Malcolm’s First London Reveal – His Modern Traditional Dining Room (+ The Easiest “Chair Rail” Hack)

I’ve lastly discovered a eating chair I really like for my London flat however would it not be a publish from me if there wasn’t a deeply introspective underlying revelation concerned?? …Nah. This time, I’ve dissected what’s so interesting about developments, found how they will make it troublesome to alter one’s thoughts about design selections, and highlighted how I’ve been impressed by the ever present modern-meets-traditional design scheme current all through the UK.

Should you examine my eating chair dilemma right here on the weblog a few months in the past, you could be stunned (or not-so-surprised in the event you truly know me) that I didn’t select any of the choices I used to be initially fascinated with. They have been definitely all viable choices, however every was lacking one thing necessary and crucial—be it consolation, cohesion with the remainder of my flat, or the appropriate price ticket. I made a decision to maintain in search of one thing that checked all of the packing containers whereas being aware of the weather that spoke to me initially: a traditional kind, classic really feel, and metallic detailing that may align with the chrome finishes all through the remainder of the condominium. As a reminder, right here is the place we left off:

Someplace alongside my continued seek for the right chair, I stumbled throughout these Breuer beauties on Vinterior (a web based market for classic homewares that’s pretty common in London). These chairs instantly caught my consideration and incited a viscerally optimistic response inside me, however I (falsely) thought that if I went with a traditional Breuer chair, it might must have a woven seat and/or again—as a result of that’s the present development…not leather-based. So I stored trying to find a woven model, which in the end didn’t yield any choices that made me really feel something. 

Whereas I’m writing this text—humorous sufficient—I’m seated for lunch at a restaurant in central London that’s utilizing that actual sort of chair…

…which highlights the snug factor about design developments. They’re seen. They’re examined. They permit us to make selections with out doing the heavy work required to grasp the “why” and the “so what” related to lovely issues. They normally simply work—straight out of the field—and may make us happy with our “on-trend” decisions. And that’s not a nasty factor in any respect! Most of us don’t have the a) time b) background, or c) sources to do the deep work to grasp the weather/rules/sciences of artwork and design that make fashionable developments fashionable. 

For me, although, developments may be fairly stifling. Like lots of you, I spend quite a lot of my time in search of design inspiration on Instagram, Pinterest, and too many hours of Magnolia Community reveals. Invariably, that content material is ultimately embedded into my mind and influences what I suppose I like. You might be what you eat, and I feel I ate approach too many woven-back Breuer chairs for my very own good.

…poor analogy, however I feel you catch my drift.

Desk | Vase | Kitchen rails | Kitchen hooks

As such, I discovered myself persevering with to fall again to the leather-based possibility. Every time I glanced at footage of them on Vinterior, my abdomen dropped. Ultimately, I made a decision to forego my presumptions about what sort of chair I assumed I wanted as a result of, on the finish of the day, that presumption was based mostly on the concept so as to be “profitable”,  I wanted to stick to some arbitrary definition of what different folks preferred. Bump that noise. In the end, if one thing makes you content, that’s sufficient. No matter how fashionable—or unpopular—it’s. 

To be honest, although, this selection isn’t a large departure from my preliminary decide (and this definitely isn’t an unpopular chair). The type of the chair is equivalent to considered one of my high contenders, however the leather-based seats are a lot extra snug than a woven different. I’ve sat my booty in these chairs for hours on finish, and there’s no soreness available!

i can’t recover from how good-looking this picture is

The best way these chairs play off my marble desk is magical. In some way, they match one another’s power. The delicacy of the desk’s curves speaks to the softness of the chair’s leather-based seats, and the darkness of the chairs begs to be balanced out by the brightness of the desk. The black, worn-in wooden arms of the chairs additionally toes the road between onerous and gentle. Such a traditional pairing, little question, however one which I haven’t seen very a lot of as of late.

Fake Olive Tree | Pot

The nice and cozy coloration of the leather-based simply warms my coronary heart. I’m fortunate sufficient to get very vibrant night mild on this house (as you possibly can inform from these photographs), and the best way the leather-based eats up the daylight makes for such a luxurious scene. The cognac coloration of the chairs is impartial sufficient to face the check of time, however vibrant sufficient to essentially make a press release (much like the crimson chair I used to be beforehand drawn to). These chairs have been definitely funding items, however I’m pretty sure that I’ll maintain onto them for the remainder of my life. They really feel price it. One hundo %.


Pitcher Vase | Trash Can

Extra broadly, whereas this room doesn’t boast any of the high-impact DIYs of my previous work (however don’t fear, that’s coming…), it does boast a quiet and harmonious power that feels very pure for this residence. I made some very intentional and purposeful design selections for this little nook that make it really feel fairly particular.

Mirror (classic from Group Forklift)

As I used to be conceptualizing concepts for this house, I had a random dream a couple of chair rail/wainscoting form of state of affairs. Sure, I’m unusual and sometimes have inspiring desires about tasks (that’s additionally how my Arlington bed room headboard got here to be). I awoke from that dream and thought “…that would truly work,” and subsequently rushed over to Ikea to seize a number of of those black kitchen rails and hooks.

I really like that these rails serve a number of functions. Primarily, they permit me to hold a canvas bag to carry my recyclables (recyclable storage has been tremendously troublesome for me on this flat for some purpose). Moreover, the best way I’ve put in the rails all through all the house creates the phantasm of a kind of chair rail, which breaks up the tall top of the ceiling and makes the eating nook really feel extra like an intentional and devoted house.

Oil Work (classic from

The rails additionally permit me to hold lovely objects in an impermanent approach, which will probably be nice for rotating out vegetation and art work—like this string of pearls and cloth artwork I purchased in Spain.

I’ve all the time wished to personal classic seascape oil work, and seeing Emily pursue a seascape-centric gallery wall in her new TV room impressed me to lastly take the leap. I used to be fortunate sufficient to be gifted these two work from Artsper: a web based useful resource for sourcing authentic art work from throughout the globe. These work of the New England shire—painted in 1891 by a Dutch artist named Peter Koster—have been shipped to London from Rockport, Massachusetts. One thing felt appropriately becoming concerning the America-Europe story of the artist, contemplating my present circumstances in London.

You may acknowledge this mirror from my Arlington eating room mission. It felt apropos to convey it with me to London and dangle it on this house, as a small homage to the teachings I discovered from creating areas in that residence.

In the end, I’m happy with my selection of eating chair on this house, and the continued decisions I’m making to make this rental flat into an intentionally-designed touchdown pad throughout my European adventures over the following few years. The structure of the flat and the constructing itself (and a lot of the UK) is an fascinating examine within the steadiness of modernism and traditionalism, which is a theme that I’m impressed to duplicate and examine right here at residence.

So, what do you consider my decide? And what’s your sizzling tackle design developments—sound and necessary, or arbitrary and pointless?

*Design and Photographs by Malcolm Simmons

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