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The Globe and Mail

A closer look at Kelly Deck's rustic French-cottage dining room

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We’ve moved away from suggesting dark floors for our clients over the past 18 months, shifting instead to the mid- and light-toned. This rooms features one of my favourite floors: an engineered wide-plank white oak with a waxed finish. Scratches and scuffs only add to its character over time, deepening what the Japanese would call its wabi-sabi (“perfectly imperfect”) appeal.

Barry Calhoun Photography

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The ceiling was where we focused attention, installing a simple, square coffer to add texture to the room and draw the eye up. We were careful to use matte ceiling paint on the coffer, not semi-gloss. We wanted light to fill its recesses, not reflect off them.

Barry Calhoun Photography

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The dining table has a beautiful silhouette that offers a hit of visual interest; the dining chairs, with their long slipcovers, add volume to the space while offering comfort. But it’s the china cabinets that make the room.

Barry Calhoun Photography

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The budget didn’t allow for a chandelier large enough to hold its own under the 10-foot ceilings, which would have cost more than $5,000. But it did allow for two more modest fixtures. We located two mid-sized chandeliers of wrought iron and crystal, which cost a third of the price of our dream light. They do the trick nicely, though, bringing enough understated romance to keep the room from feeling stark.

Barry Calhoun

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