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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help with Monotone Dining Room

aawalshJanuary 18, 2013
Here is my dining room thus far. I am really looking for suggestions on how to make the room not look so monotone. All items in the room are staying, including the curtains, but I am not happy as I feel the room looks so flat and gray.

I have thought about adding drama by paining the walls very dark, but am unsure. Perhaps stencil the walls - but again my fear is that the room will still look too gray.

I am also considering adding artwork and a floral centerpiece instead of the simple silver piece I have on the table now, to help with color, but I want the color integrated vs. looking like an obvious accent color.

I do have my heart set on flanking the window with two mirrors, but again the mirrors will continue to make the room look gray/silver. Any advice on how to make this room look more dramatic and not so boring?

Also, I will be lowering the curtain rod so that the drapes cover the floor.
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Looks like the room needs a rug under the table. I would find a rug you like that has some grays and other colors you like in it and go from there... You need an inspiration piece. Could be some art you love too.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:35PM
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The room needs texture. The table could use a mire dramatic center piece as well. The rug idea would work as long as it had texture to it. Add grass cloth to the walls or ceiling. Or ad some ceiling decor to give the room texture and make it unique. Go to photos and type in ceiling detail. So many fun ideas using wood or picture frame molding. Keep the detail painted the same color as the ceiling.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:42PM
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You may consider pops of color like this dining room I did a few years back..If you want all mono chromatic, you need to layer the look for dimension like the second picture...
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions thus far! I think a rug will be a great jumping off point! As far as a dramatic centerpiece, what would you suggest?
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Wow, this is not as easy as it looks. Papering or painting the ceiling will help add some interest. It looks like the walls are some mid-tone brown...? A deeper Gray for the walls is one possibility. Bring in Lavender/periwinkle on the ceiling. Use a Rug that combines the Gray and Lavender. This room needs some Art too. Because the table appears to be very dark, consider using a group of things instead of a single floral. "Authentic Models" makes miniatures of architectural landmarks in white bisque which can also be lit with a votive. Display them scattered not in a perfect row. Use moss in low, small containers mixed in with the votive holders.
If Lavender is not for you, do the ceiling in lightest gray and walls in Coral or Citrus Green. Add some crown moldings. Again, use artwork and forget the mirrors.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:02PM
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Fresh flowers, all the same color, in a milkglass vase. You need to mix in some lighter and darker elements with your grey for contrast if you prefer laying the color. Some colors I like with grey are yellow, navy, and charcoal. Maybe add a buffet too. I think a Venetian beveled mirror would look fabulous in your room. Good luck! :)
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:08PM
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Teal Michel, ASID
When decorating a room, you need to make sure you do not have too many reflective surfaces in it. In your room, reflective surfaces are the glass in the window and the sheen of the dining room table which are best complimented with some accents of color and pattern. A good solution would be to use a pair of pictures with similiar size and subject matter flanking the window treatment rather than mirrors. On the table, a fabric table-runner with some pattern and color, even subtle colors, would create interest and move color into the room. On the tabletop create a visual display using elements such as a floral arrangment, decorative ceramic/s and candles with color. Adding these will show off your neutral colors.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:24PM
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Lorraine Skoglund
I would put some strong color in there. A rug and maybe a deep red/berry color on the focal wall and a lighter shade of pale gra;y or hint of pink that picks up on the berry color. I agree, pull a rug in there too. You need 24" around the perimeter of the table to allow for the chairs to stay on the run when guests are dining. I love the grays but the beige combo is not very exciting. Get some bright color samples and tape them on the wall and see how they look at different times of the day.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:27PM
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For your table there are so many options. an easy option is different sizes and shapes of glass vases. You can keep decorative balls, dried flowers or dried branches in them. When you are having guests you can replace with fresh flowers. Hydrangeas or Lilly's are always beautiful by themselves in. Dining room. You can add candles if you like Here are a few pictures I pulled off Hauzz
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 3:00PM
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@aawalsh These are pictures I meant to send you along with the sites to locate on Hauzz if interested. I apologize I got distracted.
Antiqued Glass Finials Set · More Info
Antiqued Bud Vases · More Info
Cityscape Ceramic Vases · More Info
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 3:11PM
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I would add a solid color border on each side and the bottom of the drapes about 10"-12" wide in a charcoal, maybe velvet. You drapes look to light and skimpy. Don't lower them. The rug is a definite. The wall color needs to be in the gray tones. Use an accent color from the rug and get some glass vessels and some metal candle sticks to scatter down the table to break up the formality of the room. I also agree the ceiling needs color. Maybe a few shades lighter than the walls.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 3:18PM
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Paint the walls to the colour of the dining chairs or some very light gray plus add just a pinch of a third colour say pink or green.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 3:35PM
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Details showing the color scheme for a Dining Room Jeff did for clients in the city.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Details showing the color scheme for a Dining Room Jeff did for clients in the city.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 3:43PM
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
The color rendering is not accurate. This is shades of Gray, Silver and White.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 3:45PM
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Thanks again everyone. Based on comments, I have ruled out the mirrors and am looking for artwork to flank the window. I agree with everyone who said the walls should be a shade of gray, as the caramel color right now is throwing the room off. Also since the day I moved in, I have wanted to paint the ceiling - however, we will not be adding crown molding, so could a painted ceiling work without molding?
    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 3:05PM
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A nice grey or blue grey would look nice on the walls. Either one of these colors will brighten up the space. You can paint the whole room this color or the bottom half in white or beige and the upper half in one on the grey colors. Lovely room. I too, think you need to add a rug with grey, tan, a little brown and blue to warm up the space. Place a table runner on the table along with a vase of flowers and candles or a small plant and a group of 2-3 candles. Place the two chairs at the window under the table also. Place two plants on either side of the window (snake plants are nice because they grow straight up and don't require a lot of sunlight. Also add artwork to one wall. Could you show us what the right side of the room looks like?
    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Looks lovely, now. Have you tried no window treatments? They take away from your chandy.
    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 3:29PM
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We had wallpaper put on to our family room ceiling and it added so much to the room. A simple, grass cloth as mentioned, would add to the warmth of the room and help balance out all the reflective surfaces.

Also, as mentioned, do NOT lower your drapes. Add a band of color to the bottom or get longer ones.

Have you considered adding shades (Ballard Designs) to your chandelier? Simple white ones would also add some texture to your room.

Also, check out the website "Switch Hits" for switch plates, outlet covers. Can't tell about yours, but they have very nice ones that can add that "bling" to a room.

Besides that, take away the extra chairs so that a large (real) plant can be added to the room. Or a basket of branches.
    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 3:32PM
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Rather than lower the drapes, I would actually raise them higher and add a deeper color of fabric to the bottom to make them longer. You can also use that same color to add a band of trim the length of each panel on the inside of the panels. A splash of color in the centerpiece to make it pop may help too. A two tone geometric patterned rug would also add some life to the room.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 5:16AM
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Do you like this color to add depth and drama? It is BM iron mountain.
New Construction · More Info
    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 5:35AM
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Beautiful dining room! Love the chairs.
    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 5:52AM
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