Interior Design Ideas: A Combined Dining Room and Library in Lexington

When clients of Rachel Dunham, a family of four in Lexington, asked her to follow the large room she had designed for them with a new look for the dining room, Dunham’s first decision was to replace the table and chairs by more substantial pieces. “The ones they used were too small for the space,” says the designer. They also needed to upgrade the builder grade light fixture and add window treatments. As for the ambiance, the family was not interested in formal or stuffy. “They use the space when friends come over,” says Dunham, “so they wanted to have fun and be accessible.”

1 “It’s nice to have a few cushioned chairs for guests who might need a really comfortable place to sit,” Dunham says. Light gray and white performance fabric adds subtle pattern, texture and softness.

2 Rhode Island furniture maker O&G Studio designed the timeless Windsor table and chairs that are destined to become heirlooms. “I don’t like a matching set,” Dunham says. “We chose an ebony finish for the oyster gray table and chairs.”

3 Although Dunham didn’t plan to create a combination dining room and library, the collection on the shelves infuses personality. “Books were stacked haphazardly on this Room & Board shelf, so we sorted and styled them,” she says.

4 A sheer drapery with an irregular raindrop pattern tempers the harsh lines of the windows and helps finish off the large room. “There’s no need for privacy at the back, so these don’t work, which saves fabric,” says Dunham.

5 The 48 inch chandelier from Arteriors works well with the 96 inch long table. “A light should be one-third to one-half the length of the table,” says the designer.

6 The overdyed blue rug from Linda’s Barn in New Hampshire is inspired by the color of the existing wall. “Oushak-style rugs hide spills better than solid rugs,” says Dunham. “The low pile makes it easier to move chairs in and out.”


Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to Globe Magazine. Send your comments to [email protected]

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