the dining room: details

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Thank you all for your wonderful comments about the dining room! 

I designed the room to be very simple. I wanted the room to have a calm ambiance allowing the guests and the food to take center stage.  I loved how so many of you picked up on that.
  I've described each photo, and hopefully have answered all questions, but if not, please don't hesitate to ask.

 Close-up of the dining room chandelier- notice the beautiful details of the strings of hand-cut crystal that drape the chandelier. I replaced the faceted ball finial that was on the chandelier with an antique amethyst crystal found at the Paris Flea Market.

View of the dining room from the entry.

The wall color is Benjamin Moore's Halo OC-46 in eggshell. 
The trim and wainscoting is BM White Dove in Latex Satin Impervo.

We found the dining table on our first trip to the Paris Flea Market.   Several months later we found the two antique French arm-chairs at the Scott Show in Atlanta.  There were matching side chairs that went with the arm chairs, but they were very small in scale and weren't comfortable to sit in.   I talked the dealer into selling me just the two arm chairs.  I looked for almost a year for side chairs.  I was about to give up hope when we made a visit to our friends, Scott and Laura Mayborn's, shop in Dallas- Uncommon Market.  I spied two side chairs that had just arrived on a shipment from France.  I could have sworn that the chairs would match my arm chairs... but I needed four.  Come to find out, there were two more matching side chairs- they were packed in a different container and the containers had been separated in transit!  I took the two home that they had, and was astonished at how closely (considering they are hand carved) they match the arm chairs.   The side chairs have rush bottoms and the arm chairs are wood, and while it might not look like it, I can attest that they are some of the most comfortable chairs ever!  Hours upon hours have been spent dining and visiting with family and friends sitting at this table!

I found the vintage chandelier years ago in a small town in Texas.  It hung in our Dallas dining room and we brought it with us when we moved.   When I purchased the chandelier it had 197 drop crystals hanging all over it. It looked sad, dated and gloopy, but I could see the fabulous lines of the chandelier under all those crystals.  I took me, literally, two days to take them all off and let the gorgeous crystal roping shine on its own!  I now use the 197 crystals with small white lights on the Christmas tree- nothing else.

Antique oil paining, signed (initialled) and dated 1888 in its original frame. 
It's difficult to tell the scale of this room, but this painting is rather large at 4 feet wide.

Antique French dough bowl is filled with vintage Japanese fishing floats (a post on fishing floats to follow!) 
I describe my decorating style as gathered and my decorating process as organic-
meaning I buy things because I love them, not just to fill an empty space; I let rooms evolve organically.  I could only put together a story board after a room is designed!  In that organic process I have found it interesting to learn new things about myself...  I would not normally tell you that blues and greens are favorite colors of mine, yet if you look around my house you will notice a recurrence of a particular shade of blue/green in many places (in fact this very shade, in velvet, was just picked up from the upholsterer and is the ottoman at the foot of the bed in the master bedroom.)  So, apparently I do love those colors;  I gravitate to them because they are very soothing and restful to me..... I just didn't know to name them!  The same is true of marine oil paintings.  I have always loved "the mountains".... it is the place that grounds and comforts my soul....yet if you look around the house I obviously have a "thing" for the ocean, as I find these paintings with their beautiful blue/greens also captivating and soothing.   My love for the ocean is new to me (we didn't have the ocean close-by growing up in Texas;), it wasn't until moving to New England and discovering the Maine coast have I fallen in love with the sea!  So now,  all the seascapes make perfect sense to have in our home! 
The floats are the same beautiful blue/green that is also found in the oil paintings.
(I found it so interesting how some saw them as "blue" and some as "green"- that is exactly what I love about them that they are almost an indescribable/chameleon color that changes in different light.)

The antique oil painting above the original mantel was painted by Edwin Hayes, and is titled "In Full Sail," circa 19th century.  We found this painting along with another large antique oil at an estate sale in Dallas in a tiny, nondescript house about 18 years ago.  It was a "don't be fooled by the cover" kind of house as we were shocked at the quality of antiques this homeowner had amassed. 

The dining room mantel.

Small antique watercolor behind glass in its original frame found in Edmonds, Washington with vintage cobalt alabaster grapes and an antique gilt French finial, worm holes and all.

Pair of 17th century Italian wood and gesso gilt candlesticks found in France.

The built-in is original to the house.  The cabinet perfectly aligns with the built-in in the kitchen.  They are both very deep and we've been told that they originally were not divided, and used as a pass-through between the two rooms.   The opening to the right leads into the kitchen.  The black door goes out to the back porch.

The built-in holds the larger pieces of our vintage Hotel Silver collection, and antique English ironstone.

Pair of antique marble urns flanked by antique brass altersticks with linen shades from Home Goods (a favorite source for great, inexpensive shades.)

One marble urn is filled with a wasp nest that we found our first winter in New Hampshire.  I stalked it for months waiting for the snow to melt so that I could get to it!  The other has a small succulent- I love how the pattern of the leaves of the succulent mimics the honeycomb in the nest...

I fell for the simple antique French mirror because of its large size (it is over 5 feet), the aged mirror, and because I was smitten that there were two small iron hooks at the top of the frame.  I like to think about what would have originally hung on the mirror!   I used old chain to hang an antique oil painting that we found in Avignon. I love the painting because it reminds me of the region and of our trips there.  The 18th century flame-front mahogany chest of drawers with its original hardware (it is rare for such an old piece to have the original hardware) was found literally in pieces at the Scott Show in Atlanta- it's a great story that I will share in another post.

On top of the chest of drawers is a large marble urn found at Round Top, which Dan turned into a lamp using an old iron department-store display base for the cap.  The smocked and beaded silk lampshade was custom-made (originally for a different lamp.)  Antique mercury glass compote holds a small piece of white coral.   The story of the forestwood can be found here.

Looking forward to having you for dinner!!