Rethinking the Dining Space

I feel like it was just yesterday that G and her daddy were putting together the kiddie table so she could be a “big girl” and move out of her highchair. Now that she and M are sharing the kiddie table, the food has been flying! Literally. And feet kicking each other, and hands pushing elbows, and the screaming is endless. I’ve come to the decision, as my hearing and sanity go, that we need a bigger table.

Our house doesn't have a dedicated dining room, so I've designed the large entry living area as a living/dining mix, more of an "adult" space for my husband and I. Unfortunately, we rarely eat in there and the dining table has become more of a utility table for catching our keys and mail, setting up the keyboard so G can practice piano, general living instead of dining. We have a large island in the kitchen that we purchased from Ikea a few years ago, which is where my husband and I eat while the girls are at their little table. And until recently, it's been a great set-up. Cue the screaming over someone's toe is touching the other one's...

I had high hopes of bringing our current dining table into the kitchen, jumping on the dine-in-kitchen trend, but our large glass round table just doesn't fit. And I'm getting the feeling that my husband is over it (he's the one that actually pushed for a new table and started showing me ones he liked!). Let the furniture hunt begin!

My personal design style is a take on mid-century with a little boho and glam. That being said, I want to mix a long chunky-wood table with some fun chairs. Here are a few dream rooms I found to help explain my design goal to my husband. So much easier to show him than describe it.

While these rooms are mostly dedicated dining rooms, I'm going to transplant the look right into our kitchen. We have a wide open wall that the table will go up against, with a bench tucked neatly under so we can pull it out and seat 3 more people when we have guests. Brilliant, right? 

Check out a few of the chair options I found. I'm leaning heavily toward the white Eames style chair, but we'll see... 

I'm so excited to get our new dining situation going, opening up a whole list of design possibilities: do we get a new kitchen light fixture? We need to redecorate the living room into a genuine living room. Should we bring a desk into the living room? And on and on and on... I'm beyond thrilled! Summer is going to be fun for me.

Stripes, Check!

I can't believe it happened, but the stripes are done!

My goal of painting this past weekend was more of a pipe dream, or so I thought. But my husband was actually on board and we got it done over Sat/Sun during M's naps. What do you think?! I'm really loving it. Much to my husbands dismay, I'm now thinking of wrapping it around onto the next wall. We'll see if I can convince him.

I used Benjamin Moore Whitestone to get a true gray. I didn't want brown/taupe undertones coming through since the drapes and area rug on the opposite side of the room are gray. TIP: It's always a great idea to look at the color fan-deck in order to see the lightest and darkest colors in a series so you can clearly see what the underlying tones are. Then you won't get stuck with a color that isn't exactly what you had in mind.

I'm completely OCD when it comes to painting stripes. My thought is, if they're not perfect, why even do it? So every time we paint stripes (this is the second room), I measure and mark, my husband breaks out the laser level, I use the yard stick and remeasure again before penciling them up and taping. Sometimes it feels like it takes a bit longer than necessary, but stripes are so prominent I would be kicking myself if it wasn't done right. If you haven't guessed, I'm a total perfectionist most of the time.

Now that the stripes are done, I'm planning on DIY-ing a gallery wall from some artwork I saw in the William Sonoma Home catalog. If I can fit it above the couch, I'll go 3 across 2 down. I don't think I could handle a randomly organized gallery wall in my house, no matter how cool it looks in a magazine. There's something so calming about a grid of art or photography. Check out my Pinterest board to see all of my DIY Art ideas.

I'm so excited to get this phase going. It won't be done this weekend, but hopefully soon! Wish me luck.

Living Room Update

My living/dining room refresh is taking me so much longer than I expected! But I guess it always does, doesn't it? I've have to fit projects in around the girls and their schedules, which doesn't leave a heck of a lot of time for me to search for lamps, rugs, drapes, paint...

But I feel like I've finally hit the halfway mark and am rounding the corner toward the finish line - yippee!! The furniture has been completely rearranged, I've hung new drapes, added an area rug to the sitting area, bought a tripod lamp and two decorative lamps... It's been so much fun (and time consuming) searching for the perfect fits for the room. I've spent countless hour after the girls have gone to bed "researching", as I like to call it.

And it's also been a great lesson in restraint, if you can believe it. There are so many fun, beautiful, colorful accessories that I'd love to lose myself in, but wouldn't necessarily be good for my space. I have to keep reminding myself of the steps I need to take before accessorizing - dress the room with the right furniture pieces and drapes, THEN focus on the fun little things. Oh, and keeping my focus on just one room. It's amazing how searching through countless images of furniture, etc, makes me want to start adding/changing things in every other room in the house (I'm already planning out fixes for my bedroom!). Focus. Focus. Focus. I feel like I have adult A.D.D.

Luckily, I've gotten my furniture squared away, it's organized the way I want it, the drapes and big mirror/art pieces are hung on the wall. But over the Memorial Day weekend, I realized that my room is still just a big rectangular box, no architectural interest at all. I've been thinking of painting one of the walls an accent color, but after playing with the girls in their room the other day, I realized the living room needs STRIPES! I bought a gallon of Benjamin Moore's Whitestone for a very subtle gray. I'm planning on thick stripes, maybe  18" high with 10" stripes of the existing wall color, changing the width for more visual interest. Check out some of my stripe-inspiration images: 

Now onto my room...

BEFORE - a quick reminder of where I started

And ALMOST- AFTER

Before I started, I created a Pinterest board with all of the images and rooms that I loved. I'm going for a more Mid Century Modern look. I don't want to create a time capsule, just a hint of a time-warp (kidding!). The stripes will go on the wreath wall. And, of course, I need to add in decorative accessories. I'm imagining a big plant in the center of the wall with the ocean photograph, recovering the dining chairs with a printed fabric, creating a gallery wall in place of the wreath...the list goes on. 

As soon as the stripes go up, I'll let you all take a look. Cross your fingers for this coming weekend to get it done! Wishful thinking???