The dining room in our new builder-grade townhouse had lots of potential, but it was pretty “blah” when we moved in. I’ve been slowly working on this room since June and I’m so excited to share it with you! I know it may be a little bold or not everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure does bring me joy.
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The modern-style chandelier was not my style at all, so it was the first thing to go. Here is what the dining room looked like when we moved in:
And a better look at the chandelier:
I shared my plan for the dining room on the blog back in March, and I’m so excited with how everything turned out! I changed a few things (that rug is in our bedroom and the plates came down after the wallpaper was installed), but overall it’s pretty similar to how it all turned out:
We replaced the modern chandelier with the large Serena and Lily bell pendant (large size, light dune color) we’ve had for a few years, and it helped soften up the space immediately. The orientation of the original chandelier made it so that a dining room table had to be placed horizontally in the room, but our marble dining table (that I purchased at Crate and Barrel in 2013, current version here) was too large for us to be able to fit it that way any other furniture in the room. On a whim I decided to flip the table vertically in the room and it made such a big difference! With this flip I could now fit our table as well as our vintage china cabinet (that I painted Benjamin Moore Grenada Green) and our wooden antique table.
I installed top down bottom up bamboo blinds on all the windows of the house, and the Rustic Oak color happened to work perfectly with the pendant and the color of our windows. They were an Amazon purchase but the from a small business that sells on Amazon, so they were able to custom cut them to the exact size I needed (I just placed the closest size available in my cart then messaged with them through Amazon if I needed to change the dimensions a bit). They’re the perfect solution for privacy while still letting ample light in.
The bench at the table is the Hornsund from Ikea and the kids used it at our breakfast table in the last house, and it’s the perfect solution for hiding stuff (the top lifts up) and it allows you to squeeze a few more kids in if you have visitors. It’s nice that you can just wipe it clean too. (My kids often play with playdough and color over here.) It looks like it’s no longer available, unfortunately, but I’m sure there are some similar options.
The Chinese Chippendale dining chairs are one of my favorite thrifting finds ever. I got 7 chairs for a total of $39.95! I blogged about them back in 2015. (I painted them white because they were really beat up and tired looking.) These Dayna chairs from Ballard Designs are very similar, and I actually believe that my chairs were the predecessors to the Dayna chair.
The two framed cherry blossom and bird pieces of art are family heirlooms that originally belonged to my great grandparents, though they may have been in the family prior to that. They’re on the thinnest rice paper and the frames and matting are very old too. I initially thought about replacing the matting but I think the texture of the aged leather matting adds some character and anything brighter would have looked out of place. My mom gave me these pieces a few months ago after I’d already painted my china cabinet green and chosen the wallpaper- yet it’s as if I’d made those choices with these pieces in mind!
The wallpaper is Imperial Palace in Leaf and Lichen by Meg Braff Designs and as with my powder room wallpaper, I purchased it through Oodles of Wallpaper. Oodles of Wallpaper is an amazing wallpaper (and fabric) store in Vero Beach, Florida and even if you’re far away like I am (in Virginia) they are incredibly helpful and can source practically any wallpaper you’re looking for. They were so sweet and gave me a discount code for you to use for 10% off of your purchase. Just call or email them and mention code Katie10 and they’ll give you the discount on your order! (Disclosure- they did give a small discount on my wallpaper purchase in exchange for sharing with y’all- something I was more than happy to do because they helped me so much while making my decision!) I first saw this wallpaper in Maggie York’s powder room a few years ago and have dreamt of using it in my home ever since. It’s a tricky wallpaper to install and requires trimming on both sides before pasting, so if you use this paper make sure you have a skilled wallpaper installer do it. I hired Sam Gaspar of Interior Out again and he’s got to be one of the best here in the Arlington/DC area.
The wood table on the righthand side was purchased at an antique store in Kansas back in 2016 and the antique Chinoiserie mirror was a recent estate sale purchase (my mom snagged it for me at a sale on Fripp Island). The lamp was a thrift store find and I bought the pleated block print lampshade from Ballard Designs. The shipping took about 4 months but it was absolutely worth the wait. Most of the blue and white pieces (top of the cabinet and on the wooden table) were thrifted and a couple were HomeGoods finds. The large one on the dining table was purchased in South Korea in 2019 and it was my carry-on on the flight home. Getting that through customs was quite an ordeal but I just had to have it! The magnolia leaves are actually faux picks that I found at Hobby Lobby. The gold bamboo pendants we have over the island are also Ballard. We have 2 of the small size and they’re the perfect size for an island. The Serena and Lily Riviera counter stools are really great with kids and have survived many spaghetti, hot chocolate, milk, etc. spills without any issues.
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Katie, Blue Crocus Textiles on Etsy (out of the UK) have amazing hand-painted lampshades if that’s ever in your need-to-find column. Really beautiful designs.
I will check them out, thank you! I have a newfound appreciation for beautiful lampshades so I will definitely keep that in mind!