Candice Tells All: Designer Candice Olson shares how she turned a combination dining/sitting room into a bright, welcoming party room that can accommodate intimate dinners for two as easily as groups of 22.
Rather than going out to party, Doris and Jamie love to host the festivities at their place. But the couple’s combination sitting room/dining room wasn’t conducive to partying. The space had absolutely no storage, so getting ready for guests involved hauling up a folding table and wine fridge from the basement. After everyone went home, everything had to be dragged downstairs again, and Doris even tucked away platters and bowls on the seats of dining-room chairs.
With their first child on the way, Doris and Jamie were anxious to get this renovation done sooner rather than later. They were hoping for a bright, welcoming party room that would accommodate intimate dinners for two as easily as groups of 22. In fact, the room’s first official engagement was already booked: Doris’ baby shower. With the clock ticking, it was time to get moving on this trendy transformation.
To add practical seating while also creating a spectacular focal point, I designed a spacious 30-inch-deep banquette with a dramatic, tufted custom backrest. A new pedestal table positioned in front of the banquette and its accompanying chairs provide lots of seating. The table is crowned by a dramatic modern glass chandelier, controlled by a dimmer switch to help set the mood. Across from the table we installed a wet bar, conveniently running the plumbing from the neighboring powder room — or not so conveniently, as it turned out.
The quartz-topped bar doubles as a sideboard and the elegant stainless-steel sink with faceted sides could easily function as a one-of-a-kind ice bucket. To solve the storage problem, we installed lots of cupboards above and below the bar, along with a wine fridge, so Jamie doesn’t have to carry one up from the basement anymore.
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To ratchet up the party look, I chose a boldly patterned graphic wallpaper with a shimmering mica coating, which subtly reflects light and instantly adds a touch of glamour.
For the lounge area of the room we chose comfortable, casual seating and grouped it around an amazing coffee table. This Italian-designed piece of furniture is ingenious because it expands up and out to become a full-sized table for six — adding even more space for big family dinners.
The color palette we used throughout the party room is warm and inviting. Taupe, cream, brown and blue combine with glass and chrome accessories to create a fun atmosphere in a room that is both functional and beautiful. Guests will feel comfortable and relaxed in this contemporary yet traditional space, which is both masculine and feminine.
Doris and Jamie love their new party room. The trendy new design solves all their problems. We added generous storage space, a wet bar and wine fridge, comfortable seating and lots of table space. Elegant lighting and special touches such as the mica-coated wallpaper combine to create a space where Doris and Jamie will really enjoy entertaining.
Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Candice Tells All.” For more ideas, information and show times visit http://www.hgtv.com/candice-tells-all/show/index.html.