The Power of Definition

My niece Regan does not like to be defined as a teenager now that she is thirteen. She argues that it sounds like a “generalization” and she does not want to be defined by age her group. At thirteen she is well versed on all things, just like most teenagers. She loves argumentation, sometimes just for the sake of argumentation, just like most teenagers. I see her testing her skills as we discuss current events of the day and she enjoys seeing the other viewpoint of whatever viewpoint is offered, just like most teenagers. Though my niece refuses to be defined; in the world of decorating things must be defined. Webster’s dictionary defines the word definition as clarity of visual presentation and distinctness of outline or detail. Let’s take a look into a Grandview model dining room to see how distinct lines define the space somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• The goalGrandview-after I-am-jealous-of-this-room I-love-it
The Grandview has a nice dining space with a huge niche that can really become a strong focal point but it has to be defined. We planned to define the niche and infuse the room with color. The homeowners wanted the space to stand out but still coordinate with the rest of the house.

• Built in
We had the cabinet maker build us a custom buffet. The buffet fills the space and was created to the height of the chair rail on the surrounding walls. The buffet was painted to coordinate with the table. We painted the base of the buffet creamy white with a little bit of distressing and we stained the top of the built in a dark expresso that looks rich. The goal was to create more storage space so we did not want the glass to be seen through. We used mirrors in the doors instead of glass so everything is hidden away and the reflective power of the mirrors keeps the buffet looking light.

• Defining the niche
The niche had to really stand out and we accomplished this with molding. We used large molding around the outside of the niche to define it. We added the same large molding to the back wall of the niche to define the back wall. Finally, we painted the space between both moldings completely white. This made the niche look bright and really stand out. To highlight the art that is above the buffet we added bead board that was finished with the same large molding that we used around the outside of the niche. The bead board and molding was painted white as well and the exposed back wall of the niche was painted rain-washed 6211 to infuse the space with blue and make all the molding pop. The art really stands out above the buffet for a complete and strong focal point.

• Defining the windows
We needed the windows to have the same definition as the niche. We added large molding to the windows and one large header to the top of the windows. This large header joins them so that they look connected. The arch at the top of the windows received molding as well. We wanted the windows to have a connected look so we covered all the wall between the windows and everything was painted white.

• Wainscot
White bead board was installed as a wainscot treatment all around the lower walls of the dining room. The bead board adds a strong white pop around the room and creates a sense of visual cohesion in the space.

• Dining table
The old dining set in the before picture was Ethan Allen and just needed to be refreshed. The homeowners sold the china hutch and server but we kept the table and chairs. We had the table painted the same as the new built in, a creamy white with an expresso top. The chairs were painted all white and we recovered the seats. The table and chairs look new once they were painted. The homeowners had two large and heavy wingbacks as the host and hostess chairs but they were too heavy to pull out and in for dining. We replaced the heavy chairs with two seagrass chairs that added a sense of casualness to the space.

• Side panels on windows
Once the windows were defined we did not need so many rods to run across the top of the windows. We cut the old rod down and made two smaller rods. The two smaller rods hold the new side panels in place and the blue curtains add color and definition to the window wall.

• Rug
I am jealous of this rug! The blue of the rug is a great coordination with the blue of the side panels. The rug adds color, vibrancy, and strong definition to the space.

• New Chandelier
We installed a new chandelier in champagne color. The beau orb is an updated chandelier that makes a huge statement without taking up visual space.

• Blue Chest
We wanted to place a chest on the small wall of the dining room but were having trouble finding the right color blue on any piece of furniture. The homeowner purchased a cabinet at an estate sale and we had it painted. We painted the piece royal blue and with the brass handles that came on the piece the blue looks decadent. To add some casualness to the chest we filled the open shelving on each side with seagrass baskets. We hung the large arch mirror above the chest to reflect more light into the space.

P.S. –Attention, club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below