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Home design ideas: A traditional dining room with an infusion of flare

Grand floral wallpaper in peacock blue lightens the mood and sets a chic but comfortable tone.

“Blue and white is traditional, but the room feels more chill the moment peacock comes to the party,” the designer says.Tamara Flanagan

To create a pulled-together but not-too-formal dining room for her clients — a young couple who moved from Southie to Melrose — Samantha Arak started with a lush, peacock-blue floral wallpaper that set a chic but comfortable tone. “As you move through the house, you get peekaboos of this room,” the founder of Samantha Carey Interiors says. As for the palette, Arak pulled the paper’s sapphire and emerald hues into adjacent spaces while maintaining a relaxed vibe. “Blue and white is traditional, but the room feels more chill the moment peacock comes to the party,” Arak says.

1 A leggy Worlds Away sideboard with a cerused-oak finish keeps the room airy and contrasts the table’s ebony color. “I like a mix of woods,” Arak says. “It’s what you see in nature; even the wallpaper’s climbing branches have dark and light tones.”


2 Although Schumacher’s Indian Arbre wallpaper has a tremendous scale, it doesn’t overwhelm the room since there’s wainscoting one-third of the way up the wall, in addition to very large windows.

3 The Visual Comfort & Co. chandelier, which comprises 68 swirled-glass orbs, hangs from a tray ceiling with a textural wallcovering. “The lighting has enough oomph to stand up to the wallpaper.”

4 Sleek but substantial chairs boast curvy backs upholstered in peacock-blue wool. “We used the expensive fabric on the part that’s visible from other rooms and not susceptible to spills,” Arak says.

5 The strong silhouette and color of the Noir dining table grounds the room. “It’s so handsome and brings in the curves,” Arak says. “It reminded the client of a giant anvil that the Road Runner would drop on Wile E. Coyote’s cartoon head.”

6 The variegated hues of the denim blue rug help hide dirt while the effect of its casual, nubby weave is understated. “It’s like an excellent pair of blue jeans that keeps the space feeling relaxed,” the designer says.


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