An Elegant-Natural Dining Room

Designer Nancy Van Natta brought a room in the sky back down to earth. Van Natta’s dining room for the Icons of Design at San Francisco’s Millennium Tower is an aerie saturated in comfort.

Elegant Natural Dining Room

Wallpaper Close UpOther rooms in the space have jaw-dropping views of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding city, but this room is different. “I wanted it to be an intimate and cozy nest in a sleek, sophisticated high rise building,” said Van Natta.

Van Natta began her design with the deep red, iridescent silk wall covering, with a wood-grained pattern. “The color created a warm, intimate feeling and the wood grain started me on the path of elegant-natural,” said Van Natta. “I also wanted to include something of nature in the room as grounding in a space 52 floors in the air.”

“I found the branchelier in a shop and I loved its sculptural quality. It also fit my theme of elegant-natural,” said
Van Natta. She upped the formality of the twigs with a coat of metallic paint.

Elegant Natural Dining Room Nest

Then she looked to echo its theme. “Because the branchelier was so unexpected I felt it needed support and I looked for artwork that would give it more of a reason for being there,” said Van Natta. “The birds nest photos picked up on the texture of the twigs and they celebrated natural beauty in a sophisticated way.”

Elegant Natural Dining Room TablescapeThe color scheme mixes bold, rich colors. “I painted the ceiling red and the trim black to support the red walls,” said Van Natta. “Then I needed a second strong color to play with all the red and I chose an electric blue fabric for the chairs. The table is a golden color. I picked up on that color with some yellow-gold vases.”

I was struck by how well the strong colors worked together so I asked Van Natta her advice for homeowners trying to do the same.

She said, “If you use a strong color on your walls you can’t be wimpy with the colors you introduce on the furnishings. They have to have the same intensity
but they need to play well together and not fight each other.

If you have a question in your mind about two or three colors going together you can consult the color wheel and figure out in a more left-brained way why your colors work or don’t work.”

Nancy Van NattaWill diners in this room miss the view?

I doubt it.

“I wanted the ‘view’ to be the person across the table,” said Van Natta.


Nancy Van Natta Associates provides a full range of interior design services for homes and public spaces from their two offices in the North and South San Francisco Bay Area.


How have you brought into your rooms natural elements or intense color? Are you happy with your results?

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