A cool evening breeze comes through the open window, rustling the light linen curtains as the warm, festive room is filled with the din of cutlery, conversation and the smell of a delicious home-cooked meal. Chairs scrape the wood floor, wine glasses clink and the soft glow from the candles makes everyone want this meal to go on all night… If you can see your family and friends lighting up this room at Villa Splendida in Sardinia, here’s how to recreate the look in your own home, so you can recreate the memories after your return.
Rustic Wood Dining Table
Large and in charge, this type of dining table demands to be the centre piece of the room and can accommodate numerous guests. This is the kind of table for those who like to entertain or have big families, for those who like their food and wine, and who like long, lazy meals that last for hours. This is the kind of table that gets better with age, that gets worn with use, and that you’re not afraid to spill on or get little scrapes from a glass or a plate. You’ll have this table for years, and probably pass it on to one of your children. It’s an investment, but will no doubt become an essential piece. The Reclaimed Russian Oak Plank Table from Restoration Hardware is pretty spot on to the one you see at Villa Splendida and comes in a variety of sizes and four finishes (natural, gray, brown and black). Clean, contemporary, and ready for guests. A slightly more rustic option is the Salvaged Wood Beam Rectangular Table made from 100-year old British pine timbers. Handmade and with each one an original, the table’s distinctive nicks, splits, cracks, knots, nail holes and imperfections add to its country charm.
High-Backed Dining Chairs
What’s great about a big, rustic wood dining table is that you can combine several different sets of chairs to make the whole ensemble feel thought out and tasteful, but also casually thrown together at the same time. Restored furniture stores, flea markets, antique fairs, garage sales and church bazaars can lead to absolute gem discoveries for mismatched chairs, but if you’re looking to buy new, there are plenty of wonderful designs to choose from that will reflect your style and personality. One option is to go with a selection of wood chairs, but if you’d like to spice it up a bit, mixing and matching wood chairs with ones with a padded print is a very contemporary touch. Take these two different styles from Anthropologie for example. This Rifle Paper Co. Terai Chair comes in four original, fun prints and can fold for easy storage. If this is a tad too wild, their original Terai Chair is more soft and subtle. Because both these chairs are wood based, they can easily be paired with other all-wood chairs, adding a more lively mix and match element to the room. The effortlessly simple, sleigh-style based Belmont chair from CB2 is designed by Leonhard Pfeifer, made from 100% Sheesham wood and will complement any table setting. A bit more rough around the edges, this Rustic Dining chair from West Elm is based on old school house seats and gives off that reclaimed, country vibe, all the while keeping it natural and minimal.
This minimalist, almost medieval candle chandelier is simply perfection. It’s streamlined, understated, hangs over the table perfectly so that its light will reflect in all the right places, and most importantly, there’s enough candles so that people will be able to see their food (and each other). Ideally, having a chandelier made to resemble this Villa Splendida one is the best way to achieve this look (and if you know a good welder, you’re way ahead of the game), but if you can’t get something custom, here are some other options that are more easily obtainable. Wayfair.ca offers this 16-light candle-style chandelier (not actual candles) by CDI Furniture. Made from a combination of iron and jute rope, it will fit right in with that country chic style. Slightly similar in shape, Restoration Hardware has two models made from iron: the classic Carmino Vintage Candelabra Chandelier (with several sizes, up to 32 bulbs to frame the biggest tables) and the Carmino Vintage Filament Chandelier that comes with the more contemporary filament bulb for a more modern approach to this piece. One final option for that candle effect is the Pillar Candle Chandelier, also in several sizes and including up to 30 faux candles for that warm glow effect, minus the fire hazard.