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See How This Dining Room Went From Storage Catch-all to Sophisticated Gathering Place

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Alexandra Rowley
Before: Storage Overflow

Homeowner Mara Manson of Huntington, NY, is a recent empty nester who wanted to reclaim her dining room so she had somewhere to host family dinners when her college-age kids came home for the holidays. But with nowhere to sit, never mind eat, the room operated more like a storage space than a place for entertaining. "We clear off the table for meals from time to time, but the corners are always full of junk," she says.

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Alexandra Rowley
After: A Place to Gather
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Alexandra Rowley
Before: Cluttered Closet

Outerwear, sports equipment—even snow supplies like shovels and ice melt—spilled over into the dining room because the nearby entryway closet was full.

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Alexandra Rowley
After: Streamlined Storage

Lorie had Mara divide the closet's contents into "things used daily" and "things used rarely." The latter were tossed, donated or put in storage, then everyday items were returned to the closet—but not before Lorie streamlined the coat hangers to save space. She also removed the lower rod to make room on the floor for seasonal tools, shoes and a new rolling cart, which now corrals scarves, hats and gloves. Lorie also recommended tucking off-season accessories in open bins on the top shelf. "I don't have to search for stuff anymore, which means things stay organized!" says Mara.

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Alexandra Rowley
Open Shelving

Since Mara's family didn't use the dining room regularly (plus there's little storage), piles of junk built up—and up. "As soon as you say 'I'll leave it here for now,' you've created clutter," says Lorie. "So much in these piles needed to be returned to or given a home elsewhere." After decluttering, Lorie suggested a pair of airy shelves to organize the remaining display-worthy books, serving pieces and keepsakes.

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Alexandra Rowley
Functional Decoration

"When something looks beautiful, you won't want to put anything else there," Lorie says. Neat rows of Mara's cookbooks decorate the open shelves. When it's not holding flowers, a sculptural vase works as a bookend.

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Alexandra Rowley
Symmetrical Arrangement

The dining room doubles as an office because there's no room elsewhere in the house to pay bills or spread out to do work. "It's OK to use a room for more than its intended purpose," says Lorie. "The key is tucking the evidence behind closed doors!" To create a spot for office supplies, Lorie replaced Mara's original console (which only had two small drawers) with a handsome sideboard that provides plenty of compartments and complements the new table and chairs. A symmetrical arrangement makes the room feel orderly.

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Alexandra Rowley
Secret Stash

Lorie had Mara dedicate the top drawer to smaller essentials, then hid her wireless printer, laptop and a tray for unpaid bills in one of the spacious side cabinets. In the other cabinet, she put extra plates, glasses and vases, then she stacked table linens and utensils in the remaining two drawers. Dinner guests will never know there's a supply stash in the sideboard.






Video: Learn Dining Room Vocabulary. Easy English Conversation Practice.

See How This Dining Room Went From Storage Catch-all to Sophisticated Gathering Place
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Date: 12.12.2018, 10:26 / Views: 71372