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Steinhafels Before and After: Dishing up the perfect holiday dining setting

It's Dining Month at OnMilwaukee, so we're focusing on two main sections of the home for this month's Steinhafels Decorating Solutions Before and After: the dining room and the kitchen.

This month's project takes us to a beautiful house in Delafield, recently redesigned by Steinhafels interior designer Dawn Adamec. Homeowners Mark and Jessica were kind enough to show us around, and take us through their redesign project.

(PHOTO: Stephanie Graham/Steinhafels)

Their home was built in the 1990s, and they admit they had no idea of the home's personality at first. As you can see from this Before picture, there was a lot going on but nothing very cohesive.

(PHOTO: Stephanie Graham/Steinhafels)

Mark explains, "One thing we kinda struggled with when it comes to this house is what style it is. Our other two houses were very defined styles. They were historic houses in the city, Tudor and Mediterranean Revival, so the furniture was chosen off the style of the house. This house, we're like, 'What style is this?' So Dawn kinda helped us out. She said we're gonna go with Farmhouse Chic/Urban Farmhouse/Lofty Farmhouse."

(PHOTO: Stephanie Graham/Steinhafels)

Jessica adds, "We wanted to have a color palette that was light and airy, but we wanted to keep the warmth."

Dawn says she loves projects like this because she can let her creativity go wild! She also liked that Mark and Jessica have a slew of antiques they wanted to work into the redesign. "My specialty is eclectic, mixing the new and the old. So I think it was fun to utilize their pieces, and then work in new stuff – it just gives it more personality."

(PHOTO: Stephanie Graham/Steinhafels)

Jessica is thankful Dawn helped them incorporate some family treasures into their new space. "She made us realize we could do things we didn't even realize with some of our older pieces. We were ready to sell them, and she made us realize we could incorporate them. That was wonderful, because we were able to keep the pieces and not hide them."

We start in the dining room, which features an old buffet Mark and Jessica found at an antique store and wanted to include in the new design.

Dawn's idea: "This is an important piece, but it has a very specific color tone, and in today's market, this isn't the most popular wood tone. So I wanted to make sure we found stuff that would blend but still be current, and that's why we went with the table we went with. It has a nice brown nutmeg finish but some golden undertones, and I think it really blends well with this. I did it kinda eclectic, so I didn't do the full-on matching set. The table and chairs match, but then we did an upholstered host and hostess chair just to kinda shake things up."

(PHOTO: Sarah Utech/Steinhafels)

In addition, the family decided to go with a slightly lower end table in the formal dining room, and a higher quality, solid wood table in the kitchen, since that's where the majority of the action takes place!

"I like that it's a very high quality table, Amish-made, and because it's used everyday, with the kids dining at it, and us dining at it, it's something that will stand the test of time," Mark says.

Dawn adds, "I like the clean lines on it, and I didn't want kind of overly mission because they already have some mission pieces. So keeping that in mind, I was trying to pull clean, straight lines, but not overly straight. So I thought that table and then the chair style were a good blend with all their other pieces."

(PHOTO: Sarah Utech/Steinhafels)

As an extra bonus during our visit, Dawn gave us some ideas for setting a formal dining room table for the holidays. Staying true to her eclectic roots, Dawn likes to keep formal dining settings beautiful but simple. "What I try to do is bring in the color scheme of the house, so there's newer influences like the tablecloths and the placemats, but then they have all these antiques, so I wanted to bring in some old family dishes too, and mix and match."

(PHOTO: Stephanie Graham/Steinhafels)

Check out this OnMilwaukee Facebook Live video to see Dawn take us through the table-setting process:

Mark and Jessica are so excited to show off their new home to family and friends this holiday season, and they're thankful to Dawn for making the process a little bit easier.

Mark says, "I think we really liked Dawn's directness. She got us right away, she understood what we wanted and she told us this is what you want, this is what you need. She wasn't waffling at all."

As an extra bonus, check out what Dawn did with the family's living room!



(PHOTO: Sarah Utech/Steinhafels)

If you're having trouble discovering the personality of your home, or even if you just want to have a designer come and create a holiday table setting scheme, check out Steinhafels Decorating Solutions program. We do it all, and no project is too big or too small!


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