An Award-Wining Dining Room

October 31, 2019

This month we’re taking you on a tour of MDI’s latest project: A stunning, award-winning vacation home. This home earned a 1st place ASID Award for its master bathroom, a 2nd place ASID Award for Vacation Home, and an Honorable Mention for the dining room and bar.

One of the primary focuses for this home was to create spaces that invited guests to linger and enjoy themselves over food and drinks. We also wanted to provide entertainment areas that function for a myriad of user groups from intimate gatherings to catered executive dinners to full family reunions with all the cousins.

Our clients love entertaining, and one of the most essential spaces for them was the bar. They wanted something beautifully designed that could function for day-to-day vacation use as well as for large-scale catered events. (And, a TV makes sure that no one misses the Masters!)

The main challenge of the design was ensuring that the dining room and bar felt cohesive with the rest of the home and were multi-functional enough to transition between the different uses of the space, from casual dining to entertaining to watching the game at the bar.

Dining Room

The original interior detailing for the home included a coffered ceiling in the dining room. We adjusted the plans to use linear beams instead to disguise the fact that the table is not centered in the space. The location of the table and chandelier was planned to allow for circulation space when both the bar and table are in use. Since this space is a high traffic area, we decided to forgo a rug and let the hardwood floors shine.

The dining table was custom made for this project by a regional furniture maker. We selected a table with trestle style base and no apron so that additional chairs could be added without the concern of table legs interfering. It was essential to our client that the table could potentially seat 10-12 guests and not require a leaf or other type of extender.

Architecturally, the dark steel sliding door unit makes an impressive visual impact on the room. We chose to skip window treatments and allow the architecture and view to speak for itself. We repeated the dark metal element and installed a linear iron and clear glass chandelier.

Comfortable dining chairs were significant to the homeowner. The armchairs we chose have modern lines and are fully upholstered in cream leather. The side chairs are a modern interpretation of the klismos chair with a curved back that perfectly supports the guest. We chose leather for the armchairs and Crypton for the side chairs for easy maintenance.

In keeping with the architecture of the home, we included 4’ paneling on the few walls in the dining room. The only real wall in the space provided a perfect spot for artwork featuring a coastal marsh scene reminiscent of what lies outside the window.


In designing the bar, our clients wanted to ensure that the result was beautifully designed and could function for day-to-day vacation use as well as for large-scale catered events. We used closed cabinetry to minimize visual clutter and provide storage for disparate sized and shaped items such as liquor bottles, an icemaker, and dishwasher. The cabinets are paneled except for the wine cooler. By integrating the TV into the cabinetry, it feels more intentional and less obtrusive in the space while not in use. Since the TV was an important functional element in the room, we opted out of pendant lighting over the bar top. Instead, we included elegant iron wall sconces on the flanking walls to add an additional layer of ambient light.

To add interest and style to the cabinetry in the bar, we included a few select glass-fronted cabinets. These hold the client’s stemware and feature an ‘x’ design across the glass panel front. The style of the cabinets leans traditional while the grey brown-toned stain brings modernity to the cabinets and lends itself to the overarching streamlined transitional feel of the home.

Additionally, the stain of the cabinets repeats on the kitchen island tying the spaces together.

The proximity of the bar stools to the dining chairs to the game table chairs in the adjacent living room made selecting complementary pieces of crucial importance for the flow of the space. We chose to include host and hostess armchairs in neutral leather and pair those with klismos-inspired side chairs in Crypton pale aqua tweed.

The side chairs have nickel nail head that is repeated on the barstools. The barstools have similar lines to the host and hostess chairs and are upholstered in the same leather. This grouping of chairs and textiles provided cohesion while being interesting and, most important, comfortable. Stick around for more tours of this gorgeous home including the guesthouse, and the hardworking areas of the home, including the laundry, spa, gym, and guest rooms. Can’t wait to see the whole house? Check out all the beautiful photos on our portfolio page.