A passion for antiques produces a
dining room brimming with vintage furniture and collectibles for
every eye to savor.
A decorating style created with golden
oldies can be learned. This cottage dining room, with warm antiques
presented in an orderly, edited manner, serves as an ideal template
for acquiring the knack.
Scale is important in drawing
attention to vintage furniture. The homeowners avoided a lot of
small furnishings, which create a cluttered look. Instead, they
selected large-scale furniture pieces, particularly a harvest-size
table and a tall cupboard, that command attention.
The pieces aren't fussy, either; their simple lines make mixing
easy. The American Empire dining table (a real find at $200 from an
antique shop's basement) doesn't require a banquet of same-style
chairs. Painted black, Hitchcock chairs -- American classics -- are
right at home with the straightforward look of the table.
A white-painted cupboard adds focal-point interest while tidily
organizing a display of antique pottery. Walls disappear beneath
creamy white paint, allowing attention to fall on the furnishings.
The only art is a pair of vintage prints symmetrically balanced on
either side of the cupboard.
Tabletops present an opportunity
in design to complement or contrast the mood of the room. The casual
feel created by the country cupboard and its pottery display is
dispelled at the dining table.
Here, quiet elegance reigns. The mood is established by the
centerpiece -- a traditional bouquet of roses in a tall crystal
Crystal candlesticks enhance the formality of the centerpiece.
(Note: Opaque, earthy potteries are avoided when a formal elegance
is desired. Glistening silver and glass are favored.) Completing the
look are the place settings of bone china, sterling silver flatware,
and emerald goblets.