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Monday, June 27, 2016

Dining Room Progress

My dining room has been one of the few rooms in the house that I didn't have an immediate 'ah-ha!' moment with the design. In fact, it's been haunting me, keeping me up at night...I've dedicated hundreds of pins of inspiration to try and come up with what I wanted to do and zilch. 
What the heck was it with this room?

In my opinion, the dining room might be the single hardest space to design. Silly? Maybe.. but think about it; the dining room is serious business. It has to be formal enough for holidays, simplistic enough to evolve for each season and simultaneously be the perfect room to host friends and families on a rainy day with board games and popcorn. To me that was a lot of pressure.

Many of my friends will come over to our home and ask me how I start on a room, or even know where to start on a new room for that matter. For the longest time I hadn't really given it much thought. For me, it all starts with seeing an accent piece or a lamp and forming the room around that one item I just couldn't live without. 
In this particular room, it was the lamps and plates you see in the picture above. 

I have a love affair with plates and glassware. In my dream home I will have a full butler's pantry full of different patterned plates to fit my mood or a certain occasion and mix and match them so you'd never see the same assembly twice.

The first set of plates I simply could not live without are these from Terrafirma Ceramics. Each piece is hand painted and she (the artist Ellen Evans) creates a lot of her glazed patterns by using various textiles as the 'mold' for the design. They even sign and date each individual piece so every plate feels like a work of art.

For this arrangement, I mixed in my grandmother's Royal Wessex blue and white plates (made in England) to give the table a pop of color and add interest.

As for the rest of the room, I can tell you it didn't come together over night. The sideboard below I got really lucky with. I walked into a local antique store I frequent, and one of the booth vendors was having a closing sale. This sideboard retails for around $4,000. I got this for a steal at a huge fraction of that price. Ladies and gents: shop early and often. You can bring home some amazing luxuries.

Have you seen these beautiful lamps before? I've been obsessed with them for quite some time and shopped around seeing them retail for $600 each...that's a hefty price tag for a lamp. I found the exact lamps I'd been eyeing at my favorite home store online for $150 each. They're real crystal and weigh about 25 lbs each. Keep your cords wrapped up if you have small children or animals in the house because if these get knocked over, not only will you be balling your eyes out from them breaking, but your floors will more than likely take a big hit, too.

I love a good starburst mirror. Many designers use them in bedrooms above the bed but I wanted to try something new. Rather than using a large piece of artwork or a collection of smaller frames, I wanted there to be one major focal point that brightened the room but didn't distract from the overall design. I got mine from Home Goods.

I wrote a post a few months ago about 3 ways to style a bar cart that you can find here. My personal style is southern and classic. I love using trends in my design but I do it subtly and very inexpensively at that. As you are designing your home, make sure that your anchor objects are timeless and make room for trends with accent pieces. Example: My table and chairs, sideboard and plates are timeless. The room gets a modern update with the lucite drink tray, the trendy paper straws and the sunburst mirror. When you do this, it keeps you from spending several hundreds on changing out your decor and keeps a room from feeling stale or outdated.

My assortment of alcohol is always a fun trip to the liquor store. I like to pick two classics like Woodford Reserve and Disaronno, and then mix it up with some fun new adult beverages. On my last haul, I picked up a ginger liquor and some coffee flavored vodka. Both were huge hits.

The finishing touch? These great magnolia leaves I plucked from the park next door to us. I love magnolias and their leaves and find them to be an easy way to make a room look polished and southern without breaking the bank on fresh flowers each week from the grocery store. You could also try sprigs from a fern or a tropical plant.

If there is anything on the post you'd like to shop for yourself, comment below!

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