The Washington Post

Give a drab dining room a pop of color to freshen it up for the holidays. (BigStockPhoto)

The dining room tends to get lots of use during the holiday season, so now might be the time to give yours a fresh look.


Designer Dana Tydings offers multiple ways to put the wow back in this hardworking space. “Good traditional pieces exist here, but the room lacks color and interest,” she says. “Remember, color can unify, add drama and a festive air.”

Miniature orange trees stay pretty all year round and add a festive touch.

A rich, high-gloss apricot on the walls brings instant warmth. Benjamin Moore’s Soft Pumpkin.

Use a beautiful bedcover to cover the table if your budget doesn’t allow for a new tablecloth.

When choosing flowers, stick with one color and use several small arrangements instead of one large one.

Bay leaf wreaths and garland are a fresh alternative to traditional greens. Attach limes and lemons with wire for color and interest.

Shutters are great for privacy but too severe here. Add silk panels for softness and luxury.

Swap the wood chairs with something modern. Lucite chairs take
up less visual space, making the room
feel more spacious.

Tydings Design (301-947-5447) is based in Laytonsville.


Accessories: Cheetah print area rug (priced according to size,; silk taffeta curtain panels with inverted pleat, 38 by 84 inches ($265 each, www.sumptuoussilk.
); classic glass hurricane, large ($58), and Presidio silverplated candlesticks (from $29) from; Larabee dot rose bowl ($150,; Istanbul linen bedcover in Rostrot ($1,375,

Holiday decor: Blood orange trees (prices­ vary,; lighted branches ($14.99 each,; bay leaf wreath, 22-inch ($59.95), and garland, six feet ($59.95), from


Audubon place setting ($580,

Lucite George II chair ($625,

. . . OR SAVE

Japanese bird and bamboo place setting ($85,

Crystall ghost chair ($100,

Tell us about your design challenge.

Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to

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