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Historic Bohemian Dining Room

Designer Naomi Stein rescues a style-starved dining room and turns it into a posh and practical space.

There comes a time when parents of small, messy children hunger once again for a stylish home. Naomi Stein of Design Manifest fulfilled the desire of a young family who yearned for a dining room that was sensible yet chic. Paying homage to the century-old dwelling, Naomi first wrapped the room in traditional wainscoting and furnished it with a blend of modern and country pieces.

Naomi shares how the mixture of traditional and modern elements brings the room to life.

In keeping with their 100-year-old house, my clients wanted a dining room that felt somewhat traditional and formal, but they also wanted it to reflect their modern sensibilities.

They desired a kid-friendly space for everyday meals that could also be the setting for a sophisticated holiday party.

We chose furnishings for their looks and functionality. Iconic Panton chairs, for example, can be wiped down. The table is already rustic so no need for a tablecloth. And the cotton rug can be cleaned fairly easily.

The bumpy plaster walls. My clients did not want to eat up the budget skim-coating them, so we masked the issue with wainscoting. The crisp white wainscoting on the bottom half balances out the brown-gray walls and adds that traditional element my clients were craving.

Wainscoting isn't very expensive and makes a huge impact in a room. Also, modern accessories mix so well with traditional elements. We purposely mixed a few styles and as a result the space feels layered and collected.

It's a small thing, but painting the window mullions dark really makes them pop and resemble iron windows which is fitting for an old home.

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