When you step into Patty Bigelow’s Victorian dining room for the first time, the antique French furniture transports you to a century past. Some of the décor was done on a budget, but you wouldn’t know. The dramatic stage is clearly set for entertaining; your jaw drops, and your hostess smiles.
“I like a surprise,” Patty says.
A Dining Room Ready for Drama
Patty doesn’t let her stylish décor upstage the home’s historic roots. The white wainscoting in the Victorian dining room hints at the molding that wraps every wall—all original, all carefully preserved. Antique fixtures were also restored when Patty bought the house. She “took all the old hardware off that had been painted white a million times” and removed each unnecessary layer, she says. Now, the antique brass shines once again.
However, not all is original. Before Patty purchased the 1892 home, the Victorian layout had made way for modern life. Previous owners had combined two parlors into one living room. “There were tiny little rooms, and a tiny little kitchen,” Patty says. “So they opened all of that up and made a large, long dining room. And that’s why we bought the house.”
Now, the Victorian dining room basks in the glow of cloche-covered lights, which add a foggy, dreamlike atmosphere. The cloches once covered lemons and limes in the fields of France, and now set a strong focal point for the room. Other dramatic elements include French antique chairs, their lines reminiscent of the Louis XIV style, and an oversized vintage clock.
The enlarged dining room is truly Patty’s stage, where comfort and fun reign supreme. Because she loves cooking and entertaining, the Victorian estate is fondly nicknamed “Chez Patty.” Her kitchen is backstage; also enlarged, it holds modern appliances, such as a Sub Zero freezer and a Wolf range, which help everything run smoothly.
Written by Sarah Yoon
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel
Photography by Eric Striffler