I need a little help

Dear Style Studio,

I would like a little help decorating my dining and living area.  I have 12ft ceilings and my living is 14×13 and dining is 10×13.  I don’t know where to begin!! There are so many beautiful things in your catalog!  Do you have any ideas on making these to areas work together?  I am thinking of removing the bookcases by the fireplace, do you think it would be better with them gone? Also I was thinking of putting a chandelier in replace of the ceiling fan.  Would I want to match both ceiling fixtures?   Window treatments, furniture, lighting any ideas?   I need a transformation in these two areas!!

Thank you so much for your time,


Dear Amanda:

We love the high ceilings and sense of openness of your home.  We do think we have a few suggestions that may help you pull everything together.  We used your living room rug as our inspiration piece.  Our first choice is to change the dining room furniture.  We have selected our Rudolph Table in Warm Chestnut which is 48” in diameter but can open up to 66” with the leaf.  Our new Valentois Chairs covered in Etiene Fabric will give the dining area just the right amount of color.  The mirror looks somewhat lonely, so we thought the Azzuro Iron Console beneath it would be not only beautiful but functional as well.

We noticed that your long panels on the windows are too short.  Any panel should, at the very least, brush the floors.  We would love to see our Toffee Skyler Check Panels on the windows, including the living room area.  This will, again help unify the two spaces.  We are okay with leaving the two bookcases in the living room, but have you thought about painting them, perhaps the blue background color of our Etiene Fabric?  If you do that, you can accessorize with some white and cocoa brown items on the shelves.  We do think it is time for a comfortable reading chair to replace the cane back chair in the corner.  We chose our Stratford Chair and Ottoman to be covered in Bark Twill.  Add some pillows to the sofa using the Etiene, Skyler Plaid in Toffee, and the Bark Twill as accents.

You asked about the lighting and it should be related in both spaces.  Our choice is the 9-arm Talia in antique bronze hung above the dining table with seagrass shades for added interest.  Just make sure that the bottom of the chandelier is hanging about 32” above the table.  The one you have now is too high.  We coordinated the 9 arm Talia with the 6 Arm Talia in the living room.  Please remember to have dimmer switches installed to control the lighting.  With these changes, we now feel that you are well on your way to having a beautiful, relaxing and unified living and dining area.  Please let us know what you think about our ideas, as we love feedback, and don’t forget to send pictures when you are finished so we can post them on Style Studio.

The Style Studio Team

1. Rudolph Table 2.  Valentois Chairs 3. Azzuro Iron Console 4. Toffee Skyler Check Panels 5. Pillows in Etience Fabric 6. Stratford Chair and Ottoman 7. 9-arm Talia

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Pat Lee

    January 2, 2011

    I am very interested in purchasing at least four of the Valentois Chairs. I had inquired earlier to your general email address and was told that they were not currently available. Could you provide me with a little more detail, i.e., when will they be available, or are you no longer going to carry them? As much information as you can provide would be greatly appreciated so that I can move forward. Many thanks!