dining area before & after

25 Oct dining area before & after

We put some finishing touches on our dining area this weekend. Want to see?

Here’s the BEFORE (this is the way the previous owners had it decorated):

Not bad. Just not our style. The chandelier is way too fussy for my taste. And one critical flaw: The railing in the back, which overlooks our (now) play area is a death trap for children. Bronwynn can fit half her body through the openings, and Miles could just walk/crawl right through. So our first task was to find an attractive way to babyproof that, since it’s not in our budget to build a new railing right now…

Here’s what we came up with:

Our bookshelves from the loft in our old house fit perfectly along the back railing. Looks like they were meant to be there. We traded out the chandelier for a simple bubble lamp, which complements our beloved Sticks table (which was a wedding gift). The lamp was our only splurge for this room ($270), and we offset the cost by selling the old lighting on Craigslist. …I had to have the bubble lamp, though. You can blame “Mad Men.” I find myself powerless against so many gorgeous images of mid-century decor.

Which brings me to the other addition to the room. We wanted to bring in an extra chair to sit opposite Miles’ high chair. As it was, there wasn’t enough seating for us to have a couple join us for dinner without scrounging for stools or folding chairs.

I stopped by Modern Manor, a vintage furniture store in Phoenix… which is to say, I closed my eyes, clicked my heels three times and transported myself to Don Draper’s office. There were so so many lovely things I wanted. So many. Couches! Danish modern teak credenzas! Lighting! Artwork!

I think I actually drooled a little.

But I didn’t see exactly what I wanted seating-wise, so I asked the owner if he had any vintage school chairs laying around. He smiled, and took me around back to their storage facility, where inside, stacked floor-to-ceiling were just that: school chairs. Adult size from a 1950s high school that was being torn down. For $20, I brought this one home with me:

It’s perfect dining-table height. He had others that looked less worn (and cost more), but I really loved the teal legs and battered look of the wood. What can I say? I like my vintage furniture to look used.

Now we have two “kids” chairs anchoring our table.

Finally, we put some potted plants under the bay window and hung our Brian Andreas prints on the wall above the bookshelves. We love Brian Andreas’s ability to tell a beautiful story in so few words.

That’s it. Nothing fancy. But I think it reflects my priorities for this house. I want every room to be soothing, durable, uncluttered and functional. What do you think? Love? Hate?

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 17:26h, 25 October Reply

    Love it! I think you’re VERY creative and I like seeing the great changes you’ve made with each room. My SIL from Des Moines told me about Sticks furniture a few weeks ago. I looked at their website and fell in love with their stuff. Anyway, I like your style. Good job.


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