Home & Design

Sometimes elevating a dining room’s look “is as simple as a beautiful mural or wallpaper that sets the tone,” notes Kristin Peake, principal of Kristin Peake Interiors. She clad the walls of a dining room in Northwest DC’s Spring Valley neighborhood in a delicate custom mural that imparts airiness and light via a botanical motif; blue-velvet host chairs pick up the hue of the grass-cloth walls in the hallway leading to the space. PHOTO: Sstacy Zarin Goldberg

Formal Affair

Designers serve up insights and advice on luxe dining room décor

“I love to wallpaper or paint the ceiling above the dining table; it’s unexpected and a great way to signal that this is a special space. Soft light, enhanced with candles on the table, makes the room feel elegant and special.”

—Laura Hildebrandt, Interiors by LH, LLC

PHOTO: Angela Newton Roy Photography 

“We incorporate a layered design that includes beautiful wall covering, comfortable upholstered chairs and luxurious draperies. A striking chandelier adds a touch of drama. Thoughtfully selected accessories include flowers, candles and artwork.”

 —Bonnie Ammon, Bonnie Ammon Interiors

“When considering light sources, picture your dining room in the evening without natural light. If your table is a rectangle, add recessed lights on either side of the chandelier and use a dimmer. If your space allows for a credenza, place a pair of lamps on it or hard-wire sconces above it.”

—Rebecca Penno, Penno Interiors

PHOTO: Angela Newton Roy Photography 

“Luxurious fabrics and a mix of finishes are key to formality while rich woods and warm color tones on the walls exude a welcoming vibe. Dining rooms are generally not used often, so creativity can go beyond what you’d specify for spaces in daily use. And remember that even an uneventful dining room can shine with an incredible chandelier.”

—Arlene Critzos, Interior Concepts, Inc.

PHOTO: Dan Curtrona Photography

“I try to keep things bright and inviting with a beautiful area rug and fun, interesting light fixtures. I often mix fabrics and textures on chairs to animate a space that is typically mostly wood.”

—Samantha Friedman, ASID, NCIDQ, Samantha Friedman Interior Designs, LLC

Barbara Hawthorn

Barbara Hawthorn Interiors, LTD.

PHOTO: Kenneth M. Wyner Photography

Kristin Peake

Kristin Peake Interiors


Jamie Merida

Jamie Merida Interiors


Laura (Fox) Wolff

Laura Fox Interior Design, LLC


Sarita Simpson

Interior Matter



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HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

The company also publishes an annual H&D Sourcebook of ideas and resources for homeowners and professionals alike. H&D Chesapeake Views is published bi-annually and showcases fine home design and luxury living in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

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