Friday, November 4, 2011

Back in the swing of things

It's been quite a while since my last post! I've been under the weather for a while, so I haven't been keeping up with projects like I normally would. We've done a lot in the last month though, so I will try to get it all posted soon.

Clockwise from top left: deer head, chandelier unknown, mirror banner, table unknown,
damask fabric, rug, dresser, lamp unknown, pillow, steel chair, placemat, dishes, napkin,
wood chair unknown, candleholders (old Bed Bath and Beyond)
I know the "guideline" about using warm colors in your dining spaces so food appears more appetizing, blah blah blah...I'm going to respectfully decline to participate in that one. I'm just going to do what I want to do. As usual.

I want to bridge the decor from the living room to the dining room by using similar colors, but taking them in a little bit different direction since the rooms are connected. The dining room is smaller, so I think the palette can be taken up a few notches on the boldness scale. For starters, I want to use that deep turquoise from the new lampshades as the color on the (top half of the) walls. Since there is a chair rail in the room, the bottom half is going to be painted white and will help tone down the intensity. I'm a little nervous about the room feeling like it's under water, so I think the key is making sure the color has enough yellow in it to negate some of the blue.

A few years ago B and I went to our first auction...and walked away with our dining room table. The auction was lots of fun, and even better we got a great deal on a unique piece. The table is an old lab table from a local college, and when we got it it was complete with carvings (still there) and gum (I scraped it all off...not fun). Its solid oak and absolutely awesome. It took many many hours of sanding and refinishing to get it back to its former glory, but its a piece we are going to have for years and nowhere could we buy the same amount of character.

Right now we have four oak chairs from my in-laws. They have great lines and work well with our aesthetic, and coincidentally enough they're also vintage university, or so says the little metal tags on the underside. We do occasionally have a need for more seating, so to counterbalance all the wood I want to bring in four metal chairs on the long sides of the tables and use a wood chair on either short end. The metal will tie in with the metal table lamp in the adjoining room. Woot!

I do have to say the Ikea rug looks way better in person...its not so contrasty and the texture is smaller scale so it doesn't compete with the black and white chevron rug in the living room. Aaand, its marled coloring would help to camouflage crumbs and dirt between vacuumings. I mean, I totally vacuum everyday but just in case.

Since there is a lot of contrast and bright colors going on in this room, I'd like to make some roman shades in a low contrast grey damask fabric. It helps to bring some sophistication to the room. And when the sun goes down, we've got a could-be-great chandelier already in the room. With a good cleaning, a rewire, a repair and some spray paint, it's going to look good as new—or at least I hope it will. I'm going back and forth between a bold color like a red or yellow or just a matte white. We'll have to see once the walls are painted what we're feeling at the time, and the great thing about spray paint is it can be easily changed.

The rest of the accessories I'd like to bring into the room are casual and fun, but I'd like to think somewhat sophisticated. The table linens can tie in the red from the accents in the living room, and using yellow pillows on some of the chairs ties into the yellow in the living room curtains, making the two rooms feel more like one big cohesive room. I love the playfulness of the mirror bunting, but I also love the functionality...putting it on the wall across from the window would help to bounce some extra light into the room (remember our deep overhangs?). And to offset all of the industrial, I'd like to use an ornate vintage credenza of some sort. Probably painted a sophisticated white (what B wants), but I might fight for something funkier like yellow. We'll see who wins ;)

Just like the rest of the house we want the dining room to be eclectic and bright and feel collected over time. We want a good mix of old and new, ornate and modern. We want it to feel fun and welcoming and be a place that people want to sit and talk and eat and have a good time. Right now we have a totally blank slate in there, so I hope to start cracking open some paint cans in the next couple of weeks and get this thing rolling!