Dining room -before-

Do you have a formal dining room?

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RH Monastery Dining

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Southern dining room

Southern dining room

My grandparents used to own the cutest little house in North Carolina with pecan trees in the front yard and a fireplace in the dining room. Ever since then, I have dreamed of a beautiful, formal dining room. I know most people don’t use them anymore, but I love my memories of sitting around a big table with lots of family and eating and talking and playing games. Plus, one more room to decorate is fine by me.

In the house we are renting, there is a space for a formal dining room in the back next to the kitchen. It’s not small, but it’s not really big enough to be comfortable with a lot of people. I want our dining room to be a place people want to hang out once dinner is over, not a room that feels too small and you bump your chair against the wall as you get up and you just can’t wait to get to the family room. So as soon as we moved in, I switched the back dining room with a front room that was supposed to be the formal living room. I’m all about two living spaces, but I think it is more practical to have one in the back of the house that you can just keep messy. (I like ‘pretty’ when you walk into a house, even if it ends there). So I decided to make the big front room into our dining room and turn the back room into a play room/office, which is really nice because I can see the kids playing while I’m cooking dinner. Also, the front room has bay windows. Need I say more?

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Bay windows

But there are some real lame things about the front room. One, there is no overhead lighting at all. No pot lights, no light fixture. And even though there is a bay window, there is a tree outside that blocks most of the sun. (I’m not complaining about the tree, and I’m sure I will be grateful once Atlanta summer hits!) One of the first things we did when we moved in was to put in an overhead light, but it’s just a hanging cord kit and lampshade from Ikea. Pretty unglamorous.

My magnolia tree

My magnolia tree

Two, the paint is just really dark. As far as colors go, it’s not a bad camel. But next to our grayish table and yellowish piano, it just makes the whole room look like a muddy cavern. One of my friends says the word “beige” sounds like the noise a potato makes when it hits the plate. That’s what this room feels like too. A potato hitting a plate. Three, an amazingly generous family friend gave us six dining chairs. My “one day” chairs are the ones that go with the table from RH, but until I have an extra $1500, I am thrilled with these ones. The wood is pretty but looks awful with our dining table, and the covers need to be updated. Four, the bay window just looks a little naked with no coverings. But since there are five windows, I am going to have to find c.h.e.a.p covers for them.

Our piano

Our piano

Hand-me-down chairs and blah beige walls

Hand-me-down chairs and blah beige walls

So that is my next project. Layer by layer, and with a very tight budget (about $150), I am going to transform this blah beige room into my favorite room in the house. Let’s go!

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3 thoughts on “Dining room -before-

  1. I can’t wait to see the finished product. I guess I’ve had my light dining room furniture long enough for it to be back in style:) Miss you!

  2. Had to smile. Thinking gardens last week and then read Jen’s blog, today thinking of your piano and dining room and see your blog…SO. I thought the room was blue, did you repaint? Meanwhile, dining room in front of house and very large room a huge plus. Move the table lengthwise in room and the piano to the end that backs up to the kitchen. Piano’s like inside walls, and that way you will have much more room to see your beautiful table and chairs (after painted) and have the desired room to walk around the table, or push back for conversation.
    The dining room of GGMA and PA with the fireplace was a lot of fun…remember she had it painted red? You two are decorating guru’s Have fun!!!
    AS

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