Dining Room Series: Artwork as Inspiration

Now that I’ve finished my series on the living room, I’m excited to share about our dining room, which was the next space I chose to focus on (and it’s now one of my favorite rooms in the house!). Since I had already developed my concept for the living room, I liked the idea of having a slightly contrasting theme for the dining room, so that they felt like two distinct spaces. Since the living room palette was dark, warm, and rich, I thought it might be nice to keep the dining room light, cool, and airy. However, I also wanted to find an “inspiration piece,” which would help dictate the concept for the room and add some personality. One of the challenges of living in a 1980s townhome is that it tends to be pretty bland and lacking in character, so I’ve been trying to add more personality through furnishings and décor wherever possible.

Gay P. Cox,  Heaven Descending , oil on canvas, 62 x 64 inches

Gay P. Cox, Heaven Descending, oil on canvas, 62 x 64 inches

Fortunately, my mother-in-law, who is a very talented artist, offered to give us one of her paintings for our new home as a wedding gift. There was one painting in particular that my husband and I both loved, and I thought it could make the perfect “statement” piece for our dining room. She agreed to part with it, and we’ve been so lucky to be able to live with this gorgeous piece of art and to see it in our home every day! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I believe artwork is THE most powerful tool to completely transform a space, and this has certainly been true in our dining room. The painting is titled “Heaven Descending,” and it really conveys the feeling of the heavens bursting open with an beautiful palette of soft blues along with some stronger touches of yellow, pink, and even orange.  

This inspirational painting was exactly what I needed to crystalize the concept for this room, and I used it to guide the rest of my decorating decisions. As it happened, there was a very unfortunate snafu when my mother-in-law shipped the artwork to us from Massachusetts, and it actually arrived damaged! Fortunately, we were able to repair it eventually, but it took a while, so we didn’t get it up on our wall until about a year later. However, I still had it in the back of my mind as I planned the rest of the room, and when we finally did hang it on the wall, it felt like it had always belonged there!