Last week I added the new Orla Kiely curtains to the dining room and I immediately loved how the vibrant pop of blue worked with the vintage buffet! But with the new matching color scheme, the room also felt like it was lacking a dose of contrasting color to really mix things up. So the wheels began turning for updating our current ottoman-turned-dining bench…
Right off the bat I’m thinking that a new set of taller legs and a covering in a soft velvet would make this guy work for the space. The tufted ottoman is a Craigslist find (surprise!) but he’s been with us for a while and has slowly begun to wear and tear (literally) and up until recently has been on the replace or let go list.
But perhaps he can be remade into something awesome. Here are a few badly photoshopped ideas of what colors might work well with that bold blue (and a few random lumbar pillows that might coordinate well for the end chairs):
A soft pink to lighten things up? I found the softest pink velvet for $10/yard at our discount fabric shop. (pillow)
Or perhaps something a little more limey would look best… (pillow)
Or how about plum to cool down that bright blue? (pillow)
I’m not quite sold on any of the pillow pairings but you can see where I’m hoping to go with a little color in this space, and if pricing out velvet and new legs ends up being pricier than a new upgrade, here are a few benches that I have my eye on:
Oh I love that minty Ballard bench with the curved legs!
Read the full dining room story by starting here: choosing a rug, curtain call part 3, curtain call part 2, curtain call part 1, newly styled bookshelves, a buffet-over, upgrading the lighting, the before.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Fabric, Green, Home, Orange, Patterns & Color, Pink, Purple, Turquoise
Posted in Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 11 Comments »
I would love to invite you all over for a rug party. But logistically that could be tough, so let’s have a virtual one! I have been slowly *testing* out rugs over the past couple of weeks to see if one sticks and I’ve been photographing the journey so that I can play a game of comparisons.
Our dining room tends to be a fairly high traffic space – you need to pass through it to get to any other room in the house. It’s also a space that welcomes you from near the moment you walk through our door, so it’s equally important that it be warm and inviting. A couple of needs for this space that we had to keep in mind: must be pet-friendly (no dhurrie or woven rugs – bummer that they collect and hold onto pet hair because they’re so well priced), kid-friendly (wool is usually better than jute for cleaning purposes and darker colors or patterns reign) and finally budget-friendly (we are traditionally Craigslist people even when it comes to this sort of thing *I love me a good rug cleaning though* because area rugs can be so expensive, but I’ve found a few options in the few hundred dollar range that I’m really loving). Ready? Let’s start.
PS the dining room makeover all started here if you’d like to read these posts in order!
A classic jute…
Fits the bill size-wise and price-wise (I believe with the family discount at Ikea this guy rang in at $70) and has a nice, neutral feel. Would easily work with any of the curtain options. I’m a huge fan of natural fiber rugs and while I usually opt for a softer version (with a wool or chenille mixed in), this Ikea jute rug might work well in an area where kids won’t necessarily be playing on the floor.
The only con is that jute is tough to clean, even by the professionals (I buy Groupons for area rug cleanings twice a year these days – it’s just one of those items I budget in with pets and a baby, but totally worth the trade off ). In fact I’ve found that natural fibers are doubly tough to have cleaned and often require special care and a trip to a shop if it gets a liquid stain (ask the poor hallway carpet after Halloween 2009 when Bodie chewed a mini pumpkin right into the slobbery fibers).
Plus they shed. At least cheaper jute rugs tend to. If this guy stays he’ll be getting a rug pad (the above was only this bad once when switching out carpets. A quick mop and I haven’t seen the likes of the loose fibers since).
Next up is an indoor/outdoor ikat option. Outdoor rugs can be just the best! Depending on the rug, cleaning can require as little as a hose, a scrub brush and dish soap in the backyard. This is a great rug by Ballard Design for a great price – but I do worry that I would be incredibly limited by curtain choice with this guy.
What about bringing that jute back in to add a little warmth?
Hmmm… I love the general size of the Ikea rug (bigger than 5×8 but not quite 6×9, you know how those crazy Ikea metrics work) and the border is a nice addition. This is a nice solution for the space?
What are your thoughts on cowhide? I’ve been a fan of the look for some time and I especially love when hides are used in living rooms and dining rooms. Here’s a little inspiration:
White would not work so well in this space for so many reasons, but a darker cowhide would be easy to maintain (I’m thinking warm water and soap, or perhaps cutting a more permanent spill right out of the hair). So when a really wonderful deal popped up on Fab I pounced and ordered the rug to try it out.
The fact that it’s an animal hide doesn’t bother me so much. I like the idea of producing as little waste as possible and because we eat steak and meat on various (not too often but every once in a while) occasions means that using the by-products is a good thing. But now I’m starting to sound like I skinned the darned thing myself.
I really dig this look. Ignore that tripod there to the right…
With that jute still rolled up on the left you can see where I’m going with the next idea:
But maybe with the hide at a bit more of an angle.
Nothing is set in stone, *sigh* (I can be a horrible decision maker!) I can always use this rug in a different room or even resell on eBay for the crazy price that I was able to nab it for.
Here are some other rug ideas that I’m thinking about:
What are your thoughts on dining room rugs? Practicality over design? Or can you accomplish both?
Tags: Accessories, Blue, Decorating, Dining Room, Fabric, Green, Home, Patterns & Color, Teal, Turquoise
Posted in Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 12 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 »