Dining Dilemma.

So I have this great table, light and wallpaper…. but no chairs or drapes.  I am having the HARDEST time deciding what to do- both liking the idea of a bold punch of color AND keeping things super neutral. I suck at making these decisions for myself, so I need your help.

This is a horrid picture but you can kind of see the space…. better shots (but sans light) HERE.  Also I am still considering swapping out the Hicks pendants for these, which I already have in my possession.  Votes from friends have been evenly divided…

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The stairs will be leopard, as I managed to get this past Andrew! YAY! Cannot WAIT for this to go in.  This area is open to the dining area so that has to be kept in mind.  As such, I believe I will forgo a run under the dining table, we tried one and it just felt so fussy.

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I love emerald green, so if I do a color pop it will be that.  It’s so fresh, clean and very me.  I still am obsessed with this room by Grant K. Gibson with emerald green leather Louis style chairs.  I could totally do this look….

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Paired with clean white drapes with grey greek key lead trim, same as what will go in the living room eventually.


OR I could do a bold drape, like this image (which I also am obsessed with).


With that I would probably pair the Louis style chairs from Ballard in a dark grey fabric.


A third option is a print drape- most likely a grey and white.  When I was planning the room I had thought I’d do the Premier Prints fabric at right…. but now I’m not 100% sure.  We’ve had clients do drapes in the  Lee Jofa Punch Linen at left and they do look lovely, and with my grey grasscloth would be cool.  Actually, either of these would pair great with those green chairs…. drat, another option!

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My last thought was a color AND print drape, like Peter Dunham Fig Leaf which I have as pillows in my sunroom.  I am also SUPER SUPER obsessed with these brass frame chairs from Empiric.  In that natural leather they are quite pretty too!


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And with all these options, an dlooking at what I;ve already spent on this renovation,  all I keep thinking is….





  1. Hi! IMHO I think you should switch out the pendants. I am not a fan of the Louis rectangular back chairs with your round table. The chairs in the photo with the green drapes are a much better shape. I would do the backs in emerald ( leather would be cool)and the fronts in a neutral and do nailhead trim. I would not do the green drapes as I think that would chop up this room and make it look very small. I would go with one of the grey prints for draperies.
    It is soooo hard to make decisions for oneself…but I think playing it too safe is boring! Some say iconic and I say not every Hermes bag is worth repeating for 50 years!
    Love your blog!

  2. Just smiled at that green drape room photo has been on my pinterest ‘Someday Home’ for awhile. I love neutral and have a hard time being gutsy so would go go with neutral chairs and green drapes. If for some reason (god forbid) you got tired of the drapes I feel like it would be way easier to swap to another look, and keep the chairs as is. I also never thought of what another reader wrote about how there will be table settings that you might want to play with that would involve other colors. If the chairs are neutral you might have a little more freedom there. And yay on the leopard runner!!

  3. Well, since you added that last little gif at the end, my vote is to go bold with whichever is cheaper to pull off right now, and splurge on the neutral for the other. I love the idea of using bold window treatments (which are much easier to swap out than reupholstering a chair), but I also know that custom curtains can put all of us in the poor house…so go with whichever you can get away with for now.

    Congrats on getting the hubs on board with the animal print stair runner! I can’t wait to see how awesome it turns out!

  4. I am torn between bold emerald drapes and gray Louis chairs and the Peter Dunham print drapes with those AMAZEBALLS brass trimmed chairs. Whatever you go with will be perfection.

  5. Option 1- emerald upholstered chairs and white drapes to match LR drapes
    Hicks Pendants are To.Die.For!!

  6. I love the bold chairs AND drapes but if you’re anything like me, and like to redecorate say, 6 months after building your home, maybe do with a neutral chair and bold drapes since those are easy to change out later on? i absolutely adore the emerald green drapes and think they blend nicely with the brass touches in your kitchen!

  7. The emerald green drapes are so rich and lovely and, as Jayme points out, really play nicely with the brass you’ve got going on. I also think going bold with the drapes but neutral with the seating will allow you more flexibility in the future… because a girl’s gonna play. The green print drapes look like a sheet set I had in college circa 1992. *shudder*

  8. Hands down, Peter Dunham drapes and brass chairs. And, you really can’t go wrong with either pendant, but I’m slightly swayed by the Lovells, just because I feel like I’ve seen the Hicks popping up all over the place lately.

  9. I vote for the leather and brass chairs, which look cool and comfortable too with the premiere print fabric. My thoughs are bold on one and more subdued on the other so bold chairs, less bold drapes or reverse. I think that the pop of that color leather would be fantastic against your grass cloth in that room. I like the fixture you have now. So unique.

  10. love the green chairs and the white drapes with the grey greek key. The green drapes work really well with the grey walls, but i think up against the grass cloth you won’t like them. They will bring out the green in the grass cloth and be too strong.

    Love the leopard stairs!!
    are the hicks lights blue?
    maybe you do want to swap them out..

  11. Love your leopard stairs. Can’t wait to see the finished product. My vote is for those fab green chairs and neutral white drapes. Also, I agree with the posts above… Swap out the Hicks unless you love them with your entire heart and want to marry them. They are evvvverywhere!

  12. The chairs that you are considering allow you another option — the inside and outside backs could be upholstered in different fabrics. One could be boldly patterned; the other a solid or texture. I would opt for a neutral drapery with a detailed trim. This provides a finer scale of detail that can be appreciated close up. Not everything needs to read boldly from afar. When the space reveals itself in layers, it provides a journey for the user.

  13. LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of bold emerald green silk drapes in that room! The grey chairs are great too

  14. you already have a ton of gray and a neutral table. how about the emerald green upholstered chairs with matte brass nailheads, and then a soft gold curtain to play off the matte gold hardware of your kitchen and the gold in the leopard print rug. how posh is that–green, gold,and gray?

  15. HAHAHAHAHA!! I laughed so much.. I´m poor too. I love the emerald green chairs. You are bold and bright ;)

  16. i love it so so much..so happy for you.

    adore the leopard runner.so glad the hubby agreed..perfection with gallery wall..i love the emeral green idea..you could do light flax or white linen drapes with a wide greek key trim (emeral green)…go to mjtrims in NYC..i saw some there recently fro $10 a yard i think!

    i know whatever you do will be amazing..i like the hicks pendants in the kitchen!

  17. i think it is so funny that you don’t have chairs yet! i really love the green drapes. but the green chairs are fab too. I can understand why you can’t decide. Hmmm…Maybe you can choose by being practical – I would choose some color on whatever is cheapest to switch out (since I’m not a designer, I have no clue – is it cheaper to get new drapes, or cheaper to reupholster chairs?)

  18. Love the Peter Dunham drapes and leather chairs!!!! However, if you think you would get tired of it after a while I say go with gray chair upholstery and some color/pattern on the drapes. Curtains are much easier and cheaper to swap out down the road than upholstery. Can’t wait to see what you pick, such a beautiful space!

  19. I am voting for the last picture: leather and brass chairs with Peter Dunham fig leave curtains (I like them a lot). You already have pillows in the same fabric, plus your leather chair (where you draped the Hermes blanket over) is the same color of the leather/brass chairs. With these choices you’ll have a color continuation throughout…

  20. I love them all except for the fig drapes even though I luv green. I feel like the fig drapes may “date” your home. I personally think doing a monochromatic room will make your room appear larger. I really like the Ballard chairs in the colorway you’ve mentioned. It is a bit more “formal” but it is gorgeous. I do also love the leopard with the green. I rock my outfits that way all the time. Lastly, I’ve always seen the Hicks pendant on shelter magazine and just recently saw it in person. I did not like it. How about the Tom Dixon beat light?

  21. I say the green drapes, I think you will love the way they pop against your neutral grasscloth and they will make you smile each time you walk in the room – I also agree with the person who said they would be easier to replace in a few years if you want a new look. The grey chairs are gorgeous as are the hicks pendants. Good luck with your decision, can’t wait to see the pictures of the finished look!

  22. What is your focal point? The table setting? The guests at your table? The food? The whole dining experience? what do you want the room to feel like? And when it’s empty? Is it primarily a walk thru or walk past room or a destimation? what questions do you ask your design customers when you plan a room for them?
    I’m not you (but I LOVE the leopard runner), generally I’d go neutral with large ticket more permanent items and go crazy with the hits of color and accessories. I like the suggestion of just the chair backs in a strong color…

  23. the runner is very busy (and awesome) so you should do neutral drapes and the emerald green chairs – to add a single pop of color. keep it clean and chic and not too fussy / trendy (peter dunham fig leaf)

  24. LOVE the emerald green drapes! I just put some in my bedroom but used emerald taffeta with thick lining instead of silk to save money for now. . . . emerald and leopard look magical together :)

  25. Simple drapes to match the living room; Brass frame chairs with hint of emerald fabric, maybe just back?; keep it simple would be what I would do for myself that way you’re not sick of those green drapes in a few years. Add more emerald with your styling. Love the current light fixture. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  26. Neutral drapes and chairs. Fab, bright artwork and FLOWERS always on the table. Add a nice rug. The room is small and dark drapes will close it in. Your kitchen is light and bright and shares the nice open feeling. Just Mom saying…..

  27. brass chairs are awesome and so much less common. I’d do neutral curtains – same as LR.

  28. I think a neutral drape with kick-a$$ emerald Greek key trim will make you so happy. I love the upholstered chairs in the room with the green drapes. I think gray chairs will feel dull soon. I’d do a neutral, maybe with something fun on the chair backs only.

  29. Love the Hicks pendants–keep them! Also love the chairs in emerald green as your pop of color. Will pick up nicely with fresh flowers. Solid drapes with the Greek key trim for sure. And congrats on getting the leopard stairs! You will love them forever. I agree that it is hard to choose for oneself. Be bold!

  30. My vote is keep the chairs neutral and use the drapes for your pop of color. Much easier to replace the drapes than reupolster the chairs.

  31. I’m not a designer, but I find it intesresting that so many people have commented about the possibility of wanting to replace the green. Is the green a trend that will run it’s course before you want to update? I think going neutral will make your room look larger and open. I also wonder if green straight back chairs will always look “messy” around the table. It it were me, I’d go neutral on both, saving the pop of color for art and accessories that you can change out. Plus in my experience, bold colored chairs are going to limit your creativity in doing different colored table settings and flowers when you entertain.

  32. I would switch the pendants to the lowell, love the Hicks but feel they are everywhere now. I love the emerald drapes and dark grey on chairs — emerald and leopard are fabulous together!! Very envious, looks beautiful! LOVE your blog and wish you much success!

  33. Put tall mirrors on both sides of the windows with two SMALL
    demi Lune tables underneath. Add small matching lamps on both tables under each mirror. This will help disperse and create lovely lighting at night and visually enlarge your small dining room during the day.

    What about a relaxed roman shade incorporating the Greek key trim?

    Too bad your chandelier does not have some sort of crystal – you are missing out on the opportunity to utilize the natural light from the window coming in from behind.

    Hope you made an appointment with Dr. Nie…

    All best.

  34. If Mom says the room is small, then I agree, neutral drapes. Have you thought about bringing the emerald green in with a taffeta tablecloth or something else permanent on the table? I agree, it would look great with the leopard. I think the fig leaf looks pretty casual, although it’s a great pattern. Not sure about the strong rectangular Ballard chair lines with the round table, but I loooove those leather & brass & they’re just a little softer.

  35. My design instincts would lean towards the emerald drapes and neutral chairs, BUT this is YOUR room and I see emerald chairs with the neutral drapes with Greek Key trim. I see your dilema. Is emerald a color you have always loved? If not, go neutral on chairs, more expensive to replace than a drapery. Both choices are winners. Remember your past and how you like to change things up, drapes are an easy switch-out!!

  36. PLEASE do the bold green drapes. You only live once and they are INCREDIBLE!!! They would make me smile everyday coming down the stairs in the morning to see that awesome glow of green. Love your blog, this is the first time I’m actually commenting after years of being a fan :)

  37. I say go for color with the curtains, if there is anywhere you want drama it’s in the dining room. You don’t spend a lot of time in the dining room and when you do it should be fun and dramatic for your guests. Also the grey chairs are stylish, will hide most stains, win-win. As for the sputnik light, no way would I change to pendant lights, again adds to the whole dining experience, fun, edgy,drama, this is the room to do it! Keep the greek key for you living room or family room.

    Best Elena

  38. It took me a year to find the right chairs for my dining room table so I am with you on that one. I love, love those leather and brass framed chairs with your leopard stair runner. I am having trouble seeing them, though, with your gray grasscloth. Also love the new light fixtures you are considering. I would avoid a bright green on the window treatments because it is very expensive to change those when the time comes. But I do love the green in the chairs if you go that route. Maybe a green painted cabinet in front of the window would be a nice way to introduce that color in an affordable and easy to change way. Whatever you choose, I am sure it will be beautiful and, oh yes, wouldnt it be wonderful to have an unlimited budget?

  39. WOW! its as if you jumped into my head & saw my dining room design. I went neutral w/pops of emerald green last year and am currently having new drapes made w/the Kravet greek key banding. But I dont have that awesome wallpaper like you do! I LOVE your chandy & think it should stay!!

  40. I agree with your mom and Marilyn – keep it neutral and allow your accent pieces to pack the biggest punch. Your style, like you, is dynamic…always evolving, but not so much that you abandon your roots. When you decide you love yellow [insert ANY other color] and grey some summer or spring, the emerald green chairs or drapes are going to be the bane of your existence… give yourself the flexibility to change your mind, and update your home without breaking the bank!

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