A cheery dining room that blends favorite pieces and styles while catering to friends and family


Tastefully Brought Together

While on the hunt for their next home, Rick and Jennifer O’Neill temporarily took up residence in a Brookside home decorated with subtle orange walls. “Surprisingly, we found orange to be very comfortable and calming,” says Rick, owner of RedesignKC, a local remodeling company.

After buying a 1934 home in Westwood Hills, a neighborhood that Rick’s great-great grandmother helped develop, they gutted almost every room, expanding the dining room to more than twice its original size. With color consultation from interior designer Jan Kyle, they went with their new love, a vibrant orange that was also their son, Kohen’s, favorite color at the time.

“This brighter shade of orange is not only comfortable but also creates a higher level of energy for entertaining friends and family,” he says.

Because the O’Neills enjoy hosting parties—and keeping everyone in the same room—they needed a large, family-friendly dining table. To create that all-inclusive space, Rick put his furniture-making hobby to good use, designing and constructing the ideal table, the focal point of the space at 4 feet wide by 11 feet long. His custom bench meshes well with new upholstered chairs (some blue, some orange) and existing wood chairs, pulling together the desired eclectic, modern look.

With a fully stocked built-in wine rack that overlooks the sunroom, mix-and-match complementary chairs and eye-catching oversize drum shades that Rick says “hold their own against the table,” the only thing missing is a group to share it all with. So, this month, they’ll gather around the table to give thanks as they host Thanksgiving dinner.

Why It Works

1. With its sizable, custom build, the table is undeniably the focal point of the room. According to Rick, “It is large enough that we’re not all sitting on top of each other and it’s easy to be inclusive to children, inviting conversation and relationship.” That is, after all, the purpose of this particular room.

2. Mixing and matching, a trendy concept in the interior design world, gave the O’Neills the look they were going for, which is a combination of styles that’s hard to define. “Our style tends to lean more to eclectic and modern, but Jen likes to throw traditional in here and there,” Rick says. “We don’t like to get stuck with just one style.” That’s why they interspersed original wood chairs with new upholstered blue-green chairs, opting for warmer fabric on the seats at the ends. They matched the tabletop stain to the hardwood floors to cap the color palette in the room. Serving dual purpose, the blue-green chairs also help transition original blue Moroccan tile—in the adjoining sunroom and on top of the wine cabinet—from one room to another.   

3. Bringing it all together is proportion control, which plays a big role in the overall aesthetic. The large table required large complementary furnishings to balance it. That’s where the metal drum shades come into play. At 28-by-16 inches, they had to hang two because one wasn’t enough. Also, “the patterned orange head chairs are large enough to seat two people if needed,” Rick adds.