A luxe dining room

When I saw this dining room at the Ideal Home Show, I was struck by how one thing - or six of one thing - can make such an impact on a room. You’ve heard about having a statement piece, but these pastel pink chairs really are the eye-catching feature of the room, aren’t they?

pastel pink, glass, wood and dramatic flooring

The rest of the room is very “together” with its black, gilt and glass, even the table top looks to have a smoke feel to it. And with more normal, or traditional chairs I’m not sure you’d give the room much of a second look.  I mean, it’s still beautiful, but those chairs... 

pastels, dramatics and touches of gilt

When you looked more closely there was much to see.  This side table, which is beautifully presented and is how, in my head I arrange things (though in reality it’s not quite the same!) is stunning. I’m a fan of the table itself too, its simple and classic design is understated and is a good reminder that not everything needs to be fancy and ornate. 

A stunning sidetable with candles and orchids

The lights too work well as accent lighting, but it’s the paint effect that too is subtle but effective. It shows how how quite simply you can add “depth” to your space, and give the illusion of alcoves, or just add some interest to a plain space.   

It’s a simple idea and with patience should be achievable with a few toning pots of paint and some masking tape. 

Looking back over these photos, I realised this roomset may have influenced me more than I first realised, and the cake is a bit of a clue for you - and for once it’s not the actual cake! 

afternoon tea on a gilt trolley

The drinks trolley, or as it’s styled here afternoon tea trolley is quite similar to the drinks trolley we bought back in the summer, and which I’ve yet to share here.  MOH is sneaking more and more drinks paraphernalia onto our trolley, and I’m making it look a little less”plonked” there, I hope.

But its first proper use for me was for a relaxing proper tea one afternoon, strange hey -and what’s worse I didn’t even have any cake, even though I’m not sure you’ll believe that.

overall a calming and relaxing room

So, what do you think - is it for you, or not?


Formal dining at Mottisfont

While looking for a photo to accompany last Friday's link-up post I rediscovered my photos from the National Trust's Mottisfont in Hampshire, and there's many which I've not shared here yet, so I plan to put that right and today I'm starting with some formal dining.

For me, seeing these properties set out as they would have been in their heyday is what brings the place to life on a visit, an it's something the NT does well. Clearly as I wander around the place I'm imagining the house is mine, I have staff and will be entertaining again that evening, and this scenario has yet to become tiresome. 

I'd be happy to have dinner served on this jade patterned dinner service.

Crockery on the dining table at Mottisfont

And the dining room is pretty special too, isn't it? 

Stepping back and admiring the trompe l'oeil

The panelling isn't quite what it appears though. It's believable and very effective, but is a trompe l'oeil. But it was the chairs and their upholstery that caught my eye  the simple, yet elegant fabric, no doubt silk, provides enough bling, sparkle and classic detail to be quietly, but confidently, understated. 

The detail on the chair

And when you see the floor, it's clear why that simplicity is needed. Now for the life of me I can't remember if the flooring is carpet, as we'd expect it to be, or another trick for our eyes. Logic tells me it should be carpet, but then again it looks too flat, and perfect, so perhaps it isn't.  

And how about that for a carpet


It's a looker though isn't it? If you've been to Mottisfont and can put me out of my misery, then please post a comment and let me know: carpet, or clever trickery?

Adding flexibility - and stools - to our dining table

You'll remember in our search for our dining table and chairs MOH was keen to have a bench seat as part of our purchase. That didn't quite happen, but his reason behind it - apart from liking the look - was flexibility. And he had a point, but we opted for six chairs to go with our white glass table in a mix of colours - and we forewent the flexiblity. 

Until recently that is, when Cult Furniture offered me two of their Grey Hatton Wooden Low Stools to give us that extra flexibility, in a most stylish way. I chose the Dark Grey finish, as these will work with our decor throughout the house, not just our downstairs - as while they're not in dining use, they'll be used in our conservatory and my craft room.
Adding stools from Cult Furniture to our dining room furniture

Although they work well without the table extended, and give a similar feel a bench would have done. I think they give more flexibility than a bench, as when the table is extended it makes sense to have the stools at either end of the table, like this:

With the table extended the stools are better at each end

It also means that dining for eight has become a much more stylish option. 

A table for eight with stools by Cult Furniture

I like clean simple lines and these have that, and match well with our existing chairs. They're the same height too at 45cm, so no one will need to feel like they're on the "make do" seating option - in fact these are as far from "make do" as I think you can get!  They're very tactile, made of rubberwood and also come in a black and walnut finish, and if you're after a higher stool, there's also a 72cm option.

A closer look at one of the stools by Cult Furniture

The curved seat also means they're comfortable - surprisingly so - but that's just what you want isn't it? 

Give me some cook books, a notebook, a to do list and washi tape and I'd be happy to sit here and plan away.  I'm glad they're comfortable as one will have a longer-term home in my craft room (or the study, as MOH is still insisting on making a part-claim) which means when it's not being used, it'll fit nicely under the desk making the most of the space available. 

Sitting down to with a notebook and cookbooks to make a plan

Once I've got that craft-room-cum-study slightly more presentable I'll show you how it works up there too.  But that's for another day.

table decorations
Adorned with a rug
The stools (from Cult Furniture) provide more flexibility than a bench would

I'm really pleased with these stools, and the flexibility they'll give us and I've been impressed with Cult Furniture too.  One of the stools I received was damaged in transit and often you can tell a lot about a company by their customer service. I sent photos of the damaged box and stool and a replacement was quickly sent, but this time using a different carrier - and with better results.  I don't think you can ask for more than that.

What do you think?  And how do you cope with additional people for dinner?


* This is a collaborative post, and I received these stools for the purposes of this review, however all views and opinions are my own.