Decor & Renovation

Karl Lohnes functional dining room makeover

Karl Lohnes functional dining room makeover

Yvonne Duivenvoorden Author: Sarah Gunn

Decor & Renovation

Karl Lohnes functional dining room makeover

In design expert Karl Lohnes' downtown Toronto home, timeless details and clever storage solutions help a tiny dining room punch way above its weight.

Karl Lohnes might be one of Canada's best-known design personalities, but even star designers get stumped by sticky decorating situations from time to time. Take the dining room in his 145-year-old Toronto townhouse, for example. Tucked at the front of the home, it hadn't been touched in the 12 years since he'd moved in. At 10 1/2 by nine feet, it was cramped, it lacked storage and it didn't show off his collection of treasures. "I love to buy unique things, so storage was the main issue," says Lohnes. With no functional space for stashing his finds, he left them to sit in his unfinished basement—until he partnered with the team at Martha Stewart on an ingenious solution: 10 square feet of budget-friendly faux built-ins made from kitchen cabinets.

 

Luxe for less
To get the look and function of built-ins without the hefty price tag, designer Karl Lohnes stacked 12-inch-deep upper cabinets along one wall of his compact dining room. A quartz-wrapped cutout provides ample space for display, while its mirror backing reflects light into the space.

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Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden 

Martha Stewart for Home Depot Maidstone cabinets in Sharkey Grey, $241 per linear foot, homedepot.ca. Transitional metal pulls, $9 each, richelieu.com.

 

Table talk
To make the vintage mahogany dining table (found on Craigslist for $600!) more casual, durable and stain-resistant, Lohnes had it topped with a thin piece of grey Silestone quartz. "A rounded or oval table seats more people—no corners to contend with," he says. "The perfect dining table allows for three feet of clearance on all sides." The two grey upholstered chairs at either end of the table can be pulled into the living room as additional seating for guests.

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Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden 

Clarkson armchair, $565, casalife.com.

 

Tip: When styling glass-front cabinets, place glassware and white serving pieces on the top shelves, and darker pieces closer to the bottom, to lighten the look. 

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Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden 

 

Light it right

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Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden 

1. In a dining room with standard-height ceilings (eight to nine feet), the bottom of the fixture should sit 36 inches above the table.

2. To find the ideal diameter of your chandelier or pendant, measure the width of the room and calculate two inches for every foot. For example, in a 10-foot-wide room, the diameter should be 20 inches.

Read more:
Karl Lohnes ' terrific terrace makeover
Karl Lohnes' chic patio makeover

 

Sources:

Cabinetry: Maidstone Cabinets, Sharkey Gray, Martha Stewart, homedepot.ca.

Cabinet hardware: Richelieu #795192-AE, richelieu.com.

Stone tabletop, counter and console: silestone.com.

Wall paint: Sharkey Grey, behr.com.

Ceiling paint: Blue Bird Day, behr.com.

Elegant glide curtain rod: ECM8107 brass, www.jffabrics.com.

Chair fabric: Wedgwood’s Intaglio3, www.jffabrics.com.

Drapery fabric: Wedgwood’s Fabled Crane, www.jffabrics.com.

Grey Clarkson armchairs, casalife.com.

Bottom-up silhouette window shade, hunterdouglas.ca.  

Dishes, tealight holder, grey vase, urbanbarn.com.  

Tablecloth, sandwich platters, placemats: homesense.ca.

Zodiac pendant Light CHC2112AB-WG, cocoonfurnishings.ca.

Florals: freshflorals.com

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Karl Lohnes functional dining room makeover

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