Sport, sport, sport. It's all happening in England & France this week. The Brits got their first Tour de France win on the Champs-Elysees, the Olympic torch is en route to London, with royalty, VIPs and athletes arriving en masse for the occasion. And there has been golf too, with the young, gorgeous Australian Adam Scott almost getting his first major win at the British Open only to graciously concede, 'it wasn't meant to be'. After a devastating loss, he does not seem to be seeing red...but I am.
The Dining Room, a place where people gather to sit & eat. These days, dining rooms are not too far from the kitchen, and seat anywhere from 2 people up, depending on the size of room and house. In the Middle Ages, however, the main dining hall, or The Great Hall as the upper class Britons called it, was a large multi-function space capable of seating the entire household, with family at the head and the rest of the people arranged depending on their (diminishing) rank. And typically they were situated on the floor above the kitchen, a long way out of sight and where cooking fumes could be concealed.
Such formality rarely exists these days except perhaps only in Royal households or in those of the exceedingly wealthy. Domestic dining rooms can certainly be formal but in modern day homes, be located very close to the kitchen if not within the same space.
Personally the dining rooms that I love most are ones that are bit rustic, farmhouse inspired or 'lived-in' with a touch of glamour, perhaps by way of an ornate light-fitting or elaborate mirror. Texture is nice; whether it be a wooden table, or perhaps marble and interest in the chair. The chair is the accessory. Get it wrong and a beautiful dining table can be ruined. Just like bad shoes on men (can I say that?!). Gulp.
Here are a few dining rooms that I love and here's why.
For a start this is a great room to work with; high-ceilings, detailed cornice, amazing fireplace - that colour, wow. So the simplicity of the dining table and chairs is spot-on. They don't compete with the elaborate details pre-existing and while the mirror and light afford a formality, the table & chairs give this dining room an informality.
The contrasting materials used in this space make it. The timber table against crisp polycarbonate black chairs with the cloud-like black light to soften and balance the space. The gold detail on the bowl not to go unnoticed, as it adds a touch of (needed) glamour.
A basic trestle means that this pace can multi-task: work by day, dine by night. The gold framed chairs, while not my favourite afford this space sophistication and dress it up. And those windows. Stunning and great use of treatment; striking in black without obscuring the view.
A beautiful heavy-set wooden table placed on shiny black floors against a silver kitchen. So clever. A little bit rustic farmhouse with the convenience of modern facilities. The chandelier adds glamorous drama.
Quite a contrast and possibly too rustic for my liking. However, this farmhouse look set upon polished concrete floors with sheer, flowing curtains and splashes of white give an overall romantic feel to this space. The long linen striped cushions, yes please!
Completely raw and possibly not even the main dining area (?) this room lends itself to lazy weekend lunches with family & friends. Once again the chandelier allows you to dress up while the beautiful neutral, sanded back floorboards compliment the weathered table.
This says holiday house to me, with the organised trilby and straw hats & baskets arranged, and numbered cushions. A great place to gather and socialise while relaxing. The idea of slip covers on the dining chairs is also good. The black shiny table as opposed to a wooden top works well and adds sophistication to this open space. Floor is great too.
The colour of these chairs is undeniably divine. But they work because they're set amongst freshness: smooth table and high-gloss white floors, the ordered wood pile and built-in superb glass cabinet allow these shabby-chic chairs not look too shabby at all.
I am continually drawn to this image. The length of that table is superb. And once again the humble trestle being just as functional in day as it can be at night. The mis-matched wooden chairs work. Why? The table top is slender as opposed to chunky, beautiful art work has been cleverly placed and the roses and jars are little treasures for the eye.
Go with a chunky wooden table and dress it with slender black chairs and you've got a winning combination. (I'd probably remove the Tolix chair, not needed and been done over & over). The charcoal wall is dramatic and the varied mirrors contrast beautifully, offering a sense of space. The frames also compliment the table thickness.
And the perfect Sunday lunch spot. Ever-so simple, keeping it to the basics but with the right basics, (white crockery, greenery, silver) you can't go wrong.
Far, far away on the other side of the world, my cousin is getting married this weekend. With a heavy heart & with thousands of miles between us, I will not make it. So this one is for you Ajka! May you have the most fabulous day and a lifetime of married bliss. Much love.
I really do love Winter. Even though there are definitely moments (think early morning when the alarm buzzes or middle of the night when child calls out) when I shudder and complain about how cold I am, over all, I love this chilly season. A chance to rug up & wear lots of layers; coats, tights, boots, scarves, gloves, hats. Love it all. And while many parts of the world are basking in their Summer sun, where I live, we are wrapping ourselves up to keep out the chills and stay warm.
I am loving...
Layer upon layer in snow
Large-scaled herringbone, scarf, boots
Grey & navy, riding hat, boots, thick tights, texture
Ruffled Trench, boots and skinnies
Thick wool, Capri pants, flats
Shades of blue/grey, tweed
Thick knits in shades of grey
Love a poncho and always love grey
Belt & coat
Oh my goodness, jacket, gloves, tights, bag
Is it a poncho, is it a cardi, is it a cape? Whatever, love texture & colour. And tan gloves of course.