Need help updating a dated formal marble and lacquer dining room ensemble

suzy92March 10, 2013
I bought this in the late 80s and since I can't sell it right now, would love ideas on how to "update" this 80's look
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collettec
Since you're keeping the dining set, one possibility would be to play up the black and white. One of the things that dates the room is the mirrored back to the cabinet. I would cover the mirror with a graphic black and white patterned wallpaper, perhaps something like a chevron or trellis pattern. The large vases in the corners are also dated. I would remove them, including the one on the table. I would get larger pieces of art with bold colors that are a similar size and style for either side of the cabinet - and draw from that for a wall color and perhaps drapes and a rug if something that you want to add. Good luck!
2 Likes    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:13AM
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astraea
Collettec - What makes the mirrored back "dated? My china cabinet has a mirrored back, and I love how it makes the china & glassware sparkle more!
1 Like    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:21AM
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ASVInteriors
One of the nicest ways I have seen this type of dining table and look updated is to surround it with dark colours instead of light colours. This gives it a more dramatic look. So you could paint your walls a dark blue, red, brown or green to mute the who,e room, add a carpet in dark beneath. Finally add an interesting but modern pendant light. For the mirrored cabinet, you could paint horizontal stripes across it, or add horizontal wallpaper strips to cut the mirror but not all to lose the light it brings
    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:27AM
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collettec
astrea,
Just saw your comment and in my personal opinion, I don't think anything looks dated by itself but more a matter of the poster has a lot of things in her/his room that were all popular in the late 1980's and of course much of it still popular now and they said they wanted to update the look. I like a mix of styles and items from different time periods, and think it adds a lot to the room, but was pointing out what in this room was popular in that time period, that they might think of changing since they said they want to update the look overall. Since they can't change the dining set, I was looking at other things that were popular then, and of course still work beautifully now, that they might want to consider changing. Of course dependent on them. I do agree with mirrors and crystal - always beautiful, and of course the fact that the mirrors reflect something beautiful - which you want! Just my two cents worth and agree with you about your assessment of both mirrors and crystal! Plus in this case, with this room, the furniture is dark and heavy and the crystal and mirrors right next to it are very light and the contrast between them looks too great in my opinion, so that was a reason for my advice as well.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:49AM
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decoenthusiaste
Try turning the table the other direction just for a change. Clear out everything that can be moved, separate it into Keep and Lose boxes and restyle what you have left in the Keep box.
    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Eagledzines
An area rug along with pictures, evenly hung, on each side of the china cabinet, will help to bring these very different styles and colors together. Draw upon the colors in the carpet for art color.
If your chairs are covered, they could use re-covering or you could employ the use of chair coverings. I would leave the windows as they are or if you must, put up a valance that coordinates with the walls and rug.

Here is a neutral background with peach and brown.
Lenore - Area Rugs - Wool Rugs - Hand-tufted Rugs - Rugs | HomeDecorators.com · More Info
    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 12:11PM
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suzy92
Thanks for the ideas-- the other dilemma in that room is the ceilings are 21 feet high which (I think) adds to the issue because the piece is small. Is it feasible to paint that room darker because of the ceiling height?
    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 6:42PM
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Eagledzines
21' wow. One thing you could do is put a frieze and crown at the top and paint them white like the ceiling. Also, put a piece of horizontal molding 3/4 up from the floor--unless this room is open to a second story. It would help to get pictures of any adjoining areas to know for sure.
    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:53PM
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collettec
If your ceilings are that high, I think that painting the room a darker color is something that would work well in the room. I think for dining rooms as well, they often are a room for more drama than other places. I would make sure the color coordinates with colors in adjoining rooms if there are others visible. Other than that, I would pull a color from the art, or a rug if something that you want to add. Not sure if you were amenable to wallpapering the back of your cabinet. If wallpapering the back of the cabinet was something that you might consider, one way that you could work to have the cabinet coordinate better with whatever wall color you choose is to pick a wallpaper for the back of the cabinet that would have the new wall color in it as part of an overall pattern. That way the cabinet would tend to blend in more with the wall and perhaps not look so disproportionately small in scale with the height of the room, if that was your concern. The other thing I would recommend if you have high ceilings would be to go for larger scale art pieces as well. Good luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:03AM
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suzy92
I love the idea of painting the room red -- my house is a ranch but the dining room is in the front of the house and more or less isolated. I like the idea of the geometric design in my china cabinet and maybe use the colors in new more bold art.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:00PM
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cctuttle
I love your gold patterned vases and your dramatic dining chairs. These two features should be showcased. With such high ceilings in a smallish room paint the ceiling darker than the walls to visually lower it. You have great light with all the windows! I agree with painting the room darker and all one color except trim. Consider removing the square trim of the wainscoting. I would go with a rich dramatic warm gray with white trim and a charcoal for the ceiling. The mirrored cabinet will look stunning against a darker color especially if it is lighted. I love red however red for the entire room for the entire room is overwhelming. You have done a nice job of bringing red in as accents which is perfect and would completely disappear if you painted the room red. The wood floor is beautiful and I find a rug impractical for eating spaces. If you want a rug though consider sisal. Texture will help provide needed contrast with the large shiny surface of the mirror. Another way to add texture would be to add cream colored burlap drapery panels to each side of the windows hung on a rod that goes from one side of the room to the other. Consider putting black and white prints all hung at the same level middle of the picture at 5' around the room. The focal point of a dining room should be the table and you have done a great job of that. Too much other stuff competes. Add a dramatic modernish chandelier 36-40" over the table perhaps in gold tones to connect with the gold in those beautiful vases and you will have a stunner that nobody would think 80's
    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 5:59AM
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apple_pie_order
Post is a year old.
    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 6:18AM
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Sally Wheeler
Place a nice piece of drapery fabric at the back of the china cabinet, using a tension rod. I liked the idea of chevron.

I have placed fabric in the back of kitchen cupboards that have glass fronts. It gave it depth. I hemmed the fabric on all sides and formed a sleeve for the tension rod at the top. I slipped the fabric behind the glass shelves.

Should you ever need to use this case as something different, say for displaying a collection (shells), you may remove the fabric.
    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 7:16AM
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cctuttle
So, year old post, what did you do?
    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 8:43AM
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suzy92
I postponed that project and redid my living room that needs a rug now (see photo). Will be starting back the dining room in June with your suggestions. Would love input on the living room though
1 Like    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 9:13AM
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cctuttle
Assuming if you just remodeled the sofa and chairs are new? LOVE your wood floors! The room feels very symmetrical and with its very high ceilings, which create a wonderful feeling of openness, is feeling a little stiff... Going vertical with everything - art, drapes, high back chairs etc may not be the best solution. Some small changes can help. Since nobody can see through the upper windows privacy is not an issue. Consider placing a rod just above the lower level of windows extending at least 12- 18" past the window frame on both sides and bring your drapery panels down to "living" level. If you love these drapery panels or just purchased them you could shorten them but let them puddle on the floor. Love the artwork... wish that fabulous metallic look was repeated somewhere else in the room such as between the chairs? Hard to see what's going there from the pic... Consider replacing the lamp shades with drum shades for volume. Is there money in the budget to add one of those lamps that swoop into the middle of the room on a bendy rod - sorry don't have a pic. This will help give the room a more intimate feel. Your end tables are nice... Consider changing the table in between the chairs for a wicker cube that doubles as a storage chest and find somewhere else for the table. This will bring some nice textural interest into the room. These walls could also be gray but a lighter shade than the dining room especially if you can see one room from the other. You definitely need a rug to anchor this room. A big pattern with some real punch will make a big statement and help bring some warmth and coziness. The rug should be big enough for at least the front feet of the sofa and both chairs to sit on the rug. Straighten the two chairs to line up exactly with the edge of the rug. After you decide on a rug then work on changing up your pillows a bit to patterns and colors that tie into the rug. Make the pillows all different but related or coordinated but not matching. This is where you can be bold with color. Have fun mixing patterns and bring in personality...
    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 10:49AM
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suzy92
would a zebra print rug work - the walls are taupe and the room has a dramatic feel to it because my ceilings are 20 feet high . Also my dining room is in the front of the house - you walk into this room when you enter and the dining room is to the left of my front door
    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 11:00AM
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cctuttle
You do have exotic taste....I love animal print and zebra would be stunning. Covering the ist would be so perfect for those chairs although all I can see is the back...Zebra rug would be too much if you do the chairs but if not it would be great! Calls for a selection of other fabrics not in the traditional vein and especially TEXTURE! Have you considered burlap drapery panels in off white? I have seen some that are fabulous - simple but richly textural. Please bring in at least one more object be it lamp or table between chairs that picks up that great metallic
    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 12:04PM
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suzy92
Here is the look with a zebra rug and the front of my chairs
    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 11:27PM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
On living room. You need a area rug in a print. With colors of furn in it. Float in front of sofa . Not feeling the pictures on wall. Remove and add one centered over sofa, 7" above sofa back. Get something with bold colors. Big frame. Z Galleries is great. Also West Elm. Should be high and almost as wide as sofa. The room lacks color. Art is a good way to bring it in. For dining rm. new chairs would be a start. Wallpaper is big again. Paint walls. Cheapest fix there is. The mirrored wall us dated. I would remove that. Where do you live?
    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 9:58AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Live the color in panels on windows. Try that in a rug and art.
    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 9:59AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Love animal prints. If dining and living rms are across from each other. Keep colors the same. Zebra chairs on side with bigger wing back on ends of table in black would be striking. A chandelier, in black drum style over table with chrome . Would pull room together. Hang 36" from top if table. Z Galleries has the light.
    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 10:03AM
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Ashley Malowaniuk
Your table is a very formal style. You need the room around it to be formal as well. Keep the white trim, but paint the walls something dark, and lower your light fixture to about 30" above the table.
If you could do without the mirrored cabinet, it would be best to let it go. It clutters the room.
    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 10:05AM
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Gantt's Decorating
This is an "I told you so...moment for me." This is why you should always stick with the classics.
    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 10:47AM
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