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