The Family Tables

Designer Caitlyn Waite brings two dining rooms to life — each with its own unique style and rivaling the other in panache.

Angela Hart (standing) and Brianne Barnes worked with designer Caitlyn Waite to brainstorm color palette, fabric choices, trims and furnishings to make their respective dining rooms a place for both family togetherness and formal entertaining. Caitlyn’s inspiration boards pulled the plans together. Photos by Elizabeth Gelineau

Not every grown daughter wants to live next door to her mother. But the fact that Angela Hart (mother) and Brianne Barnes (daughter) have a gate between their two backyards in Country Club Estates is a testament to how close the two women really are. Since they share so much of their lives already, it follows as no surprise that they also shared a designer when the time came to decorate their homes — Mobile’s Caitlyn Waite. “I had to pull her away from Mom’s project to work on my own dining room,” remembers Brianne. 

Though the mother and daughter are close, Angela and Brianne find themselves at different stages in life and with different needs. Angela recently downsized from a lifelong home when the house behind her daughter went on the market. Caitlyn immediately worked to establish an upbeat, happy vibe throughout the space so Angela would feel right at home. And since Angela doesn’t entertain like she once did, a cozy space perfectly fits the bill.

Brianne, on the other hand, is just hitting her hostess stride. A large dining table for 12 was a decorating must. As tends to happen, hosting family holidays has moved to the younger generation. Brianne also hosts charitable fundraisers and elaborate seated dinners, among other fabulous fetes, whenever the occasion arises. “I love a party!” she laughs.

Below, see their fabulous dining rooms, as well as our picks for tableware and accessories inspired by the two spaces.

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Bright and Fun

How She Got the Look
Angela’s dining room started with the sunny Schumacher wallpaper (Chenonceau Buttercup). Caitlyn wanted to bring a bright pop of color to the space since it is the first room you see when you enter the front door. Angela’s own custom dining table made with a stainless steel top was paired with beautiful white upholstered French dining chairs in a white wash finish. The wooden buffet was used in Brianne’s old dining room, but it found a perfect new home here with light blue buffet lamps and a modern piece of art sourced from Living Well in Fairhope. Brass knob hardware adorns the wainscoting for an unexpected touch of whimsy. 

Clockwise from top left: Sferra festival dinner napkins in banana $52 for 4, Bobbins Designs • Royal Crown Derby Indian Summer Accent Plate $215, Zundel’s Jewelry • Anna Weatherley Scalloped Chargers in white and gold $154, Zundel’s Jewelry • 31.5” Phalaenopsis Orchid Drop-in $200, The Holiday • Sferra Festival Oblong Linen Cocktail Napkins in Clover $24 FOR 4, Bobbins Designs • Juliska Bamboo Flatware $188 for 5-piece place setting, Zundel’s • Two’s Company gold bamboo lanterns Large $120, Small $75, The Holiday

This happy dining room would seem right at home in south Florida, inspiring a tablesetting with pops of bamboo on gold hurricane lamps and casual cutlery. A pair of enormous orchids carry the lush vibe.

Round We Go
These classic dinner plates would look fabulous with the yellow wallpaper and the pops of green peeking in from the adjacent breakfast room. The traditional china pattern feels totally fresh in 2020.

Feminine and Formal

How She Got the Look
Brianne admired a Duncan Phyfe dining table at a friend’s home and subsequently sourced her own to seat 12 guests for dinner parties. Knowing how much Brianne loves both traditional and modern styles, Caitlyn paired the table with a white lacquered acrylic legged credenza and upholstered chairs with a mid-century vibe. The Schumacher fabric (Indian Arbre) curtains were the starting point for the room’s design, with soft blues and pops of brown and gold. The Greek key ceiling fretwork was Caitlyn’s design, drawing the eye upward to the fabulous chandelier and adding a bit of history to the space. 

Clockwise from top left: Anna Weatherley Scalloped Chargers in Grey with Gold $154, Zundel’s • Robert Haviland and C. Parlon Syracuse Dinnerplate in taupe $230, Zundel’s • Moser Crystal Double Old Fashioned in Alexandrite $125, Zundel’s • Sferra Festival Dinner Napkin in Curry $52 FOR 4, Bobbins Designs • Two’s Company Gold Crosshatch Decanter $39, Living Well • Michael Michaud Designs Small Walnut Serving Pieces $31 for two, The Ivy Cottage • Skeem Design Match Cloche in Violet $45, Living Well • Bodrum Place Mat in Celtic Gold and Birch $29, The Ivy Cottage

Cutting Edge
The custom artwork by Caroline Boykin inspired the pops of lavender in these tabletop accessories. The only thing prettier than hand-cut crystal on a table is hand-cut crystal in all the shades of the rainbow!

Don’t Fret
The fretwork trim on the ceiling is the icing on the cake for this dining room. The bold geometric shapes are reminiscent of these Celtic knot placemats in easy-clean faux stingray.

Bobbins Designs, 402-3306, • Living Well, 25 S. Section St., Fairhope, 929-3255, Facebook: livingwellfhope • The Holiday, 4513 Old Shell Road, 342-4911, • The Ivy Cottage, 9 Du Rhu Drive, 345-1731, • Zundel’s Jewelry 3670 Dauphin St., 241-5439,

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