Decorating Dilemma: Isabel’s Lake House

Isabel's lake house keeping room with seating and dining

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,

I am close to having my new home build and need to decide how to decorate an extra room with a great view. It’s off the kitchen but it’s own space (12×15). I was told to consider this as a gathering room instead of just a eating table. It’s has the same kitchen cabinets which I will use for entertaining such as bar items with wine cooler.

I am thinking a love seat such as the Davenport and chair with small coffee table and still have room for a 36″ round bistro like table and chairs. I also love the Ballards’ bench seat with corner seat.

Thanks for your help,


Hi Isabel,

What a beautiful new space! We love the idea of a gathering space for guests – it’s a functional use of this bonus room, especially when entertaining. Because of the room’s configuration with cabinetry and door openings, we want to make sure the layout is super functional. To create a space that is optimal for both eating and entertaining, we’ve focused on utilizing banquette seating, accent chairs and accent tables to create a ‘café’ style.

Let’s start with grounding the space with the Elsie Flatweave Rug, which is great for setting a fun tone and adding some geometric patterns to the room. We recommend using our Bristol 72” Benches and Bristol Corner Bench in Sunbrella Canvas White to add some brightness to the space and create a neutral canvas. The Sunbrella Fabric is great for use in rooms with a lot of light, and it also works well in dining spaces because the material is stain-resistant.

Now that we have a canvas to build upon, let’s add personality with an assortment of Custom 22” and 12”x20” Pillow Covers in Garrison Linen Honeycomb, Addison Blue and Queens Velvet Teal. These patterns play well with the rug, and carry the blue and green tones up to eye level, helping create a fun and relaxing space. In order to square off this sitting area, we suggest our Wembley Club Chair in Bunny Williams Hedge Honeydew, another durable Sunbrella Fabric selection. The contrast of the green chair against the white banquette seating creates great visual interest and helps carry the pops of green throughout the space.

A selection of accent tables will provide spaces for guests’ drinks and appetizers. The Felicity Acrylic Coffee Table is perfect for creating a large serving surface, while its clear acrylic composition keeps the look light and airy. Our Classic Garden Seat in Lime complements and scales well beside the Wembley Club Chair.

We finish off with a couple accents to help tie everything together. The Crab Island Stretched Canvas works beautifully above the Bristol Bench to bring together the grays in your home with the pops of green in this space. Bunny Williams Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree adds another texture and fresh green color to the corner. Your space now feels inviting, light and fun. Time for a party!

Happy Decorating,

Heather Wise

Isabel's lake house keeping room with seating and dining

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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

    Catherine Hunter

    May 15, 2017

    I need to return a picture I bought last week. Where do I return it?

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      June 5, 2017

      You can either mail your return back using the shipping label we included in your package, or if there’s a retail store near you, you can return it in the store.

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      Annika Dupree

      June 5, 2017

      You can return the picture by shipping it back to us with the shipping label we provided in your package, or you can return your item in-store.