New style should look deliberate By Design: Make a bold color statement to emphasize the difference between traditional and contemporary areas.


November 05, 1995|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,LOS ANGELES TIMES SYNDICATE

My dining room is traditionally furnished, with Italian Provincial-style pieces. It's time to give the space a more contemporary look, perhaps by introducing a mixture of styles. How do I start?

As always, you should start by planning. And to get you going in the direction you describe, I offer this photo of a dining room transformed by New York designer Celeste Cooper. Even though she retained her client's Directoire-style furniture, she gave the room an avant-garde look with new colors, lighting, art works and carpeting.

I'll assume that your house, like your dining room, is furnished in a generally traditional manner. If you don't make a confident, bold design statement, guests may think your eclectic approach reflects a need for a place to put leftover furniture.

A simple way of demarcating a room is by painting it in a dramatically different color. Use a rich, dark color if the other rooms are done in neutrals.

The dining room shown was painted stark white in sharp contrast to the dark-colored hallway. The light-dark theme was continued by reupholstering the chairs with black leather.

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