Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dining room decorating suggestions please

We have a 1930s bungalow. If you look at its original footprint, it is absolutely tiny. The old living room is the room the front door opens into (the house has been added onto and has a big family room in the back, so this room is basically a thruway). I don't know how anyone made that a living room as due to the location of the windows, stairs to the upstairs, front door, and doorway (which originally had french doors) to the dining room, there isn't a single wall large enough for a sofa! lol. I guess the house wasn't built for a large family and maybe they just wanted a few arm chairs to sit in.

The dining room is the next room you will find and it's seldom used. It's not that it's a fancy room, it's just that it tends to be more of a walkway into the rest of the house and the poor table gets ignored for meals more often than it should. I painted those two front rooms the same mustard yellow color we painted at our rental house, loved it that much, but added a dark red wall (after six coats of paint, I don't think I will do that again!). I would not have painted that red wall had I known three years later we would be given the room divider from my parents. Funny that it's called that as in my parents house I don't remember it ever being anywhere but up against a wall. It is the same on both sides except the doors only open on one side. It was the first piece of furniture my parents purchased with their wedding money (I believe that was in 1967). There is lots of sun shining in the windows today, but on a cloudy day the room divider just gets lost against the red wall. The red is a huge improvement over the white walls with gold cherub angels holding pink ribbons that were painted there previously.

It's definitely a 60s piece of furniture. So in order to tone down those details, I used a quilted wall hanging made and given to me by my husband's Aunt Patti. It fit perfectly to cover the the front of the doors and the shelf. Did I make a good choice? Please ignore the items to the left and underneath the room divider that I thought were 'hiding.'   : )

This piece of furniture is also where I put everything breakable. lol. It's a mix of lots of things that I love, but they don't exactly fit into the prim style I've fallen in love with in the past few months. The crab cookie jar (I'm a self-proclaimed crab! : )  ), the dragonfly vases my mother-in-law gave to me a year ago for Christmas (I have loved dragonflies for years now), my favorite green leaf pottery from a local potter, our wedding album, the red and yellow glass vase that we saw being made on our honeymoon in St. Augustine, Florida, and a few wedding photos on top of one of the placemats (dragonflies again!) my sister Cathy made for me a few years ago along with a book my sister Denise gave to me this Christmas.

It's funny how I didn't notice the dust until I take photos and upload them to my blog. Eeek!

There are four of these wall sconces in the dining room. Ick. Shiny brass is not my thing. These can't be the original shades either as you can see they don't even fit. I can't wait to get my hands on some black spray paint. I think I can live with the white shades if I can get rid of the shiny brass. Has anyone ever sprayed sconces like this? Any suggestions? I'm thinking that I can get away with just masking off the wall with painter's tape and newspaper, shutting the power off, taking out the bulb and protecting that area, and just spraying them that way without having to take them down.

And here is the chair that I mentioned in my previous post. It definitely needs a chair pad! The little stool was made by my son last year in school (age 12). I used it as a prop while taking some pictures for my etsy shop. I'm thinking of making a little hooked rug for the top, but can't see adding tacks to it, so it might just be a hooked rug mat that I end up sitting on top. lol.

And lastly, the grace I grew up saying before dinner. My mom found it at a craft fair a few years ago and it matched my dining room wall colors perfectly. Believe me, they are mustard. Can't seem to capture the color on the camera.

We don't have a lot of furniture and most of it is secondhand from family and friends, but a lot of our house is empty. I mean we have what we need, but looking at some of your blogs and your decor that are definitely not empty, our house is empty in comparison! My husband loves seeing empty spots. I find comfort in being surrounded by 'things.' I moved around a few bookshelves in my craft room a few weeks ago, ended up putting them all next to each other in a corner, and I absolutely love it. My stitching chair faces these shelves along with the TV, and I find it extremely cozy that I can't see the wall. lol. Hubs and I are definitely on opposite ends of the decor spectrum, but I hope we can meet somewhere in the middle.

Okay, off to do some dusting! : )


Linda ★ Parker's Paradise said...

Chair needs a cushion/chair pad OR a nice small quilt of coverlet draped over one corner of the back. I would NOT put tacks in the stool either. Too valuable with personal sentiment.
I hope you don't mind a bunch of recommendations.
It is always best to have your favorite things on display where you can see them. It makes you feel good. It brings up pleasant memories.
I would move the red pieces up. Larger, brighter pieces will make your eye travel up. And it's easier to dust when the items are larger--less to move. Move that large green vase down to that dragonfly mat and the close-up wedding pic. Put your book under the pic.
Put that wood bowl of fruit on the shelf above the drawer.
The tin plate between the pics--put it with large bowl on the top on the quilt.
Do you have old or leather-bound books? A stack of them would be awesome beside a basket of fabric pieces or rag balls ( which are very easy to make ) I found my old books at Goodwill for cheap.
Move all those smaller pieces lower where they can be seen easier. Mix things up. Little pitchers, statues, a clock.......
I hope I haven't offended. I just want to help.
BTW~I have spray painted brass lamps and it works well. Use a flat or matte spray, not gloss. Also, you may be able to find a lamp shade that would fit over that milk glass. I find lots of lamp shades at Goodwill, as well. And I have sprayed them, too!
Good luck. Please show us pictures of your updates!

Michelle~Sugar House Creations said...

I don't mind at all, thanks so much! I love all of your suggestions. I do need to fill it up more, the problem is I don't really have more. I would love a stack of books and love that idea. I might see what I can find at the thrift store. Someone posted a tutorial on making covers for books, so I might give that a try if I can't find ones that look just right. Thank you Linda!

Michelle~Sugar House Creations said...

I forgot to say....yes I will definitely grab matte black paint for those sconces. :)

lilraggedyangie said...

I feel ya I too thought I had alot of things and had a nicely decorated house then you see all these beautiful blogs and pics of others houses and then you think gee whiz I need to redo it all...but only if I knew where to start! I use bits and pieces from blogs and country sampler magazine for my inspiration but I am realistic to the fact that my mate may not always agree hence why I have a Cincinnati Bengals man cave lol But I know in time when the kids are grown i might be able to afford and accomplish perfection until then I just make do with my hand me downs and found treasures! I wish you the best of luck and inspiration !
lil raggedy angie

Kindra-At Home With K said...

Well garage sale season is just around the corner, so maybe you can find some cheap "fillers" for arrangements.

We used to live in a 100+ bungalow and the living room was small, too. We ended up knocking down the wall between the living and dining rooms and it gave us a great big living space.