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Spicy Dining Room

An uninspiring dining room is given a new look with a warm color palette.

New homeowner Ava DuVernay has repainted walls and ripped up carpet throughout her home but has run out of steam with her unappetizing dining room.

The Dilemma

Ava DuVernay meets with interior designer Kristan Cunningham in her lifeless dining room. DuVernay wants to warm up the space and make it inviting for guests. The existing cultural art pieces should stay and be showcased. The large windows and pitched ceilings are dramatic and should be featured. DuVernay’s dining table and chairs are in great shape and will stay in the room. The existing chandelier, however, is outdated and unwanted. Existing shelves provide enough storage, but DuVernay needs a way to maximize the space and dress them up.

The Solution

The dining room is given a dramatic new look with a warm color palette coordinated with DuVernay's eye-catching tribal masks — here's how the look comes together:

  • The walls are painted an olive color to complement the myriad of rust-colored accessories.

  • Design coordinator Spencer Anderson creates a trio of handmade silk pendant lights to hang over the dining table. He starts by forming the frame out of metal dowels. The joints are wrapped with wire and secured with two-part epoxy putty. The fixtures are finished with different colors of silk applied to the frames.

  • Design coordinator Dave Sheinkopf adds sliding Plexiglas doors to the existing shelving. He attaches track to the interior of the shelves and inserts the pre-cut frosted Plexiglas panels, which can be slid back and forth.

  • Cunningham creates a backdrop for DuVernay's African masks out of pre-fabricated lattice and fabric. She cuts the lattice to fit the masks, spray-paints it red, then backs it with fabric.

  • The homeowner's panels are paired with Roman bamboo shades for more light control.

  • New seat cushions and table linens round out the new design.

The Cost

Art and accessories — $371

  • Plexiglas for shelving unit: Gavrieli Plastics
  • chair pads: Linens 'n Things — Kenya chai, 037159922938
  • sliding door material: E.B. Bradley — aluminum/clear track, anodized
  • red table vase: Cost Plus — Shanghi, Red/000000346575
  • florals used in vase: Cost Plus — 102475

Fabric and rug — $316

  • silk fabric: Michael Levine
  • fabric used for wall art: Jo-Ann Fabrics — Green/brick red 7112907/6980056
  • rug: Home Decorators — Magellan, Brick

Lighting — $99

  • lighting materials, tubes, wires, accessories: Industrial Metal Supplies

Window treatments — $71

  • bamboo window blinds: Cost Plus — Cinnamon, 56582/56578

Hardware and incidentals — $64

  • cabinet hardware: Lowe's — 195203

Furniture — $43

  • stool: Linens 'n Things — 012712048527

Paint and supplies — $30

  • wall paint: Benjamin Moore — Eucalyptus Leaf, 2144-20

Project Total — $994

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