“The dining room is the one place in the house where you can get away with a certain level of drama,” says interior designer Tom Stringer. “It’s an event space, pure and simple, so you want it to have some glamour.”
Based on the luminous color scheme of champagne, ivory, and white touched with accents of gold and smoky lavender—the same lavender Stringer, an avid scuba diver, sees on underwater sea fans—the dining room gets a lot of its aesthetic oomph from architectural details. “Bookcases are a great way to add personality to almost any room, but I didn’t want to fill them with books,” the designer says. Instead, he made them into display cabinets for a collection of white and ivory ceramics. All that white conjured up notions of 18th-century France and Gustavian Sweden (as well as the Syrie Maugham style of the 1930s), so Stringer surrounded the oval table with elegant and comfortable painted Louis XVI chairs. He then anchored one wall with a generously curved demilune commode that could be used for storage and serving.
Underlying the elegance, however, are substantial doses of drama, some strong, others more retiring. The walls, for instance, are covered with a white wallpaper whose embossed crocodile pattern adds texture but stays subtly in the background. And underfoot is a carpet from Stringer’s own line. With its graphic interlocking octagons-and-squares motif, the floor assumes a gutsy attitude reminiscent of the 1960s British designer David Hicks.
Hanging at the windows are opulent curtains whose champagne, lavender, and copper stripes pull together all the colors in the room.