Thursday, October 4, 2012

Henhurst Interiors: A Dining Room Design

I came across Phyllis' blog a few months ago and totally fell in love with her pictures and design inspiration! I'm so excited that she is here today to share with us her Dining Room Design plan for my new house. How lucky am I???


Without further ado, A Dining Room Design by Henhurst Interiors.


It is a great pleasure to be here today offering up some ideas for the dining room in Fletcher’s new house. Moving is incredibly stressful and there is so much to be done while settling into a new life, it can be hard to focus on specifics while sorting out the big picture. I was happy to be asked to fill in some focus on one room.

I started out by having a look at Fletcher’s Pinterest boards to get a sense of her personal style. The first thing I noticed is that we share very similar taste in design: we gravitate to neutral colors, linen, wood finishes and natural elements, but like magpies, sometimes seek a little shine. On Fletcher’s ‘Next House’ board I found the photo below designed by Tracery Interiors and published in Veranda, July/August 2012. I love the color palette and mix of textures.

The next dining room is the work of Steve who writes the blog An Urban Cottage. Steve is truly a visionary. His thoughtfully restored house has been the subject of a Better Homes and Gardens story (see it here) and his blog is a great design resource. I think this room perfectly illustrates a how a dining room can be multi-purpose. In a small house this is key. I can see reading and relaxing here when not actually dining. Also, Fletcher’s dining room has similar shelves on one wall.

Angela of The Painted House, a stylish blog rich with creativity and inspiration, took the next photo at the Rosemary Beach, Florida Coastal Living Showhouse 2012.  I love the limed-oak finish of the table and the slipcovers on the chairs, both of which are very forgiving of dining mishaps so you can relax when you have guests for dinner. How beautiful are the plates which, with their imperfect edges, appear be hand thrown pottery and look like an art installation on the wall?

Below is a photo of Fletcher’s dining room from the real estate listing.

Fletcher’s tentative paint colors are: on the wall, Benjamin Moore Feather Down and the trim, Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan – ideal choices in my opinion!

The room is essentially square (the darker block of risers is the upper portion of the staircase, the area below it is open,) and I am an advocate of round tables in square dining rooms. The shape makes it easier to navigate around the table if the room is small and I find them conducive to convivial gatherings – round tables seem to encourage shared conversations.

Here are a few good examples courtesy of House Beautiful.

In the course of planning this guest post, Fletcher introduced me to Olioboard. It is a very easy platform to use for creating virtual storyboards. A great feature is that thousands of products are pre-loaded by participating companies (among them my adored OKA from the UK) and websites that feature several of my favorite manufacturers (Arteriors, Zentique, and Aiden Gray to name a few.) 

I put together a few boards in different styles (the first and last I would call Transitional, the second and third Swedish and French Country) to show Fletcher different options. I’ve used a lot of beige and linen, painted and limed-wood finishes, and starburst mirrors for shine. Forgive me for indulging my personal taste here; I encourage you to envision your own favorite colors and finishes, fabrics and textures, art and accessories.

In addition to a round table, I would recommend a chest to the left of the door to the kitchen in which to store table linens, candles, and maybe seasonal items.

I love hanging a chandelier in the dining room. Position your table before you hang the chandelier because you might not wind up having the table in the absolute center of the room. Also, make sure your chandelier is on a dimmer.

You can upload your own product images to Olioboard; here I added a favorite lantern from Brown in Houston. When you upload your own image you are prompted to add a website link, description and price so people who view your board can find the item online.

I am going to give you a word of warning…last Spring Mr. H threatened to stage a ‘Pinter-vention’ because of the hours I was logging online at Pinterest. Well, Olioboard is possibly more addictive. And the dangerous  part…after you have assembled all the things you love on a board, you can simply click on an item…and buy it.  Uh, oh.

This has been tons of fun, thank you so much Fletcher, and all best wishes for many happy years ahead in your new home!   xoxo, Phyllis

Many thanks to Steve at An Urban Cottage and to Angela at The Painted House for giving permission to have their photos used here.


  1. Great post but giving you a heads up that none of the pictures are showing up...just the last three Olioboard ones and they are stunning! Phyllis, you are super your taste and immactulate style!

  2. Most of the top pics aren't showing. :(

    XO T

  3. I'm glad I'm not Fletcher because I would have a very difficult time picking one board, they're all wonderful. Olioboard is a definite stop for me now but tonight when I have time to play. The pictures are now all showing up and you picked some wonderful real life rooms to show Fletcher. I hope there's a follow up because I can't wait to see what Fletcher does!


  4. Wonderful guest post by my talented friend, Phyllis! :) Love all your options for Fletcher's dining room. Positioning the table before hanging the chandelier / light fixture is a great suggestion. And I love the finishes on all the round tables.

  5. Great inspiration Phyllis! The one with the teal blue has helped me hone some ideas for my wonky living room. Simple, elegant, comfortable and timeless....but NOT boring!!!! Love:) ps, thanks for sharing the Olioboard, this is going to be fun!!

  6. Those library shelves. I used to do that. Now it's all books. No bric/brac with them.

    Kitchen shelving? Chaos of dishes. Saw it done that way in a client's home decades ago, fell in love !

    Alas, my wall of bookshelves need painting.

    The thought of removing the books sinks me.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

  7. I love the ideas you have come up with Phyllis. Great style and colour choices and practical advice as well. And I'm going to have to look into Olioboard (or maybe I shouldn't) x Sharon

  8. What a wonderful dining room design. I love a round table, especially farmhouse, and the chest idea is perfect! Can't wait to see your room ~

  9. LOVE this Phyllis, thank you! Some customers have been speaking about this site! I saw some familiar objects like the big white vase, slip chairs and the orb chandelier I have...hmmmm very helpful.

  10. Pinter-vention! You need to trademark that! Hilarious. I know how that goes..hours later you wonder where the time went. Your boards are beautiful suggestions for Fletcher's house. Best of luck with your new high cotton home Fletcher! It's going to be so much fun to add your good taste to.
    xo Nancy

  11. This is incredible! I love your style and your taste and i"m sure Fletcher is very pleased! I have not let myself get too deep into Olioboard yet! But I plan to! So glad I got to see this post and learn about a new wonderful blog! Thanks, Phyllis!

  12. OK, Phyllis, I'm almost afraid to go to Olioboard because of my current time on Pinterest. On your recommendation, I'm heading over there right now.

  13. Phyllis

    Oh no another online addiction...I am not sure if I should thank you or not!!

  14. Great post
    And I really like your pretty idea with best snap of dining room design.

    Dining Room and Dinette Set


  15. Really your ideas. So classy and cozy!Great place to chat while having a wonderful meal..I'll surely keep this in my list.thanks:)