The Blueprint: A Dining Room Takes Flight

As some of you know, I'm currently working on a project in Brooklyn, NY.  The installation date is quickly approaching and we're shopping like mad to get the necessary artwork, furniture and accessories.  Since I shared the plan of attack for the foyer area--you can see it here--I thought it would be nice to share the mock-up for the dining room area as well before the big reveal. 

I'm unbelievably excited that the client decided to purchase the Paule Marrot artwork "Doves." I've been obsessed with Marrot's work for many years, and one my dreams is to own a pair of her other famous artworks "Butterfly Blue" and "Butterfly Pink."  See below.  

There is a special place in my heart for gallery walls, but nothing can replace the big statement a large scale art piece makes in a living space.  Marrot's work is cheerful, upbeat, and brings in that perfect dash of whimsy into a modern space. 

The client's dining room has high loft ceilings, white walls, and mid-century furniture.  A perfect foundation for large scale colorful art.  The client decided on "Doves" by Marrot, a lovely piece that will remain timeless.  See below for the mood board. 

The Blueprint

1. Artwork.  "Doves" will take center stage in this room, and will be a nice contrast to the mid-century furniture in the room. 

2. Dining Table.  We will be working with the existing dining room furniture.  The walnut colored wood dining table alongside the upholstered dining chairs bring warmth and texture into the space. 

3. Lighting.  Taking advantage of the high ceilings, we decided on a pendant light with a twist. The crackled glass distinguishes this pendant from others and will bring a soft glow over the dining space. It's interesting, visually light and not overwhelming. 

4. Console Table. This will serve as the visual and physical separation between the living and dining room since the living area is all open concept.  It's streamlined and tucks behind the sectional nicely. 

5. Accessories.  I'll style the space during installation and will add details, including books, accessories, and plants.  I particularly love this sculptural teakwood planter, a modern twist with an organic feel. 


Cheat Sheet to Inexpensive Art

Gallery Wall

I love art, you love art. Adding it to any living or work space immediately adds personality, color and brightness.  A wall of art  can be especially helpful at minimizing unsightly but necessary objects such as a thermostat or TV.  

Purchasing multiple prints or posters  along with frames and picture mats can quickly add up in cost, especially if your goal is to create a gallery wall. 

Here are some tips to build up a collection of pieces for that wall while you search for that memorable piece. 

I love to use framed pages from large photo/art books, especially from artists whose prints I can't actually afford.  Large photo/art books are a great place to source inexpensive wall art, especially if you're looking to create a gallery wall since the images from one book will be naturally cohesive and consistent. Below is a short tutorial.


Wall Art Supplies



1. Your favorite photo/art books

2. Precut photo mat

3. Ruler

4. Scissors

5. Photo tape

6. Utility knife

7. Frame




1. Choose your favorite image from your photo/art book.

2. Hold the ruler close to the binding of the book, and use the utility knife along the edge of the ruler to ensure a clean and straight line.  Make to sure protect your work surface by placing something under your book.  If you plan to preserve the other pages of the book, consider inserting a cardboard sheet below the page you are removing.

3. Remove the page from the book and use photo tape to adhere it to the photo mat. 

4. Install the mat with the attached book and insert into frame. 

5. Hang your new wall art! 

Wall Art gif


Some other sources of inexpensive art: high quality wrapping paper, vintage postcards, book covers, even cocktail napkins! See below. 

Wall Art Formula