Hanover Avenue Designs Anne Tollett’s Dining Room


We decided to share a room close to home…specifically, Anne’s house! Her very own dining room, we wanted to create a space that felt completely undesigned yet polished. This room needed to be able to endure the rough and tumble of raising two energetic girls while also being the perfect place to entertain. Blend elegance and the economical, and boom–it’s Anne’s dining room.



It’s so easy to recreate this look no matter your floor plan! “Become Your Own Designer” and experience the thrill of designing flawless rooms without the worry of expensive design mistakes. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 – chose, plan, shop

Love anything you see? We have a detailed BUYING GUIDE of everything from this room so you can easily re-create the look in your own house using stores and websites you trust!


Since the antebellum period, row houses in Richmond, Virginia have stood like tall, slender ladies in a line. Though they combine unique exteriors with elegant high ceilings, they are crazy narrow compared to most houses. We were feeling super cramped, so we removed a wall and created a wide doorway that blends the space with the adjoining hall. Now there’s a better flow for living and entertaining.



1. Because built-in bookcases are so cha-ching, Anne placed cantilevered shelves to hold the family’s collection (full disclosure: her husband is an avid reader, while Anne prefers the Bravo network, *giggle*). We love bringing books to a dining room so guests can see what interests you–it always prompts fun banter! *Raise your hands if custom bookcases have ever given you sticker shock?!*



2. Haunt flea markets for lighting! Instead of splurging on a ‘fawncy chandi’, we found this Little Princess neglected in a corner, had it cleaned, rewired, and now we have a killer fixture for a fraction of the price. Throw in some frosted globe candelabra bulbs and BOOM–a show stopper. This chandelier ended up costing only about $400 total!

3. To create even more visual interest in the space, go unconventional with the art! We found this print at 1stdibs in New York and it never fails to catch the eye. A beautiful work from artist Josh Mannis, we love how it feels like an open-ended story. Ooohhhhh, to spend a day in the mind of Mannis!

4. Mix High Low! Combine high-price items with low-priced pieces to not only avoid breaking the bank, but to make a look that’s original and all your own. That awesome wool rug? It’s from IKEA! It brings a fresh geometric vibe to the space, is durable, and dirt cheap. *The Village Idiot has puked on it more than once – here she is about an hour post vomit. Lovely.



5. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. We love using black chairs with a wood table – it just makes the room feel less paint by number. And we especially like flat black chairs with a higher gloss table! This helps “undesign” the typical dining room table to make it feel more approachable. (ps, Those chairs are the first pieces of furniture Anne and her husband ever bought!).

6. Last but not least, use a radiator as a piece of furniture! This post discusses how we camouflage radiators if you need to hide yours. Here, Anne’s husband simply built a cover for it, and now it makes a display for even more books – the kind of books Anne loves – art books!

Behind the Scenes







No More Mistakes!

It doesn’t matter if your floorplan is not the same! DESIGN GUIDES with room planners and templates help you get this look in your own house – no matter what your layout! We show you exactly how we do it – It’s So Easy! If you love paper dolls, you will LOVE this!dining room



Have a blast re-creating this effortless, “undesigned” space within your own four walls! And ps, if you are wondering what art books we love best or just looking for some killer books in general to stock a library, WE GOTCHA COVERED – highfive, Sarah’s Book Shelves!

Happy Shopping!

1. BUYING GUIDES with clickable links to stores of everything you see

2. DESIGN GUIDES with room planners and templates to get this look in your own floorplan

3. HOW TO VIDEOS and more!




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