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the LIVING room: a design inspired by a plate

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

'Plate' is a little harsh considering I'm talking about fine China designed by Mottahedeh in their "Tobacco Leaf" pattern. While scrolling through Pinterest one day, I came across this place setting and instantly fell in love. This place-setting was then the inspiration for the formal living and dining rooms in our Potomac house.

The living and dining rooms were located on the right side of the house when you walked through the front door. The two rooms were adjacent to one another and somewhat separated from the rest of the house. Given the layout, it was important that the design of the rooms complimented one another. I knew I wanted an elegant and formal dining room with a nod to the south (enter ginger jars, wallpaper, and velvet) and I wanted the living room to be a great place to enjoy a cocktail with friends and family.

I had a bit of the which comes first, the chicken (living room) or the egg (dining room)? with this design, but in the end it all came down to this China AND the sofa and chairs.

When we moved into this house, I waited (stalled) to decorate the living and dining rooms. They were the largest rooms we had and also rooms which required a full overhaul and comprehensive design. I generally knew the color palette I wanted to use because of the China but I was still working on the overall design. My husband grew a little tired of my delays and was eager to get some furniture in the room... so I bought the sofa and swivel chairs to buy myself some more time to figure out the design. Not my best move. In hindsight, I wish I had taken more time to figure out the overall design before committing to any large furniture items. With the purchase of the sofa and chairs I was locked into a palette with navy blue as the primary color.


I wanted to bring color and patterns into our home that made me happy. While I'm typically a pink gal, I wanted to be sensitive to the men in the house and not go overboard with pink. The Tobacco Leaf pattern allowed for an incredibly flexible palette with royal blues to compliment my ginger jar collection and magentas to incorporate my love of pink and orchids. The pattern was fun and whimsical and allowed for a lot of creative interpretation.

CHINA Mottahedeh Tobacco Leaf



TRIM Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace FABRIC Ballard Design Quincy Indigo DRAPERY Ballard Design Signature Velvet Panels in Ink WALLS Benjamin Moore Navajo White LEAD FABRIC Schumacher Sinhala in Jewel CHINA Mottahedeh Blue Lace FABRIC Ballard Design Amal Blue Sunbrella Performance Fabric RUG Ballard Design Antelope Hand Tufted Rug PILLOW Etsy Magenta and Lemon Grass Pillow Cover


LAMP Pineapple Lamp CHAIR Ballard Design Larkin Swivel Chair END TABLES Antique Mahoghany Demilune Tables SOFA Anthropologie Lyre Chesterfield Sofa in Navy ORCHID Faux Magenta Orchid in Blue and White Bowl DRAPERY ROD Ballard Design Single Rod Drapery in Brass with Crystal Ball Finials MIRROR Anthropologie Gleaming Primrose Mirror TABLE Anthropologie Pavo Side Table SOFA TABLE Hekman Copley Place Console Table



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