Friday, April 24, 2020

The Library Dining Room

William McLure

From the Traditional Home Southern Style Now Showhouse in New Orleans. This room is confusing to me, but quite lovely. Is it a dining room or a study or both? It was described as the dining room in the show house, so how do you eat? On top of the books? I remember a NSO show house in D.C. years ago where there was a massive bed in the living room. That was really odd. It's sad that so many show houses have shuttered for good. I used to love attending them.

What are those lamps doing on the table and do they light? Are they cordless/battery? I believe someone asked the designer about the lamps and he said he drilled holes in the table. But that means holes in the tablecloth and rug as well. Seriously? I am very detail oriented - things like that puzzle/annoy me.

I guess it's the move to Florida, but I am really focusing now on Florida/Palm Beach/Tropical elements in rooms. Here, we have a beautiful piece of coral on the books and a Sago palm in the urn on the left. The Sago palm is ideal for containers indoors or out.

Here is a closeup - no cord?


I do like this room - the Chinese Chippendale chairs, the pair of blue and white ginger jars, yellow walls (an underused color IMO), a wonderful chandelier, and a great piece of art.  But those lamps still bug me. Do you remember the Miles Redd dining room turned study in his mother's home where he did the same thing with a  pair of lamps?

Miles Redd - House Beautiful

And a closeup - no cords?


22 comments:

  1. Hi Beth - Love your posts! There is at least one company that makes rechargeable lamps. https://www.modernlantern.com/pages/gallery Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. So happy to know about this. They have some great choices!

      Delete
  2. I love both rooms! The first IS confusing, as you say, Beth, but I think it's confusing in an edgy way...and works. My guess is this is a room that isn't designed to be used that much for eating--only when guests are over-- so its primary role is as a library with great eye appeal because of the decor. It's the tablecloth that makes it confusing to me--I don't like that opening...it looks makeshift....Everything else goes perfectly imo.
    I am not sure why we should care if cords show--these are Showhouses, right? I imagine that a little 'poetic license' in decor is permitted, to present things at their most visually pleasing! The Miles Redd room is one of his best! It contains his dramatic use of lacquer in a bold color! I think this room is more for dining use..the books on the table seem to be just for display..if a person wants to read one, he/she can take it to the sofa by the window, stretch out and dig into the book! What a life!
    Thanks for these really great pictures, Beth!! How you come up day after day, year after year with such fabulous pictures is one of life's great mysteries!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good analysis of the rooms and thanks so much for your lovely comment about my blog - I just checked and I have well over 5,000 posts!

      Delete
  3. another possibility....Could it be the cords have been photoshopped out for the shoot? Or the lamps were placed there just for the shoot? Room is a tad busy for me. I spot a William McClure painting. Have a gander at his IG postings... tasteful, thoughtful design combined with humor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting thoughts and I will check out his Instagram - thank you.

      Delete
  4. Wow, Other Anonymous :)
    What a find! I just looked at that Modern Lantern site with rechargeable lamps and that is fabulous! I never knew such a thing existed! Thank you for the info!

    ReplyDelete
  5. When I used my dining table as a book table complete with table covering and two lamps, I didn't like the cords showing so I made buttonholes in the covering where the cords could slip through and also had small gaps in the table leaves for the cords to slip through as well. The gaps determined the placement of the lamps. It worked out rather nicely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a smart idea as long as there is not a rug under the table I would think.

      Delete
  6. I love the artwork, the chandelier, and the wall color in this room. I do find the tablecloth to be a bit out of place - just not quite right with the rest of the ensemble. Upon first viewing this room, I was immediately reminded of Miles Redd's dining room.

    I also love reading your readers' comments and insights, Beth. Do you think show houses have shuttered because of the internet? I admit that I used to love going to the annual decorator showcase in San Francisco, but I just don't have the inclination anymore. I am not a design professional, but maybe because the internet offers so much of designers' presence and accessibility, and so much in the way of design beauty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the internet has a lot to do with it but there are lots of factors - less shelter magazines to sponsor them and feature them, aging volunteer pool - you need so many volunteers to staff the rooms, declining pool of designers - in DC, many in recent years were either at the beginning or end of their careers, declining attendance - with most women working outside the home, etc. etc.

      Delete
  7. I forgot to ask, so please tell me, what do you call that style of chandelier? I have always admired them, but never knew if there was a name for that particular style. They sort of remind me of a very large crown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I call it a modern version of a medieval chandelier and you are correct that they were based on crowns.

      Delete
  8. Beth,love your site,especially this post because the comparison between the Showhouse dining room and Miles Redd's is awesome.The former is jarring, as it's full of way,way too much stuff, some of which doesn't work with other pieces. On the other hand,Miles Redd has an exquisitely discerning eye,knows how to meld disparate objects,when to stop and how to make a room quickly and easily convert from study to dining room.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Beth, I like both rooms. Really love the yellow walls as my own dining room is Sherwin Williams Confident Yellow, a bit tart for some people but beautiful in daylight and candlelight. Am I a dinosaur? What happened to dishes on a dining room table? I eat at my dining room table everyday. I also enjoy changing the centerpiece so it's a pleasure to look at when I'm not dining. I'm with you, I like a room that makes sense. Do you eat around the books? Let's face it-books weigh a ton and are not that easy to move. Makes for a pretty picture though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree completely. It just seems too staged to me.

      Delete
  10. This is a very British thing to do, dining rooms are formal as are library tables, the two purposes are often combined. It’s a class based approach. When a person refers to dinner and dining this refers to a very formal event, the table being stripped a day or so in advance and the room dressed. In contrast we have supper at a supper table, which is intimate. The room that is used most frequently is the breakfast room which is always ready for use, unlike the dining room/ library. Then of course we have elevenses and tea which are served on a tea table near a sofa, or high tea which will be at the same table as supper and breakfast. I know this might seem confusing but it’s been going on for a very long time. It would not be unusual to have a dining room/ library with elements of chinoiserie given British history. In effect the library/ dining room has a function of storage and display where one might enjoy quiet time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A wonderful comment and fascinating. The room does have a very British feel to it I think.

      Delete
  11. Why didn't they just switch the blue white jars for the lamps - lamps on the side table and jars on the table? And in the Miles Redd pic, there are no lamps anywhere near the sofa in the background so you could never read or even sit there after dark...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, I guess they were trying to be different?

      Delete