McSamson Manor: The Dining Room Project

The Dining Room at McSamson Manor is finally done!  Since Tom really wanted a designated wet bar to mix cocktails which would definitely require the work of a pro, we quickly began to explore the idea of other custom-built furniture for the space.  In the end we got exactly what we wanted at a comparable price to many of the pieces we were looking at in the stores. So for us it was definitely the way to go. Of course it took longer and came with the stress of wondering if we were making terrible design decisions (try telling people that you are planning to paint your walls and ceiling black and see how that goes!).  But I think it turned out pretty awesome, right?

Our dining room shares a commonality with one of our favorite bars in Portland:  Expatriate. The NE nightspot's interior was designed by Matthew Peterson who also designed and built our table, wet bar cabinet and hutch. We love the overall atmosphere of Expatriate, especially the Oregon black walnut wood so Matthew was a natural choice. He was great to work with; he was really good at blending both Tom's functional bartending needs with my design aesthetic. 

Even though we knew that we wanted a dramatic, moody feel for the dining room I still worried if we could pull it off since the whole downstairs is open and fairly contemporary and causal. I also didn't get much encouragement when I told people I wanted black walls and a dramatic crystal chandelier. But I saw a lot of dining rooms I liked on Pinterest that had black walls, many of them had white molding like our house already has so I was pretty sure it would look good, especially with adding a white medallion.  

Although there's natural variations in the wood, the Oregon black walnut lumber for all three pieces was sourced from a single tree which makes the room really cohesive and is pretty cool in and of itself. The table seats eight which is great for dinner parties as well as our weekly board game nights. The hutch piece provides a much needed storage solution for Tom's ever-growing liquor collection, glassware, as well as the numerous bottles of vermouths that were completely overtaking the kitchen refrigerator. With this built-in Tom has his own designated beverage refrigerator with enough space left over for a few whites, sparklings and Roses for me. Right next to the fridge are three pullout wine drawers. Unlike traditional wine storage, you can see at a glance all the wine on each drawer but still allows an attractive view of the bottles when closed.

The wet bar gives Tom an area where he can mix drinks right in the dining room and still be near the liquor and refrigerator. The wet bar is suspended on the wall so the room feels open and we really like the idea of a curve faced to mimic the curve of the kitchen island. Another really cool feature in the sink is a drink rinser like you see in professional bars. 

Because we painted the walls black we had to add new white molding to the two archways as well as above the wet bar to hide the transition from one paint to the next.

We found the dining chairs at World Market early on and they ended up dictating a lot of design decisions since they have antiqued brass tacks along the back. So we tried as best as we could to keep the other metals in the room consistent with that finish. Finding a chandelier that was larger enough and also oil-rubbed bronze (and not ridiculously expensive) was one of the hardest parts. There just weren't that many options but in the end I'm really happy with our choice.

The table has a thick wood top and beautiful hand-turned legs which Porter particularly appreciates.