Friday, September 26, 2008

Dining Room Wall Decor - Part I

After 10 years of the same old thing on the wall of my dining room, I have decided to change things up a bit. So, as usual, I turn to my inspiration files to see what ideas I could cull out of my favorite images.

Dining rooms are interesting places. Most seem to have one big wall with no windows, which creates a great opportunity for making a statement. Also, they are often one of the first things seen when entering a house (at least, in Atlanta homes this is the case). When looking through my picture files, I realized that the dining room images that appeal to me seem to fall into three categories. So here is #1: a mirror on the wall.

From At Home magazine, photography by Michael Partenio. I love this dining room, with its Osborne and Little wallpaper, a great Louis Philippe mirror, and antique sconces. The chandelier is beautiful too. The sconces effectively widening the scene of the dining room wall without making things too heavy.

A peek into a lovely dining room in a Paris apartment (image via the Paris Apartment). A statement mirror defines the room (love those chevron floors too), and a glimpse of sconces on either side of the mirror can be seen. The chandelier seems very small for the space, but look at the height of those ceilings! I simply must have 10 foot plus ceilings in my next house.

This must be a new image on Jan Shower's site, because I would have remembered it! A huge mirror dominates the wall. I am having a hard time determining whether there is another mirror hung on top, or if it a reflection of the opposite wall. Note that the reflection of the chandelier is somewhat blocked, which makes me think it is a mirror on a mirror. (The chandelier is one of my all time favorites - I think it is the Niermann Weeks Swedish chandelier).

A scene from Mrs. Howard, my favorite store in Atlanta. Phoebe Howard frequently uses mirrors in the dining room.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the Hickory Chair website. The mirror looks great above the console.

This is from an Atlanta real estate listing; the interior design was done by Barbara Westbrook. This is a classic dining room configuration, with the dining room set up along the length of the house versus the width. The designer used sconces to flank the mirror in the dining room, although they do not look electrified. I have been in this house, and the wall on either side of the opening to the front hall has a concealed silver cabinet.

Phoebe Howard seems to like mirrors in the dining room. This room is so light and fresh - I just noticed that the tabletop is mirrored. The mirror is on one of the small walls of the dining room. This is what a beach house should look like, isn't it? I imagine this room looking out onto the water.

This dining room by Mary McDonald is possibly one of the most blogged about dining rooms out there! It is one of my all time favorite dining rooms. Maybe it is the green (I love green), maybe it is the seagrass rug, maybe it is the French mirror. Or, maybe it is the combination of all of the above that makes this scene so appealing. There are quite a few windows in this dining room, which makes me think it must be in the front corner of the house.

Anne Coyle used a mirror and collected objects above a console in her dining room. I initially thought this was in her entryway, but later learned it is in her dining room.

This is Suzanne Kasler's dining room, from the house she sold a few years ago. The mirror style looks like it is horizontally oriented, which I normally do not like, but the antique buffet is the star of the scene and it is quite high. Notice how she placed a square framed item to the right of the mirror.

Another Phoebe Howard scene, with a mirror on the dining room.

Mirrors are so versatile, and I think they look great in a dining room. In fact, I recently purchased a great Louis Philippe mirror for my own dining room (I had plates on the wall before), although ultimately I would like to move the mirror somewhere else in my house and instead hang a fabulous piece of contemporary art. Art in the dining room....that will be the subject of part II! Stay tuned. (Postscript: here is a link to part III too).

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  1. i love both a both mirror and piece of contemporary art in a dining room- preferably opposite each other so the mirror reflects the art (alas in my own dining room my art piece and my mirror have to be on adjacent walls).

    i also love to flank a mirror with candle sconces- a total decorator cliche but so, so pretty during dinner parties...

    nice post!

  2. M21, like your new logo!

    I love candle sconces because it reduces the total scary committment of electrified sconces. Any good ones to recommend?

  3. I read all the way through thinking your new dining room would be the last chapter! You must show us!

  4. Mrs. B, I am such a tease, aren't I? My dining room is still a work in progress; this post is helping me to clarify what I should put on either side of the mirror.

    The chandelier is another story...it is a disaster, 'semi-tragic' (a term Architect Design coined to describe an ugly room). It is late 80s brass and black. Since I would like to move, I have been shopping for an inexpensive but nice looking chandelier that can stay with the house. I have not found one yet!

  5. gorgeous! I love the Showers room- can't tell either what's going on with the mirror - but it's beautiful. I love the Kasler room - but my favorite element is the lovely shade of the curtains.

    good luck with your remodeling.

  6. What fantastic dining rooms.
    The dining room in dove gray and petal pink by Suzanne Kesler is truly inspirational.
    Love your site!


  7. I like the symmetry that a mirror flanked by sconces and/or lamps provides. If any room in the house should have a formal layout, it should be the dining room, IMHO.

  8. You always leave me with lots of inspiration for interiors. The choices shown here are marvelous.

  9. I just found your blog - and I am in love! I moved into my first house a little over a year ago. Now that we are done with the major projects, I am trying to start to get ideas on how I want to decorate each room. I really love all of the pictures. Our starter home doesn't have a formal dining room, but I love looking at the pictures and reading your comments to get ideas I can use in my house. I will definitely be checking back!

  10. Thank you for all of the kind comments! I agree about sconces flanking a dining room mirror. I particularly like M21's suggestion of candle sconces.

  11. Gorgeous selection of dining rooms for inspiration here! I love wallpaper in a dining room - adds to the drama. I'm still searching for the perfect one. Good luck! Tracey x

  12. You must have an awesome inspiration file! I chose to not use my dining room as such in this house. It would be too crowded with the living room. I still put a big mirror (horizontally positioned) in there to reflect the garden and the view. Your beautiful post makes me wish for a real dining room.

  13. Great ideas. I have a big long wall in my dining room and for lack of anything else, filled it up with mirrors and art.


    Happy week!

  14. Ok, I'm TOTALLY in love with that purple console table by ANN Coyle!

  15. Fantastic Blog!
    I shall return! :-)

    Come check out my cottage remodeling project (that's fancy for "fixer upper") if you have a chance sometime!

    The Lettered Cottage

  16. Love all of your home decoration ideas, they are fantastic.

  17. I think dining rooms epitomize the style of a home. I love looking at formal dining rooms, and the collection you chose to include in this post is stunning. Thanks for sharing, and hope you're well! ~Arleen

  18. have 10' ceilings and chandelier over dining table...Problem...40" x 60" beveled mirror...I notice she loves the length of her mirrors on the vertical not the horizontal...this is especially good for high ceilings but then requires decorative pieces on either side..money I do not have right now...is there a standard height above a buffet or consol where mirror should be placed...?


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