Decorating Dilemmas: Anna’s Living & Dining Rooms

Blending the styles of an eclectic living room and a more traditional dining room

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.

Hello How to Decorate Team,

My living room is adjacent to my dining room. They are separated by white columns. I like my current furniture and colors in both rooms, but I am struggling with making them flow. I feel like the styles of the two rooms clash a little. My style is eclectic and I love mixing traditional and modern pieces. I feel that I need a mixture of modern and traditional in each room, but don’t really know what pieces to add and where to place them to make it work.

Would bringing a traditional chest (like Casa Florentina Fiore Side Table) to my living room work? Then, what do I add to dining room to make it more eclectic?

The color story is also disjointed. How do I bring the jewel tones into the dining room to make the rooms flow? I love your velvet curtains in deep teal and slate. Do I carry the gray across or the teal?

The living room also needs more seating space. What type of seating should I add?

I would love some advice on how to make these rooms beautiful together

Thank you.







Dear Anna,

Thank you for reaching out to our design team. The problem you mention is a common one, as many of us have faced it at one time or another. Trying to make a variety of styles work in a home is a challenge, but it’s one we’d love to help you overcome!

We love the color story you have going. It’s on-point with the jewel tones that are so popular this season. To blend your two spaces, we’re going to pull a little gray into the living room, and a little more teal into the dining room. Using a touch of black in each space will result in a cohesive look.

In the living room we suggest adding our Sofia Settee in gray flaxen. The curves of the Sofia will add a whimsical touch to the modern lines that you have going on in the room. Placing the Mazey Pillow right in the middle of the settee makes for a dramatic statement. We think it looks like the settee could work centered on the wall of windows. It may displace your side chair, but it gives you more seating. Try shifting the side chair to one of the corners with the pillars. Your round side table can go to the left of the Sofia, and your pouf and funky stool can be pulled in to accommodate the size of group you’re hosting. It’s always nice to have smaller pieces perched within a space to they can be easily accessed as you need them.

You asked about the Casa Florentina Fiora Side Table, and we think it can definitely work as a side table next to your existing sofa! The distressed gray finish would be lovely in your living room.

We suggest adding more soft lighting to your living room using the Suzanne Kasler Gourd Lamp placed on top of the Fiore Side Table. Another way would be to hang mirrors over your current sofa. A pair of our Lancaster Mirrors will echo the styling of your chandelier over the dining room table. Could you relocate the art that is currently above your sofa to the walls on either side of the dining room hutch? They would feel more at home positioned there.

Moving to the dining room, it’s time to bring in some of the beautiful jewel tones to blend your spaces. We think the rich color our Signature Velvet Panels in Teal, would be lovely on either side of your French doors. It looks like you have the perfect space for our slim Ananda Table on the wall opposite your dining room hutch and then you could tuck a pair of our Cooper Upholstered Cubes underneath. We’d love to see you repeat the Signature Velvet Teal on the upholstered cubes. These small ottomans are great to have around for extra seating, and they are an ideal fit under the Ananda.

Finally, move your existing piece of art from that wall to the other side of the doorway, and place our Time Art piece over the Ananda Console. It has the black and teal colors you’re using in both spaces and will bring more of that eclectic personality into your dining room.

The overall look feels very warm and inviting, and will be the perfect place to entertain family and friends this fall.

Happy Decorating,
The Design Team

Blending the styles of an eclectic living room and a more traditional dining room

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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


    November 3, 2016

    AMAZING advice. I totally get it!

  2. Reply

    Joanne B.

    November 2, 2016

    Another great room refresh that works with what the homeowner already has!