The budget was limited, so the client decided to keep the original dining tables and chairs in approximately half the room. To visually separate the dining area while maintaining maximum flexibility, two narrow walls were added beneath an existing beam instead of permanently dividing the room with a full-sized partition.
The tables were dressed up a bit with baskets of yellow silk orchids. The dining area is barely visible in the “after” photograph, since the part that would show is partially blocked by the brown sofa facing the camera and most of the remaining dining area extends to the right (the room is L-shaped).
A corner of the original dining room was taken up by a large number of chairs stacked behind ugly screens. We greatly improved the look of the room and won the gratitude of the head of facilities for this campus by building two extra- large closets to house the chairs and anything else that needs to be stored. The closets are around the corner from this area, so are not visible in the “after” photograph.
As is often the case with interior design for higher education, the room needed to be flexible and is sometimes used for large meetings, so we provided alternate floor plans for several different uses.