text by SHANI SILVER
photography by SARA KERENS
Sometimes a new design project needs a little push, particularly if you’re feeling uninspired. If your dining area needs ideas, you just found plenty! Brynn Elliott Watkins, Wardrobe Stylist & Founder of Being Elliott, recently completed a redesign of her dining room, which was a space that hadn’t yet found its purpose–but held tons of potential. What was once a sort-of workspace is now a beautifully functioning, welcoming dining area we’re certain is set to hold dinner parties we’d all want invites to. Read on as we chat with Brynn about how she brought this makeover to life!
WHAT INSPIRED THIS REDESIGN PROJECT?
What didn’t inspire this redesign project? After marrying my husband, I moved into his apartment. Let’s just say it was a bit of a bachelor pad. There was a lot to be done.
My husband was great about trusting me and my creative vision for our space. Luckily, our styles mesh very well. We chose to make Aaron’s old “office” into an entertaining space for friends and family to gather.
First, we created a basic list of what we wanted to do design-wise. Then I went wild! We’ve had so many great travel opportunities in the past few years, we wanted to incorporate those experiences into the design scheme. You’ll find various pieces throughout the room from our travels.
WHAT OVERALL AESTHETIC DESCRIBES YOUR HOME?
Our home reflects our adventuresome spirit. We love to collect vintage finds from our travels as well as art produced by fresh talent. I’m a firm believer in living in a space which reflects your passions. I’ve melded travel and adventure with a clean California vibe. I’ve also thrown in some mid-century modern. Like my husband and me, our home tends to be a mixed bag!
HOW DO YOU BEGIN PLANNING A PROJECT LIKE THIS?
You need to start off with an anchor piece. Aaron and I found a dining room table at One King’s Lane we fell in love with. The table is made of beautiful Acacia wood and radiates an “urban-organic” look. It’s rare to see something like this in a NYC apartment. I thought this table would make a bold statement. Once we had this piece, we slowly built the rest of the room around it.
“We love to pick up decorative memories whenever we travel. Our dining room contains pieces from South Africa, Greece, France, and London.”
WHAT WAS YOUR PRIMARY GOAL FOR THE SPACE?
My goal was to create a place where friends could gather in a relaxed environment which reflected our love of travel and adventure. I really wanted a space where people could simply unwind, have a great meal with a glass of wine, and engage in enriching conversation. I love sharing with friends and inspiring them to travel and explore, too!
“I chose to decorate my lofty dining room California modern with a New York twist.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF THIS DESIGN PROJECT?
I loved the process of putting the pieces together like a puzzle. Sometimes, in New York, people get discouraged by a lack of space. I wanted to show you can create something rather large scale in a moderate sized room. Seeing it all come together and finally eating a meal here for the first time was the greatest!
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Space. Fitting everything we want into a small area is always an issue. This room design was no exception. I had to be very cognizant of measurements and layouts to make sure everything flowed well in the space. Once I got over that hurdle, the process was fun!
“Aaron and I hang our hats in an old apartment in Brooklyn, New York. We love Brooklyn because we find it a quiet sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ITEM FROM WITHIN YOUR DINING ROOM?
Without a doubt, the table. When we saw it for the first time, Aaron and I immediately knew we had to have it. It’s the kind of piece we want to keep in our family forever. Like I’ve said, it’s the anchor which makes the room come alive and enhances every other piece.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Bring your life into your space. I even included my surfboard and skate board. Incorporating personal pieces, even travel souvenirs, will transform a decorated space into a sentimental haven.
Everywhere you look, you’re bound to see something which invokes a memory. These pieces also help spark conversation during parties, which is always a bonus!
So…for readers looking for ideas, look into your own life. Everyone has something interesting! Try to incorporate pieces to make the room “you”nique. Make your room a story you want to tell your friends whenever they visit.