I don’t believe so! I love a dedicated dining room especially in older homes.
Back in the mid 1980’s I bought my first home in an outer Brisbane suburb. It had a combined dining and lounge room and for a few years I had a pine round table with 4 rattan and metal cantilevered chairs as the dining table. Then one day, one of my colleagues at work asked out loud if anyone was interested in a Rosenstengel dining suite. He had been appointed Executor of a Monseigneur’s Estate and apparently there was a silky oak dining table and 6 chairs to offload. The asking price was $200. With all my income going in to my house repayments I said, “No”. Besides I didn’t want some old table and what was Rosenstengel anyway?
I was telling my Mum about it a few days later and she said, “Grab it.” She knew all about Ed Rosenstengel and his furniture making and knew it would be a great buy as well as owning a piece of Queensland history. So I purchased the table and it is still serving me to this day. Although right now it’s in storage as we renovate our home.
When I moved to the Gold Coast in the ’90’s I decided to have the dining suite refurbished. A furniture restorer cleaned down the table and applied a new coat of shellac which gave it a rich glow. I had the chairs reupholstered in a plain pink fabric to co-ordinate with the curtains and sofa.
When I moved back to Brisbane we renovated a little Workers Cottage on the northside and we created a formal dining room in the old sleep-out.
This time the upholstery on the chairs dictated what colour the walls would be.
When we moved to Sydney and bought our Californian Bungalow the dining suite suited the period of the house and the existing curtains.
However, after a few years, I was ready to ditch the curtains and I replaced them with gold silk and repainted the walls in the warm earthy tones of the time.
Now we are renovating, I have decided to keep the formal dining room. We’ve closed off two of the three doorways into the room and I’ve decided to be a little bit adventurous in choosing the paint colour.
I’m a firm believer that the formal dining room is mainly used at night time so why not make it dramatic? But alas the existing upholstery will not suit the new look room. The question is, will I keep the suite and have it reupholstered, or is it time for a complete new dining suite?
Do you have a formal dining room or a dining suite with provenance?