Essex Fells, NJ

The Backstory

This young, active family of four (and their adorable poodle, Wilson) had lived in the close-knit community of Essex Fells, N.J. for about eight years. But other than some children’s artwork on the walls, their dining room – visible from the oversized entry foyer – stood empty. They asked us to help them create a useful space that was both fanciful and family-friendly.

The Design Brief

Fully design and furnish a cheerful, inviting dining room – and infuse the foyer with purpose and panache.

The Inspiration

The Bold and the Beautiful. We love working with a blank canvas – especially when our clients are fearless about color and pattern. The decision to paint the ceiling purple was the springboard for the dining room’s bold palette and playful blend of stripes, plaids, and florals. The addition of textured wallpaper and a plaid broadloom area rug that “filled” the space completely transformed the foyer – making it feel less like a passthrough and more like an extra room. The dining room’s existing trim work (enhanced by a paint refresh) influenced our choice of furniture. Intricate detailing on the sideboard (painted light blue) and the dining table’s pedestal base complemented the room’s architectural elements. And we amped up the charm by mixing wood finishes and pairing the natural wood table with painted, purple-upholstered chairs. Design Hack: placing a round table in a square room improves the flow. Here, it made space for a small settee – upholstered in performance fabric that their son christened with chocolate chip muffins upon arrival (it wiped right up!)