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Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Dining Room - not just a formality

According to Wikipedia the dining room is a room for consuming food.  In modern times it is adjacent to the kitchen for convenience in serving.  In the medival times, it was on a different level than the kitchen completely...  oh and they had a wait staff.... other than the momma/wife.

Most tables tend to have a rectangular shape and a number of chairs, some formal settings have 2 chairs for the head and end of the table with two arms and then armless chairs for the sides of the table for those joining the head of the family and his wife or mother. 

I always have enjoyed the look of formal dining rooms, and the idea of having enough seating for my family to all sit around and share a family meal.  I feel that a dining room conveys the thought, the idea of making memories and family traditions. 

Here is the dining room of our house at the beginning when we moved in (minus the fridge - ) , it was originally called the piano room, it was completely blocked off from the rest of the house, did not have overhead lighting, only electricity was the 4 plug ins.  The wall between the dining room and the kitchen was knocked out and opened up.

Here is a view of the dining room/piano room from our front entry way... this was a small pass thru "hallway" that was quite narrow... and I didnt feel like it had a purpose... therefore = another project in the wings ( a story for another time)

My husband installed a floating door from my parents farm.. this door hung on the garage and hung from an industrial railing and slid open in the middle... all together there were 4 doors, and they are VERY heavy. 

Here is a view of the door inside the dining room, paint sanded off, ready to be painted.

Door is painted and installed.

We wanted to spruce up the dining room to go along with our newly spruced up kitchen... but didnt want to spend alot of $$$$$$$$$....  so...  here is the money and the steps in our "remodel" for this room...

Painted the room a beautiful french blue color, installed white beadboard and railing.  We ripped out the carpet in the room and installed bamboo flooring.   Total spent on this room $800.00.

We purchased our overhead light at Lowe's on clearance for $200.00 - it's a Pottery Barn knock off. I love the look of all the "candles" and the fact that we have lighting in there!

The art work in the room consists of black and white photos from Seattle, WA.  My brother used to live out there and loved it.  I would highly recommend it as a vacation experience, I loved it.  That city has a great energy about it, one with the beautiful views of the mountains and hiking, and access to the ocean. The photos in this collage I feel capture the essence of Seattle.  The big photo in the middle is from a carnival ride and states "MUSIC", there is a small photo of the Public Market sign, and then another couple signs from the inside of the market "Fresh Fish" and an antique arrow.  There are two other photos that I feel are beautiful for your mind...someone had wrote in wet cement "Dont Lose Your Soul" and then in the public restrooms in the basement some graffiti artist sprayed "Question Everything" - beautiful statements.  The overall photos just came all together to represent the artistic vibe and the creative spirit that Seattle really encourages.  The best thing about it, I love the oxymoron of having a "formal dining room" with the informality and artisitic-ness in these rebelous statements and photos. 

On the wall on the right, a statement from Marilyn Monroe "Imperfection is beauty.  Madness is Genius.  And it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. 

There is a bay window in our dining room, one that I am not too fond of, but I am told by Shawn that it's staying.. so I hide it with pillows of different textures - in browns, golds, and blues. 

Curtains are flat sheets from Walmart that I bought on clearance for $7.00 a set.  I bought two sets...  They came contrasting pillow cases, so I made a small bench pad out of the two pillow cases... this isnt ideal... I think it needs more padding for the look to be better... but this will do for the time being.

Our table decor - two citron yellow urns from my girlfriends shop in Oskaloosa  - The Painted Daisy.  If your in town sometime, stop in and check her out, shes on the square and has really great quality products! 

The table runner is from Mahaska Drug as are the two small owl votive candle holders. 

The hutch in the corner came from a local thrift shop for $25.00, it had a broken glass pane in one of the upper doors, I had it replaced by Oskaloosa Glass for $3.00.  I painted the inside of the hutch a pale contrasting/complimentary blue.  Our dishes and glass ware really shines and shows nicely with the coloring behind it.  I love the old antique Westinghouse fan.  

The sign above the bay window is an old wooden sign that my brother and I found in a pile of boards on my parents farm.  I salvaged it away for many years (Yes, I was a collector of oddities even when I was young).  We washed it up and attached it to the wall. 

Here is a viewing of our flooring - dark bamboo.  Rug is from Target, we had this rug in our first home.  Our dining room is a step down from the kitchen, you can see the contrast between our cork flooring in the kitchen and our dark flooring in the dining room.  While I love the dark flooring, it does show the dust alot easier.... something to think about if you are getting ready to remodel. 

The plant in the corner is from my daddy's funeral.  His aunt June gave that plant to me... and I have worked very hard at keeping that plant alive.  I found the planter at Gordmans for $20.00 and filled the bottom up with spray foam and rocks for drainage and easier mobility if needed.  It gets great sunlight from the afternoon sun. 

As for my vision for a room to hold our family dinner's in, I think I have incorporated many aspects of our family in this room...  the dining set was purchased with the $ that was given to Shawn and I at our wedding, it has enough seating for our guests, my mother's favorite color - blue, the photo collage from Seattle where my brother was stationed for many years, the fact that most families are ridiculous and beautiful, the plant from my fathers funeral, eclectic items from my family farm where I spent many years at, a beautiful antique grandfathers clock which was given to us by Shawn's grandparents (his grandpa restores old clocks), dishes from my memaw... I really feel that our family is represented in this room - not in person but items that capture them.  And isnt that what a dining room really is... a room for your family to gather in and enjoy time together, sharing food and stories?

Not the formality, its about the gathering together around the table....


  1. love your style and colors Michelle! Your home looks so cozy...

  2. Thanks so much Faye! We are making this house our home, and while it has been challenging for me at times, I am enjoying turning this new house into our home. I enjoy sharing the growth and changes with everyone.