Open space & unique textures helped this tall mid century dining room rise above the rest

1950s home tall mid century dining room
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This home from the late 1950s was no cookie-cutter construct, unlike so many of the post-war homes that had been built in the decade and a half since the end of WWII.

No room better exemplified that difference than the dining room. As seen from the outdoors in the large photo at the bottom of the page, you can’t help but notice the sweep of space contained in the center of the house.

The room was only twelve by fifteen feet, but looked so much bigger, because it wasn’t a conventional cubic area with just four 8′ walls and a ceiling on top.

Even before you entered from the outside, the vista was delightful. Four globe lamps, ceiling-strung, hung high above the red clay-tile floor.

The soaring height brought light and air to both the main floor as well as to the upper level, where a latticed hall led away to the sleeping quarters.

Located midway on the main floor, but still somewhat secluded, the dining room was practically placed between the kitchen and living room. Meals could easily be served or wheeled from the kitchen.

Dining room seen from inside
The dining table seen from inside

Two walls were made of cut stone in subtle color variations, and the grooved wood paneling above had a hint of salmon color in the stain.

Against the interior stone wall, pitchers of leaves or tubs of plants gave a garden effect with no structural or housekeeping problems.

One whole wall of the room was composed of wide-open stairs with a painted closet between that cut off the entry hall, and added a more private feel. And above it, there was a planter filled with greenery.

A glance at the room could tell you that the fewer furnishings, the better. The room had its own prismatic qualities with its openness of design, shifting of shadow and light, and all outdoors as one wall decoration.

To set the glow of hospitality going, the designers choose an eighteenth-century Italian buffet as their first piece.

The rest of the furniture was more modern, but no less functional. The round dining table had an elmwood veneer top that was plastic treated to resist spills, and had two leaves as extenders.


The dining chairs were rattan and iron, wide-curved and comfortable for conversation, cushioned in leaf-green linen.

The quarry tile floor needed no care or pampering — even waxing was optional. And since there were almost no areas of paint to clean, the whole room practically maintained itself from wall to wall.

1950s home tall mid century dining room
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