic to read that. Saved me a trip to the shrink. (haha)

  39. I generally love draperies, but these ones actually feel like they interrupt the architecture of this gorgeous room. I would love to see the window without any obstruction, and really let it shine.

    To echo other commenters, I think the light is quite special, and a little pop of color elsewhere- i.e. artwork, or a great round rug?- could really bring it together. The table and chairs are so great, it doesn’t have to be a WOW space, but it could use a little something-something.

  40. Call me crazy but I’m actually really digging the drapes. There’s just something nostalgic and slightly romantic about them in this space. Especially when paired with that French pipe curtain rod. I have a feeling the “capri style” is going to be all the rage soon.

    1. You’re not crazy as far as I’m concerned! This nook has a strong horizontal quality and doesn’t need two strong verticals of long curtain panels disrupting the flow of the paneling. Why is everyone so insistent that there must be twice as much fabric as the architecture of this space calls for?

  41. I love the light! And I think light curtains with red piping or trim to match the light would be lovely.

  42. Looking good but more interest definitely needed and agree light fitting – as awesome as this is – should go! 👍🏻
    Cant wait to see full reveal 😉

  43. I love the light! Hope you keep it and enhance with your design-I know you can do it! You all are so gifted! The curtains in a subtle stripe to the floor would be gorgeous! Good luck😃

  44. I like the light. What about gold leafing the interior (where it is now white) I’d like to see floor length patterned drapes.

  45. I really love what you’ve done to this room already. I think it’s okay to keep it slightly different than the rest. Everything doesn’t have to be so matchy-matchy. I also like the curtains as is. It’s refreshing to see a different length in there and really keeps in mind that this is a casual, well used room. Again, just because it’s not trendy to have this length is why it should be this length. It’s not like the whole house is like this. The one off keeps the interest! And all white is in keeping with the clients original inspiration! Well done.

  46. Full length curtains with a pattern, and new light. The space is really blank right now, so you need some interest through color or pattern. As for the pendant, I think it is too industrial for their traditional/mod/glam tastes.

    Can’t wait to see the reveals!

  47. Definitely paint… subtle contrast…art that ties the pendant in… something with color… floor length curtains with subtle pattern… this room has very good bones.

  48. It is good to have a round table here but I liked the before chairs better. The chairs chosen here have no character. The owners seemed to be very much into mid-century style so why not keep that? Could the curtains & rails be removed? Do you really need curtains here? Those windows and the room’s shape are so beautiful that you really want to show these off. Artwork chosen: it does not do anything… As for the previous restyles for this house I am underwhelmed by the design-team, sorry!

  49. the floor! is that original or new? is it quartersawn oak?
    thnx!

  50. I love this project! The table looks amazing!

  51. I really like the pendant, but I think that with the room and the table it’s circle, circle, circle. You’ve got a lot of vertical lines and horizontal circles, and I think the pendant is the perfect opportunity to break that up and create more dynamic relationship between the different aspects of the room. Similarly, especially if the pendant doesn’t change, a patterned curtain (long, please!) would be the perfect opportunity to create more interesting visual relationships in the room.

  52. Love the design! Table and chairs look really good. I’d love to eat in here!

  53. I love the shape, the prints, and the panels, and I definitely agree with the idea of ​​painting. The table you designed is fantastic, and I am a HUGE fan of the chair ..
    And I like most if the dining room has a window. This will add to my dining atmosphere so delicious .. 🙂

  54. It’s coming along nicely but I think you need to add some black accents to keep it in line with the Schoolhouse inspiration. I’m not sure what the art you have pictured is, but adding black there could be an easy fix. I’d also love to see a new light fixture with heavy black elements and drapery to the floor with black edging. If they absolutely love the current lighting you’ll have to add other vintage accents or pops of red to make it work. Sometimes seeing what a commitment really looks like helps people realize they don’t love an element as much as they thought they did.

  55. I love the calmness of the room and I’d hate to see that leave for the sake of “making things pop”. Thus I think I’m only on board with the changing of drapery in a subtle way … sorry Ginny.

    That table is stunning for sure.

    If the pendant really is “just okay” by all means alter it to “this is so great!” For me I think it looks great. So I wouldn’t change it. Can something be added to an adjoining room that would make it fit in better?

    So … subtle paint tone to bring out molding:: sure. Patterned drapery :: if still calming, yes. Change pendant :: nope, not on board.

    Excited for the final reveal!

  56. I would add dark/black fabric the same height as the paneling and extend the drapes to the floor. As for the pendant, maybe change out the bulb with a bigger exposed filament bulb or a dipped gold bulb. And if painting the walls above the paneling is a no go, I would change the frame of the art work to black. Those are my $0.02. Love the table and chairs!

  57. Beautiful room, beautiful table! Now please please please add some long curtains and a little bit of color and it will be perfect.

  58. Also nothing wrong with you writing style, Ginny.

  59. I have to disagree with the light, not just because it is awesome but because I’ve seen all the posts about this house and I think it works just enough, but not so much that it feels the same old same old. Those chairs are my current design crush, I see them everywhere and my gets a little flutter every time I do. Definitely for painting the paneling, it would finish the room so well. And what do we think of making the drapes go all the way down?

  60. I agree with you to paint the walls a tonal color, and I think drapes with a subtle pattern could be great! You didn’t mention in the post, but I’m assuming they’d go all the way to the floor?? I agree with other commenters that the short curtains are a bit distracting.

    For the chandelier, I agree that’s it’s a beautiful piece on it’s own (look at the patina!) but may not work with the rest of the home, especially with the more formal details in this room like the lovely paneling. If you do choose to keep it, I’d add other bits of color in art and accessories to play off that bright red.

    I’m SO anxious to this these room reveals! Your clients have a beautiful home and are lucky to have the EHD team to work with 🙂

  61. And here is the real room and a sneak peek of where we are at. There is ongoing discussions about the pendant. Whilst it is awesome (I love it) because it’s worn, and vintage, and looks really great with the table, we (team EHD) are not convinced it works with everything else in the house. In isolation yes, but bigger picture no. So we’ve been trying to convince them to do something else that feels more in-keeping with the rest of the house. As persuasive as we can be it’s not always that easy. Everything costs money and it’s actually quite hard to convince people to fork out when they’re actually ok with something. And rightly so, I’d be exactly the same. And this is no reflection on these particular clients, it happens with all. I’m not being passive or making excuses here either, we have a great relationship with them and they know our thoughts and we as designers are hired to push boundaries. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Not only that but not everyone can afford to upgrade every single thing we suggest at the same time. This is also another reason why things can take so much longer than you expect. Sorry, that just turned into War & Peace

  62. For some reason I really, really dislike half length curtains. I see them in a lot of otherwise lovely English houses. I would definitely replace them and do some painting so there is some contrast. It’s all a bit meh at the moment apart from the new table and chairs and the flooring. I like the pendant but not in this context but maybe with painting and new full length curtains it might work.

  63. Once we’ve been working with clients for a while, they often increase the scope of work and add more tasks to our list. This is by no means a bad thing, especially when it comes to amazing houses (and clients) like this. This room is a prime example of that happening

  64. Agree on switching out the pendant – funky and cool – but not working with the other pieces in the room and the rest of the house. Feels more kitchen than dining nook. To give yet another nod to Schoolhouse Electric their Royce Chain Pendant light (brass with a retro style square chain) would look really great in that room! And a big yes to some pattern on the curtains! Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!

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