Our New House: Dining Room

Dining rooms are one of my favorite rooms to design. Their purpose and focal point are usually straightforward (eating/the table and chairs), which allows for so much creativity. Our dining room was one of the first rooms I started working on in the new house. Here are the ‘before’ photos:


Obviously the border needed to go (there is a different one in almost every room of the house!). One of the first things we bought when we moved in was a wallpaper steamer, and this baby was gone right away.


I knew I wanted to keep our antique trestle table – it’s one of my favorite pieces! Of our old mid-century chairs, there were only four left, and I was never crazy about how the red-toned wood looked with the yellow-toned wood of the table. I have seen rustic-style tables alongside clean, formal white slip-covered parsons chairs and I love the contrast. I found these ones on Craigslist for a steal ($130 for all four!). The toile is pretty but I will replace the slipcovers with white ones.


The floors throughout the house will be refinished eventually and stained a mid-tone walnut.


This room gets really beautiful morning light, doesn’t it?


The only furniture in these photos that will be staying is the table and chairs. The other pieces will be sold or moved elsewhere in the house.


For the walls, I have decided on wallpaper! I tend to play it safe when it comes to decorating spaces, because I don’t want to make wasteful decisions that I will regret. But the spaces that I love the most when I am looking for inspiration have a bit more drama, so I wanted to try something new in here. I found a gorgeous¬†large-scale blue damask that I think will look beautiful with the brass, warm wood, and bright white color scheme I’m planning for this room.


I also found a gorgeous Gaetano Sciolari for Lightolier glass rod chandelier that I think will look stunning as a contrast against the more traditional wallpaper.


The dining room and kitchen are on the opposite end of the house from the living room, with the center hall, stairway and front entryway in between. Here is the view into the living room.


The door on the left leads into the kitchen.


I have already added wainscoting along the bottom of the walls in here, which will be painted white with the wallpaper above. I will show you how I did it soon!

Here are some inspiration photos for the new dining room:

parsons chairs with rustic table

Don’t the parsons chairs with the rustic table look great? I love that mix.

parsons chairs with rustic table 1

And again. The parsons chairs really hold the table back from going too “country.”

color scheme

Golden tones, blues, bright whites and warm woods, just like this photo, is the color scheme I’m shooting for.

blue damask

You can see in this room how that large-scale blue print really adds drama to the room. And, one of the reasons I chose the light blue is because it goes with every color. The red in that rug looks gorgeous next to it, and it would look equally good with pinks, greens, yellows, or even purples. That is essential for me in a dining room, where I might want to change up tablecloths, dishes, flowers or decor depending on the season or event.


The contrast between the modern light fixture and traditional wallpaper in this room is just what I’m aiming to achieve. So gorgeous!

dramatic wallpaper

This room from Studio McGee was stunning and so inspirational. I love how the wallpaper really takes center stage and all the pretty neutrals and metallics set it off so subtly.

contrast with dramatic wallpaper

Another wallpaper that adds instant drama. This room’s contrast of styles (farmhouse table with modern wallpaper and boho chandeliers) and colors (whitewashed table, black frame windows, dark ceiling, warm wood floors and cabinet) and lines (carved table legs, organic wood beads, clean and straight windows and cabinets, you get the idea!) is my happy place. High contrast + overall minimalism is my favorite.

To wrap this up, because this post is pretty long, here is the chandelier I found:


and the wallpaper I chose:


And an amateur moodboard showing what I plan to do:

dining room

Obviously, none of this is to scale. I already have a seagrass rug that I think pairs well with the rustic table. The formal chairs will pair with the brass etagere that was in our living room in our last house. And the modern chandelier will look great with these Panton S chairs. I will round it out with vintage pieces like a warm wood hutch and a clean-lined buffet at some point.

This is my eventual plan, but of course, it will take a long time to get there. I love rooms that evolve slowly because it allows me to come to really sound conclusions about what would work best in the room and find really gorgeous vintage pieces. I will keep you updated along the way!

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