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To make room in a crowded kitchen, a sitting room becomes a space for dining

Removing a wall and rethinking the use of a little-used room allows an Abington family to host more people at their table.

Tamara Flanagan/Photo styling by Tracy Foley/Water + Main

By reassigning a dark, seldom used sitting room as a dining room and removing the wall between it and the kitchen, interior designer Tracy Parkinson and architect Caitlin Struble solved multiple issues in their clients’ Abington home. “They only had a big table in the kitchen, but the wife didn’t like having everyone crowded in while she was cooking,” says Parkinson, founder of Norwood-based Nest + Company. Opening the new dining area connects it physically to the kitchen and family room and lets natural light stream in. The wide opening lets the family extend the table for holiday meals. “It’s also a beautiful place for the eye to land when coming down the stairs,” says Struble, principal of Medfield-based Winslow Design.

1. The traditional white oak chairs that anchor the table at either end are upholstered with performance linen, making them practical for dining.


2. Tree-patterned wallpaper by Peter Fasano from Studio 534 in the Boston Design Center is a fun backdrop and ties to the color palette in the family room beyond.

3. Parkinson added storage to make up for removing kitchen cabinets. Closed compartments bookend refrigerated beverage drawers and a wine fridge. Open shelves made from quartersawn oak with a cerused finish echo the island in the kitchen.

4. Oversize hanging shades with diffusers provide soft light while the rounded silhouette counteracts the hard lines of the table and cabinetry. Parkinson hung sconces over the shelving rather than inserting recessed cans for a less kitchen-like feel.

5. The extension table from Restoration Hardware, which features corbels and dentil detailing, adds heft and grounds the space. “There’s so much light in the room that a white table would have disappeared into the pale gray walls,” Parkinson says.

6. Modern Windsor chairs by Serena & Lily are a no-nonsense foil to the neoclassical-style head chairs. “I didn’t want the room to feel formal,” Parkinson says.


Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.