Friday, July 5, 2013

(Seeing Red) Dining Rooms

Benjamin Moore Red Oxide
I've been hemming and hawing about painting our dining room red for a few years now. I've always loved the idea of having a dramatically-hued dining room, but my particular dining room presented some unique challenges -
  1. It is open to the kitchen, tv room, living room and staircase going upstairs, so the red wouldn't be so much an isolated accent, but a significant contribution to my overall home's vibe. 
  2. It is framed on three sides by Moorish-shaped arches, so I would have to figure out how to treat this transition space paint-wise. 
  3. It is very dark already, so I was afraid a dark shade would make this even worse. 
On the flip side, I saw some clear benefits about going red -
  1. I hate the fact that the dining room feels a bit like a hallway. Since you have to walk through it to get anywhere in the house, it doesn't feel "special" or "cozy." I figured by painting it it's own special shade, I could make it stand out as a separate space instead of just a pass-through area. 
  2. I read a decorating tip in House Beautiful Magazine saying to go dark in a small space, and figured if they were advocating for it I should give it a try! 
  3. It's only paint and I was tired of playing it safe. 
So, below is the result. I used Benjamin Moore's Red Oxide in an eggshell finish. The swatch is pictured about at left, so you can see how much darker it looks on my wall than in the sample. Just another reason to invest in a sample pot so you can see what it actually looks like in your room!
My recently-painted-red dining room!
Bottom line - I'm happy with the result, but I need some things to complete the design so make it really look awesome, such as an ivory banquette for the right hand corner (similar to the photo at bottom, but with a channel tufted back instead of button tufts) and a slightly larger, more rustic table with a pedestal or trestle base, plus some chandelier shades, a rug and some pillows for the wing chairs...well, the list goes on.  I may repaint the Chippendale chairs ivory since I've already painted them myself once.

Sigh....Decorating is never done!