Emma Fishman found that her old dining room was starting to look dull and lacking in character. She loves to cook and entertain, so she wanted the room to feel much more intimate, with an extra splash of drama.
Emma decided to opt for a dark green colour scheme to make the room feel cosy. Here, she recalls her makeover experience…
A bit about me…
I’m Emma Fishman, an interior stylist @emmafishman_stylist. I live with my husband, David and our three children, Lottie, 20, Izzy, 16 and Sadie, 11.
My makeover experience…
Finding the right shade is never easy. Colours can look so different on a small swatch in a brochure, so I persevered with my tester posts. I wanted an emerald green colour and painted so many patches on the wall to make sure I got it right.
I finally chose a dark teal shade and started to think about how I could add lots of texture and ways to counterbalance the dark palette in the room. As soon as the colour went on, I knew I needn’t have worried – it actually made the room feel bigger, which I didn’t expect.
The bay window was measured up by Hillarys, and I chose some velvety fabrics from their Abigail Ahern collection.
They give the room a luxe feel and I just love how they frame the bay window! The blinds have a contrasting fringe trim, which adds more texture. It’s now a warm and cosy space.
My budget didn’t stretch to new furniture, so I painted the old wooden table, chairs and sideboard. New handles and newly covered seat pads completely transformed them without me having to spend a fortune!
To prevent the room from feeling too dark, I chose a large, eye-catching ceiling light, and a big wall mirror to brighten up the space. A dimmer switch was a must with all those bulbs!
The fireplace got a facelift too, with geometric-shaped mosaic tiles and a painted mantlepiece.
I added lots of coppery accent details and plants, and I think they really elevate a space. Filling the room with candles helps to create a relaxing atmosphere; perfect for dinner parties. I’m thrilled with the new look and can’t stop inviting friends over for dinner now!
My style advice…
Three simple tricks to try in your own home
Make a statement on your walls
Emma wanted to create a gallery wall to add impact and personalise the room. ‘I wanted to buy a neon wall light but to keep costs down I chose a print of one instead from Desenio, which I think looks just as good at a fraction of the cost.’ Emma also updated an old lamp base with a bold stripy shade. ‘I love mixing the old with the new.’
Update your fireplace
‘The previous owners had ripped out all the chimney breasts, so I’ve made do with an electric fire,’ says Emma. Geometric-style tiles around the fire surround and a dark green for the mantlepiece has transformed the fireplace. ‘It’s now unrecognisable,’ she says.
The old, solid-oak dining chairs were too good to replace. Emma couldn’t justify buying a new set of dining furniture, so she painted the old ones in a black wood stain.
‘It was actually much easier to do than I had imagined. I also took the old seat pads off and recovered them in different monochrome fabrics.’ The new-look furniture now works so well, adding another dramatic dimension to the room.
This is a digital version of a feature that originally appeared in Home Style magazine. For more inspirational home ideas, why not subscribe today?