Tag Archives: dining room

Can’t Stop Thinking about Lighting

So my quest for the perfect dining room is close to complete.


My Dining Room

My Horrible Fireplace Mantle

All I need to do is:

  1. Finish the drapes. I’m going to add a foot or so of accent fabric to the bottom of the white IKEA drapes I bought.
  2. Paint the fireplace mantle. I can’t stand the wood. I know some people love natural wood and think it is a sacrilege to paint it, but since I dislike the look of this mantle so much as is, I’m going to do it.
  3. Better accessorize the mantle and new shelves. I’m not so good at accessorizing. We have lots of great stuff to display. I just have a hard time put it all together in a pretty and cohesive way.
  4. Put a light above the dining table.

So this leads me to what I’ve decided to write about today. Lighting. Unless we get an electrician to put in an overhead lighting socket, we’re going to have to find a nice, non-hardwired light to hang.

Decorated Paper Shade inside an Anthropologie Store

I saw this very cool lighting idea at the Anthropologie store near me. It’s a huge Chinese paper lantern that is covered with old book pages, photos and other ephemera. I think this would add a nice personal touch to the dining room.

Drum Pendant Light with Lining

A simple drum pendant light that is lined with wallpaper or other decorative paper would be lovely above the table.

Orla Kiely Drum Pendant Shade

Or perhaps a drum pendant that has a pretty exterior?

IKEA Knappa Pendant

I already purchased this IKEA pendant as a temporary solution – though I have yet to hang it. I think my husband thinks it will look cheesy, but perhaps he’ll change his mind after I put it up.

Hmmm. I guess I should just put something up and give it a try!



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Project Fish Room: Complete

Happy Monday!

So it’s been a really long while since I updated the progress of the Switch-A-Roo we’ve been doing between the dining room and the new “fish room.” When last we spoke about the Switch-A-Roo, I had just completed painting the dining room in anticipation of the new fish tank being delivered.

A couple weeks later, the fish tank, all 180 gallons of it, arrived. I was a little shocked by the size of the stand and tank.

The tank stand is longer than our 7-year-old son.

My hubby had measured it all out for me to see, but until I actually saw the behemoth, I didn’t really “get it.” Luckily after placing into the room, it didn’t seem quite as overwhelming as it did when it was being carried into the house.

Filling 180 gallons of water takes an eternity.

It took a couple weeks for the tank to “cycle,” so we didn’t have any fish or coral in it for a while.

The finished product!

But once they were all acclimated into their new home, it all came together nicely.

The former dining room turned cozy fish room.

The new fish room has turned out to be a wonderful little spot for relaxing – many a nap has been taken and many a glass of wine has been imbibed on the sofa!

The only thing left, I think, is putting some drapes up. Maybe that’ll happen sometime in the next couple years! :^)

Next up…finishing the new dining room. Updates to follow shortly!

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The Fish Tank is Coming, The Fish Tank is Coming

We got word yesterday that the BIG fish tank and stand has arrived at the fish store. Oh boy, here comes the fun part! The only bummer is that the doors on the custom stand are wrong, but, alas, the hubby says they’ll deliver it with the wrong doors and just replace them when the new doors are ready.

So my quest for a new dining table is on – along with new dining chairs, rug, and lots of accessories!

Saw Horse Zinc Dining Table

I found this awesome table at a cool, little shop in Northwest Portland called Manor. The difference between the table we saw and the one pictured above was the legs. The one at Manor had legs that looked like criss-crossed puzzle piece – even cooler than the table above. I thought this would make a unique and modern statement. But upon further consideration, we came to the realization that a steel top with a zinc finish may not be the best for, say, red wine spills. I don’t mind a few water rings, but big red blotchy stains might not be the statement I’m looking for.

Eastvold Custom Woodworks

So then I found this style table. I love the idea of a giant, chunky, wooden table. The trestle-style base would be good as no one would be stuck sitting right next to or in front of a table leg when you squeeze bunches of people around the table. This one is made by a Eastvold Custom Woodworks, a small, independent company in Minnesota. I don’t think we want anything quite this rustic, but I love the style. I’m not sure how much it would cost to have a custom table built and shipped to Oregon, but I think I’m going to look into it.

"Life and style on a modern houseboat" from Sunset

I ran across this idea on Sunset. How fun would it be to find previously loved chairs and reupholstering them with fun fabric? Fun!! I do have a bit of an obsession with fabric so this would be right up my alley. I’ll probably start scouring Craigslist and maybe do some garage sale-ing – ’tis the season, right?!

The Nines Armless Chair by Crate & Barrel

My last thought of the day is about finding a couple chairs with a little table in between to place by the front windows. I have an armless chair from Crate & Barrel (similar to the one above) that I thought I could have reupholstered Рto complement my fun fabric dining chairs, of course. Maybe I find a similar style chair and just use the fabric on each to turn them into a pair. Or if I could find a deal on a pair of chairs, I go for that. Hmmm.

HGTV's Green Home's Sitting Room

HGTV's Green Home's Master Bedroom

I do like the bold prints of these chairs. I think the style of these chairs might be a bit too big for my dining room space, but I like the idea of making a statement with fabric like this.

So between going to Cub Scouts, baseball games, ballet class, school carpooling, and a little work, I’ll get going on my furniture shopping this week. Good luck to me!


Filed under decorating, inspiration, shopping, style

Switch-A-Roo: Stage 1 Complete

Over the weekend I did a little painting. Since the BIG fish tank could arrive any day, we figured if I was going to repaint the dining room before it gets turned into the “fish room” now was the time to do it.

I wasn’t really sure what color I wanted, but I knew red had to go. So I went to the Benjamin Moore paint store and picked a few colors – quite a varied selection. After about 3 minutes of deliberation, my husband and I agreed upon “Wenge.”

I used the Natura paint which is Zero VOC so there was no smell – a huge bonus. The Natura paint is super thick and goes on like a dream. Since the dining room is pretty small and I only had to paint the top half, I got it done in less than 24 hours – quite amazing since I had both kids at home with me all weekend.

It’s a super dark brown that has a touch of purple. It almost looks black in the photos – and at night too.¬†But I like it. It’s a big change from the red. I think the fish will like it too!

Dining Room Before

Color options

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Dining Room After

Stay tuned for more transformations!

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Switch-A-Roo Dining Room

We’re soon going to be embarking on a little switch-a-roo in our house. My husband has finally decided to get a BIG fish tank – it’s like 6-feet long and will be about 5-feet tall and 2 1/2-feet wide. Well, said fish tank is not going to fit up the stairs to our attic room where he now has his fish tanks so I conceded and said he could have it on the ground floor of the house – with the caveat that I get a new dining room. So we’re going to take our current dining room and turn it into the new “fish room” and take our living room, which hardly ever gets used, and make it the dining room.

I’m totally excited about this! The new dining room will be bigger and have a fireplace. The new fish tank is going to arrive in about 3 weeks so I’ve been spending lots of time looking for inspiration on how to decorate the dining room – it’s become a bit of an obsession, really. I’ve recently discovered Houzz and am loving all the inspiration rooms on the site. It’s cool because not all (some but not all) are professionally designed. Anyone can submit photos of their homes, so you can see rooms that people actually live in.

Here are a few of the rooms that caught my eye on a recent Houzz visit:

from Houzz by Stacie Velton

I love the metal medicine cabinet used as a liquor cabinet in this dining room. And the beautiful table. And the gorgeous chandelier.

from These Roving Eyes

I’m thinking subtle stripes on the walls would be lovely.

from Houzz by LDa Architecture & Interiors

Great pops of color in this room. And the chairs look comfy.

from Houzz by sfgirlbybay

The armchairs by the window are perfect. I’ve got big front windows that I could put cool chairs like this in front of. Perfect setting for a glass of wine before dinner is served!

What I seem to be noticing in all of my inspiration rooms is that the chairs and the tables are not at all matchy-matchy. Definitely going to have to go for a more eclectic collection of seating. I can’t wait to start! I’ll keep you posted.


Filed under decorating, inspiration, style