This historic Georgian/Colonial mansion had a lot going for it. But the yellow-walled dining room was an uninspiring place to entertain or enjoy meals.
When the young family – who relocated from Los Angeles to Shorewood three years ago – decided to make the house their own last winter, they turned to Amy Carman of Amy Carman Design. Now they have a vibrant, interesting room in which to entertain for the holidays and beyond.
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The room’s transformation began with mural wallpaper Carman sourced from a French company, Ananbo, as it’s “moody but with plush colors,” she says. When guests enter, they often stop in their tracks, pulled into the mural’s scenic, timeless view that includes wispy tree branches, blue skies and floral arrangements atop columns.
So as not to compete with the wallpaper’s effect, the dining room’s fireplace and built-ins were painted white. “That architectural character helped point us toward the large-scale, traditional mural, which we knew would bring all of those features to life,” says Carman.
Next came the homeowner’s vintage pieces: an area rug, cherry sideboard and Baker dining table. “[The rug] felt like it was destined for the space,” says Carman. “The size and color palette were perfect, and [its] worn-in quality gave a real feeling of authenticity.”
A contemporary chandelier, sconces and neutral-hued chairs – again, so as not to detract from the wallpaper – round out the room. Key to an inspiring dining room, says Carman, are upholstered chairs; bold colors; and “deep, rich and interesting” floral arrangements, such as magnolia branches.
Now, “it’s a more layered, sophisticated look,” says Carman. “We like a room to unfold a little bit. Some of the most interesting rooms don’t reveal themselves all at once. There are features that make that big, first impression – in this case, the wall-covering – in combination with the architectural features, but then there are layers of interest in light fixtures, area rug[s] and accessories. They add character and complexity. … This room has a story. It’s really captivating.”
Scenic mural wallpapers can make a room, establish a tone and become key focal points. Here are three options.
Blossom Chinoiserie Mural (in green, navy or pink), Anthropologie.
Cubana Floral Roll Wallpaper (in red/green/blue) by Mind the Gap, Perigold.
Provincial Scenic Wall Mural in Teal from the Murals Resource Library by York Wallcoverings, Burke Decor.