Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dining in Style.

You've seen some recent pictures of the dining room from the Turkey Day decorations, and I'm sure you noticed the wood paneling. The dining room was stuck in a major time warp when we bought the house. In fact, the whole house was, and I have proof in the receipts my mom just found of some remodeling that was done in the 70's. I'm not saying anything is wrong with that time, it's just not my favorite. Here is what the room looked like when it was my grandparents:

Little bit of nostalgia for you. The dining room was unchanged my entire life, aside from the carpet. It went from an orange/yellow/brown shag to a nice neutral beige. But it was still the same green trimmed, woodpaneled, pool hall chandeliered room. And it still wouldn't be so bad, except there was an almost identical shade of wood table and chairs in there (not to mention the buffets and cabinets that were in there that were all the same shade).

That was after we took over and cleared out the furniture except the necessities. Now you can see it's a sea of brown. It was cool last Christmas when I found some old linens and made it sort of a cabin, homey feel of Christmas:

...but otherwise, it needed a little toning down. I decided to use my free time when I woke up this morning and find a way to make it a little brighter and more stylish. Problem is, neither one of us want to take down the paneling. We learned from the bathroom remodel that opens up a can of worms, and the last thing we want to do is replace the dry wall again. So we're playng safe, keeping the paneling, and finding a way to make us BOTH happy with it:

It's a little all over the place, but I just tried to combine all my favorite elements into one big picture. Cushy captain chairs, zebra rug, anthropologie knobs, Emeco (knockoffs, I'm cheap!), Damask curtains, and the $39 Diversity Thrift table. I've spent the whole time we lived here throwing together so many different looks for this room, using inspiration, and nothing stuck. I finally started going with my heart and now I found a look I love. It's not easy finding your style!

We're planning on staining all the floors in the house, and I'm really leaning towards a dark stain. But because of that, the walls will need to be lighter or we'll really be swallowed up by all that wood! I initially looked into white washing, but that was pretty insane. So I thought I'd try a light stain instead. And to really help tone down the walls, no matter if we change the wood stain on the paneling or not, would be a gigantic canvas covering most of the upper wall. I took note in a lot of the metropolitan/glamorous spaces I've been lusting over there are big ornate frames covering the walls. And it REALLY brightens the space up. I figured I could just paint a large canvas, and put the miter saw to use some more to frame the picture.

I've also wanted an old decorative wood buffet to hold our dishes so I don't have to use a step stool to get the daily settings. I like the dark wood stained top over the white painted piece, with some pretty little amethyst Anthro knobs. Since a lot of the pieces in this room are diving hard over the line into traditional, the contemporary Ikea light fixture will help keep it in this century, and I'll find ways in the accessories to keep it more modern. Since this is a longterm look, hopefully the next place this set resides in will have normal walls surrounding it to make it easier to decorate!

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