Byron Risdon’s Dining Room Makeover

What a great way to start the new year: A designer named Byron Risdon, who recently relocated from New York to DC, reached out with images of a night-and-day makeover he orchestrated for young family’s dining room in Petworth. They have two rambunctious little boys, so Byron sought to give them a beautiful space where they could eat and not worry about damage or mess.

Mission accomplished, huh?

All photography by William Knopf of Tamarack Images

Byron’s clients had redone their kitchen, visible above, a couple years ago. They were now ready to update the dining room to create more cohesion, he says.

I can see why, based on this before picture:

The owners wanted to lighten the space and make it feel more open. At the same time, it all had to be super durable to withstand the two little tornadoes. As the mother of two sons myself, I totally get where they are coming from!

“I like to mix things up, and use both old and new pieces in my design, creating a curated look as if the space were done over time,” Byron says.

Chandelier by Noir; Cabinet from Room & Board; rustic table Four Hands; leather chairs to the trade; rug by FLOR

Byron did a great job blending new pieces with that fabulous old pocket door, in addition to the vintage botanical prints his client, a botanist, found on Etsy. The custom banquette is covered in seagrass-colored vinyl by Duralee, and by using carpet tiles, a spill or stain won’t require the purchase of a whole new rug.

One of the things I love about this room, especially because it’s long and narrow, is that Byron ignored the conventional wisdom that a dining table should go in the center of the room. By shifting the seating area over toward the wall, there’s now a clear passageway into the kitchen—something I dearly wish I had in our former house when our boys were toddlers.

The Room & Board cabinet not only stores dishware, but contains everyday items such as pen, paper, mail, scissors, etc.—a must-have in a small home where rooms have to multitask.

Painting from trade resource; Roman shade with linen fabric by Clarke & Clarke fabricated locally at Essence Interiors.

“We kept a couple of the homeowners’ furniture pieces to add character and pay homage to the room’s original ‘Italian’ design,” Byron says. He’s referring to the armchair in the window nook above, and  below, the tiny Italian table underneath a modern striped print.

Congratulations to Byron for such a dramatic before-and-after. I will be looking forward to seeing more of his work now that’s he’s in DC.