Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dining Room Dreaming

I have been thinking about the eating area in our house lately. It needs some help/attention. (In this post you can vaguely see our eating area in the second photo from the left. Sorry, I'm lazy today and don't feel like taking another pic! Besides, it's exactly the same today - the only change has been what sort of clutter is on the table! Today it's paper, a plastic bag with magazines it in, and a cardboard tube instead of party food! [Though I could go for some party food right about now!])

So what have I exactly been thinking about regarding the dining room? (It's not really a room...more like a corner.) A few things, such as:
  • Dan & I never eat at the table if it's just the two of us. We sit at the island, or, to be perfectly honest, sit on the couch. 
  • When we have company over to eat, the eating corner feels cramped. Our table is awesomely huge - 42" wide by 6'-9" long when extended. Our "designated area" is 10'-8" long, and only 7'-9" wide. If you sit on the window side of the table, it's just not enough room between the table and the wall to sit comfortably and get in & out. 
  • While the aforementioned table is great for large gatherings, we have only once had 10+ people over for a sit down meal. Ever. And they were family. Not to discount Dan's family as "real guests", but the times we do have everyone over, it's usually for dessert/birthday cake/wiener roast (which is outside anyway) and it's very casual. Our big family meals happen at the in-laws house, where there is a gorgeous kitchen, spacious dining room, and it's just down the street. I can't imagine that this will change drastically any time soon.
  • With some kitchen island changes in mind for sometime in the future, we are planning on being able to seat 4 people on stools. So even with bigger groups, there would be places to sit.
  • Curtains, fabric, accessories. We have just the one painting (an original piece by artist, friend & all-round nice guy Matt Holdsworth!) which we love, but it looks lonely. I'd like to get some kind of curtains going, maybe get fabric on the chairs, think about a rug, switch out the light fixture for something a little more my style and if I can figure out some way to fit a buffet, maybe stick a lamp on there, and some pretty things too. (Side note about light fixture selections: one of the most stressful ways to pick light fixtures for your new place is to go on the day after your husband has had shoulder surgery! Learn from me and don't do that!)
In light of all those points above, here's a little plan I came up with that could maybe remedy my drab and ignored eating area:

I think the round table (the one shown is 54" diameter) gives some wiggle room on the window side. I am not sure if a 60" (which seats 6 people) table would fit comfortably, but we could probably get by with a 42" or a 54". 

I LOVE this one from West Elm:

Source: westelm.com via Erica on Pinterest

Not sold on the chairs, but I have been thinking about other accessories! A few weeks ago I scored this cowhide rug second hand, and think it would be great to add some interest down low, since we have long views in our house. I'm not sure if rugs & dining rooms are a good idea, but hey, we're still child free, so why not?

I am also liking the idea of burlap curtains. It's relatively inexpensive, gives a casual feel, and comes in a variety of colours. I ordered a bunch of samples from Fabric.com, and they finally arrived today! Also, I just saw a photo of white burlap pinch pleat curtains in a magazine at Elissa's house, and it looked great. (I think the magazine was called House Beautiful, but I can't find the photo online.) To give you an idea:

What else is inspiring me? This buffet I spotted at MCC this morning. I mainly liked the size, and the simple leg shape. 

As far as a light fixture goes, there is nothing wrong with ours, but I am looking for something with a little more charm, or perhaps less chandelier-y. Something interesting, but still simple, casual, and clean looking. 

What do you think of my plan? Any tips or suggestions to pass on to me? This it still all pretend at the moment, (except for the curtains - those I will do) so all opinions welcome!


  1. Hey Erica,

    Cowhides are incredibly durable and they actually clean up very well. My parents have been using one (although not in the kitchen) and it's been spilled on and it still looks as good as new. Their cowhide is darker than yours though, but the durability is fantastic.

    I love your ideas. I love the round table. It might be good to look for one with a leaf though so you can accommodate lots of kids. Or guests. :)

    1. Thanks for the tip Jenn! The girl I bought it from said the same thing - that cowhides are super durable and had even spilled red wine on one once and it came right up.
      Thanks for the fauxdenza link too. I had seen some on various blogs, but enjoyed the round-up on AT!

  2. Loooove the round table! And the chairs...although wondering if they would take up too much room? And I was wondering why you wanted to change the light fixture when you just put them up not too long ago! And love the buffet at MCC. Did you get it? Would you paint it?

    1. I did not get the buffet. I think we're a ways away from actually doing something furniture wise in here, so I'll wait. I am fairly confident I can find something similar some time down the road!

  3. Just had a thought. Check out the "fauxdenza", really cool idea (which perhaps you've already heard of) and highly customizable.