Welcome to the Griffith Park classic, yet modern dining room. Rarely do we get our hands on a really formal and large dining room, and this one had so much potential because the architecture is so pretty – large doorways, crown moulding, and big windows. But pulling together the PERFECT elements did take some time – you don’t just stumble upon these things, especially when you are going more formal.
When we started the job the room looked like this:
They already had that big traditional dining table and the drapery, but they didn’t have enough chairs (nor did I think those were the right vibe), they also wanted a more modern chandelier, and some dramatic wallpaper.
And boy did that wallpaper amp up the room. That room gets a lot of light and is broken up a lot by doors and windows. We knew it could handle a neutral colored pattern, and we love how classic and yet modern this wallpaper is by Catherine Martin.
After our first big install we took some scouting shots (before styling). All the large pieces were in, and it was already such a lovely room – but it needed a few elements to make it look more homey.
Let’s chat about rugs under dining tables as I know it’s controversial. My feeling is that it’s generally unnecessary and can be, well, a food and drink magnet. But this room NEEDED it, it was big and with the wallpaper and the table both being so dark, we needed to lift the room visually. It’s also not going to be used too often (as they have a breakfast nook they eat in daily). The room was feeling cold and dark and the second we brought this in it felt so bright. The rug we used is light, with some texture but no pattern (as to not compete with the wallpaper). We suggested that the family get this stain treated to help with stains and spills 🙂 I’ve used white cowhides frequently in eating/dining areas but kilim or flat woven rugs with a pattern are good as well, as they are a more low-pile than a Persian style rug (the busier it is the better it hides accidents and spills).
The chairs were A BEAST to lock down. Finding 12 chairs that matched is challenging in itself. Kym and I were adamant about upholstered seating (especially for those longer meals you really want to be super comfortable). We wanted them to warm the room up with some wood, and when we found these with wood and caning we insisted they pull the trigger (we ordered one first to make sure we liked it in person). They are from West Elm, but sadly I don’t think that they are for sale any longer.
A note about the lighting – if you want to go modern in a classic/traditional style home, then a good thing to think about using a chandelier in the space – just a modern one. Going for multiple pendants or one large pendant could work, but this vintage chandelier (similar found here) is super modern, but still works in the space because it references a traditional more decorative chandelier – both in the detail, finish, shape and scale.
A couple months later when we shot the whole house, Ginny and the team came in and styled it all out.
We decided to style the table fully set because we rarely get a room this formal that says, ‘dinner party’ so it felt like the right time to dress it up.
The art direction was ‘formal, but simple’ and they did a beautiful job.
I love how season-less this table setting is – it could be for fall, winter, spring or summer or any occasion. I love the addition of the amber water glasses. A quick note – they used my white dinnerware from Snowe on the table that I bought last year when we moved into our new house. I love how simple they are, how well they stack, how light-weight they are and they are fired to not break. We went from having Mudd (FAR too fragile) to having some earthenware (far too heavy and cumbersome for a daily use) and while this was more of an investment we all love them. I love the dinner plate, salad plate, and bowl but the pasta bowl (seen above) is one that we’ve never used. For the fixer upper I bought Target’s version of the dinnerware – super basic and simple, but more affordable.
That table setting is also great for conversations. The candles are high enough that you can see under them, and the flowers are low so that they don’t get in the way. It has drama and looks high-end and pulled together, but there really aren’t very many elements and it feels so doable to me – plus those candle holders can live there when the table isn’t set.
On the other side of the room they have this credenza which we all loved (despite wanting it to be 5″ higher).
We kept it simple with a sculptural lamp, that amazing Tom Dixon tea set (which they already had) and a pretty flower arrangement. This was the only wall that we put anything up because it craved a mirror. But we didn’t want to busy the room with actual art, nor did we want to put mirrors everywhere. The wallpaper, windows, and chandelier all really popped and felt enough to us.
In that beautiful bay window we put a round game table, and mixed up the chairs to bring the black accent over there as well. Oh to have windows like that – they are just stunning.
Thanks to Ginny and Mel for executing the design and Erik and Emily for styling assistance during the shoot. I LOVE how this room turned – the mix of classic and modern feels edgy and yet totally appropriate. There is a lot of interest and drama without a lot of stuff or busy-ness.
Ask any questions in the comments and we’ll try to answer them. In case you missed the Sunroom, Living Room or Dining Nook from this project be sure to click through and read.
If you are into this look and curious where things are from, here you go. Any vintage pieces we tried to find similar to help you get the look.
1. Wallpaper | 2. Round Mirror | 3. Table Lamp | 4. Credenza (similar) | 5. Gold Tea Set | 6. Drapery | 7. Accent Chairs (similar) | 8. Accent Table (similar) | 9. White Ceramic Vase (similar) | 10. Candle Stick Holder | 11. Wine Chiller | 12. Marble Chess Set | 13. Glass Vase (similar) | 14. White Bowl | 15. Cloth Napkin | 16. Flatware | 17. Chandelier (similar) | 18. Salt & Pepper Set | 19. Dinner Plate | 20. Amber Water Glasses | 21. Wine Glass | 22. Coupe Glass | 23. Dining Chair (similar) | 24. Dining Table | 25. Table Runner | 26. Rug | 27. Textured Ceramic Vase (similar)
***Photos by Tessa Neustadt.
For more of The Griffith Park House Reveals: Master Bedroom | Dining Nook | Living Room | Sunroom
I love the table setting and will for sure pick up two of those candle holders for my table. With the holidays jus around the corner can you do a post about setting the table? Specifically, I am finding non-placemat/ table cloth/ plastic glam chargers a challenge to setting a contemporary table. I need something under the plates and glasses to protect the table, but what?
#TeamRugUnderTables for the reason you listed. I have rugs in both the formal dining room and kitchen table to break up the medium dark woods of the table against the dark wood floor. Scotch-guard is sold at Target!
OOh, so you just scotch-guarded them? Interesting! and yes to table settings. we should do some posts …
Yes, the designer I am working with suggested SG and the back of the can says it works with rugs and should be reapplied annually. To be fair I have yet to test out how well Scotch-guard works, but I have an 18 month old so the years are still young. Lol
This table was so gorgeous I already picked up the runner from World Market (and 5 different chargers they had to test them out at home). So yeah, between the candleholders, runners, and napkins- THANK YOU!!
Okay, this is STUNNING. Everything about it is gorgeous. Oh to have a room that needs 12 chairs!!!!!
What a gorgeous room! I love the way the chandelier, wallpaper, credenza…all tie together that warmly glamorous room.
I think it would be even more beautiful with some lower level light around the room, likely from sconces. That makes it cozy and warm at night, when many of those lovely meals will be shared.
This is a really beautiful! I second those candle holders, they’re gorgeous. I just thought I’d take the chance to get a quick little design lesson – my instinct would have been to paint the ceiling of the alcove a deeper colour…what do you think? Would it have made the space too dark? Thank you! I love your blog…it’s one I never miss!
I’ve been loving the reveal posts for this house! This room looks amazing and I was surprised to learn those chairs were West Elm!! They are so good!! It’s also amazing to see the difference that styling makes…thanks for letting us peek behind the curtain 🙂
Simple, elegant and modern – just how I like it 😉 BTW we all love your new color and haircut here in Europe 😉
ha. thank you 🙂
Wow wow wow wow wow. I grew up with a lot of formal dining rooms – this one is done SO WELL for today. The restrain, the elegance, the modernity. I can really imagine the dining room conversations matching the standard of the design.
I am curious about the curtain placement. I love the look of them, but I am wondering why you didn’t hang them high and wide? This is not a critique, more of an inquiry of the thought process.
Beautiful!! Question: Is there a design rule as far as runner vs placemats? Like if you have one you shouldn’t have the other? I like the placemat version of the runner you chose and would like to use them with a white runner I already have but that seems like a lot of rectangles of fabric on the table…
I LOVE this whole house, LOVE the wallpaper. The chandelier and candle holders are great. My only wish is that they didn’t want to keep those draperies. They seem too small, too short. Simple is fine, but these detract from an otherwise lovely room!
I love the general style and ambiance. I would though used an other lamp, not matching the chandelier and skipped the curtains on the big windows for nice blinds and rose the curtain rods on two others 🙂
What happened to the crystal chandelier?
That wallpaper is fantastic! It’s the perfect bridge between the more traditional architecture and table and the modern style they wanted. Yes to a rug in such a large dining room–need to anchor that bad boy to something. The chairs….I’m not sold on them. I think I might prefer the substitute ones in your “get the look” section. But I get the purpose of trying to lighten up the look.
Emily: If existing currents were in scope to change, what would you have done/recommended instead of the neutral beige panels? Would you have introduced color via the draperies? Also, the walls are empty (no art) . If you were to add art to the walls, what would you have recommended? I like that the chairs and table don’t match per se but they are complementary and I love the central light fixture. Changing up the chairs in the bay window was the right choice. Would you add any greenery to the space to connect to the outdoor views? Love your new hair, too.
This is beautiful. Well done! Would you some day talk two story dining rooms and tips on how to make the room feel intimate despite crazy tall ceilings (mine are 19.5 feet)? Would you approach it any differently than a dining room with 8-10′ ceilings besides working your tail off to find a chandelier with a long enough cord? I’m having a bit of a hard time finding inspiration for what to do.
Man, I wish they would’ve let you change the draperies…especially since you JUST did a blog post about how they should be high. They just seem a little “eh”. But custom draperies cost a FORTUNE, so I totally understand why they decided to keep them.
Love the tablescape and wallpaper! I don’t know if I’m sold on the chairs though, but I’m not sure what it is about them. In theory, they are perfect, but for some reason, they aren’t jiving for me. But, if the client loves them, I guess that’s all that matters!
(also, lovin’ the new platinum ‘do!)
I think the chairs are beautiful, but don’t go with the dark traditional table. That’s one thing I noticed also.
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Gorgeous room. Adding casters to that credenza would add some additional height and still keep with the overall modern/vintage look.
This room is so good. I think I commented on this before but, as a former RH employee, I HATED that table. Hated the entire collection, actually. But it absolutely makes this room. It’s that little bit of weird that makes it feel so fresh yet timeless. Love it! Congrats on a job well done.
Beautifully styled! Beautiful room. I so adore the credenza but do wish it was 5 inches higher. Then the room would be perfect!
Gorgeous table! Amazing decor!
I like this series a lot! The sun room and breakfast nook are some of the best designs I’ve seen, but I don’t love this for some reason. I think it’s the transition of the dark wallpaper into the light room, similar to the family room/foyer issue in Emily’s new house. The paper is beautiful, but it doesn’t flow to the rest of the house. Maybe darker curtains or the same pattern in lighter colors versus the black. I’m not sure, but I loved the breakfast nook last week and the sun room the week before.
nice dining room. i wish have it <3
Everything you guys are doing with this house is just so gorgeous. Obviously, it helps to have a really beautiful starting point, but the choices your team are making are so so so so fabulous. I have been loving all the intro and process posts and reveals. Kudos!
Love the transformation! One funny thing…I was taught never to display a new candle until you’ve burned the wick. Don’t know the reason for this, but does anyone else follow that tradition?
worthy post admin thanks for this really.
Where’s the bay window curtain rod from?
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That chandelier is everything! The wallpaper is gorgeous, and I love how the chairs offset the heaviness of the table. I get that they wanted to reuse that drapery, but I find their scale distracting. They take away from the room’s elegance. I’m pro rugs in dining rooms, but this color comes off too light, at least in the photo. Very nice, overall!
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Beautifully styled! Beautiful room. The sunroom and breakfast nook are some of the best designs I’ve seen. I think its look more beautiful and warm at night. Love the transformation!
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Wow, that’s gorgeous! I love the wallpaper especially. It transformed the room really quickly. I really like how not all the wood in the space is the same color; I feel like people try too hard to match everything exactly and it just looks boring.
(Thank you for linking everything, btw!)
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