Ideas for Dining and Foyer

Dear Ballard Designs:

I have been looking through your catalogs and putting sticky notes on so many pages with items I like for my home. I’m looking for help in my dining room/entrance. As you can see we have a very brown room. We changed our 12’ by 18’ living room into a dining room. I am particularly looking for help with accessories, small pieces of furniture and finishing touches. A designer suggested a brown, black, green and gold color palate. This room needs some pops of color and contrast. These are the ideas I had so far…

I have room to add 2 chairs to the head of the table and move the 2 cap’t chairs to beside the wine cabinet. Not sure if I should put 2 Montego wicker chairs or 2 Parsons chairs. I was thinking of the Dorchester Bench or 2 small Dorchester Stools placed side by side for in front of the large window. Or I could put 2 upholstered cubes. What color fabric would you suggest for the cushion/cube? I would also like to change the curtains. Not sure about any of the coordinating colors so I took a picture of the fabric on my chairs.

Across from the Wine Cabinet I was thinking of the Brookfield Demilune with the Bellesol Mirror. I probably have room for a small accent piece too. Maybe the Quatrefoil tole umbrella stand or Garden Seat could go. What could I put on top of the Demilune?

I could add items to the Wine Cabinet. I was thinking of stacking dishes and bowls but I am flexible. I like the texture adding baskets would bring.

In the entrance I thought the Savannah Rug would look good and a small accent piece.

I just love your magazine and think so many Ballard Design items would go in my home. Please help me add some color to these 2 rooms.





Dear Cathy:


In looking at your dining room, we agree that it can use some color.  So here we go, let’s start with the walls.  Due to the limited light source in the room, we think you should paint the walls.  Our choices are Benjamin Moore Oatmeal #268 above the chair rail and Georgian Green HC115 below the chair rail.  The trim can remain white.  For the window, we love our Sage Green Skyler Check Essential Panels – one on each side of the window – but have the edge of the panels cover the window casing allowing in as much natural light as possible and keeping the space open.  To give the room a bit more dimension, hang the drapes from floor to ceiling.   In the front of the window, the 3 Seater Dorchester Bench in black with the Farmhouse Cushion in camel velvet will complete the vignette.


The style of your dining room furniture is relaxed and inviting, so we choose the Couture Chairs slipcovered in our Microfiber Sage or the Augustine Amber print to sit at the end of the table.  The beauty of slipcovers is you can change them whenever.  We think the existing seat cushions can be covered in the Augustine Amber fabric for an additional “pop” of color.  In the center of the table, we suggest our Provencal Bowl [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][filled with oranges] with a boxwood topiary placed on either side adding color and texture to the table.  On either side of the wine cabinet, we think L’Oranger & Le Citronier de Provence Prints framing the hutch, will add warmth and dimension.  To tie everything together add the Provencal Pedestal Urn and the Provencal Urn to the bottom shelves of the wine cabinet with a set of three Burlap Demijohns in the middle nook.


Along the opposite wall, we think you could move your console table (now sitting in front of the window) and center it on the wall.  We would love the idea of painting it black.   But if that is not an option, our choice is the large Brady Console in black.  Perhaps you can find a new home for your existing console table.   Whichever piece you choose, we love the idea of our large Italian Half Round hung above it, flanked by Chartres Buffet Lamps in bronze with seagrass shades on either end of the console.


We do think that our suggestions will help you achieve the look you want for your dining room.  As far as the foyer area, we love the Savannah Rug in black!  Our thought is to paint the walls above the chair rail the Georgian Green HC115 to tie the dining room and foyer together.  We know we have given you a lot to think about.  Please let us know if we can answer any other questions for you.  As you know, we love feedback, so if you get a moment…let us know what you think.

The best of luck in your project!


The Style Studio


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

    Nancy Clark

    May 23, 2011

    I need help picking out a dining room rug. My room color is Benjamin Moore paint in bridgewater tan 1096, the trim in mountain peak white.
    All I have in the room is a Celeste chandelier from Pottery Barn.
    I brought the Sedella Rug RR631, it’s nice, but I think it has a heavy feeling in the room.
    I think I need something a little more neutral. In the summer I like pretty floral centerpices, but in the fall and winter I like to also decorate for the holidays.
    I would appreciate any suggestions, I bought the Dylan-Ivory swatch yesterday.
    Thank you,

    • Reply

      Ballard Designs

      May 27, 2011

      Nancy: We love the Dylan Rug as it offers you options. It is such a beautiful rug but is a softer neutral and will blend with the change of seasonal decorating. We are also recommending the Tahira Rug in Tan which has the same qualities as the Dylan. If you wish to try an indoor/outdoor rug, Suzanne Kasler’s Herringbone Sisal or Geometric are good choices.
      The Style Studio Team

  2. Reply


    November 14, 2010

    Wow! from one designer to another — Nice job Design team! – You just saved her about $300 – $400 of design consultation fees!