Designer’s Take on Our Dining Room: {Niche Interiors}

As the house renovation slowly but surely keeps chugging along, {I’ll be talking paint colors with you later this week!}, I find myself constantly furnishing rooms in my head. That’s why I was thrilled when one of my favorite San Francisco-based design firms, Niche Interiors, took us up on our request for a Designer’s Take. Founder Jennifer Jones has such a great eye. Here’s a couple of the gorgeous dining rooms they’ve designed:

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As a reminder, below is the architect’s drawing of what our dining room looks like. The space enjoys some pretty special features including the original 140 year old pocket doors, a fireplace {that I still have to design – oy!}, the original crown molding, a bay window and 12-foot ceilings. Jennifer turned her sights on our dining room and I am loving her thoughts.

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We took inspiration from the classic Victorian architectural details of Erin’s new home, along with her obvious love of black and white. Clearly, the bones of this space are the real star — we would create a restrained, contemporary dining space with subtle nods to traditional design.

First, we would paint the walls and moldings a warm white and add a larger ceiling medallion that is more appropriately scaled for the room. Matte black paint on the ceiling would make the gorgeous moldings pop and accentuate the tall ceilings. Graphic geode wallpaper peeks out behind tall metal bookcases flanking the fireplace, and kelly green drapery panels frame the bay window. The dramatic brass chandelier has a traditional shape with modern styling — a perfect focal point for this space!



  1. Chandelier 
  2. Table
  3. Curtains (custom)
  4. > Minotti Aston chair
  5. Vase
  6. Zak & Fox with Apparatus Wallpaper
  7. Brass Dish
  8. Bookcase

Curious how other designers have suggested we design our Victorian? From the kitchen to the nursery, living room and bedrooms – you can find all the amazing inspiration right HERE.


Images 1 & 2 via Niche Interiors // Image 3 via Kay Douglass Interiors


House Update: The Hunt for Perfect Light

We’re kicking off the week with another update on the house. Things with the renovation are continuing to progress quite nicely. The walls are actually primed and ready for the finishes to start coming in. That means I’ve got some serious decision making to do. Right now, lighting is on the top of my mind. Light fixtures are the jewels you add to every room. They are often what give a space its personality. And so I won’t lie; selecting lighting is stressing me out!  You don’t want your choices to be like a bad pair of boots – something you regret for seasons to come. And with no less than eight – yes I just said 8 – chandeliers to select, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

My goal is to strike the delicate balance between a statement-making fixture and something that’ll feel timeless for years {and years!} to come. I’ve turned to a lot of Parisian apartments and remodels of NYC brownstones as my inspiration. They always feature amazing Victorian details like crown molding, ceiling medallions and ornate fireplaces with modern fixtures. This is exactly the type of look I’m gong for.

The key? Finding pieces that fit together – kind of like a family does. Sure everyone looks a little different, but like siblings, you just want them all to get along nicely.


From the dining room to the kitchen, entryway and bedrooms {master, guest and nursery}, I’ve got the opportunity to really mix and match styles, genres and looks as you move throughout the house. Thankfully, YLighting has a litany of choices all in one place. I’ve slowly but surely been whittling down options to create my short list of fixtures that might make the final cute. Here are my current top contenders.


> 1. Mini Mikado Chandelier
> 2. Brass Diamond Pendant
> 3. Orb Pendant Light
> 4. Brass FLOS Pendant
> 5. Tom Dixon Beat Light
> 6. Glass Globe Pendant Light
> 7. Black Pendant Light
> 8. Menu Franklin Chandelier

I see the large black pendant setting a striking scene in the dining room. The Orb Pendant light could be fantastic as a major statement in the kitchen. The brass Flos pendant might be exatly what I need over my free standing tub in the master bathroom. And how crazy cool would the Mini Mikado Chandelier look in our entry? I’m still doing some hemming and hahing so I would love your thoughts! Have you ever picked lighting for an entire home? How did you go about it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. And of course I’ll be sure to share what makes the final cut.

An Eye-catching Twist on Modern Decor

We’re kicking off the week with a stunning space and latest post from contributor Ali Hartwell! I knew I’d convince that girl to love modern decor someday!

As a whole, I tend to avoid modern design. While I appreciate elements of it, I often find that the full-blown modern look comes off as cold, unwelcoming and even pretentious. No one should ever feel judged by their own living room for their Netflix binge-watching and ratty t-shirt wearing tendencies—amiright?!

That being said, when I came across this Brooklyn home tour, all of my preconceived notions around modern decor were rattled to the core. What was it about this particular take on modern that didn’t send me running for the hills of my tried and true California Eclectic style?? 


Could it have been black and  color palate? The mixture of hard lines juxtaposed by organic, textured accessories? The perfectly balanced incorporation of brass accents?? Yes, yes, and yes! At the end of the day, the perfect mix of all these things bring charm and warmth to this primarily minimalist look (and let’s be honest, a touch of herringbone floors never hurt).

Here are a few pieces I’ve rounded up to help you recreate this look:


> 1. Arc Sofa
> 2. Fish Catcher Pendant
> 3. Cara Oval Coffee Table
> 4. Mirror
> 5. Cog Candle Holder
> 6. Hans Pedestal Side Table
> 7. Fan Dining Chair
> 8. Mongolian Lamb Pillow
> 9. Sweater-weave Basket
> 10. Dora Maar Urn

I don’t know about you, but I’m totally rethinking my hesitation towards modern decor with this type of approach. What are your thoughts on all things modern? Love it? Hate it? Scared of it? Do share!

Written by Ali Hartwell, Editorial Contributor 

Images via Sketch42