Help Wanted: Eclectic!
June 30, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I'm looking for suggestions to replace my formal dining room chairs but keeping dark cherry table. On one end of open room are kitchen cabinets with shaker-style door fronts; on the other end is large entertainment center which also has Shaker-style doors. Upholstered pieces in family room are more comfy, cottage-like style. I want to break up all the dark cherry, and I want a more eclectic look. Another option is to sell the dining table and eight chairs, but I fear I will lose considerable money going that route. (Where to sell?)

The desk is being removed as floors throughout entire space are being changed to white oak (natural, so much lighter, which picks up on countertop color so recommended by color consultant.) There will be space for a new sideboard or an interesting cabinet for additional storage and breaking up the dark wood with something painted, perhaps in cream, in a different style (a primitive antique?) I also have the option of removing the pantry (first door on left) and putting a larger storage piece in the present desk and pantry space. Total length of that area would then be 9.5 feet.

Fridge and stove will be replaced after flooring installation; will match the dishwasher I've already replace--stainless steel. Fridge will be set back several inches, either by choosing counter depth or by bumping into the laundry area behind it.

All walls will be painted a much lighter color, perhaps SW 7696 Toasted Pine Nut.

Despite the teal gingham chairs, I'm going for a very neutral palette.
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Nancy Hehmann
Use Parsons chairs. Depends on your budget where you get them. I got some in black leather from Carrington Direct online - They were quality. You can have them upholstered in fabric too.
June 30, 2013 at 1:27pm   
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How about painting the chairs? They might look good in black. I think I would change the seat covers to go with green.

How about painting the work desk in black?
June 30, 2013 at 1:33pm   
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kathleen MK
how about just changing or covering the seat cushions? You have a beautiful set that would be a shame to paint. If you are tired of the color use fabric and accent pieces to brighten the room. new place mats and runner. I love the orchids but a large white or bright color bowl of fruit would give more color.
June 30, 2013 at 1:47pm     
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I think that since you spent about $3000 on just the chairs (unless you got them on sale), painting them black would be a very negative step in terms of their short-term and long-term value.
Instead, how about introducing color via a bright rug under the table, and upholstering the chairs in a light pattern?
June 30, 2013 at 1:50pm     
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I'd add a rug and new seat upholstery. You have cherry in the entertainment center and coffee table so it is not bad to continue toward the kitchen. There is a lot of wood going on in the kitchen end, so consider changing the cabinetry there. might have an answer for you to pull the cottage-like style on through the space.
June 30, 2013 at 2:06pm     
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These are all good ideas. I have been looking at a very thin, sleek version of Parson chairs. First saw in a NY apartment, but they were out of my price range. Crate and Barrel had something similar but they didn't feel comfortable to me. Also, I had thought of reupholstering chair seats with leather (granddaughter! and now in kitchen rather than formal dining room.) But the chair backs repeat the lines of the coffee table (as well as the end tables I recently removed; that helps.) I have so much DARK in this room. Frankly, I made the mistake of buying too much of the same line of furniture. It was once divided among four separate rooms, but in this much smaller house with an open concept, it is boring!

My gingham chairs and sofa (caramel-colored leather) are, I guess, "cottage"? Or what?! For an eclectic look, should I try to bring that same look into the eating area? I think eclectic is very hard to do. Do you mix two styles, say the American Impressions (Shaker-Stickley) and cottage? three styles? I like too many different things! Contemporary clean lines, for many years, so I still want that. But I love primitive antiques, and although I have none, I would love to bring those in if that would really work. Or are they too straight lined and would therefore not bring in a contrast?

I actually love white or cream kitchen cabinetry, and have thought of that, too... but it doesn't seem a good idea given the dark cherry on the other end of the room; changing the cabinets to something light would upset the balance, I think. It makes more sense to me to break up the darker colors on both ends by changing the color of the furniture in the middle of the room--and that may mean I need to replace the dining room furniture entirely. What I have is not kitchen friendly. Does anyone have suggestions for selling used furniture at a fair price? I cannot afford a few cents on the dollar.
June 30, 2013 at 2:29pm   
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You're doing the right thing by painting the walls a lighter color. .. Looking at the second picture, it confirms the feeling I had when looking at the kitchen. The walls being a mid-taupe just brings everything down.... and seems at odds with both the cherry/white kitchen and the blue/white/cherry/tan living area.

Toasted pine nut (love that name!) still seems a little dark, and will look darker when applied.
Before I looked at that, I held these up against your photo in photoshop:
Benjamin Moore OC-83 (to pick up the lightest cherry tones) and OC-54 (soft and vaguely blue, to enhance your living room).
June 30, 2013 at 2:47pm      Thanked by dsimmer
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Thank you for feedback re: paint color. It was suggested to me as complementing the colors in unstained white oak flooring sample, the leather sofa and the kitchen countertops, but I know I will be trying several colors before hitting the right one! The hardest part will be painting before the flooring is installed, which has been the recommendation. As I am going for a neutral palette that will lighten this room (northern exposure only) does anyone have opinion about contrast between wall color and flooring?
July 1, 2013 at 12:11am   
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Although I would not choose red, this is a photo of the chairs in New York apartment if I go toward contemporary. Any suggestions for a source that is moderate in price, but comfortable? (Those in the NY apartment were as any dining chair, but were high end; the ones I tried at Crate and Barrel a few years ago were definitely not comfortable, but they looked great!)
July 1, 2013 at 12:16am   
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You can achieve an eclectic look without selling or painting your chairs. Re-cover the seats in different materials.
July 1, 2013 at 1:21am   
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I’d love to receive more ideas about achieving an eclectic look...
August 7, 2013 at 2:53am   
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Eclectic isn't the combination of 2 specific styles, but not adherring to a "style," which is really easy to do. It means mixing in formal (your dining set), cottage (gingham?), modern (entertainment center) and Shaker (desk maybe? dining set maybe?). It's eclectic, and you've already achieved that. Don't worry about style; do what you love.

Personally, your dining set is beautiful and not too dark. Replace the seat covers with something that blends with the colors in your living room. Lighter wall color will help, but I wouldn't bother changing the flooring except to continue it into the living room area. It's beautiful nad looks to be in good shape. How much lighter is the other flooring going to be?

If I were going to do anything to lighten this space, I'd paint the kitchen cabinets. I know, it's a serious pain and not an easy decision, but that is where most of your darkness is coming from (and the wall color). White (your trim is white) cabinets would be a huge difference, and then it wouldn't clash with the flooring. Frankly, the flooring is a lot prettier than the cabinet color. That desk/cabient is too massive for the space. I can't recall if you said it was going. Givn that the whole space is small, smaller-scale furniture would be better.

Change the light over the table to something more interesting, and lower it to at least 36" above the table. A table runner and a center piece with more presence (chunky glass candlesticks? milkglass bowl w/fruit? something you already own?). It's a lovely space, and it's already beautifully done.
August 7, 2013 at 4:34am     
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Timeless Appeal
I found has the best prices for upholstered dining chairs. I believe your kitchen just has too much wood and needs to soften it with more fabric. If you keep your chairs, which are not bad, btw, I agree with others to cover the existing chair seats with a different fabric and if you don't have window treatments, try repeating that fabric for the windows and throw pillows for the seating in the adjacent room. Hopefully the fabric you pick has coordinate patterns so you can say...use a stripe on the seats, and a different pattern in windows and pillows.
August 7, 2013 at 4:59am   
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i would keep the table and paint the chairs a different color. another option is to store the chairs, and buy metal or plasic chairs for the look you are after. also, another idea is to keep some of the wood such as table and go the light paint as you mentioned but put in a mix of painted black with the cream pieces you had mentioned as well..I have noticed alot of the eclectic look is mixed with wood and black and white with a little pop of color here and there - light to bold pops of color (sparse).
August 7, 2013 at 7:23am   
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