Danielle's house 1 year later: DINING ROOM

{We'll be doing an ongoing series here on the blog to share the evolution of each room in Danielle's house. This is the first post in the series.}

I can hardly believe we've been in our sweet little home for nearly a year! 

A year ago we embarked on our home search. We needed something move-in ready and fast (shout out to our daughter who was 10 months at the time and suddenly started walking - the impetus for the quick move!). 

So, after a couple dozen home tours, two offers lost to all-cash buyers, we awoke one morning to a new listing that we instantly KNEW was the one. By that evening it was ours!

People often say, much like a great love, you just know when you've found your house. Well, I don't know, this was the 3rd home we put an offer on but we did feel really good about the decision. It certainly was a little smaller than the other's we had seen and it had no master suite private bathroom. But, as any homeowner knows, you've typically got to give up something, so you weigh everything out. Our "downsides" really didn't matter that much to either of us and they certainly did not outweigh the real "wins" for us: the nearly perfect kitchen (relatively, we were facing a full-on remodel with every other house we considered), it's great location and community, and the good bones throughout. Nearly a year in, we love our home still so it seems we made a good choice. (Shout out to our awesome real estate agent, Anne Callahan Keller Williams Westlake office).

Though I had thought of doing this series sooner, I was reluctant to share the "before" pictures only because I like the previous homeowners and thought they did a wonderful job on the home (I mean, we bought it the second it went on the market!). I just don't want it to appear that I'm disparaging the way the house was. We loved it. We just wanted to put our stamp on it, naturally. 

Disclaimer: NONE of the rooms are "done". But, they each have been changed a lot through decor since we moved in, and I think we've come far enough to start sharing.

We'll start the series with a look at the DINING ROOM:


OK ,the above pic isn't actually what this room looks like right now. The below pictures is. The above is a quick mock-up I did to visually represent the ideas my husband and I had discussed for the room. Ultimately the "finished" product (I use quotes because I don't think any room is ever really "finished") will be layered and feel old with jolts back to current day through color, pattern and a few modern accessories.

We plan to hang sconces and a LOT of art in this room. Our living room has been about larger-scale art whereas this space is about creating a sense of history and collection. Wes and I each have been toting a number of smaller and vintage pieces of art from place to place for years and we're going to finally get around to planning a dedicated home for those pieces (and more!) in this space. 

table with extension in. ( photo:  )

table with extension in. ( photo:  )

But, we're not there yet and to understand where we're headed you've really got to see where we've been. So let's look at the before pictures.

before pictures from the house listing:


They had done a lot to improve this home and for it, we're grateful. I think they must have had other colors on the walls and/or wallpaper as we realized upon moving in that all these white walls were actually just a primer. Which actually worked out great as it saved our painter a big step. I think we've managed to really change the feel of this space with just a few simple changes.

We always begin with removing the things we know we won't be keeping. In this case, the chandelier and the curtains.

photo taken before we moved in.

photo taken before we moved in.



The next thing we did was to paint the built-in black. Inside and out, and replace it's hardware with simple gold knobs from Anthropologie. 



I had probably 25 samples of very bold wallpaper patterns sent to me to consider for this space. I really thought I wanted to go bold. I try not to be a "safe" designer, especially for my own home, but my style preferences do land somewhere between very classic and somewhat bold. So it's a matter of determining where you're going to go simple and where you'll make your splash. We had a bold rug ordered for our living room which is adjacent and I knew I wanted to do a bold color for the foyer, so in the end, I just determined that classic wallpaper would give the room the overall layered, textured look I was going for and we'll find another way to add our surprise splash.

So I landed on a very affordable ticking stripe from Wayfair and we LOVE it! I know that the next home we live in will be super contemporary, as my husband is a very contemporary architect, so this is my chance to live in a space which embraces my love of history. We've bought new table and chairs and lighting and now I'm looking forward to slowly adding in the special antique and vintage pieces.



In terms of lighting, we know we want a few wall sconces but initially we focused on replacing the chandelier. We bought a beautiful ceiling medallion and had it painted the same color as our trim work and installed it and the modern West Elm chandelier pretty early on. Truth is, I love the idea of this chandelier more than I love the actual chandelier. So who knows, maybe we'll sell it and replace it, but that is certainly not a priority as I like it enough that I could live with it for years.



For our dining table and chairs, went with a black stained extension table from Crate & Barrel (couldn't find a link) with simple clean lines paired with my beloved bentwood-style chairs, also in black. We are on the lookout for some upholstered arm chairs to accompany this setup and to live in the corners of the dining room but haven't yet found the right ones. I like the buffalo check pattern on the side chairs I mocked up for our "goal room" image.

We have a black, gold and marble-topped Baker furniture small buffet table handed down to us from Wes' parents. It's a beautiful piece in beautiful condition and we currently use it as our bar. Down the road though, we plan to buy a larger -and more functional- dining room buffet and then we'll shift this to one of the corner walls of this room as opposed to under the main window where it currently sits, feeling a little too small scale for this space.

The rug was a classic gray-toned braided rug from Rugs USA. My grandma DeBoe (who turns 101 this April!) had several in her house that I remember playing on as a little kid with my brothers and cousins. I have always had a soft spot for braided rugs since and this was the first time I had a room that felt like a good fit for one. The price was right too because a rug under a dining room table - especially one that a toddler eats at - is bound to get stained. We have had ours for 8 months now and honestly, I think it looks like new still. 


I'd like to design some custom dupioni silk drapes for this space and make it more dramatic than it currently is. I am envisioning two-toned tying in the framboise color of our nearby foyer, maybe in a stripe or band at the bottom of each panel. 

Temporarily though, I'm really happy with these linen curtains scored at Homegoods. $50 for four panels! They need to be hemmed, but I keep ignoring that as I hate to spend any amount of time or money on something that is not long-term. Especially since the curtains I've envisioned will be one of our pricier projects. 

living-with-kids-dining-room-cuckoo-clock- stokke-steps-high-chair

So there you have it! Our first room by room before and after tour! I'll definitely be updating the blog and Instagram as we "finish" rooms. Next up we'll look at before pictures and the progress images of our living room.

Thank you for stopping by!