Designing for Dining

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Laguna designer Randy Boyd serves up his tips for creating a stylish dining area.

By Somer Flaherty

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His clients have called him a creative genius—a designer with decades of experience and a vision that is “unparalleled.” This reputation has earned Laguna Beach interior designer Randy Boyd of Thurston/Boyd Interior Design a loyal clientele both locally and across the oceans. For Randy, who works on anything from new construction projects a simple, one-room decor changes, part of his design philosophy is to create a space that is not only beautiful, warm and inviting, but that also encourages daily use. Here, Randy shares his top tips for creating the perfect dining room—a space that is the perfect mix of style and comfort, ideal for sharing a meal.

Laguna Beach Magazine: Outfitting an entire space can be expensive. What’s a must-splurge item?

Randy Boyd: A wonderful chandelier or lantern over the dining table sets the tone.

LBM: Where can we find great deals on items that are still big on style?

RB: I love wandering through vintage and consignment stores, where I have come across great dining chairs that might just need new fabric. You often need to look past the old, dated fabric and see the shape of the chair. A place I love to go is Wertz Brothers Antique Mart in Santa Monica. It’s worth the effort to sift through the good, bad and the ugly!

LBM: What do you suggest for adorning dining room walls?

RB: The color palette needs to relate to the space with which it connects. Dining rooms provide a great opportunity to use a dramatic paint color or an interesting wall covering.

LBM: What tips do you have for maximizing a small dining space in more modest homes found in Laguna?

RB: A round table in a small space usually works [best], and I’ve used a small settee at one side, which is always inviting.

LBM: What extras can be added to a larger dining room?

RB: It’s all about the scale of the pieces in relation to the size of the room, and a large room gives you the opportunity to use bigger pieces like a display cabinet or buffet and a large piece of art as a focal point.

LBM: What’s the biggest dining decor faux pas?

RB: Uncomfortable chairs. I like armchairs because they encourage people to linger at the table. You should sit in a chair before buying to see how comfortable the back feels, and always consider the depth of the seat. Think Goldilocks—not too hard and not too soft of a chair.

LBM: What’s your biggest piece of dining design style advice?

RB: Always consider what will help make the space more useful and not just a space to walk through and admire. Also, all lighting should be on dimmers, and in a perfect world, every dining room would have a fireplace and French doors! [Additionally], simple attention to detail makes such a difference when having friends for dinner—candlelight, fresh flowers, pressed linen napkins and good wine make for a memorable evening.

Dining Room Service

Create a stylish setting for any eat-in room.
By Somer Flaherty 

Entertain in style or make an everyday dinner special with a dining room that has all of the right accoutrements, from warm wallpaper and just-right lighting to a table that sparks conversation. LBM

Sand Dollar Platter by Mariposa, available at Laguna Colony Co., Laguna Beach  (949-497-8919).
Sand Dollar Platter by Mariposa, available at Laguna Colony Co., Laguna Beach
(949-497-8919).
French antique dining table, available at Trove, Laguna Beach (949-376-4640; trovegallery.com).
French antique dining table, available at Trove, Laguna Beach (949-376-4640; trovegallery.com).
Chandelier by Arteriors, available at Tuvalu, Laguna Beach  (949-497-3202; tuvaluhome.com).
Chandelier by Arteriors, available at Tuvalu, Laguna Beach
(949-497-3202; tuvaluhome.com).
Candleholder by Match 1995, available at Stephen Frank Garden and Home, Laguna Beach (949-494-2014; stephenfrank.com).
Candleholder by Match 1995, available at Stephen Frank Garden and Home, Laguna Beach (949-494-2014; stephenfrank.com).
Place settings by Arte Italica, available at Jack Thomas at Home, Laguna Beach (949-715-0026; jackthomasathome.com).
Place settings by Arte Italica, available at Jack Thomas at Home, Laguna Beach (949-715-0026; jackthomasathome.com).

 

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