The Room That's Made For Winter
I’ve often thought that rooms have seasons and our Dining Room is definitely the room that’s made for winter. We’re definitely going to carry on our LA love of Thanksgiving and I’m hoping we can enjoy some raucous dinner parties as well as a big family Christmas lunch in here too.
Design-wise, this room took the longest to put together. I didn’t immediately know how I wanted to design it and seeing as we needed to use all the other rooms in the house first, this was one of the final places to get my full attention. It’s a very long, slim room, with a beautiful original fireplace and a huge bay window at one end. I love the amount of natural light that the window throws in so the first thing I did was choose the right curtains. When we bought the house, there were four sets of curtains for each part of the bay window but we installed one single curtain rail (in an antique brass finish) all the way around the top of the bay window, to allow for more light and give a streamlined silhouette, and I love the finished result. The curtains themselves are a corduroy fabric called Needle Corduroy in Double Cream by Rose Uniacke. They’re thick without being as heavy as velvet and I never would have considered having corduroy curtains before I saw this gorgeous fabric.
The walls are Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue No.85 which I adore as it changes colour throughout the day. In the morning it’s a lovely fresh blue but by the evening it morphes into a moody grey- great for candlelit dinner parties to come. When we moved in we took up the carpets and found the same Georgian floorboards that we’d found elsewhere in the house. We had these polished and I’m so happy with them. The brass antique wall sconces are from a shop called Aladdin’s Cave, which I think has sadly closed down but your local antiques dealer might be able to find similar.
The room would originally have had a ceiling rose so we got one made in a Victorian style by Thomas and Wilson, who do the most amazing plasterwork. The Flemish chandelier is also an antique that I found on Gumtree for £250 (such a good resource for bargains – these chandeliers are thousands of pounds in antique shops) and we attached it to the ceiling rose so the room looks as close to what it would have looked like when it was first built.
The table and chairs took me a fair while to find as (and anyone who has ever bought a dining table will know this) it had to be the right one. I shopped around and eventually found with this early Victorian set from Love Antiques which we got delivered just before the lockdown. I wanted a specific style of balloon back antique dining chair, and actually found a specialist in the North of England, by asking the advice of a different antique dealer I knew. They all know each other, it’s a very close network, and trusted recommendations are prized! The restorer delivered everything himself and showed me how to care for the table and chairs, which are very precious and scratch easily!
There’s no art in here yet (still on the hunt, please leave your recommendations below!) but decoration-wise I have two big glass green lamps which I bought from a friend who was moving house. A mirror specialist from Love Antiques found us the perfect Georgian mirror for above the fireplace (again, delivering it himself and explaining its history and how to look after it), and we put in traditional Victorian radiators, from Victorian Plumbing.
I can’t wait to have friends over for noisy dinners in here, as well as long Sunday lunches with family, birthdays, tea parties and all sorts of celebrations. It’s probably the room that is the most traditionally styled and I’m happy that we’ve kept these little touches of the house’s history throughout our renovation.