Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day! Our neighborhood hosts a parade, pick-up basketball games and relay races every year – it’s a big deal around these parts – and we loved it all. Plus, there’s nothing like waking up on Monday morning to realize that you have another day of weekend, another day of family fun. Despite all of the sunshine and relaxing, I’m reminded of what the holiday really stands for and I’d like to offer a big thank you to all of our service men and women. Especially those readers who have family members serving us today! You might remember that Kevin served in the Marine Corp and that I think the world of the sacrifice that you all make as families.
Back to that post title. Curtains! The dining room could use a splash of color near the windows and while we have white wood plantation shutters for privacy (from the previous owners) I can’t help but that think this is the perfect spot for bright curtains that will compliment the color of our buffet:
The room gets an okay amount of light. Nothing drastic, just enough to light the space during certain times of the day but not enough to keep the room from feeling fairly dark on a regular basis.
For that reason I’ll probably have to stick to something light and fresh in here rather than a thicker fabric with darker details (like the fabric I chose for the bedroom), fabrics that I am inevitably more drawn to.
Here are a few I have in mind:
I love each of these for so many different reasons! I have a few reservations that some of these prints will be too dark (such as the Iman Ubud or Tilbury in Lapis) in the space while a few of the lighter, whiter ideas might not have enough eye popping detail (Thomas Paul’s Botany). I’m hoping that I might find the first Orla Kiely in a fabric (I’ve seen it out there before… but linked to the wallpaper) and I do love that dahlia print! Is having too much suzani or ikat print a bad thing? I’m using it alot in the house these days but I still love these Tilbury and Iman patterns.
Kim Cornelison’s dining room from the May 2012 issue of BHG has really inspired me, and seeing her Thomas Paul Perch curtains has confirmed how much I love that fabric:
I could not find this image online for the life of me, so here’s a snapshot of my BHG magazine. Hard to see in the above photo but flip open to page 38 in your May Better Homes & Gardens for a great injection of inspiration – if you don’t have a subscription I highly recommend .
Here’s our window near straight on:
The shutters are closed to prevent a serious washout of the window, but see what I mean about fairly dark? Dark furniture and those dark branches in the corner do not help. Right now I have a sheer tan on the windows (and I’ll probably reinstall the curtain rod 6″ higher – we thew this guy up over four years ago) and I’m ready for something new!
Here’s a cool little tool I’ve been using to get a better curtain visual of several of my Calico Corners fabric choices: www.CurtainsMade4You.com (and possibly a great resource for those of you who prefer to have the curtains made by the professionals!). It’s a sister site to the popular Calico Corners fabric store.
Oooh, that Tilbury Lapis is a good one!
Still on the hunt though… Maybe I should try something completely out there on the opposite end of the color wheel, or maybe I should go peruse my local Joanns for a bit of variety. We’ll see what we find!
Tags: Decorating, Dining Room, Fabric, Home, Patterns & Color
Posted in Favorite Fabric, Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 5 Comments »
Thank you for your birthday wishes!
The dining room has been on my mind all week… it’s making such progress! We have the new light fixture installed, the buffet was made over and now it’s time to tackle the bookshelves on the opposite wall.
Looking at the buffet the bookshelves are actually behind you, leaning up against either side of the arches facing into the living room.
Here’s a ‘before we moved in’ to give you a really clear idea of the wall space available there (that second door is now sealed up and a part of the new bathroom, and that older kitchen you see in the first door is now here):
This was a hard spot to figure out how to utilize. Big clunky bookcases would stick out like a sore thumb but I knew the wall space could be so much more than room for hanging photos. This was also right about that time when the leaning bookshelf craze was in full effect, and I really liked that they were backless, the depth narrowed from the base to the top, and that they were much less obtrusive than your usual variety.
When I found a set of leaning C&B bookshelves on Craigslist I knew they would fit perrrrfectly. Here’s a slightly awkward, coming in to the dining room from the guest room shot to show how these bookcases fit:
The leaning bookcases hold just enough storage – I keep wine and beer glasses, cookbooks and extra dining dishes on these guys – plus they’re lean enough to allow plenty of walk around room.
I had first styled them like this:
We didn’t repaint, those are just grainy, washed out pictures from last year. Darn camera settings that I must conquer.
And after yesterday they look more like this:
One day I will master the focus on the camera. One day.
A few of my new goodies include pictures and prints that I’ve collected over the past year.
It was hard to get this shot without a horrible glare, but this black and white is a photo that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas – she had taken it in college as an art major and had framed it for me for Christmas. The juxtaposition is amazing (the ‘Beware of Dog’ sign in the foreground and the kind looking observer just a few feet behind) and I can just picture Eileen at 20, stopping to see this ironic pose and kneeling down to get closer to the dog’s eye level, hair flipped back in some feathered 70′s do.
The next shelf up holds a picture of Bodie when he was just a couple of months old by my mom with his big sweet nose close against the camera lens, and next to that a Mother’s Day print that I picked out when we were at Balboa Park. The arboretum there is one of my very favorite buildings and I was thrilled to find a local artist in the park selling his paintings and prints.
I chose a warm wood frame that compliments a handmade cup from our wedding from Kevin’s best man. My little silver bird is attempting to hide a candle wax stain that discolored the bookshelf! Bummer. Ha, in this particular shot it kind of looks like something else…
The other bookshelf is home to my new favorite vignette which includes a cloche (a thrift store find and a gift from a friend who knew I was dying to find one) and a water color by the etsy Honolulu artist behind Pineapple Bay Studio.
The colors provide just the pop of contrast this space needs!
The cake platter and pitcher are Target finds from way back, and I’m pretty sure the white ceramic water lily is from West Elm. The galvanized metal letters at top are from Anthropologie and that picture on the same shelf as my square basket (to hold votive holders and what not) is a poster of giant magnolias that I cut apart and framed – sometimes framed art is as easy as taking apart packaging or gift cards!
There’s something about filling in a backless bookcase with sporadic art and height that keeps the shelves feeling airy, but brings in enough content so that it doesn’t feel sparse and lonely.
My favorite suggestions are to work in odd numbers, keep a variation of height on each shelf (with at one least one over-sized or tall piece) and mix up the colors while keeping some sort of consistent theme throughout (in this example I’d say it’s my white ceramic dishware and vases that show up frequently throughout both bookshelves, and maybe a basket or two).
One more item checked off of that list. Next up is a new rug, new curtains, reupholstered chairs? or maybe cushions? plus some huge piece of art or a mirror for that big blank wall where that extra door used to be. But in no particular order, it’s all part of the adventure .
Tags: Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Home
Posted in DIY, Home, Organizing, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 19 Comments »
That is, a makeover for the buffet. Not the color! Not my dear blue, but the top, sides, inside…
The dining room is well on its way, but it’s in need of all of those pretty little accessories that make a home feel like a home. She’s had her light fixture updated (ahhh, such a difference!) and the easy next on the dining room list is tackling my big blue box because it involves a fair amount of house shopping for items that we already own (but that might be in need of a new or better location).
A little rummaging around and a few Michael’s frames later…
Now it more represents our family and our mishmash style.
The noticeable big difference is moving the giant mirror out – which was initially a tough choice because it helped to bring in plenty of extra light. The decision was twofold: A. I was hunting for an over-sized mirror for the mantel in the living room and this means that I didn’t have to splurge on a second:
and B. we had been gifted a beautiful piece of personalized art from my hometown of Santa Cruz, California and I was ready to display it somewhere easily seen.
So pretty! That’s the harbor in Santa Cruz and those boats have had their names rewritten by the painter – one for ‘Madness’, our sailboat (more on the story of that name later ) and one for my family’s boat ‘Crew-zen’ (my mom owns a martial arts school – have I ever mentioned that? She cleverly included ‘zen’ in the name).
Here’s my intial little mock up in Photoshop of how I thought I would plan out the wall collage:
But then widdled it down to about half of the items. I can always add more later.
In the end I settled on: a wedding photo of Kevin and me dancing (one of my favorites from the day), a photo of a beautiful village Church in Fiji (where I’ve volunteered several times), a sweet in-the-buff black and white of Liv when she was brand new, an Italian pasta plate + stand that was a wedding gift, and a large round mirror I found on super super sale at Clayton Gray (it’s back to its original price now). Plus my little terrariums and a white pitcher full of eucalyptus branches (Farmer’s Market find, they last forever so I’m replacing the $3 bunch maybe once a month and I love love how they look).
When my dad was visiting from Santa Cruz he was kind enough to help me with hanging the frames (a task I’ve never loved).
And then I added the rest:
You can kind of see how stuffed this cabinet is slowly getting in the above photo, so in full-buffetover style I also emptied her out and went through my dining decor piece by piece. Only must-use items could stay.
Back into the buffet went a handful of platters for entertaining, my favorite BBB punch bowl (I purchase replacement glass cups en mass from Ikea – they’re not visible but behind the champagne flutes), flutes (because life is full of occasional champagne moments) candles with life left in them, tiered platters (in the middle section) a few vases (some holding my fancy napkin holders) and a whole bunch of paper napkins that I had no idea I had. Ah! Feels much better. Room to breathe!
Other minor upgrades from actually quite a while ago include replacing the old, rusty knobs with new versions from Anthroplogie (still need to hunt down a matching turquoise paint to touch up behind the knobs).
I think that about does it for the buffet! That’s one madeover part of the room down, several more to go.
Happy Weekend! We’re celebrating my birthday on Saturday so I’m a little excited for it to arrive!
Tags: Blue, Decorating, Dining Room, Home, Turquoise
Posted in Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »