My featured room design: 5 ways to achieve a cool-toned, vibrant dining room with wood details


A dining room not for the fainthearted is where I am with this design. As I'm sitting in my car at Walgreens pharmacy drivethrough, waiting on prescription, because health is wealth...right!, I came across a video of Ananda Lewis, TV personality and "carpenter", on her incident with her breast cancer diagnosis.

First, let me say, the beauty that still existed in her was amazing. You could hear hear the strength in her voice. But the video left me in so many personal feelings.

It was personal for me because I grew up watching Ananda on TV. Teen Summit, MTV Live, The Ananda Lewis Show, and of course her HOME show, WHILE YOU WERE OUT! But, I'm still getting chills, because this woman has been around for some exciting and unforgettable times for me. The music video that inspired me to go the college I went to straight out of high school and got my interior design degree from, featured Ananda as the leading girl. It was filmed on Howard University's campus. That's my alma matar!

Now here was Ananda Lewis, another alumna of Howard, speaking out for the first time since her breast cancer fight. Not too mention, we just had come off loosing actor Chadwick Boseman from colon cancer...alum of Howard too! So, yes I was all in my feelings about this one. Not to mention, my family has a history with breast cancer. My mom is a three time survivor. Not to mention, I've lost an aunt to it.

Now, I do not know Ananda Lewis personally, but I immediately had to channel all these nostalgic and somewhat sad feelings into something positive. That's how you get through life, I've learned. I immediately thought about a dining room, fancy and fit for a bold, bad behind woman, fighting the disease associated with the pink ribbon, who just happened to be a carpenter! Women and girls can do anything.


Do you have ideas floating around for a centerpiece, or an eye catching floral in your home? Every dining room makes a good home for a centerpiece. This may be the only real floral piece you have throughout your house but that's ok. You can make these formal or informal, or even a mix of both. Here is my idea of a carpenter's bowl centerpiece.

  1. Find a medium to large size wooden bowl that is unique to you after you have picked your color scheme for your dining room. The bowl color must tie into your colors.

2. Go to a floral or craft shop and pick at least three flowers of different styles, but also of different colors that work into your dining room color scheme. I'm mostly a maximalist when it comes to the finishing touches in a room, so I chose more than three, but 3 is ok. Don't forget the leaves! And when I say just pick, just pick because the direction you will get from colors will never steer you wrong.

3. Bend and/or clip all your floral stems down to the perfect height of the bowl. Take your wooden bowl and place it on a side table so that you can move around the centerpiece when you're styling it. Begin to thrown in the florals starting with your favorite one. Throw in the rest of them based off what colors pop from the previous one you put and station it closest to that one.

4. Take a picture of your final look, remove all the flowers, place styrofoam into the bowl, recreate the look. This time hot gluing in critical points of the flowers.


There are a plethora of furniture pieces available in the market that can bring in soft fabrics, rustic textures, and feminine colors on your furniture. I am definitely a fan of farmhouse themes, depending on the type space you're working on. So this carpenter's design is simply a play off of farmhouse mixed with feminine tones and finishes. Plaids and leopard prints are pretty bold prints, somewhat traditional, but can done subtly in a space.Here are my favorite picks from the mood board. #upholstery #furniture #fabric #wood #diningrooms


“....find little ways to show off your personal style in ordinary pieces that have a uniqueness about them."

Pieces that you find overtime or instantly that bring you joy just by looking at them should definitely be in home. Whether it be because your connection to the shape, form, color, or it deserves a place in your home. I like to style around pieces like these. Here are some unique stemware that are dripping in soft colors that I found.


The wood textures in this type room is obviously a must, but lest not forget other rough and smooth textures such as glass, stone, and brass. They all speak earthy when paired together. Even better, they are timeless and remain relevant in the retail industry. Here is what I found!


This design detail is the one that got me the most excited when I create. Maybe because I've been a curvy girl all my life. Yes...."big boned is what was." But for all my curvy design lovers, when it comes to design whether it be in furniture, patterns, or decorative accessories, these shapes are everywhere like in these items I located!


Incorporating a wall that speaks for the carpenter's rustic wood theme itself in this design may be the most time consuming but it is definitely worth starting with to incorporate the carpenter's theme. It can be painted in the paint color I've place on the mood boards for a more finished touch in a dining room. Even more you don't have to incorporate wall accents, because it is the accent giving so many elegant details.

The two examples of a carpenter theme walls pictured above can be be painted or left as exposed wood, depending on the route you take on color for the rest of your walls and your room floor plan, but both would look great!

meet T. Nicole


Hi! I'm T. Nicole a.k.a Designhangover, I'm a city girl who met country scenes early and fell in love with it.  I'm a sweet mix between city, country, and town living.  I've lived in Augusta, GA, Washington D.C. and currently a small rural area in South Carolina. I studied Interior Design and Architecture at my dream college.  Now I'm happy to be back between Georgia and Carolina with my family!

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