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Archive | Dining Room

Mother-Daughter Living and Playroom

The client for this beautiful transformation is a single mom who wanted to claim her space for herself and her daughter. It was so special to be a part of this process, and completely indulgent to focus on designing a completely feminine, luxurious space for these fine ladies.

Like most homes that house small children, let’s go ahead and own it: the dining room is the playroom. If you’ve got small kids that need a playroom, you probably aren’t spending your days entertaining in a formal dining room – so it’s the first space to be sacrificed. My client wanted a space for her daughter to play that seamlessly transitioned into the living room.

We coated the walls with a beautiful, neutral gray that served as the perfect launching point for the brilliantly feminine pink rug which inspired the color palette in the room. Swapping the ceiling fan for a chandelier, we set a very girly, fancy tone for the room without being too stuffy. The lux tone is carried through with the brass and copper metallic finishes and accessories dotting the room. We incorporated the TV into a gallery wall by hanging some feminine art, and filled the room with fake plants as my client has a black thumb (don’t we all?). A small console table was added in the entry to provide a place to drop keys, purses, and other items as you enter the house.

The magic of the playroom space is the clever storage we used to replace the plastic storage bins previously used in the space. The credenza not only stores the toys attractively, it transitions into a functional dining room piece when the playroom is no longer needed and she’s ready to start throwing those formal dinner parties again. The bench provides additional seating, and the storage baskets provide easy access to toys and add natural texture to the play area. The table and kid-sized ghost chairs are a wink and a nod to the dining room space, and provides a space for her daughter to play and draw. Messes are not an issue here; the rug is inexpensive and the pattern hides spills.

Her daughter’s pink play kitchen blends seamlessly into the space, and we used family pictures to further personalize the area. Are you in need of incorporating your play area into your living area with some flare? Is it time for you to redesign your space to tell the story of the people who live in your home? Contact Gina Sims Designs today. Let’s get started.




Living Room Transformation

Sometimes it can be difficult to decorate when you have a space filled with lots of your current possessions, hand-me-downs, and things inherited from others. It can be daunting to decide what to keep, and how to incorporate it all to communicate your personal style. This is when a call to Gina Sims Designs is a very good idea.

My client had a living room that was ready to have a fresh look. We started with a conversation about what she loved, what items had an appropriate scale for the room, and even brought a professional organizer in the mix! The room design became a collection of “what makes me happy” and sentimental items that helped move the design forward. Here’s how the space began:

We defined the room with light blues, orange, beiges, whites, and wood tones. The room got a fresh coat of paint after the ceilings were repaired and repainted.

It’s always lucky to have a client that can supply inspiration with items from their travels, and due to her many trips to Italy, we had plenty to showcase. We reframed old art, including a grouping of maps, so they presented better. Grouping them in the entryway and lighting them up with scones sets the tone for the entire room: a warm space, showcasing family memories.

The fireplace was completely redone: we removed the tile and heavy screen and added a brilliant marble herringbone tile. A mirror was added to reflect more light into the small space, while classical busts, African beads, and a rosary showcase this new focal point of the room.

(Psst: see that dining room? See that transformation here!)

A bright, comforting living room that showcases the individuality of the client is one of our favorite types of projects. Call Gina Sims Designs to begin on your living room today.




Urban Cabin

Decatur is known for its distinct, historic neighborhoods, eclectic food, and vibrant downtown: it is not known for log cabins. My clients are the owners of this unlikely urban retreat, and wanted to design a space that provided a TV-free zone to read, relax, eat, and play games as a family.

Here is how I found the space:

While the living, dining, and kitchen spaces were wide open, the furniture placement prevented those in the kitchen and dining area from seeing those gathered in the seating area in the living room. To take full advantage of the open space, my design plan included a reading nook in the area of the room that could not easily be seen from the kitchen and to move the seating area to the middle of the living area, anchored by the huge fireplace.

The inspiration for the space originated on a House Beautiful cover, designs by a favorite of mine: Thom Filicia. My clients loved the combination of a striped throw and kilim pouf, so we started with those pieces.

The clearest expression of our inspiration can be found in the reading nook, which now occupies the space that most of the furniture used to be in the room. The space is cozy because it’s rich with texture: the leather chair, the wool throw, the patterned pouf, and the industrial shelves create a feeling that this space has been used and carefully curated for years.

Cati Teague Photography

The new seating area shares the spotlight with the grand fireplace, providing a place by the fire for hosting company and playing games.

Cati Teague Photography

Cati Teague Photography

The dining area joins these living space with the kitchen. Even though it’s a small space, the custom, expandable table leaves plenty of room for entertaining. We sourced the fabric for the shades from West Elm and gave the entire area a pop of color with the red dining chairs.

Cati Teague Photography


Classic Dining in Avondale

The first time I met my client was on the soccer field, and our conversation included the exclamation: “come and paint my dining room!” As the kids say: the rest is history. My client is a Classics teacher and has an obvious affinity for classical literature and languages, Rome (well, let’s say all things Italy), and has a house filled with heirlooms. Basically, she’s a dream client. Inspiration at every turn.

Let’s start, as we did at our first meeting, with her dining room. Here’s what we started with:

The room already had solid pieces. She’s the mom of two boys, so we needed to make sure any design could stand up to the activity of kids in the house. Spoiler alert: We did a bit more than paint it.

We painted those walls a beautiful, breezy blue and brought in floor to ceiling curtains to make the room (and the windows) seem larger and more grand. We swapped out the cart for a life-giving element — this fantastic, vibrant plant on simple plant stand, which will allow guests to more easily move around the table. The room is illuminated by a stately quatrefoil chandelier, which nods to her love of classical art and design. We replaced the rug with a neutral, natural toned rug to bring some texture into the space.

We swapped out two of the dining chairs with upholstered parsons dining chairs to add a modern touch to the traditional hutch and table. #PROTIP: Changing out a few (or all!) of your dining chairs for a contrasting style from your table instantly transforms a dining area or breakfast nook. For a personal touch, we hung her father’s gardening hats on the wall.

Finally, reorganizing her beautiful china and adding some decorative accessories to this amazing hutch make the piece (and its collections) seem new again. An absolutely charming and inviting transformation, just in time for Thanksgiving.



Fresh in the Highlands

My clients have a gorgeous tudor home in the Virginia Highlands suburb of Atlanta. It needed to be fresh and rescue dog friendly! Before I work with a client, I have them do homework to determine their style preferences. For this client, her boards were full of shades of aqua, teal and gray. That became our starting place and we had a blast unifying the space with color, his father’s photography and lots of plants for fresh air and an airy feel.

Let’s start with the entry!

When a living space does not have a formal foyer or separate entry area, it’s very easy to create a sense of that space with a console table, a great piece of art, and some seating. Mirrors and plants add light and freshness, welcoming you into the larger living room space.

In the dining room, our design plan called for the addition of a grand, industrial display and storage unit. This is not your mother’s china cabinet. We softened the room with some upholstered accent-turned-dining chairs, soft teal curtains, and the aqua-toned rug.

By adding a large sectional sofa, we separated the living area from the living room area from the entry to give the feel of two separate spaces. The round coffee table is a great contrast to the lines of the sofa; the art and throw pillows continue the color scheme into this space. The plants add the fresh element that connects this space with the sun room.

And last, but absolutely not least, is the sun room. Since we’re allowed to have favorites, obviously, this is my favorite. We started with great seating. Our objective was to use the aqua and teal accents to make the plants the real star of this comfortable room.


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