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Designer tips on creating luxury dining rooms for less

Statement chairs highlight this Woodbury dining room designed

Statement chairs highlight this Woodbury dining room designed by Robyn Baumgarten, of Interiors by Just Design. Credit: Interiors by Just Design

This Woodbury dining room was designed by Robyn Baumgarten of the Woodbury-based firm Interiors by Just Design. The light simplicity of the room’s color scheme created the perfect backdrop to show off the sexy, sculpted lines of two stunning showpiece end chairs.

“By keeping everything simple, with those chairs being a major statement — that made the room special,” Baumgarten says.

What it takes This room was part of a larger design project that included architectural work and some features not pictured, such as window treatments. Baumgarten estimates that the cost to create a similar design as a single-room project would be $24,700, including the designer’s fee, labor and materials purchased at the designer’s rate, which differs from retail.

That trade discount is part of the value included in the designer’s fee, Baumgarten says — it means clients will get the product plus the designer’s expertise for about the same cost that they would have paid to buy the item directly at full retail.

Here are five fabulous features that helped create this luxe look:

End chairs

Price $3,200 each

Why they’re worth it The Lucca chairs by Christopher Guy were customized with a walnut frame and beautiful Clarke & Clarke Duralee hopsack upholstery to coordinate with the Designmaster side chairs.

Do it for less These statement chairs were a major splurge, befitting the elegance of the room. For a lower-budget space, Baumgarten advises using design, rather than pricey pieces, to make a splash. Try bringing in color with wallpaper, or using different fabric on the end chairs.

Dining table

Price $4,800

Why it’s worth it This Verneuil dining table by Century Furniture was chosen for its luxurious look, glossy TriBeCa finish and delicate inlays.

Do it for less Keep the lines but change the vibe, suggests Baumgarten. A room that’s rustic, rather than refined, would allow for a less-polished table with a similar silhouette — and a more palatable price.

Area rug

Price $4,500

Why it’s worth it The designer chose this high-quality, 100 percent wool Dalliant rug in Putty to suit the colors and caliber of the room, but its true value is in the way it completes the overall vision for the space, she says.

Do it for less Though not quite as chic, a plain sisal could still work nicely if it complemented the rest of your decor, the designer says. “At the end of the day, it’s all about how it works with everything in the room and in the house.”


Price $3,395

Why it’s worth it Expressive Living Art Consulting in Wantagh provided these signed giclée prints of striking X-ray photography images, which were custom sized and colored for this home.

Do it for less If you can afford only inexpensive prints, make the most of them with a designer trick: Display wall art in odd-numbered groupings to amp up the impact. “I love the idea of five pictures,” Baumgarten says.


Price $3,000

Why it’s worth it The hand-cut beveled crystal and polished plated silver of the five-light Paradise Chandelier by Maxim bring an elegant glimmer into the space, while the fixture’s graceful arms reflect the leafy lines of the wall art.

Do it for less The designer says lighting is one place where it’s OK to cheat if you can find a worthy substitute for a little less. She purchased this chandelier at The Lighting Gallery in Huntington Station, which offers an array of styles and prices.

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