Shift Into Neutral . . . A Dining Room Redesign

There is no debating that this home is Southern Traditional architecture. But what happens when you prefer a less formal, more casual image? How do you preserve the elegance of traditional style but also create a more current image? The answer. . . shift into neutral!



That is the dilemma that challenged this client. She was seeking a light, airy and more current look. There were obvious factors to consider: the furnishings and the color palate. Designer, Belinda Giddens of Outrageous Interiors in Suwanee, GA. ( was able to assist her with selections more consistent with her personal style. Yet, the piece that did not fit in this picture was the traditional style bookcases. They were beautifully crafted with detailed formal architecture but the wood tones were too strong for this updated space. Making a decision to paint over wood was not taken lightly and no ordinary faux finish would do. The decorative artistry on these cabinets needed to be spectacular in order to maintain the statement of quality and elegance in this home.

4 BEFORE _7273psw
5 AFTER 8484psw
6 Painted Bookcase 8534psw
7 Stencil Design 7483psw
8 Close Up 8541psw
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The Design Process:

Inspiration for the colors were taken from the new furnishing that incorporated the warm neutrals. A soft but subtle distressed faux finish was applied to compliment this style.. Enhancing the architectural details was accomplished with small touches of the deep taupe highlighted with bronze and gold. A graceful design was stenciled to the front of the doors to maintain the consistency of the traditional style.

In the end, this project represents a great example of how to freshen up a heavy traditional style. There is no need to sacrifice elegance. Instead, just "shift into neutral".

We welcome your feedback. Please leave a comment below.

Special thanks to Belinda Giddens of Outrageous Interiors in Suwanee, GA, Cutting Edge Stencils, and Dixon Painting

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Category: Cabinetry