An empty-nester couple called on Christina Wikman, principal of Chestnut Grove Design Group in Woburn, to fashion a generic corner of their South Boston condo into a library-like dining room. Taking cues from the charcoal-colored doors throughout, Wikman proposed painting the new built-ins Sherwin-Williams Sea Serpent, a moody blue. “I liked the idea of creating a nostalgic Victorian mood that was a little cluttered with curiosities,” Wikman says. Although the wife was hesitant at first, unsure of how it would flow with their otherwise light and bright home, she soon realized the room was a winner. “She does many Zoom calls from the dining table,” the designer says. “People always ask if she’s using a screen behind her.”
1. The backs of the Verellen chairs embrace occupants. “We wanted something comfortable that would make dinner guests want to linger at the table,” Wikman says. White linen upholstery feels fresh against the dark millwork built by Jewett Farms and Co.
2. Wikman paired the clients’ leather-bound books and vintage vessels with contemporary pops of white. “Juxtaposing the antiques with newer pieces keeps the arrangement from feeling one-note,” she says.
3. A mid-century-modern-style chandelier by Aerin for Visual Comfort injects a modern touch. “I didn’t want the room to be overly traditional or stuffy,” Wikman says.
4. Library sconces in hand-rubbed antique brass cast a soft glow on the bookshelves. “Layered light is so important in setting a mood,” Wikman says.
5. Wikman retained the couple’s existing antique table and rug. “They didn’t insist on using them, but the color of the rug worked with the blue shelves and the wood added age to the space,” she says.
6. Framed intaglios from designer Robin Gannon’s shop in Lexington hang above a vintage chair that the couple found during the design process. “It turned out to be the perfect, little feminine accent for this more masculine-leaning room,” Wikman says.
Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to [email protected].