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Open Seating

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By Emily C. Laskowski

When she began the meticulous task of crafting a classic yet modern farmhouse in Austin’s Bull Creek neighborhood, Jennifer Greer Hartmann of Greer Interior Design knew her clients craved a bevy of dining options. Utilizing the holistic approach she’s practiced throughout her 15-year career, Hartmann cleared open a capacious kitchen and dining expanse destined for countertop conversations and festive family gatherings. After we sought her scrupulous guidance, Hartmann gladly furnished Austin Woman with her shipshape advice for how to fashion a friendly feasting space of our own.

In This Room

Dining area: Restoration Hardware reclaimed Russian oak Parsons table, Bend Goods Lucy
chairs, Studio Dunn Sorenthia light and Kuhl-Linscomb braza tray.

Kitchen area: Restoration Hardware Harmon pendant and Richardson Seating tufted-back barstools.

Get the Look: A Pop of Color

The homeowners wanted to use color in a way that was sophisticated but also fun. With a palette of classic white shiplap, neutral stone counters and warm woods on the island and dining table, I thought the dining chairs were a great chance to introduce a pop of color.

Open the floor plan

“This casual dining area is reflective of how many people live today. It is part of a larger open floor plan, adjacent to the great room, kitchen and bar, and perfect for everyday life or for entertaining a large party.”

Invest in good lighting

“Light fixtures can add lots of impact and personality. I wanted to install a light here that would make a statement while at the same time not blocking the gorgeous view out to the backyard. This fixture is not too visually heavy and is perfect for the space. It also is very different than but complementary to the pendants over the kitchen island.”

Mix modern with traditional

“Keep your design interesting by mixing styles and layering pieces that don’t necessarily match. The kitchen, overall, feels more traditional, with its shaker cabinets and classic pendant lights, while the dining table, chairs and light fixture are much more modern.”

Layer materials

“We used painted wood on the bar and kitchen cabinetry, American oak on the floor and the barn door, dark stained walnut on the island and reclaimed oak for the dining table. We chose a classic Carrera marble countertop for the kitchen island and a basalt stone on the bar to help define the two spaces. Layering the different woods and materials helps create a more interesting, in-depth and finished look. The finishes don’t all have to match one another, but should complement each other.”

 

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