In designing our new home, my husband and I had a lot of discussion about how open to make our open plan first floor. I wanted an open plan house, but without some large walls, where would I put furniture? The dining room is the room where we disagreed the most about how open it should be. I wanted more walls and my husband wanted fewer walls. In the end, our dining room ended up very open to the other rooms, but seems to have enough wall space to hold all of the furniture that I wanted in it.
The dining room is the first room you see when you walk in the front door and it flows right into the great room. Because the dining room is so open to the rest of the floor, I had to make sure that its furnishings would compliment the great room and entry way. Luckily, the farmhouse table that we bought many years ago fit the style of the house well once I removed the cherry stain and put a darker, richer walnut stain on it.
The china hutch in our dining room was an easy DIY project that transformed a Craftsman style dark wood cabinet with glass doors and a mirrored back, to a whitewashed cabinet with chicken wire doors and a painted back panel. See my recent post to see the before picture of this cabinet and for the steps on how I transformed this piece. (http://wreathonthedoor.com/chicken-wire-china-cabinet/)
I’m a big fan of making or creating your own artwork. I like to think it is because I’m creative and like to have things that are special to me hanging on my walls, but it could just be that I become very frugal when I’m nearing the end of a room design and trying to figure out what to hang on the walls that is easy and inexpensive. On the walls of the dining room, I matted and framed the blue prints for our new home. The only cost was the price of the frames and mats.
The fabric that I used for the dining room curtains is from Carousel Designs. (http://www.carouseldesigns.com) I fell in love with the wide gray stripes that run horizontally, which is fairly uncommon in striped fabric, most of which have the striping running in a vertical manner. Because the fabric was less than ten dollars a yard, the curtains turned out to be very inexpensive.
The round mirror on the wall is another accessory that was helped out with a little paint. The mirror sported brass toned accent marks on it that went nicely in our prior, dark and heavy home – but not in this home. I used a little silver craft paint and an artist’s brush to carefully paint over the brass spots. The silver fits much better with the style of the room.
Both the small table in the corner and the tall gray cabinet were transformed with light paint and a white washed finish. The table began its life covered in black paint and the cabinet was dark brown. They both now sport a nice light white washed finish that works well with the room. See my post on how to white wash furniture if you are trying for a similar look. http://wreathonthedoor.com/white-washing-furniture-made-easy/ Now that I’ve painted everything in the room but the chairs, I think its time to move on to another room.