Botanical touches make a dining room feel like an enchanted garden

Lilac-colored lipstick provided the inspiration for the color scheme of this Chestnut Hill project.

Joyelle West

By Marni Elyse Katz

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Following her client’s directive to create an airy dining room that would be uplifting during the day and warm and sophisticated at night, Chestnut Hill-based designer Laura Wilmerding drew inspiration from her grandmother’s lilac-colored lipstick. “The client grew up in a very old-school New England home with a lot of hunter green and navy, but she was willing to take the plunge,” says Wilmerding. With charcoal-and-white wallpaper as the backdrop, she infused the palette with pink, mauve, and lilac. “Since there were no conflicting colors coming from artwork, we could dip into more unique, unexpected hues,” she says.

1. Textured pink porcelain lamps by Bungalow 5 sit on a simple linen-wrapped console. “The room is small, so I avoided anything bulky,” Wilmerding says.


2. The etched antique Venetian mirror is an Old World touch that brightens the space and reflects the modern pendant light.

3. The branches of the Porta Romana Blossom chandelier project a magical pattern on the ceiling at night. Glass-shard blossoms enhance the ethereal effect.

4. Luscious gray silk taffeta drapes kiss the floor. “They soften the hard, architectural lines of the windows,” Wilmerding says. Sheer shades provide privacy.

5. Gently sloping yet substantial armchairs upholstered in speckled chenille and trimmed with nailheads balance the white lacquer dining chairs, upholstered in statement-making lilac velvet. The striped mauve velvet on the oval backs adds even more color, texture, and pattern.

6. The sinuous vine pattern of the Cole & Son Ludlow wallpaper creates a sense of movement in the room.