I’m back on the One Room Challenge bandwagon! I had so much fun last time around and, really, I need the motivation to complete a space. This time I’ve picked my dining room. Last year we tore out the wall that separated the kitchen and the dining room, which started a whole-house transformation (which still isn’t done – whoops). Our dining room never has really had its moment of glory, so now’s the time.
On my last challenge I did a mood board for my kiddo’s room, but this time I’m just winging it. We are starting with a nice blank slate, with painted white walls and newly laid hardwood floors.
Here is a glimpse of the dining room from not long after we moved in:
After we moved in the old carpet came out, walls were painted, furniture was added, but that’s about it. I distinctly recall the rationale behind that paint color (if Restoration Hardware has a “taupe” then it must be the best.taupe.ever!) but I felt like I was always trying to convince myself to be happy with it. And the furniture – oh, the furniture. Our dining room furniture is the first “grown-up” furniture we ever bought. We were those 20-somethings who were in a real hurry to BE grownups, and how can you possibly be a grownup without a matching set of dark, formal dining furniture from Pottery Barn? So when we bought our first house with an oversized dining room, we were quick to fill it with a huge black table, eight matching black chairs, and a matching large black buffet and hutch. And for extra fun, here it is in our old house, in all that red-walled-dining-room glory.
I really loved that furniture when we bought it. When we moved, finding a new house with a dining room to fit our furniture was definitely on our list. The big table was just so great for hosting dinner parties, book club, holidays, etc. And I needed a really big buffet and hutch to hold our ever-growing collection of barware #champagneloversunite.
Over time, we did a few updates, like adding marbled paper in the hutch.
But seeing all the dark contrasting with our new white kitchen really wasn’t working. The kitchen remodel has really kick-started a change in our whole house vibe, for the better – bright everything! Not to mention that now that I am a grownup, I am so over being grownup. I like to think that having kids is making me more fun. So we’ve started to let go of our grownup furniture, or at least some of it, in favor of a more casual look. So far, we’ve sold both our buffet/hutch and our chairs on Craigslist.
For now, we’ve hung onto our table but keep changing our minds about whether to keep it. Pros for keeping it are that it is so functional, we really like it, it is a nice nod to tradition (which makes my husband happy), and it fits the space really well. Cons are that we might want a table with a more casual finish, we have had this table forever(!) and we’ve seen a few new tables that are really tempting us.
In updating the dining room, the goals are for it to be more fun, less formal, still functional, and to blend many of our home’s existing traditional elements with some more modern or at least updated features. That means we’re updating our light fixture, building a smaller-scale buffet, adding art, and someday figuring out the dining table/chair situation. I’ve semi-started on a few things, but I need this One Room Challenge to get ‘er done. In the past couple of weeks we’ve been working on the changes and so far we’re digging it. All the changes just make it seem “happy” – and who doesn’t want to live in a happy house? See – our happy kids are totally rubbing off on us.
So, follow along to see how this dining room progresses. And check out the ridiculously awesome inspiration from others in this round of the One Room Challenge (designers here and linkers here). It’s gonna be gooooood.
Update: check out the finished dining room here!