10 Fantasy Dining Rooms for a Fantastic Cause

Two stuffed animals, a Technicolor washi-tape dining table, heaps of hexagonal mirrors plus quite a piece of reclaimed wood decorate the walls, ceilings and floors of the 24 fantasy dining rooms on screen as part of the Serving Up Style fundraiser for Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus. The event, which ran October 3 to 6, 2013, challenged 24 Portland, Oregon, designing teams to come up with the wildest, most innovative dining room potential.

Take a look at 10 of those fantasy dining rooms — from a colour explosion to a casbah camp to a cowshed — to get a glimpse of every designer’s imagination.

Design team: Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Garrison Hullinger coated his dining table in decorative Japanese washi cassette in vivid, brilliant hues. A Technicolor wall rug and treatment and eclectic wall artwork run with the crazy and colorful palette.

Suggested menu: A colorful Neverland-style meal in which food doesn’t exist unless you imagine it.

The Byre
Style team: Manor Fine Wares

This room’s simple design was motivated by Manor Fine Wares’ mascot: Tartare, a cow mount by a no-kill taxidermist (who utilizes only animals that have died of natural causes). The room is known as The Byre, following the English word for”cowshed”; it had been motivated by the contemporary movement in which old buildings have been reused for new functions.

Suggested menu:
A local farm-to-table meal that reflects the area’s humble cowshed roots.

Ida York Interior Design

Home Brew
Design team:
Ida York Interior Design

Portland has a different style and ambiance, and this chamber adopts some of the best of it. Reclaimed wood, elements from local breweries and trendy restaurant-inspired features convey the city’s funky blend of new and old.

Suggested menu: Pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and bourbon balls over ice cream.

Art Institute of Portland

A Lair Combination for the Queen
Style team: The Art Institute of Portland and Ikea Portland

A team of college students from The Art Institute of Portland put their Ikea expertise to good use in this room. The design revolves entirely round wall installments of Honefoss hexagonal mirrors, which signify the gold accents and light around the room.

Suggested menu: The best, freshest honey in the hive.

Mobius Home

Glamp the Casbah: NW Meets Marrakech
Style team: Möbius Home and Studio G

Elements from Morocco and the Pacific Northwest blend in this informal, comfortable dining space. Salvaged, reclaimed, whitewashed and charred local wood (handled shou-sugi-ban style) covers the walls and ceiling, contrasting with the bright Moroccan-inspired colors.

Suggested menu: A Moroccan-fusion family-style supper with tons of spices, chicken shawarma and lamb tagine.

Urban I.D. Interior Design Services

Tranquil Hideaway
Style team: Urban I.D. Interior Design Studio

An island setting with a gorgeous view sets the tone for this unique outdoor dining room. The designers created a space where they pictured visitors unplugging and recharging from today’s busy world.

Suggested menu: A tropical-inspired meal of ceviche, crab, tropical fruit and a hibiscus cocktail.


Launched in Tanzania
Style team: Abode Design and Rejuvenation

The classic stuffed lioness and Victorian chandelier in this space ordered the theme. The mix of elegance with jungle design immediately attracted luxe safaris to mind — the first glamping! A cotton tent, a wood platform and zebra accents tie the entire room together.

Suggested menu: Traditional South African pap en vleis (maize porridge and meat) with a Cape Town cabernet.

Portland Community College

Style team: Portland Community College Design/Build Team

Portland Community College’s Design/Build team tapped to the city’s lively sustainable design movement for their area’s inspiration. A number of the products were salvaged or reclaimed in some manner, shape or form. The shrub and reclaimed wood convey the importance of indoor-outdoor dwelling.

Suggested menu: Like Hullinger’s space, a dinner party here will be much like a dinner at Neverland, together with whatever food you imagine.

YES Spaces, LLC

Feed Your Mind
Style team: YES Spaces

YES Spaces designed this dining room for a tribute to favorite childhood books. The chalkboard on the walls, by way of example, is a tribute to some publication from the Cheaper by the Dozen collection, in which the dad painted on the walls of the family’s home and left chalk treasure maps to his kids.

Suggested menu: A family celebration meal including a formal dinner, followed by rousing board matches.

Digs inside & outside

Kervanseray: Traveling the Silk Road
Style team: digs Inside & Outside

A prized mosaic chandelier located at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar sets the tone for this colorful Turkish-style design. Tulu rugs, plush pillows, pagoda lamps, suzani textiles and Turkish ceramics come together beautifully beneath a brassy black and white striped tent, much like a pit stop on the notorious Silk Road.

Suggested menu: A Turkish feast with a mezes platter of hummus, olives and pita bread; lentil soup; lamb kebab; saffron riceand honey-walnut baklava.

Watch the fantasy dining tables from last year’s event

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Guest Picks: Formal China Patterns for the Fashionable Bride and Groom

We are still in the last throes of wedding time, and let us be fair: Choosing a china pattern is a major perk of getting married! But picking a pattern can occasionally feel more difficult than picking your partner — especially if your taste extends beyond the typical metallic-rimmed plate.

Similar to marriage, registering for china is about commitment. Go daring and make a statement about your style using these patterned china settings. Do not be concerned about getting”tired” of a pattern; consider your choice a gorgeous representation of your taste at the time of your nuptials. Say no more to neutral and hello to tabletop sizzle! –Daniela from Aesthetic Oiseau

Gracious Style

Alberto Pinto Belle Saisons Dinnerware – $380

If your dining room and house are teeming with colour, this vibrant, multicolor setting is for you! Every colour of the rainbow is represented in small doses, keeping the pattern feeling delicate and enjoyable.

Gracious Style

Kyoto Dinnerware – $225

Bold orange peeks from behind a fantastic golden lattice in this china setting. An excellent selection for the chinoiserie lover! Along with the non-circular form of this dinner plate adds a layer of geometric interest.


Royal Crown Derby Grenville Place Setting – $325

The gold-rimmed scalloped borders and beautiful marine blue give this setting a very delighted vibe, although the subtle pattern and monotone coloring maintain it feeling impartial.

Gracious Style

Haviland Cible Dinnerware – $400

A modern, artful spin on the traditional gold-rimmed plate. If you’re looking for an excess dose of glitz, this setting is right for you.

Gracious Style

Haviland Dammouse Dinnerware – $570

Floral clusters provide this setting an almost Cloisonné-like feeling. This plate is about the gorgeous edge of blooms.


Haviland “Laque de Chine” Dinnerware – $102

Not prepared to make a statement with pattern? Make it! This drop-dead stunning shade of amethyst is going to be a magnificent focal point, allowing you to mix and match other settings as the china collection expands.

Gracious Style

Alberto Pinto Mer Turquoise Dinnerware – $220

For your bride that is coastal, or only a fan of all things nautical, consider this setting left in a rich cobalt blue featuring a golden seashell. An elegant ode to the ocean.

Gracious Style

Alberto Pinto Magnolia Dinnerware – $295

The ideal choice for a southern bride — delicate magnolias put across a gorgeous scalloped plate. Divine.

Gracious Style

Alberto Pinto Renouveau Russe Dinnerware – $258

Artful and daring, this pattern is for the modern bride who is not afraid to add some modern glitz to her desk.

Gracious Style

Alberto Pinto Or Des Airs Dinnerware – $295

Traditional however quirky, this golden setting showcases a gorgeous fish at its center. An elevated design using a sophisticated feel that also shows that you don’t take yourself (or your own china) too seriously.


Minton Orchid China Dinnerware – $655.95

A single orchid adds a gorgeous pink touch for this gold-rimmed dinner plate.


Mottahedeh Chelsea Botanicals – $349.95

A personal favorite, this pattern features the look of classic botanicals in beautiful shades of chartreuse, green, lilac and plum.


Royal Crown Derby – Derby Panel Green Set – $500

My wedding china. I chose this pattern for its warm tones of gold and green. As beautiful to get a holiday table since it’s for a casual brunch, I have found it versatile and absolutely stunning paired with colors of pink and lavender.


Mottahedeh – Chelsea Bird – $80

The striking avian motif will make quite a statement at your next dinner party. This setting would also seem wonderful hung decoratively onto a wall.


Versace by Rosenthal “Marco Polo” Dinnerware – $145

For your fashion-forward bride, a china pattern motivated by the house of Versace. Bold orange and orange will dazzle in your desk — and who wouldn’t want to drink from a cup?


Royal Crown Derby – Traditional Imari – $875

Among my all-time preferred settings because of its black backdrop that offers a healthy dose of depth and drama! A really classic pattern. Consider gold flatware to accompany this gorgeous setting.


Herend – Queen Victoria Blue Border – $575

Bring your love of your Shrub Removal to your table with this delicate and feminine pattern by Herend. Wonderfully traditional — I adore the butterflies! If your husband-to-be is not keen on something “girly,” contemplate registering for a set of dessert plates and deliver them out for your own girlfriend get-togethers.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Philippe Deshoulieres Pergola Fine China – $279.99

This vibrant orange pattern would sparkle against golden stoves and cobalt glassware.


Mottahedeh “Blue Canton” Dinnerware – $215

A classic spin on blue-and-white ceramic to your own table. Fantastic for the chinoiserie lover, the monochromatic colors give a great backdrop for mixing and matching other plates and colours.


Mottahedeh “Tobacco Leaf” Dinnerware – $448

A true classic, with classic appeal and enough colours to coordinate with your dining room as it changes through the years.

What’s your china pattern? Tell us in the comments below.

Next: More guest blogger merchandise selections

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