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dining room recovery – admitting the problem

May 9, 2011

I didn’t recognize that there was anything particularly wrong with this room, other than the fact that it just didn’t quite feel finished. 

But now, looking at this photo, even though it’s a year old, I can see a problem.  More than 1 problem if we’re going to be brutally honest.  Nothing unifying the room.  The scale of most of the pieces are too small for the space.  No color interest.  Nothing lifting my eye up toward that lovely chandelier. 

For such a nice room, it’s plain and sadly disorganized.

I’m so ashamed.  But at the same time, maybe there’s hope.  Maybe after a year or two of reading blogs highlighting the elements of pleasing interiors, I am beginning to be aware of the flaws present in my own home. 

Recently, I read this blog post by interior consultant Vicky Dar, indicating that indulging in color in a large space is best accomplished in sizable helpings, not tiny doses.  I like Vicky’s advice.  She makes things understandable, even for a novice like me.

Then I saw this image (above) via decorator Heidi Smith (image source BHG).  In this post, Heidi suggests the option of painting wooden furniture to achieve colorful brightness.

So now I’m embarking on an effort to enliven our dining room, in part by making some corrections to the selection of objects in the room and by adding a layer of color.  Not, of course, by painting the walls.  That chore sounds no fun at all.  The other caveat is that we cannot easily add a rug because the dining table top weighs several hundred pounds.  It’s not going anywhere.

So I’m going to start with easy things first.  Here’s what we have so far in the working portfolio:

* a bright 60″ square table topper (assortment of pink and coral loveliness, sorry, no photo at the moment)

* an antique suzani (image borrowed — not my own suzani) to replace the smaller paintings and prints over the existing secretary.

* a used dresser to replace the secretary (photo taken at the consignment shop with my phone)

* and some paint for the dresser and perhaps a chair or two (I’m completely undecided about chairs at this point)

Stay tuned, we’ll see what happens together.

Should you care (please) to comment, I’ll hear your observations and advice humbly and with gratitude.  Thanks for dropping by 🙂

Linking to

The Shabby Chic Cottage

Finding Fabulous

Handy Man-Crafty Woman

Making the World Cuter

Be Colorful (of course!  Pam is a huge source of inspiration for me!)

12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2011 7:55 pm

    But what an awesome room to get to play with! Oh to have a chandelier in my dining room!

  2. May 9, 2011 10:41 pm

    You have a wonderful canvas to work with. So many times I don’t even notice flaws in my home or in my antique show booth until I see a picture. I think that when we look at something in two dimensions, we look at it, not through it. You’ll have so much fun with this.

  3. May 10, 2011 12:25 am

    I think your plan sounds good! I like the colors a lot. Do the chairs have upholstered seats? Those are easy to change out, if you wanted to put color there.

  4. May 10, 2011 1:27 am

    Oh, I can’t WAIT to see what you come up with, Diane.

    And knowing your flawless taste, I know the room will look AWESOME!

    Colorful, cozy, yet chic!

    You GO, girl!

    Hope you had a super Monday!

    X to you and Cristybella!

    P.S. love the ceiling in that room!

  5. room service ~ decorating 101 permalink
    May 11, 2011 1:57 pm

    What a nice surprise ! Thanks for the shout out!!! I am just about over blogging and ready to move on and then I get excited that I did help someone out there in blog world. I can’t wait to see the changes that you make.

  6. May 12, 2011 5:11 am

    The chandelier is amazing and I like that you have different types of chairs around your dining room table. Can’t wait to see how this progresses.


    p.s. I didn’t know what a suzani was until today. So thanks for showing us! And I think replacing the existing pictures with your suzani is a great idea!

  7. May 12, 2011 4:14 pm

    So glad I found the Handy Man and Crafty woman. I can hardly wait to see what you do with this room. I am old as dirt and sort of tend to just let things be as they are, but really I want some inspiration to spiffy things up.

  8. Jennifer permalink
    May 12, 2011 4:33 pm

    The molding on the lower wall will really pop with color up above. Like others said, the room has great bones. Can’t wait to see how it comes together for you!

  9. May 16, 2011 3:46 am

    WOW…such a spacious beautiful room. I’m drooling over the ceilings, moldings and chandelier! I’ll definately be back to see this baby properly dressed!

  10. May 19, 2011 9:06 pm

    What a gorgeous chandelier! And that ceiling! Wow!

    Can’t wait to see what you decide to do!

  11. May 26, 2011 2:02 pm

    What a beautiful room and that chandelier is amazing. But I agree you need to punch it up so that the beauty shows. I’m on the same quest in my LR and DR room. Can’t wait to see it all put together!


  1. pink explosion « home sweet homemade

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