The Look: Meeting Place

Designer Gaile Guevara created a space that's both casual and sophisticated€”perfect for large dinner parties or intimate gatherings.

Make history

To celebrate the homeowner's Asian heritage, Guevara reframed her silk paintings and strategically placed them to draw the eye. €œThe dining room was designed with a simple, quiet aesthetic to put the focus on our client's unique collection.€

Go inside your comfort zone

With only six dining chairs (fewer than what could actually fit at the extra-large table), the table gives guests plenty of room to settle in for after-dinner conversations.

Warm the bench
The credenza, which spans 16 feet across the living and dining rooms, is first and foremost a storage unit€”but it also acts as overflow seating when the homeowner is entertaining.

The Look: Sign of the Times

This dining room by Oliver Simon Design's Greer Nelson and Jamie Hamilton strikes a delicate balance between modern and traditional.

Stock the shelves

Open shelving brings the eye up, making the dining room appear bigger than it is, and allows the homeowners to show off their quirky vintage art and ceramic dishware.

Shed a few (visual) pounds

The designers didn€™t want the light fixture to detract from anything else in the room, so they chose one with a slim silhouette. €œWe wanted to keep things simple, airy and open,€ explains Hamilton.

Keep it clean

Since the homeowners have young children, the designers selected chairs that are both stylish and functional. €œWe love how iconic they are, but we also wanted to give the family something that could be cleaned more easily than fabric,€ says Hamilton. 

The Look: Modern Makeover

Before designer Gillian Segal came along, this cookie-cutter condo lacked personality and style. Now it has both in spades.

Widen your horizons

€œI wanted something that had dramatic scale,€ says Segal of the light fixture€”but she knew a round pendant or chandelier would have drawn too much attention to the low ceiling. Instead, she went for something with more width than height.

Mix and match materials

A contemporary design can sometimes feel cold, but not when you layer in textural elements: the grasscloth wallpaper, metal table base and stained-wood chairs with rattan seats add warmth to this space.

Clear the table

Segal chose the glass tabletop for two reasons: first, it gives the room a clean, modern look, and second, it tricks the eye. €œBecause you've able to see through it, it visually makes the space feel larger,€ she says.