Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


The Dining Room

A few years ago when Michael Smith came through Atlanta on his book tour, he observed that Southerners seem to really use their dining rooms. I do think even in small houses and apartments, the dining room is something we've tried not to loose. Traditional styles forever seen up and down the East Coast -- chinoiserie wallpaper, sorbet-colored walls or very deep red walls -- have always been big down here. Take for example the two Suzanne Rheinstein-designed rooms above.

New takes though are being seen all the time: In this clean, mid-century modern North Carolina home, Barrie Benson included an inspired nod to classic Southern dining rooms with the over-scaled framed chinoiserie wallpaper, along one wall.

And of course, globe-trotting jewelry designer, Temple St. Clair Carr, mixed antique chairs from her family's Virginia home with the very modern, iconic Eero Saarinen tulip table.

The current March-April Southern Accents highlights Gracie's scenic hand-painted wallpaper in a contemporary silhouette version. (Actually New Yorker Alexa Hampton lauds it as classic yet youthful.)

Red room shown top via Elle Decor; second dining room via Southern Accents; Barrie Benson interior via domino and Temple St. Clair Carr space vis Elle Decor.


ArchitectDesign™ said...

A formal dining room is the thing i miss most in my tiny apartment, and I'm a northerner! Beautiful examples!

Style Court said...

Thanks Be The Change!

The Peak of Chic said...

I agree- the images are all beautiful. Everyone says the dining room is dead, but I think these prove that it is not!

Unknown said...

I was the design director at Southern Accents who assigned the story on the Rheinstein-designed house, and it remains one of my all-time-favorite projects. It defines timeless elegance--the living room in that house, with its rush matting on the floor and Italian antiques, still makes me drool. Thanks for posting it!

Style Court said...


It's one of the all-time great Virginia houses!

BTW: I think I heard you speak at the Cathedral a few years ago -- so informative yet entertaining :)

cotedetexas said...

Those top two pictures have been in my tear sheet file for years. I love that first apartment and that second house is one of my al time favorites. Great minds think alike.