So, I love my dining room. It’s beautiful and there are pieces in it that are special to me… and I am so grateful for that. Really, I promise, that I do love it… please remember that as I get further into the next part of this post. But, in an effort to be completely honest, I have to admit that I get really frustrated by my dining room. I get frustrated by the dining room because like I said, we’re not a formal family and we don’t really have formal living spaces. My goal is to use every bit of our home. But, our dining room is formal… and since it’s formal, we don’t use it nearly as much as we should. We gather in there for special occasions and when we do, I love that I’m away from the dirty dishes and mess in the kitchen. When we’re in there, I’m grateful for a chance to be together with no other distractions. But, truthfully, we are rarely in there.
So, pour that second cup of coffee and sit back friends… because I’m getting ready to ramble and show you lots of eye candy. I know what I want my dining room to be… cozy and warm, simple enough for supper with my family and able to dress up a bit for special occasions. I want to make it more of a functional room in our home… and here’s how I plan to get there.
Dining room table… We rarely eat in our dining room because as much as I love our dining room table, it’s the wrong size for the space in which it resides. It was literally made for a room much, much larger than ours. It’s too long and too wide and its size makes it difficult to navigate around the table and be seated. Something almost a foot shorter and 6 inches more narrow would make a huge difference in our “cozy” dining room. I would love to find something around 42″ wide and about 72″ long. I know there’s not a big difference in a 48″ table and one only 6″ more narrow, but in a small room, that 6″ makes a big difference. Mike would love something with a more rustic and farmhouse style. We actually tried moving my farmhouse style desk into the room (I asked bribed a friend to come help me move furniture around). As much as I didn’t want to admit it, the size just wasn’t right. I dream of an old English farm table, with a warm patina on a planked wood top.
Dining room chairs… We’re rarely in eat in our dining room because the dining chairs are antiques and uncomfortable to sit in for longer periods of time. We’ve already lost one to an unfortunately incident at the dinner table and another has some cane damage from little feet. The chairs shake and wobble and squeak in protest at the little boys that can’t help but squirm in their seats as they chat about their day and eat their dinner. Sturdy chairs that stand up to kids, chairs that invite you to sit back and relax after dinner would fit our lifestyle much better.I’d love to find 6 chairs (or 4 chairs and a bench) that are comfortable and casual… chairs that beg you to sit back and chat once the meal is done. I’m open to most materials… upholstered, wood, even wicker… just as long as its comfortable and fits the room.
Lantern Light Fixture… I love the traditional double chandelier but it’s not really my style. I really want to do an oversized lantern instead and hang it a little off center in the room so that it’s centered on the bay window and cased opening. A lantern light fixture would provide a visual anchor in the room and I think it would increase the cozy factor dramatically.
My Buffet… If I found a 42″ table for my dining room, it would give me enough room to move the buffet from my living room into the dining room… and that’s something I would love to be able to do!
Rearranging the room… My biggest pet peeve about my dining room is that the bay window isn’t centered on the ceiling of the room… it’s centered on the cased opening from the living room. The chandelier is centered on the ceiling of the room… soooo… either the dining room table is centered under the chandelier and off center to the bay window or the dining room table is centered on the bay window and off center to the chandelier. Grrr. That little dilemma kicks my OCD tendencies into overdrive. How to solve it? See the next item on the list.
So, there you have it! Just a few, little changes I’d love to make to the room. It would make the space so much more functional for our family… it would be a place that we’d gather for dinner each night… a space away from the kitchen, away from the bustle of life… a space to reconnect as a family. But, until the day comes I’ll be happy with what I have and dreaming of the space that I envision it can be. I’d love to know your thoughts on the space… how would you make it more functional, more casual… more me?
I’m leaving with you a few images I loved in my search for dining room inspiration… each one speaks to me in some way… each one has an element that I’d love to incorporate in my own dining room one day.