Designer, stylist, and HGTV star Emily Henderson and her assistant Orlando Soria transformed their clients’ Silver Lake, Los Angeles dining room from a multiple-personality hodgepodge with beige walls to a warm and dynamic statement space Henderson dubs “traditional with a twist.” We quizzed the Huffington Post contributing editor and host of Secrets of a Stylist on the crucial tips behind this makeover.
What aspects of the space did you love, and what changes were first on your list?
The home has a lot of architectural detail that we tried to capitalize on, including wainscoting, crown molding, and beautiful wood floors. I knew I wanted to add color and some life to the walls, hence the wallpaper. I also knew I wanted to change out the dining chairs, and because our clients wanted to keep their heirloom dining table, we decided on chairs that went with that traditional feel, while bringing in a pop of white to juxtapose against the navy walls.
What made you opt for a dark color for the walls?
I like to allow the space to dictate the color I choose. This room doesn’t receive a large amount of direct light, so I decided to make it darker and more romantic than the other rooms in the house. A lot of people are scared to choose a deeper shade for low-light areas because they worry it’s going to make them look cavernous, but if you paint a space like this white it can look dingy.
What was the instinct behind this particular wallpaper?
The couple who live here (with their two children) has bold taste and big personalities, so I knew I wanted to give them a dining room that was elegant while also being dramatic and graphic. The wallpaper is Graham & Brown’s Soprano pattern, which is a little Art Deco, so it has a sense of history, but it’s also clean and graphic so it still feels young and current—like our clients. If wallpaper is out of your price range, you can get the same kind of effect by using a paint color such as Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue.
This chandelier feels so modern—any tricks for updating these types of light fixtures?
Our clients already had this chandelier, which has a classic feel while still being totally fresh. But we did remove the lampshades from each bulb, and replace the bulbs with round white ones, which is a quick and easy update.
|Soprano Wallpaper, $75 per roll
Graham & Brown
|Marlow II Chair, $299
Crate & Barrel
|Auburn Chandelier, $1728
|Geometry Vase 4, $60
|Regency Dining Table, $3185
|Chandra Indian Rug, From $124
|Chrome Table Lamp, $1100
|Urchin Object, $20
|Tophat Figurine, $20
Photographs: Emily Henderson