So you've seen the foyer and the wee "brownstoners" rooms, so how about the living space? What about the heart of the home: the kitchen, dining and living area's?

This home has a lovely large area across the back where the kitchen opens up to light-filled eating and and family room area. This is where life will happen :) as the formal living and dining spaces are being used for other purposes. These homeowner's put family life first, and entertain casually. Thus they have opted to use their formal living space at the front of the home as a gorgeous library/home office, and their formal dining room, which closes off nicely with french doors, as a large main floor play area for their young children. This leaves us with a smaller than normal dining area and main floor living area, and so we have had to be a bit creative with our use of space.

Let's look at the dining area first. It is narrow, and also serves as a passageway to the rear entry of the home. As this is the most used entrance, and the home owners are frequently passing thru here with heaps of luggage, we need to leave a wide path clear. But since this is the only dining area, we also need to be able to accommodate a larger crowd here occasionally for dinner parties, etc. There is a large built-in island separating the dining area and living space, and a breakfast bar separating the dining area from the kitchen.  I measured and measured, and decided a slim rectangular extension table was our best option. It can be placed against the wall for everyday use, leaving plenty of room to pass by, but also can be pulled out and the extensions added for larger crowds. This will also give them the option to move this into a larger space in their next home, if they have it.

My client loves trestle tables, and so I found a fabulous local company who are going to custom build a trestle table to our exact specifications. They are called Provenance Harvest Tables, if you are interested, and they have had their work featured on the hgtv show The Property Brothers. Here are the drawings for my client's table, which will be built in the next few weeks. The builder is scaling down the leg of the royal trestle table model, pictured below, and adding some square detailing, a la the Balustrade table from Williams Sonoma, pictured.

Before we chose a finish we needed to decide on chairs, and again we wanted a smaller scale leggy chair, to create visual and actual space.  Four bistro chairs in a smoky oak stain work perfectly.

Two side chairs upholstered in a steel grey linen will live in the upstairs hall on with side of a console table most days, but can be brought down to accommodate extra diners when needed. The grey upholstery and nailhead trim will also work really well with our sofa on the other side of the room - but I'll save that space for the next post!! These people love neutrals, so blue-greys will serve as our colour in this home, balanced by warm woods and soft white walls throughout. A built-in bulletin board is getting dressed up with some striped linen and a special trick, which I'll show you when it happens :), the existing art shelves above the table will hold family photos, and a clock will fill in a blank wall that you'll see upon entering.

My design goal is a space that feels relaxed and classic, just like my client's, and that is flexible and will serve them well in many homes to come. What do you think so far? am


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