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Correne's dining room

It's our next reader's makeover as guest blogger and interior designer Jason Martin helps Corenne this time with her dining room. It's almost there but Corenne wants just a bit more "oomph" and Jason is keen to help. Remember Corenne does the "DIY" and Jason adds the "+".

Corenne’s thoughts on the space

I’m a little lost with what to do in our dining room to draw it together. I love the table and chairs (green doesn’t have to stay) and the old travel chests can stay. I’d like to keep the poster and the lamp (I’d like to change the shade as I’ve moved away from red). The room is 3.6m wide (including the corridor) x 2.8m long x 2.7m high.

The room is used for meals with guests (we sit at the kitchen for everyday meals) and a space for my 2 year old to do craft. The kids table and chair is going on the deck (when it is built) but an area for craft activities still needs to be included (I am toying with an old school desk with the chair attached). Storage is a must. I like colour and am/will considered wallpaper. We wish the space to be modern-eclectic meaning graphic and handmade.

The three things I want to address in the space:

1. As you put it I need that extra 10% wow, factor.
2. Storage (the house is on a block of 200sqm so every inch counts) eg shelves for display or a sideboard
3. Space for an indoor craft area for our daughter. On this subject sorry I bought a old school desk on the weekend. I have attached some pictures for you. I do need chairs though.

(... inspiration from Correne's tear files)


Jason’s notes

In a small space like your dining area, it can be difficult to have multiple functions and still look clean, modern and pulled together. The smallness aside, there are a few things you can do to make the space more functional and still read more adult dining space than kids craft corner.

1.Make bold strokes – You have to unify the space. Little pieces here and there won’t work for what you want. You need consistency and a minimum of materials to clean up the look.

2.Mass out the storage- The storage cabinet that is in the room now is to small for the space. You need something that stretches almost wall to wall and has lots of doors and drawers. It is key to have as much closed storage as possible especially in any furniture that is at or lower than table height.

3.Lighten up and be consistent – Above the storage cabinet you need open shelving with organized consistent storage boxes. If you can’t find stock shelving that will stretch the length of the wall you could separate it into two groups just make sure there is some kind of vertical element ( a column of photos or one long art piece) to break the two sets of shelves.

On the other wall you can be more free form with things. Maybe mix up photos, prints and paintings and a section for hooks or a coat rack (see below). For the window, i would cover it with a simple bamboo shade. Your vintage kids desk could work in here.

4. Expand the space from the floor up- I really like the rug you have now. The color is great the patten is cool. But it’s not doing you any favors as far as space is concerned. I think the round shape is making everything else in the room feel like it is in orbit around the table and nothing feels grounded. I would replace it with a rectangle shape in a larger size. While you are at it go with an indoor/outdoor rug that is easy to clean and can take a lot of abuse in the crafting and finger painting department.

I would use the wall adjacent to the shelving wall to display the two dimensional art you have. Maybe in a loose asymmetrical arrangement to counteract the linear quality of the shelves like this image from Coleen Interior.

So what do you think? And Corenne remember to send us photos of your new dining room when it's done!


Sophia Vayda

"Combining a strong design sense with an international background, Sophia Vayda creates clean, elegant, warm spaces. Her influences are far-ranging, from Parisian eclecticism to Scandinavian modernity. Weaving a blend of the contemporary and the classic into every project, she creates a timeless style with unexpected touches." I love Boston-based interior designer Sophia Vayda's use of calm colours to create wonderfully serene spaces. Perfect shades of blue and grey.


More from Scott Weston

Our fav Australian architect (OK fav everywhere architect) Scott Weston has sent us a peek at his latest project. This Elizabeth Bay apartment in Sydney is nearing completion but Scott promises to send more pictures when it is finished. It's all about bespoke joinery. Timber veneers, hand painted cabinetry and gilded finishes, display boxes and shoe shelves even a secret dressing room. Scott no one could accuse you of being colour blind! Brave choices per usual. As Scott knows I go weak at the knees for good joinery. Can't wait to see the final shots.


Carolyn Barber

Carolyn Barber, based in London, is a photographer I admire for her talent at shooting interiors, particularly vignettes. Perfectly composed. I see why she's worked for many top shelter mags such as Elle Decoration, House and Garden, Homes & Gardens and Living Etc. Now I want to go around the house, re-accessorize and take photos (and stick some plants into concrete blocks).


Sylvie Becquet

Whether rich and brooding or sparkling white with bright light I'm drawn in by the simplicity of these shots by photographer Sylvie Becquet. They were haunting in more ways than one as I realised that Kim had first featured Sylvie's work almost two years ago but I just had to share more of her work. The juxtaposition of white and rich colour is so inspiring, the moodiness so attractive. There is that tension between stark modernity and a rich historical feel that is so now.