Decorating Dilemma: Katie’s Formal Living & Dining Room

Decorating a living and dining room with dark paint

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

This is our formal dining and living area. We just painted it Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams! It’s a dark blueish grey, and we choose white for the wainscoting.

We are looking for all new furniture for the space and a chandelier for over the dining table. I prefer a large rectangular table with 2 wing back chairs and tufted smaller chairs.

We are remodeling the rest of our home currently, but would like to set the tone with this space. Something classic, more casual than dressy but with trendy/elegant/vintage touches. I have a beautiful brown leather sofa with a tufted trim we could use for the space too.

Thanks for your help,


looking left wall
facing settee
looking out front

Dear Katie,

Thank you for your Decorating Dilemma. Your room is a wonderful size and in the new cyberspace color we think it sets a dramatic stage for some new pieces to shine.

To begin, we’d suggest our Casa Florentina Sorrento Dining Table . The gray over white finish of the table will work with your new wall color and help to brighten the room. It is also a substantial size at 84” before adding two leaves to give it a length 130”. For each end of the table, we suggest the Marion Upholstered Dining Chair in Talbot Gray. It has a slight wing and a tailored skirt that gives it a substantional look. For the side chairs, we suggest the Gentry Tufted Chair with Pewter Nailheads also in Talbot Gray. For the size of the table you could use either 2 or 3 on each side of the table. What a fabulous area to host dinner parties or family holiday meals.

Every dining table needs a statement chandelier. How about using our Remington 8-light Rectangular Chandelier? It is simply styled, yet is large in scale and will give wonderful light to your space. Also, the darker lines of the frame will repeat the dark finish on the Gentry chairs … tying the different elements together.

We see the perfect space in your room for our Lyon Mirrored Sideboard. The mirrored front will reflect the light coming from the big bay windows. Placing the sideboard on the wall between the two doorways will give you ease of function and a place to anchor a beautiful piece of artwork. If space allows, our Season’s Art in a large size of 70×32 would look stunning over the sideboard. The spa color would complement the other elements in the room.

To ground the beautiful dining space, our Montreaux Greek Key Hand Knot Rug will infuse soft gray and blue undertones into the color story. This luxurious rug will pull the whole look together. Getting two of these rugs in the 8×10 size for each grouping in the room will bring a symmetry that is pleasing to the eye. Put one under the table and the other to define the furniture grouping with your leather sofa. It’s a pulled together look that captures the tone you want to set for the entire home.

Finally, you will need to add a coffee table in front of your sofa. We love the shape and texture of our Morgan Cocktail Table. The gray color will help pull some of the gray to that side of the room. If you need some side chairs to partner with the leather sofa, consider the Shiloh Spool Chair with black leg finish in the Austell Oatmeal Fabric. Two of these pulled up facing the sofa, will finish the grouping nicely.

We think that this is a room that you will love using every day as a family, but special enough to shine when you entertain. Thanks for letting our team help you set the tone for the rest of your home.

Happy Decorating and Remodeling!

The Design Team

Decorating a living and dining room with dark paint

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How to Decorate Team

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