Thoroughly Modern Dining Room Thoroughly Modern Dining Room

One of the beauties of Sheffield's Three Guidelines to Interior Design is that you can apply them to any style of room, whether it's an old-fashioned parlor decorated in chintz and velvet or a Japanese meditation room without much but a tatami mat and a shoji screen.

Here, we can look at this modern dining room and see how it's working in terms of the function, mood and harmony.

This room is so modern that what strikes one first is the mood. The mood is contemporary, a little formal, and sophisticated, starting with the silver vase with roses in the foreground - note the lack of baby's breath or ferns in this floral arrangement, which gives it a sleeker, more contemporary feeling. The furniture all contributes to this as well, with its trim lines and lack of heavy decorative ornament.

The function of this room that's most readily apparent is that it's a dining room, with of course a table and chairs, but also the cabinet in the foreground functions well here as a place to keep silver, linens, and other items you want to have handy for the table. There is a nice open view for the diners who are sitting at the table, where they can look out that huge picture window.

But there's another function here, perhaps a more important one, that may not be seen quite as quickly: this room also leads into an equally modern living room, as indicated by the back of the sofa visible in this photo. And from this information, one can easily imagine that this apartment is perhaps not as large as you might think at first; we could be looking at a space that doubles as foyer and dining room, making it even more functional, providing as that table does a handy spot for dropping mail and keys when arriving home.

Everything harmonizes nicely in this room. The modern, un-fussy furniture works well with the art on the walls and the decorations on the tables. With one exception: the vase on the dining table holds a floral arrangement that's clearly dressier than the rest of the room; to test out whether something harmonizes, simply imagine something else there. If that vase held a few birds-of-paradise or iris, without baby's breath or ferns, it would harmonize even more perfectly with the rest of this thoroughly modern room.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!