I’ve sort of, kind of settled on a blue and white scheme for the dining room, with a single hit of yellow from the bench. I fully expect that to go out the window after I inevitably find some amazingly colorful fabric for the dining chairs, but at the moment, this is my plan.
The dining hutch has been looking rather bleak ever since I painted the walls white. Its lacquer finish had yellowed to a cream, and next to the bright white trim and chairs, the hutch just wasn’t working. So using the same paint I used for trim, I painted it white. Which was pretty boring. I didn’t want to paint the whole piece a crazy color because of the hutch’s proximity to the entry, where my pink credenza hangs out. Painting just the back, though, would add the contrast I needed for my mostly white dishes, while not being completely in your face.
I ended up getting two paint samples: Ewing Blue and Prussian Blue. Ewing, while pretty, didn’t add enough contrast for this project, but I want to use the color somewhere else eventually. Maybe in a high gloss on the french doors we’ll eventually add between the living and dining rooms. So I went with Prussian Blue, which is described as being inspired by Chinese pottery (perfect!).
Painting just the back of the hutch, while quick in theory, was tedious. The backing has a basketweave texture, so taping would’ve been ineffective–getting a seal was impossible. I had to freehand all of the edges, which slowed progress quite a bit. Prying the backing off might have been a possibility, and I’d suggest trying that if you’re attempting a similar project. You’d only need to staple it back when you finished painting.
I’m turning my attention to the living room next. We had the ottoman delivered this week, so all of the big elements are in there now. Time for layering!
Back in March I visited family in Florida and while I was there, swung by Circa Who in West Palm Beach to look for dining chairs. I ended up buying a set of four rattan chairs on sale, in my all-time favorite chair style: Chinese chippendale.
The cushion fabric is original, but it works for now. Someone asked me when seeing the chairs if I wanted to repaint them, since they’re chipping in some places. I actually like that about them–what do fancy people call shabbiness–patina? If they were super perfect and lacquered they’d look severe with the dining table.
We also hung silk curtains from Serena & Lily. I made a very stupid mistake though: I wanted to hang them directly on the rod to keep them a little more casual, but not thinking properly, ordered a French radius rod. That style of rod screws directly into the wall–so with the combination of not using drapery rings and that rod, I can’t get the curtains down ever without ripping out the whole installation. So I think whoever buys this apartment next will get a lovely pair of silk curtains as a gift.
Another new thing: the rug. I originally wanted a pure chunky jute rug, but after reading a lot of scary stories about pet accidents and the stains, realized that dog just wasn’t going to hunt. Instead, I ordered a chenille/jute blend rug from Pottery Barn with a porcelain blue band. According to reviews and blog posts, the blended rugs appear to hold up better to accidents, and while the rug was a bit more expensive than going with a regular jute rug, it was still affordable for an 8×10. It’s soft and definitely helps the room feel a bit more complete.
So this room almost has all of the big elements in. I want to redo the chair cushions at some point, but other than that, I really only need (want) a new chandelier and a bit of art. I have the lighting picked out; it’s just a matter of budgeting for it!
I thought by now I’d have my dining room curtains installed, and I’d have a marvelous post about the transformative power of drapery. Ha. Turns out, there was a small mix up with my custom rod order, and the rod I waited a month for was not actually my rod. A new one is on its way, but alas, I don’t have much to show in the way of progress.
So how about a bar cart? I bought mine back in December, and promptly used it for our New Year’s Eve party. I never really styled it–just filled it with what I had and what seemed practical. I prefer keeping the top clear so I can actually fix drinks on it, rather than contend with a mass of objets. I try not to overcomplicate drinking.
Some of my bar tools have sold out (like that nifty brass jigger), but you can shop the rest (and some things I would like) below.
I’ve shared the inspiration pictures for my dining room, and the furniture I have so far. I made another color decision recently: the curtains!
The curtains aren’t a custom order, so I hope to have them installed by the end of the month. They’re going to be in this lovely pale blue dupioni silk. The color sets off the citron so well, but it also ties in the gray-blue sofa from the adjoining living room.
The color in the background here is my Deep Caviar. The gloss I’m using for our doors is really bringing out the blue tones of the color, which is so pretty. I’m not going to use this paint anywhere in the dining room, but since the room opens to the living room, which will be painted Deep Caviar, I wanted to see how the colors all interact. And I love it.
I’m looking at dining chair options, and trying to keep in mind opportunities to use some special fabrics in small quantities, like on chair backs. I definitely want to introduce pattern now–I have a solid colored bench and soon solid colored curtains, so a bit of pattern on the chairs would help to break that up, and also introduce a few more colors.
But now, I’m off to Florida for a long weekend. I’m leaving my husband at home this time, and visiting my family there. I have big plans to check out the vintage home stores in West Palm Beach, where I will definitely do some instagramming. You can follow along @colleennath!
This weekend we caught up on our cleaning (including de-cluttering our poor dining table that has become a catch-all, hopefully only until we get better entryway storage), which was excuse enough to pull out my camera.
I got the dining table in December from Restoration Hardware, taking advantage of one of their many sales. The rustic look is a bit out of my wheelhouse, but since this is the one and only dining area in the house, I didn’t want a table that was too precious. I also was really adamant about having a 60″ round table, ruling out a vintage Saarinen tulip table (they come in 48″ and 72″). I picked the Monastery because it was the most refined of all the tables at RH: the surface is completely smooth, not that lumpy plank business. That would’ve driven me nuts. Absolutely nuts.
The banquette is the Finley Bench from MGBW in Citron upholstery. When it was delivered, I had a little whoopsie moment about the finish of the legs. I’m not quite sure what I was thinking with the dark legs, but hey, I don’t spend a lot of time at floor-level so I honestly don’t care. But it’s probably some sort of decorator no-no I committed.
Thanks to photoshop, the room looks very bright and airy with the Atrium White walls. But the thing is, the room really doesn’t get much light. It is never flooded like this. I made adjustments so you could see the true color of the bench and table, but I’m pulling some classic magazine trickery here. This is the kind of stuff that makes me gush over white rooms and then have serious “wtf?” moments when I see the magazine rooms in person. The dining room still feels pretty cold, but I’m hoping getting art and curtains installed will bring in the cozy factor.
So I guess I’m saying, the white walls may not be long for this world. There’s no point in having a room that photographs well but feels bleh in person. I’m going to finish it for now, with painting it down the line in mind, and once all my other major painting projects are done and I’ve hosted a few more parties, I will probably re-paint in here. In case you’re particularly attached.