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Best Reader-Submitted Dining Space Winner: Janna Hymes


Best Reader-Submitted Dining Space Winner: Janna Hymes

July 29, 2013

The winner of the Best Reader-Submitted Dining Space in our Considered Design Awards is Janna Hymes, who created a Swedish-inspired country dining room with her mother (“I owe my sense of style to her,” she says).

When Janna purchased her 1850s house in Rockport, Maine, it was in disrepair and in need of a total renovation. With her mother as her partner in crime, Janna settled on an overall vision, aiming to maintain the integrity and charm of the original home, where she lives with her two sons. “For the dining room, we wanted a Swedish-inspired room with a muted palette and simple furnishings, a look that would be typical for a country house of this type.” The mother/daughter team painted the floors and refurbished the antiques that fill the space. Says Janna of the end result: “We accomplished just what we wanted. It is particularly moving for me that I won Remodelista’s Considered Design Award as my mom passed away two years ago, and I owe my sense of style to her.”

Janna, the orchestral director of the Maine Pro Musica Orchestra and the Williamsburg Symphonia in Virginia, also occasionally runs a booth in an antiques shop in Maine. “As a young girl, I was dragged to antique shops everywhere and grew up to appreciate beautiful things.” Though an ear for music doesn’t guarantee an eye for good design, Hymes is blessed with both. “I wish I could tell you I have a design degree from RISD,” she says, “but it’s more simple than that.” 

Photography by Janna Hymes

Above: Janna bought her six antique farmhouse dining chairs for $75. She repainted them and reupholstered the plastic floral-patterned vinyl seats in linen check. “They turned out great, considering I had no idea what I was doing,” she says. Janna has collected vintage iron tools for years, and mounted on the wall they function as art.   

Above: The floors were not in good shape, so Janna and her mother took a cost-effective route and painted them in a checkerboard pattern. The furnishings are all antique, including the dining table, bench (with pillows made from vintage grain sacks), and corner wall cabinet. The chandelier is a relic from a childhood family trip to Portugal; it had been languishing in the attic, but the shades were ruined, so Janna’s father, who works on Saturday Night Live, asked one of the set designers to paint new shades for her. 

Above: Janna bought the antique cupboard in Ohio and brought it home to Maine strapped to the roof of her Toyota Corolla. She filled it with her collection of black-and-white transferware as well as pitchers, old mustard jars, and hand-painted cups. 

Above: An antique mirror Janna bought for her “sea captain beau” hangs against walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Linen White

Above: The port down the street from Janna’s home.

See all 11 winners of the Remodelista Considered Design Awards and watch for their project profiles to publish over the next several weeks. 

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