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Thought you could do it yourself but need a designer to finish

Beginning this design project with a strong vision was a real plus for a couple residing in Lebanon, New Jersey. However, as with most home owners, they soon discovered that their design abilities were stretched to their limit; and, in order to complete their dining room, they required professional assistance. Fortunately for me, I was the interior designer retained for the professional services desperately needed!

When I began the project, the shell of the room was completed. This included two new double hung windows with transoms, an elaborately designed tray ceiling, picture frame moldings below a very chunky chair rail and a large base board molding. The brushed nickel chandelier and matching sconces were already hung. And, the two arched corner cabinets had been installed. The most interesting feature of the room was the 11 foot circular stenciled motif done with red mahogany and dark oak stains on the golden oak floor.

It was obvious that the clients' great taste had brought them quite a distance. But now, it was my job to bring the project to the next level. They relied on my trained eye and vast design experience to make their dining room worthy of intimate entertaining. And, most importantly, it needed to flow well with the rest of the home….the most difficult part for home owners.

I began with developing a color pallet that would blend with the floor. With burgundy above the chair rail and camel below (both eggshell finish), white trim would be way too contrasting. So, moldings on the walls were painted a slightly darker camel color in a semi gloss finish. The corner cabinet faces match the camel walls and their trim details match the darker camel. The difference in shine between the two camel paints accentuates the molding details. And, the cream paint inside the open shelves is the perfect backdrop to display their accessories.

For the ceiling, I ran the lighter camel on the section that butts the crown molding. Once again, the different paint finishes define the surfaces and emphasizes the sculptural effect of the ceiling. The remaining ceiling and medallion match the cream of the open shelves.

I selected a tone on tone harlequin patterned burgundy silk for the pinch pleated drapery panels. A tassel fringe with camel, burgundy and a touch of green thread adorn the leading edges. They hang on a walnut wood pole. The walnut tone is continued on the custom 84" round table (built by the home owner!) and to the frame of the 12 armless chair frames.

Three coordinating silk fabrics were chosen for the chair upholstery. All 12 have a common textured camel and burgundy tweed seat back. Six of the chairs seats are done in a fabric that has a camel background with a burgundy vine pattern running through it. And, the other six seats have the coordinating negative pattern (burgundy background with a camel vine).

Of course, the art work and accessories are the final crucial elements. While the client provided her own collection of items for the corner cabinet shelves, it took my touch to place them artistically. I provided the art for the walls which are hung at the appropriate level…not at the height the husband suggested!

I am pleased to announce that the clients are thrilled with the outcome of this joint venture! While I cannot take credit for culinary delights offered in this room, I will take credit for creating an elegant environment where the tastes can be experienced! So, if you are in the midst of a design project and are bogged down with beginning the next step, be sure to consult a professional interior designer.

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