The Anatomy of a Transitional Dining Room by Sutro Architects

I’ve been featuring rooms for 9 months now on this blog…about 40 different rooms.  And I’ve yet to feature a single dining room.  But, since I’m doing a little makeover on my dining room, and we’re entering the season of parties and eating, I’ve got dining rooms on my mind.  I thought it only fitting that I spend this month featuring dining rooms in different styles and different functions (formal, casual, etc).  First up…a beautiful transitional (traditional + contemporary) dining room from Sutro Architects.

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The bones of this house are definitely traditional in style.  I don’t know the story of the house…how old it is, or if the moldings are original to the house. But, let’s imagine they are original, and the owners kept them, but updated them with that beautiful white paint.  Their extra-large proportions (in relation to the rest of the room) add a sense of formality…this isn’t just an ordinary room, it’s an important place in this home.   And, not related to proportion, paneling like this is a great way to add texture and pattern to the room without adding visual clutter for a clean classic style.

Sometimes it’s the smallest details that take a room from done to truly polished.  Without the sconces this room would still be symmetrically balanced.  But when you add a pair of something it instantly brings a feeling of balance to space.  That tiny pair of sconces adds that perfect finishing touch.

I love the way the designer used color to bridge the gap between the traditional bones of the room and the contemporary furnishings.   The classic woodwork was given a contemporary white finish.  The contemporary wood dining chairs were upholstered in a deep blue that would work in any traditional room.  It’s a thoughtful mix and match that makes this room perfectly transitional.  And, of course the entire palette was inspired by the gorgeous contemporary rug underfoot.

When you are creating emphasis in a dining room it’s important to think about the view from the dining chairs.  When people are sitting at the table (as they most likely will be doing most of the time) what will they be looking at, or I should say, what do you WANT them to be looking at.  A gorgeous chandelier, like the one in this room, will keep their attention inward.

I don’t know what was purchased first, the dining chairs or the rug or the piece of art, but either way they work perfectly together.  The simple wave shape brings fluid motion to the square space, which automatically creates a rhythm in the space.  Recognize these small motifs in your own home and play them up!

What’s your favorite part of this dining room?  What’s your favorite part of yours?

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