The Cross House

Pondering the Dining Room

I have been pondering the dining room.

The parlor and library are kinda close to being done. So, maybe the dining room next?

Perhaps I should do the room in period-correct papers? A wall paper, a frieze paper, and ceiling paper. So, I sent some inquiries to Bo. And he replied with some mighty tantalizing possibilities.

In the room there are three things I want to complement:

  • The stained-glass
  • Trim
  • Lincrusta

So, any decorative scheme should enhance these features rather than fight with them.

All the trim/wood is now dark with old shellac. As I did in the parlor and library, this old shellac will be removed, revealing a much lighter original finish under. I am quite curious as to what will be discovered!


Looking to the butler’s pantry. The picture rail is long gone and this feature will be reinstalled 22-inches below the ceiling. The table will stay; the sideboard will not.


The double doors lead to the stair hall. I do not show the north wall, which has a wide bay, and four more stained-glass windows.


The Lincrusta is a dominate element and will be even more so when restored.


In pondering wall papers, I love the idea of repeating these classical motifs. I can see the upper motif (a laurel wreath) as a…


…medallion on the wall, kinda sorta like this. This could also easily (and vastly less expensively) be a stencil.


And the same sorta idea from the Stencil Library.


The Stencil Library can make a custom stencil matching the Lincrusta laurel wreath and center medallion. How cool would that be!


And the bottom circle acanthus scroll motif could be…


…the frieze, sorta kinda like this.


Even the fireplace has an acanthus scroll motif!


Well, these are just thoughts wandering around my brain.

It’s fun finally thinking about the dining room. I’ve paid it no mind for three years!





16 Responses to Pondering the Dining Room

  1. The dining room with the built in china cabinet was one of my favourite features of the house. I’m hoping it won’t be too light?

    The room will be exquisite no matter what you do. The bones stand alone, so even if you just painted one colour without stenciling, the room would still be a statement. My two bits.

  2. Where is the line of the original picture rail? 22″ would be very unusual, and if that is where the line is it would indicate an out-of-the-ordinary original frieze.

  3. The dining room is so amazing with all the features you mentioned. I love the idea of a stencil to complement the Lincrusta pattern. I also like the idea of the wallpaper as well. The example is lovely. I agree tackling the dining room would be a great idea and whatever you choose I am sure it will be amazing.

  4. I really love your dining room and also your idea of using patterns from the Lincrusta. I would definitely go with period-correct paper or stencil patterns. If you were to go with the paper, the good news is that, between the doors, windows, fireplace, and china cabinet, it doesn’t seem like there is too much wall space to cover! Have you considered using that wall covering which is similar to Lincrusta? I forget what it’s called, but it starts with an “A.” It comes plain white with an embossed pattern and then you paint it. I know it’s less expensive than Lincrusta, but I don’t know how the price compares to paper.
    P.S. Based on your stained glass, fireplace, and table, maybe one of your colors could be gold.

    • Anaglypta is what you’re thinking of. I think the wall treatment should be flat, though, as anything in relief will necessarily compete with the lincrusta.

      • Thanks Kit! You’re probably right, but maybe it would work, depending on the pattern and color. Maybe just the frieze? It seems like the Victorian philosophy wasn’t “less is more,” but “more is more,” so, in that sense, it would add to the period-correct feel of the room.

  5. Of course I’m team period correct, but it will be stunning either way. It is possible the trim in this room was intended to be darker as dining rooms were regarded as “masculine” rooms at the time.

  6. Yez PLEASE!! Do a period correct room! Wallpaper yay!! The house is crying out for it.

    Lol can you tell i don’t do contemporary?

    You have great taste so it will be gorgeous. The dreaming about what to do is part of the fun!
    Cant wait to see it.

  7. I am really, really looking forward to seeing you work on this room because it’s one of my favorite rooms in the house. The stained glass in the bay is so beautiful, as are all the other elements — the woodwork, the fireplace, and especially the china cabinet. I love how the curve of the mirror above the fireplace is “mirrored” in the china cabinet mirror, and both echo the curve of the bay.

    I am also looking forward to seeing how you think through the decorating in this space. I am learning so much from your posts. You’ve even made me reconsider chartreuse, after I loathed it all these years.

  8. Yay! I’m so looking forward to this dining room adventure of yours. 🙂 I can’t wait to see how your creative mind transforms this room. So excited!!

  9. Love, love, love your ideas for the walls and frieze. I am on board with paint and stencils. It has to be cheaper than paper and will be easier to change should the whim occur. One day you will begin to collect beautiful period correct china and silver and will want to tie it all together. (At least that is my little fantasy! Wink-wink)

  10. Finally, yes yes yes. Even in its unfinished grunge, this room is so awesome and it is screaming for period correct, as am I. I’m thanking Bo for his influence in getting you started in this direction! All your thoughts and ideas sound wonderful so keep the train on this track. By the way, “The parlor and library are kinda close to being done”… where are the pictures?

  11. I love the way the china cabinet and fireplace are angled and mirror each other. With the bay at the other end with all of the stained glass, it must be a really dandy room. Another motif to consider are the swags above the doors, windows, etc. That is one incredible dining table…Napoleon would be jealous! When you say you will restore the lincrusta, what will it look like when you are done? The same brown color or will you be picking out the pattern in some way? And finally, what are you planning for lighting? Will their be a chandelier and possibly matching wall sconces? Will it be crystal or brass or bronze or what? Sorry Ross, but I have to know these things…I have needs! 🙂

    • Yes, the table is incredible. It as from Baker’s Stately Home Collection and costs $12,000! Thankfully, I got it for a steal on eBay. The table design predates the Cross House, so such a style might have been in the house originally.

      I had a George III-style crystal chandelier over the table which looked great. Then somebody contacted me wanting a fabulous and large crystal chandelier…so I sold it. Been looking for a replacement ever since. I would love to find an 1890s gas/electric crystal chandelier.

      I have no idea what the Lincrusta will look like restored. Just lighter and a lot better.

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