I like a formal dining space in a house. If only to look at most of the time and relish in how pretty it is. Many will use their dining room as a “catch all” or a dump space. Not here at 4820 Washington Boulevard. It’s job is to serve as eating space for more formal gatherings or meals with guests and generally to look beautiful.


We see the dining room from the kitchen, from the foyer, from the Living Room and from the Den, so it has a lot of opportunity to show off it’s good looks. It is bright, light, detailed and a very happy place to both use and to view.

The decision to make the Dining Room smaller than the original footprint was an easy one. There was not enough space for the kitchen to house the large island I wanted, unless 2.5 feet was shaved off the Dining Room. The large opening created between the Dining Room and Kitchen on one side, the large windows on the opposite side and the widened opening to the foyer give the illusion that the room is larger than in really is.

The original Dining Room.  This small arch thru the breakfast room was the only access to the kitchen.  We opened up the wall the the left.

The original Dining Room. This small arch thru the breakfast room was the only access to the kitchen. We opened up the wall the the left.

While the built in China Cabinets look mammoth, they are really just tall and skinny. The drawers are a mere eighteen inches, but as you will see, they pack punch. Heavy weight slides allow me to pack them with china and silverware and since there are twelve of them total, they hold everything I want to store out of sight. For the display items, four huge glass front doors enclose two large China Cabinets. Glass shelves let the built in lights stream through all of my crystal and colorful glazed ceramic while creating a nice ambiance at night.


These furniture doors were acquired when searching for such things on Craigs List last Spring. I wanted tall glass -front doors, preferably with some details fitting with how the house was shaping up. The owner of these posted at ten p.m. one night, just as I was searching. The next day they were mine and I learned that they came out of a hotel downtown. The seller was a member of the wait staff and noticed that the remodelers were trashing everything taken out of the grand dining room. She knew she had room to store the beautiful doors, so he asked if she could have them. Thanks to her, as they are the perfect focal point in the Dining Room. I bought a total of six and used the other two in the kitchen.


Shamrock Cabinets built the china cabinets for the doors.  All painted Sherwin Williams Sedate Grey are inset drawers on the bottom accentuated with large, contemporary chrome pulls. The soft close feature of the drawers is dreamy, as I never have to worry about drawers gaping open in this busy traffic area. Curved French feet at the base of each cabinet draw out the curves of the doors and the handles.


I wallpapered the backs of the upper cabinets with a cherry blossom print in metallic ivory and strawberry pink. The colors, which are my favorite combo, are used in a sophisticated way with the rather Asian print on the back of the chairs and the green silk like wallpaper used above the millwork around the top of the room. I railroaded this green wallpaper, not only to avoid seams, but to create a horizontal line around the room. It is a contrast to the large vertical accents of the china cabinets and panelling.  Had I run it the “intended” way, it would have looked striped and heavy, rather than lineal and flowing. 


The dining table, I ordered from One Kings Lane during my search for a trestle table which was not too wide for the small room. I wanted to fit six around a table for every day use and up to ten for larger gatherings. (We have gathered as many as twelve adults for a meal.  Cozy to say the least, but it worked!)  This handsome sandblasted wood table fit the bill.  It has two large leaves for those larger dinners and the chairs I got from Home Decorators work nicely with it.

I have two rugs for this room. A bright green Dhurrie rug for Spring and Summer and a more neutral one for Winter. The Dhurrie is great because it can be rotated and flipped with ease, so it will hopefully not look worn for many years. the 8 x 10 size fits perfectly. The panels on the window, which hang on the original rods and hardware, are a store bought linen and ivory weave which I embellished with a leading edge trim. It is a simple and elegant look and it lets the centerpiece of dried flowers in center of the room be the focal point.