From the Osmonds to…my dining room.
Huh? (In my head, it completely made sense.)
My dining room is currently a mishmash of stuff.
And that is kind of driving me crazy. No, it’s really driving me crazy, actually.
As I explained last week, I used this old door/window on the buffet. It is the perfect size and shape there. I really like it there, in fact.
The thing is, it just adds to the mishmash.
Please ignore the fact that the silver wine bucket is on both the buffet and the table – I took the pictures at different times. It actually kind of highlights the problem…
I don’t know what style my dining room is exactly. And calling it “eclectic” just to make me feel better won’t work…yet.
The plate wall above echoes the problem. Some parts modern, brightly colored. Some traditional, like the plates on the wall.
Honestly, I lie awake at night thinking about this.
I don’t know why the dining room is so tricky for me. Maybe because I pieced it together over time and it just didn’t quite come together as a cohesive whole?
I got the table from Home Goods – it’s kind of French country-ish. On the one hand, it’s a great table because it seats up to 12 (two leaves) and it is solid. No doubt that it is solid, beautiful wood. That thing is heavy (trust me, I’ve moved it more times than I’d like to count!). And it was a bargain – too good to pass up. So, I didn’t.
On the other hand, it’s so not my style. Ugh – there’s that word again: “style.” But, honestly, if I could do it all over again, I’d have a big ol’ farm table, with bumps and character. I’m not fussy or into a lot of curves in my furniture, despite this table (and the light fixture).
The chairs are upholstered with paisley, earth-toned fabric. Very comfortable. I got them not long after I got the table and chose them because (a) they were super comfy and (b) at the time, my dining room was an autumn, earthy red, and they fit right in. This was my “earth tone period,” apparently.
The buffet is from Pottery Barn (outlet – love it).
The chandelier is from Lowe’s.
If you’re a Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza regular, the orange painting you’ve seen before. It’s made appearances in the breakfast room before the kitchen renovation, the dining room, and my living room mantel. I love it, but can’t quite find a good home for it.
The rug is from Home Goods. It’s kind of a Moroccan pattern, again in earth tones.
The paint color is “La Fonda Wild West Green” (Valspar Signature Color) from Lowe’s.
The chair rail was there. The trim and chair rail are painted Ultra White (Behr).
So maybe piecing all those things together, along with some stuff – like the silver – I already had, didn’t work.
I do see a lot of me in this room – not because it’s a jumbled-up mess, although I am certainly that sometimes. More because it reflects influences on my taste throughout my life.
The silver is my mother. She loves silver and proudly displays beautiful pieces of it in her home. Is it my style? Not at all. Too traditional. Too fancy. But something one day told me to put it on the table and hang it on the wall. Maybe because I grew up with a traditional dining room at home, even though it’s not my style nor would it fit our family’s lifestyle (we are SO un-fancy).
The French country? Also probably my mom – there’s a lot of that in her house. But I bought the table because I liked it (I didn’t love it) and it was a super-duper schmuper bargain.
The bright colors? Totally me. Love them. There is a part of me that would paint this table bright green, the walls yellow, the chairs white, and be totally and completely in love with all of it.
The earth tones? Also me. Me in a safer time.
The window? Me, as a recycler and lover of old things with character. I don’t like chippy or rusted things, but I like taking old things and giving them new life. That’s the window for me.
So in a way, this dining room is exactly me. And yet, it’s not.
The chair rail is too traditional for me. I’ve been thinking of removing it for some time. The wall color is not quite right, but better than the dark red that was there.
What do I do? Help!
After writing and rereading this post, I’ve decided to empty the room and start over. Just leave the big pieces and figure it out from there, weeding out what I don’t want.
I don’t know.
What do you think? What should I do? Do you have a problem room in your home? What did you do?
Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage says
Nothing wrong with a good eclectic mishmash! Love that old window – have you thought of moving the buffet and window to the other long wall (where the plate wall is now)? Maybe move the armoire where the buffet is now (or out of the room). Then you can use the wall where the buffet is now for a gorgeous plate wall – I would collect more plates (maybe all silver like you’ve started) and hang them closer together. I think that would look amazing – you’ve already started – just go for it! I know you’ll do something amazing – like the idea of emptying the room!
Karen Cooper says
I hadn’t thought to move the buffet – the room is a little narrow, so I’ll have to measure. But that’s a great idea. And you are right about the armoire – it doesn’t belong in there, but we didn’t know where else to put it. Might be time to put it out to pasture. I like eclectic – just don’t have the right eclectic mix yet. Thank you!
I’m with Kelly – move the buffet, add more to your plate wall, and squish them together a bit. The plates can be a great way to add more of your personality and bright colors to the room. Maybe if you moved them to a short wall it won’t feel as lost or as overwhelming. But I would keep the silver in the mix. It’s pretty!
Have you ever gone through Houzz or even Pinterest searching for dining rooms and just clipping the ones that resonate with you? Going through that process without thinking about YOUR dining room and just clipping what you like may help you see where you want to go in your own dining room. I think moving the buffet is a great start and I love the idea of expanding your plate wall. Have you seen the posts of really bright and eclectic plate walls… they really look more like art. I think something like that would be fantastic in there and you could really reflect your personality. Moving the armoire might be a good idea… but it’s hard to make the decision to let something go. Your chairs can be easily slipped for a new look, although I like the earth tones that it brings into the room. Dining rooms are tough – I’m in the midst of a post about mine as I type this. I think your plan is a good one though… empty the room out and start with a clean slate. Good luck… it’s going to be fabulous!
First, love the title. Second, love the recycled window/door. I failed to comment on the previous post.
The lesson to be learned here (re the table) is not to buy something just because it’s a great deal. I would keep looking for just what you want and be prepared to Craigslist this one as soon as you find its replacement. It really sounds like you’re forcing yourself into liking it. Next lesson: be prepared to admit your mistake and do over.
My gut reaction was to take all the stuff off the walls, remove everything that is sitting on a surface, and basically start from scratch. Maybe move some furniture around or move out the armoire, if you think you might get rid of it. Then just live with it and look at it for a few days to see what you like.
Would you consider making the chair rail into more of a wainscoting, ala the recent project on Young House Love? That didn’t look too painful, and you’d only have to add the verticals (mostly I want to do that project but have no need).
So I guess I’m doing this backwards since I read your post with the inspiration photos first. When I came to this post and looked at the pictures, knowing how your kitchen looks, my first thought was that this room is not you…too formal and fancy. And not comfy and casual. You can try moving stuff around, but if you don’t like it, it won’t matter where you place it. If you can afford to, sell the table and things you don’t like and search for something that’s more suited to your style. Or maybe you could do a swap with someone?? Life is just too short to live with things that you don’t love! Just my opinion! Good luck with everything! ~ Angie
Karen Cooper says
That is so funny, and so true! I’m glad you noticed that! Thank you. I think I’m going to try to sell the table. It’s a great table, but just not my style.