Add a dash of glamour to dinner
Q: I'm moving into my (second) husband's apartment and he's agreed to let me do some redecorating. The apartment is in a historic old building built in the Art Deco style. We plan to entertain a lot and I want to make it glamorous, even sexy, especially the dining room, but I can't find many glam dining rooms to inspire me.
A: Then you haven't yet seen a new book by designer Amanda Nisbet, aptly named “Dazzling Design” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, publishers).
Based in New York City, Nisbet knows glamour ... Art Deco, too. Just seeing the Chrysler Building gleaming on the skyline is inspiration enough. The dining room we show here could inspire yours, with its deep, rich color scheme and high-gloss sparkle.
Nisbet custom-designed the black glass-and-brass dining tables — a second mirror-image dining arrangement sits just out of the photo to the left, so there's ample room for eight dinner guests.
There's also another pair of those vintage crystal light fixtures hanging from the ivory-painted ceiling she had lacquered high-gloss to bring “sparkle to an already-sexy room.”
More ideas to investigate: the dramatically scaled abstract art on the wall echoed in the rug; the banquet seating that wraps one end of each table, balanced by pullup chairs; and her inspired use of color “that effectively functions as an architectural element by influencing the ways in which the room's tectonic properties are perceived.”
In other words, if you know how to harness the power of color, you can visually raise or lower a ceiling ... push walls back or bring them closer ... and energize or pacify the overall attitude of a room.
Here's the key: dark colors make surfaces look closer to the eye. Light colors make things look further away, ergo, more space. Matte finishes work much like dark colors, while glossy finishes act like mirrors, creating an illusion of more space.
Colors also have attitude: the warmer the hue (think sunshine-hot yellows, oranges, reds), the livelier the space. The cooler the colors (think ice blue and green, blue-white and frosted yellows and pinks), the more serene the scene.
Back to the subject of glamorous decor: the last word may be the Swarovski fireplace (introduced by Napoleon Fireplaces & Grills, napoleonfireplaces.com). Available in one- or two-sided versions, the limited edition comes with a bed of authentic precision-cut crystals that shoot “sparks” when you turn on the fireplace lights.