Fit for a feast

Clas­sic sym­me­try and rich colours pro­vide a be­guil­ing set­ting for fes­tive en­ter­tain­ing

Homes & Gardens - - DREAM DINING ROOM - DE­SIGN­ERS Ni­cole Salvesen (right) and Mary Gra­ham, Salvesen Gra­ham, salvesen­gra­ham.com.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE PROJECT?

We were asked by Oka to cre­ate an in­spi­ra­tional din­ing room for Christ­mas en­ter­tain­ing. From the out­set, we set our­selves the task of de­sign­ing a re­ally cosy space – the sort of room guests wouldn’t want to leave at the end of a meal.

WHAT DREW YOU TO THE PAINT COLOUR FOR THE WALLS?

We wanted to use a colour that would suit all sea­sons – you can imag­ine this shade work­ing in bright sum­mer light just as well as it does on a moody win­try day. We find green is a hue that so many other colours can sit on beau­ti­fully, although in a din­ing room it has to be cho­sen care­fully as you need to think about how it will work holis­ti­cally when used with can­dle­light and low light­ing. We painted the wood­work the same colour, some­thing we of­ten do when we don’t want the walls to be­come the over­rid­ing fea­ture of the scheme.

HOW DID YOU AR­RIVE AT SUCH A VAR­IED COLOUR PAL­ETTE?

Our aim was to choose colours that would feel warm with­out be­ing overly Christ­massy, hence the de­ci­sion to have deep pink, rather than red, vel­vet chairs. A trick we of­ten use is to in­tro­duce three or four pieces that have a lot of colours run­ning through them, in this case the rug, the cush­ions and the Per­sian-style table­ware. We then pick out the dif­fer­ent hues with ac­ces­sories, such as the blue mir­rors and the yel­low table lamps; if you wish to al­ter some of the pieces at a later date, the broad colour pal­ette makes this easy.

WHAT IS IM­POR­TANT WHEN CHOOS­ING DIN­ING FUR­NI­TURE?

There is noth­ing more won­der­ful than a gen­er­ous table and this one has four ad­di­tional leaves to ac­com­mo­date up to 14 peo­ple. When we choose chairs, we try to avoid overly heavy ones as they can make guests feel pinned to the spot; the han­dle on this de­sign makes the chairs trans­portable. We cen­tred the table on the fire­place to cre­ate a rest­ful feel, re­in­forc­ing the sym­me­try with the lights, mir­rors and con­sole ta­bles.

TELL US ABOUT THE FES­TIVE TOUCHES YOU HAVE USED?

When it comes to flow­ers, it is of­ten nice to choose just one type and here we used faux berries for the vases on the con­sole ta­bles, opt­ing for smaller ar­range­ments on the table it­self. Sim­ple touches are ef­fec­tive, such as rib­bons on can­dle­sticks and nat­u­ral el­e­ments like pine cones and dried or­anges; we scat­tered them to bring a lit­tle im­bal­ance to the sym­me­try.

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