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by Connie Long Interiors

Connie Long is an award winning, residential and commercial interior designer, providing original, leading edge, interior design for more than 25 years. She develops one-of-a-kind solutions for every interior design challenge. Through all phases of remodeling and renovation, new construction, and decoration, Connie helps you to “define your space” to be convenient for the way you live and work. Clients depend on Connie again and again because they trust her to be innovative and efficient and to take action and get the job done.

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  • We asked the designer of this traditional dining room to reveal how it all came together. Lucky for us Connie Long, the founder of Connie Long Interiors in Nashville, Tenn., didn't stop there. Read along as she shares her top designer tips for recreating this rich, chocolate-hued dining room in your own home.
  • 1. What were you trying to accomplish with the design of this space/project?
    The space is a formal dining room for intimate dinners with friends and family. The client is also an art collector and wanted to showcase several of her pieces, particularly hand crafted glass work and an oil painting by Creason Clayton, a Nashville artist, now deceased.
    2. What was the inspiration for the project?

    The classical arched wood moldings in the room and a barrel arched ceiling under the stairs in the adjacent foyer called for the repetition of shape. We accomplished this with the use of a round expanding dining table and the demi-lune side chest.
    3. How did you choose the color palette?

    Dining rooms done in warm, dark tones create intimacy and look beautiful in low lighting and candlelight. The exterior of the house is in the Tudor style and the existing wallpaper in the adjacent kitchen in browns and oranges evokes the warm wood tones. These along with a brown "trend" in the Nashville area at that time were the reasoning behind the color selections.
    4. What element did you start with?

    I normally start with the focal point of the room, which in this case was the dining table. In a dining room, my next element would be an area rug. Rugs help to establish the focal point by grounding the table, providing texture and pattern and also absorbing sound.

  • ​5. How did you begin the design process?

    In all rooms, I begin by determining the use of the space and ask myself questions such as: How many people will need to be accommodated at this dining table? Then I do a scaled furniture plan to determine what size furnishings will fit. Color choices are then made so that they flow with the entire house. Lastly, I look for elements in the architecture of the room that could be repeated and apply the principles and elements of design to get a result that reflects my client's lifestyle and tastes.

  • 6. What is your favorite part of the project and why?

    I like to do something original and one-of-a-kind in every space, so the finished room doesn't look as if we bought a store display. In this room, I designed the custom console between the windows and then had it fabricated by a metal craftsman to my specifications. It also provides some relief from all of the wood. I love fabrics; in a dining room with a multitude of hard wood surfaces, beautiful full-length drapery panels add warmth, texture, and pattern. In this case the drapery is a luxurious beaded silk from Sunsilk. The panels have a blackout lining which protects the drapery from harsh afternoon sunlight.
    7. What are your tips for someone trying to recreate the look of this project?

    Again, look for something original and unique. Everything in the room should have personal meaning to you.

    8. What is your favorite designer trick?

    I don't have a favorite trick. Every job is a new experience with different people requiring unique solutions.
    9. Finish the sentence: Every room needs something with ______.

    Character/patina. Something unusual with personal meaning to the client, whether it be a cherished heirloom or something the client purchased as a memento from a vacation or trip.
    10.What is your best piece of advice for someone who is redecorating their home?

    Get some design advice. If you can't afford to hire a designer to help you through the whole process, at least get a few hours of consultation and a scaled furniture plan to begin with. I have been called to many homes, where the client had purchased furniture that wouldn't fit in their home (even through the doors) and was nonreturnable.
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