Design, Trish Johnston. Photography, Lauren Miller.
Elevate your space with designer Trish Johnston’s tips for a dining room refresh.
This welcoming space by designer Trish Johnston balances modern and traditional elements and brings scale and intimacy to a dining area that’s part of a larger open-concept space. So, whether you are planning a big dining room redo or a quick refresh, Trish’s design and styling tips will get you ready for everyday entertaining.
DRAPERY FABRIC, Tonic Living. CHAIR FABRIC, King Textiles. LIGHT FIXTURE, Modern Komfort. Black CANDLESTICKS AND CANDLEHOLDERS, CB2. LAMPS (on hutch), West Elm. BRICK WALL, Century Architexture. Drapery HARDWARE AND SEWING, Blinds, Drapes & Bedding.
- To bring a sense of enclosure to a dining room in an open-concept space, incorporate an element that serves as a standout feature and, at the same time, creates a sense of separation. “The light-toned brick wall makes the dining room seem separate from the living room, and its tonal texture makes the room feel like a special space,” says Trish.
- Salvage quality, expensive pieces. “The sideboard, dining table and chairs were all a cherrywood that felt a bit dated but were actually in great condition,” says Trish. “We sprayed them all in a pearl black finish, and reupholstered the chairs with a gorgeous long-wearing black linen, which gave all the pieces an elegant, timeless new look, kept them out of a landfill, and was also a huge savings for our budget.”
- “The bungalow leans a bit modern in style. We wanted to strike a balance between a mod and trad feeling,” says Trish. She achieved this by mixing elements: the pendant and lamps are modern; the table and chairs are trad but modernized with black; the linen drapes on a French return rod are traditional but sport a simplified header for an unfussy feel.
“Make connections throughout the space. Mod black lamps pick up on the light fixture and drapery rod, and, of course, all the furniture.”
- Introduce contrast: light walls, flooring and draperies make the dark furniture more dramatic.
- “Reuse what you can!” says Trish. “The armoire was originally in the bedroom. We stripped and restained it in a natural finish that ties into the hardwood.” By moving it to the open-concept space close to the dining area, the owners were able to use it for extra dish and linen storage, and (bonus!) it provides a striking sightline from the table.
- Avoid crowding a space with small accessories. Instead, go big with decorative elements, like the large vase on the table that’s filled with dramatic greenery. “Go clean and simple. When styling, the bigger, the better. And buy black taper candles. They are so chic!
- Always add greenery. “I constantly have greens in my own home,” says Trish. “Single blooms and the most you can afford – gorgeous every time.”
5 Canadian Furniture Stores We Love