My Passion For Decor: The Dining Room Tour

Two plus years ago we left Connecticut and moved to Illinois for the hubby's job.  We had one day to find a house (long story and no fun).  Despite low inventory, we were lucky enough to find a house we liked, in a good school district.  

Ever since moving in, I've been slowly going from room to room, making this house our home.  I recently finished the dining room, which is funny since it's a room we never use!!  It was necessary to redo the dining room.  The dining room is the first room anyone sees when entering the house from the front door.  We have an open concept main floor and the entryway is right off the dining room.  This means, even if we never use the dining room, it needs to be inviting and look like we actually do use the room.  

This is a picture from the real estate listing to give you an idea what I started with.   
There wasn't anything wrong with the dining room, it was beautiful, but it wasn't my style and it lacked personality.  Every room in the house, including the garage, was painted this same dark taupe.  It's a great color, but there was way too much of it for my liking.  

The first thing I did was hire a painter.  I can paint walls, but not on this scale.   The house is very open concept and has high ceilings and I don't have the equipment or the skills to handle that scope of work!  Since we've moved in, we've had the entire house painted, minus the three rooms in the house that I have actually painted.

I chose Sherwin Williams Naval for the tray ceiling and the lower half of the chair rail.  Then for the rest of the walls I chose Colonnade Gray, also by Sherwin Williams.  

I have to admit, after the Naval was painted below the chair rail, I felt like I'd made a bad choice.  I left the paint the way it was for a year thinking I'd eventually repaint it in a white.   Then one day it dawned on me, it wasn't the color I didn't like, it was the dining room table.  We've had the dining room table and chairs for years and the dark table against the navy blue paint wasn't working for me. 

One while night while suffering from insomnia, I went downstairs and painted the bottom of the table off white.  Once I was finished, I was a lot happier with the room.  The off white paint on the bottom of the table lightened everything up.

After I painted the table, I still wasn't happy with the look of the dining room.   

I'd been thinking about building a bench for the table for awhile.  I love the look of a dining bench and thought this would might the room together.  Before I had a chance to build a bench,  a neighbor was selling an old outdoor cedar bench for $5.  How could I go wrong?!!  Of course I bought the bench!  I figured if I didn't like the bench, I was only out $5 and a bit of time and paint.

Here's the bench before I gave it a makeover.

 I painted the base of the bench the same off white as the bottom of the dining table.  I sanded, stained and waxed the seat of the bench to match the table top.   Once I finished the bench, I placed it in front of the dining table and smiled a big smile.  What I had in envisioned for the dining room was coming together.  

 Once the dining room was painted, I took down the existing chandelier and gave it a makeover.  I painted the chandelier with a high gloss white spray paint so it would pop against the navy blue ceiling.  I painted the outside of the shades the same navy blue as the tray ceiling.  The insides of the shades I painted a metallic gold.

To finish off the room, I needed to find the right rug to pull everything together.  I wanted a light rug, but I didn't want to worry about the spills and dirt the come from an active kiddo and a dog.  I found the perfect rug for the room on the Target website.  It's an indoor/outdoor rug which means if there are any spills (if we ever use our dining room),  they can be quickly and easily cleaned up.  I love how the rug pulls the whole room together.  

These are a few of my favorite things in the dining room!  

Last summer, I found this vintage wood shelf at a flea market in Chicago.  I fell in love the moment I laid eyes on it and had to bring it home with me.  Now the shelf is in the dining room and holds my collection of vintage glass bottles.  Hunter and I actually dug up these bottles in the yard of our Connecticut home.  

I love this vintage wire laundry hamper.  I'd been looking for one for awhile and was lucky enough to find one at a consignment store after we moved to Illinois.  

And there's my Hudson Coaster wagon.  I bought this at an estate sale in CT years ago.  It's one piece I don't think I could part with.  

Another favorite is my vintage wood and metal chicken feeder I used as a centerpiece.  I filled it with some of my vintage Ball jars.  

Phew!  I'm happy to have this room finished, but for me no room is ever really 'finished'!  

I love the challenge of designing a room.  My goal with the dining room was to create a room that felt collected and inviting.  Other than the dining room table and window coverings, everything in this room was sourced from different locations.  Nothing was bought or planned to be together, rather it  came together like a puzzle.  

How about you!?  Do you like the challenge of putting a room together?  If so, what's your favorite part of the process?

Thank you for reading,


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