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Home design inspiration: Incorporating bold wallpaper into a dining room

A formal space in Milton gets an infusion of fun to reflect a young family’s laid-back vibe.

“This room has a sense of joy," the designer says.
“This room has a sense of joy," the designer says.Michael J Lee

Ariel Roth used pattern, color, and easy-to-care-for furnishings to transform her clients’ Milton home, a cheerful yellow clapboard Colonial built in 1903, from formal to family-friendly. “The clients are a younger couple with three kids who wanted the rooms to be fun and comfortable,” says Roth, an interior designer with Helios Design Group. Ready to do something different, they embraced her ideas with enthusiasm, including covering all four walls of the dining room with whimsical wallpaper. “We used the word ‘happy’ a lot,” Roth says. “This room has a sense of joy.”

1. The glossy console with Art Deco-inspired details and Lucite legs is playful but unobtrusive, while the Oomph mirror with its carved fretwork frame reflects the beautiful backyard.

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2. Flat Vernacular’s Swallowtail wallpaper has a painterly pattern in seven soft colors that doesn’t read as too sweet. “It encapsulates the mission of the project,” Roth says.

3. Woodwork painted in Benjamin Moore Old Navy ties to the nearby living room. “The saturated color is in keeping with the architecture and lets the wallpaper pop,” Roth says.

4. The Attalie Dexter metal wall hanging with white yarn and wooden beads reinforces the room’s curved motifs. “Artwork would have competed with the wallpaper,” Roth says.

5. The Mitzi by Hudson Valley Coco chandelier is a mod interpretation of an age-old style. “It’s super fun, but speaks to what could have hung there when the home was first built,” Roth says.

6. The spare silhouettes of the table and chairs keep the room feeling open and airy. “The tulip table’s mid-century modern form works in any context,” Roth says, “including New England traditional.”


Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.