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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

I call it the Devil's Dining Room- Need advice!

wheels920February 6, 2013
We moved into our house about 6 years ago and have slowly been redecorating. From day one I have hated our dining room! The room itself is great but it is SO red that I call it the Devils Dining Room! The wainscotting is a deep red and the wallpaper above it is a red and tan plaid (old owners did this). We were given the dining room table, hutch and oriental rug as a gift so we will be keeping those. I would love to make the room seem light and bright but I can't get rid of the rug. What do you suggest we paint the wainscotting and what to do with the walls above? I would also LOVE to get rid of the sconses (and the ugly tree- please ignore that). They were installed unevenly anyway. The only problem is we can't really do a chandelier because there is a an A/C vent over the table!!! My living room is next to the dining and it is painted Touch of Grey by BM so if there is any way I could incorporate that color into the dining that would be great but not necessary. I basically would love for the rooms to flow but even something bold in the dining room would be a welcome suggestion. Just remember the rug must stay. I also have no clue what to do about the windows but I can deal with that down the road. I just really want to get rid of all of that RED!!! Thanks! I have many more pictures from other angles.
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What about painting the wainscotting touch of grey, and the top a bolder color to compliment the rest of the house? Would the grey work with that rug?
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Marina Klima Goldberg - Klima Design Group
Benjamin Moore gray owl
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:15PM
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try a nice light olive remove the chair rail ......remove the table cloth im all for keeping the table set at all times I love the "we have guest coming look".....all in all its a great space......NO RUG PLEASE
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:33PM
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HI -- What you don't want -- just open the door and toss it out . Usually when former owners leave stuff behind ,- it's not really a gift. Anyway - this should be an easy fix . Get a good primer and cover the red and then paint the wainscotting and trims " Cloud White" by Benjamin Moore Paints. Then paint the top part and the ceiling the Touch of Grey . Remove the sconces and fill the holes before you paint . If you don't find any new sconces that you like , then get two matching floor lamps instead , they will light up the corners and they look elegant. The rug should work fine with this but Jury is still out for me on the furniture , it might be fine when the room is painted . If you are a young couple then the furniture might be a little too old of a style for you .
1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:41PM
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Jayant Ashutosh
a) get rid of the cove lights , the main wall can be converted into a bar in one corner and some nice painting on the other . b) Red is gone , go for some better colour , c) why do you have red carpet , looks awful , d) i will say the space looks very good and can be redone very nicely .
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:46PM
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Mary Koczwara
Because the wainscotting is so high and painted such a dark color, it gives the illusion or feeling that one is dining in a pit with dark high walls looming over one while one eats. There is also a high contrast between the lighter color of the wallpaper and the darker color of the red wainscotting. Here are three suggestions:

1. Remove the wallpaper yourself and have a professional remove the wainscotting and relocate the sconce wiring so that the sconces are even. The professional you hire can also do repairs to the wall, which may involve drywall, etc. With a nice, smooth wainscot-free wall, you can paint them the BM gray from the living room.

2. Remove the wallpaper yourself and paint both the upper part of the wall as well as the wainscotting the same color as your living room. This will visually 'erase' the line between the wainscotting and the upper wall. Erasing the line and painting it a lighter color will help the dining room walls feel less oppressive.

3. Replace the sconces with some that you do like. If you elect to paint the walls gray, something in silver or pewter would be nice.

4. Gray works well with red so you should be able to keep the rug but I agree with others above who recommend that you put away the tablecloth. I would also recommend that you center the rug (if it isn't centered already) and remove one of the leaves from the table and put it in storage until it is needed. The chairs seem a little bit like they're floating in a 'sea' of table. Consider some silver or pewter candlesticks to go in the center of the table with your beautiful bowl and to tie into your new sconces.

These are simple suggestions, but I think they will have a great impact on your feelings about the room.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:59PM
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Valerie Walchek Designs
Paint the baseboard and the wainscoting rail the same white as you door trim—this will have the effect of tying the wainscoting to the rest of the trim work and will create a transition between the walls and the floor.
Paint the ceiling BM Touch of Grey. Ceilings are frequently overlooked and painting it gives you an alternative place to incorporate the colors from the adjacent rooms.
Remove the wall paper and paint the wall above the wainscoting a cream/butter color that matches the lightest color in your rug.
Now all we need is a color for the wainscoting… go with something darker than the wall above or the ceiling color. You want a color that is a bout 20% darker in value than the cream on the wall. This will anchor the wainscoting. Try BM Stonybrook (1566) for a nice color triad or for a more monochrome scheme apply the color two or three steps away form your cream on the color swatch.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Thanks for all of the advice. Sorry about the tablecloth I usually don't leave it on. We need to keep the furniture as it was given to us by our in-laws (along with the rug). No way I can get rid of it!! I like the ideas about what to paint the wainscotting or just remove it altogether. It really drives me nuts but even if I paint it a lighter color maybe it won't look so threatening. Love the ideas about painting the ceiling touch of grey. I have painted ceilings a color in other rooms and love the effect. Will also defnitely get rid of the sconses and remove a leaf from the table. Have been meaning to do that for ages!!! I agree the chairs seem to be floating around the table. I am so ready to change this awful room. I cringe every time I walk through it!
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:34AM
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Also- does anyone know if I can remove the sconces myself or would i have to hire someone? I really want to get rid of them.
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:51AM
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Mary Dancey Interiors
You can't cover over the boxes, they would have to be removed and the wiring pulled or plates installed over the drywall. Go to your lighting store and tell them what the dilemma is with them having been installed unevenly. They may have some lighting solutions. From the pictures you've posted they don't appear to be uneven, are you sure they just don't appear that way because of a crooked wallpaper installation? :)
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:59AM
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The white trim you have, why not just take that color and paint the top part of the wall with an eggshell finish, and the wainscotting semi-gloss? Removing the wallpaper first, of course. For the sconces that were installed unevenly, perhaps you could find sconces that have a plate behind them to make them appear even? [houzz=
Pillar Collection 1-Light Chrome Wall Sconce · More Info
] Or even something like this: [houzz=
Chase 16 Wall Sconce by Robert Abbey | Lightology · More Info
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 4:16AM
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Mary- they are definitely uneven. You can tell when you are standing in the room- they are all off center. I don't think the electrician who installed them used a measuring tape! So frustrating because otherwise I would just leave them and figure out a way to make them look nice. I have a tight budget so maybe for now I will just paint and remove the wallpaper and deal with them until I can get someone over to remove them or even just move some of them over and inch or two. OLLBOBBI- I like the idea of painting the wainscotting semigloss and eggshell on top.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:04AM
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this can be a wonderful room even with the given parameters.strip the wallpaper and paint charcoal. paint the wainscoting and chair rail white.

1st photo: lose the picture. replace sconces with some gorgeous silver ones dripping in crystals. hang 3 ornate silver mirrors.

2nd photo: lose the tablecloth.take out 1 or 2 leaves. slipcover the chairs with a burlap or natural linen. they should have pretty backs,could be monogrammed or have dressmaker details like glitzy rhinestone button closures. set the table. look for salad plates in a beautiful print of white,gray,red and aqua.they could be vintage or new. mix the print with inexpensive solids. find or make napkins with a stripe in those colors. add mercury glass candlesticks. at this point, if it were my table, i'd bring in an outdoor concrete statuary piece for the table centerpiece for height and an organic touch.

3rd photo: replce items on top of china cabinet with a long natural looking silk of ivy and ferns.
weave in a battery operated set of white lights for evening entertainng.

if those are more sconces on the other walls, remove them, patch and paint.

if moving the ceiling vent is too expensive,leave it. HD and lowes sell lighting components so you can have it installed as a wavy oval over the length of the table. just use silver tracks and the little low voltage halogens. look to lighting stores for the design inspiration but they're usually very expensive there.

window treatments: floor to ceiling gray and white extra large damask print. hang them on a gunmetal or black iron rod with big red finials. could be round ball of antique red crackle glass or a ceramic or find a wood fininal and paint it.

okay that's my vision for your room. hope it's helpful.
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:39AM
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