Folk Art Brings This Neutral Dining Room to Life

An art-loving homeowner's entertaining spot is inspired by her favorite folk art pieces.
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February 12, 2016

Neutral + Eclectic Dining Room

Inspired by an old storefront sign, this dining room in an Atlanta cottage is packed with a mix of folk art, handmade furnishings and flea market finds.

Antique Sideboard

Using the bold red accents of the hand-painted storefront sign as inspiration, homeowner Esther had her antique sideboard updated from a dark, dingy brown wood stain to a bold cherry red.

Splashy Red Finish

Anytime an antique is being painted, it’s best to use an HVLP sprayer to ensure a smooth, even finish. In order to update this 1940s-era sideboard, first it was sanded, then the sprayer was loaded with primer to create a bonding surface for the new paint. Once the primer was dry, the sprayer was rinsed out, then loaded with the satin red paint and sprayed using slow, even, controlled spurts.

Glass Globes

To add to the handmade look of all the dining room elements, the space is lit by a grouping of hand-blown smoked glass globe lights.

High Ceilings

The dining room is tight on space; however, it does have high nine-foot ceilings. To accentuate the height of the room and detract from its narrowness, drapery was hung almost all the way to the ceiling and the glass globes sit approximately 38-inches above the top of the table.

Goat Sculpture

For a touch of folk-art charm on the farmhouse table, a goat sculpture made from scrap metal was assembled and used as a centerpiece.

Woven Rug

To ground the space and keep the red accent color consistent, a hand-woven rug featuring a braided diamond pattern was chosen.

Classic Chairs

Due to how much character the lighting, table, area rug and goat centerpiece bring to the space, the dining room chairs were kept simple and classic. For a handmade touch, the chairs are adorned with tacks, spaced one inch apart along the seam in the upholstery.


To put a sophisticated, polished spin on folk art, the windows of the dining room are covered in low-end chintz fabric that was lined and custom pleated for a tailored touch. A great way to put a fresh spin on folk is to juxtapose it with something more streamlined, clean and modern. The mix of raw and refined strikes the perfect balance.

Pallet Tree

To fill the void in the corner of the dining room, a custom tree sculpture was made from discarded shipping pallets.

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