A Modern Traditionalist way to a Glamorous Dining Room

Okay, so late week I had mention that my formal dining room was published in the September issue of San Antonio Magazine. Well, it’s now out on the news stands, airports and books stores etc. I thought I would give you my personal thoughts on how I came up my overall design concept for my modern traditional glamorous dining room. I designed it in my head over several months and pulled from multiple inspirations.

P.S. I made the cover! This is my entry way buffet I re-vamped. It was a consignment find at $150.00

Sampson, my dog he loves to take pictures!

First I started with trip to an antique market where I stumbled upon a pair of paint by numbers art pieces in these sad little frames. They had a beautiful color story and I loved the chinoiserie scene with cherry blossom trees and swans. Very Oriental in its content which is what chinoiserie is all about. It was commonly used during the French Baroque and Early French Neo Classic: 1600-1789 time periods. This is a traditional design theme that I have always loved and will never go out of style.

Next I made trip to a very large store in my home town of Houston, Texas baby! At the High Fashion Home where I found the perfect fabric for my stationary drapery that I had made there at the store. I know it’s awesome; especially if you’re a regular Joe and don’t have access to trade stores like I do. (At the time I was not working at a design firm and new to the area)

I had already started with the staple pieces like my dining table that  is very clean lined and made out of reclaimed teak wood. It’s wonderful to have something that has a history but is very modern in its shape. This is what I call modern traditionalism mixing old and new. I purchased the Drexel Heritage style formal dining chairs from an antique dealer out in San Diego before we moved. They where in desperate need of a make over with a tired palm tree fabric seat covers and where in their natural wood state that made them look dated.

The Staples:

Create and Barrel : Terravida 87″ $999.00

My walls were builder beige and since are a military family I  know our time here in this house is limited. I contemplated a lot on what to paint, what not to paint ect… I happen to watch one of my favorite designers show by Sara Richardson who did this dining with this gorgeous wallpaper in this blue and gold color scheme. Again, temporary living situation wallpaper is not so temporary! What is a designer to do…?


I let it go for a few months. Sometimes you just need to let the design come to you and not push it. I know that it will hit me like a tun of bricks and keep me up at night with my creative thoughts once I’m in the design phase.

Tick, tick, tick….

Fist while having wine and the best brie cheese ever Saint Andre you gotta try it with Carrs crackers. We where in the middle of our Mad Men Marathon and I could not stop looking at the set behind the handsome Jon Hamm in the California, San Pedro house. The walls were this light blue with this lattice tan drapes it just looked great to me. The wheels started turning in my head and I began to look over at my builder beige walls. My husband saw my face and he knew.


Uhh, he’s so cute!…okay back on topic.

A few weeks later while on Lonny Magazine during my lunch break.  I was reading about Kelly Wearstler’s  new store our LA. Somehow I stumbled upon her plates that she had designed for one the high-end department stores that really inspired me for my walls and I was on a roll and ready for my weekend paint project!


With my design in my head I knew that I was making the right choice for my walls.  It was the best way to get big impact without a huge investment of doing wallpaper. My walls are not ready for wallpaper they have a texture on them like most homes in the area around here do. This treatment took me a weekend to do and I was able to do it alone. However, my dad did stop by to lend a hand it was nice to just have him around for the company.

I used 3 colors: Gold metallic, darker blue, then a lighter blue all over the dining room walls. 3 different widths of tape starting with widest one first, medium second, and the tiniest last. This makes it easy for when you go back to pull the tape off. I will post later on how I did this. Better yet, I was asked to do a demo on Day Time at Nine September 4th on local Fox here San Antonio, Texas. If I’m able to get a video feed I’ll post it!

What I came up with to inspire myself and others:

Lastly, when the magazine called their where a few things that I wanted to change like the builder grade light fixture. A designer’s work is never done we are extremely detailed oriented! The one I originally wanted was way to expensive and had mother of pearl inlay with crystals at $1600.00. But, I found this one that seamed to fit the bill with its European rustic glamor for only $450.00  It all seemed  to come together in the end and we totally happy it now. I hope that this inspires your next space and remember you don’t have to try so hard and it takes time.

Photography by: Phillip Esparza “thank you” for such awesome photos!

Thanks to Rebecca, Veronica, Laura and everyone at San Antonio Magazine for such a great experience for my first publication and for honoring me with the cover I am truly blessed and I “thank you”!

Special thanks to : Brandon Gambrell and Dawn Swisher two other creative artist who are always supportive and have amazing talents all their own. “Thanks” 😉