Please help us pull this dining room together?
August 24, 2014 in Design Dilemma
This dining room has me stumped: it's got a doorway or passage on every one of its four walls, built - ins that I find too precious but that my husband won't let me remove, and a chandelier that I would never have installed myself. Yet I think it has some charm with the French doors onto a back patio and the wood floor. The kitchen cabinets seen through the swinging door cannot be changed. Paint, furnishings, and the chandelier and linens are what I can work with. The paint color is fine though nothing exciting.
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I have to say please don't remove the cabinets. This room is so beautiful. I think the chandelier is fine. I think if you wall papered this room in a water color mural you would be done.
August 24, 2014 at 11:59PM     
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I think the room is very charming! My first thought would be to remove the table cloth and just paint the current table/chairs the white of your wainscoting. Center the table with the chandelier, even if you have to remove the sideboard. Then, find a fabric you love to reupholster the chair seats. Done! The room is lovely.
August 25, 2014 at 12:13AM     
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Black Cat Interiors
Are you unhappy with the style of the space or does it just seem unfinished?
August 25, 2014 at 12:53AM        Thanked by kedquist
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I think it is a very cute room:) My comment would be that your pictures on the wall are too small and I would paint your French doors white. Sorry I don't like the sideboard.
August 25, 2014 at 1:41AM        Thanked by kedquist
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Crystal Fan
its already beautiful enough !
August 25, 2014 at 1:42AM        Thanked by kedquist
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R Robulock
This room is fantastic! This is an easy fix. Remove the table cloth and paint the door white to match the door trim and the cabinets. Please do not remove the cabinets; they are charming and are a great feature. It also makes the room look more elegant. I like the sideboard, it just needs a little sprucing up. The picture above needs to be larger or a large mirror will do just as well. Last, you need a more dramatic table top, a clear vase with seasonal and colorful flowers will do the trick.
One more thing, remove the small picture on the wall where the opening to the other room is. It is not doing anything for the room.
August 25, 2014 at 2:35AM     
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Thos. Baker
It's a charming room and the wall color is lovely, but it sounds like you just want a bit of change. Painting the french doors white to match the wainscot and built-in shelves would tie things together. The shelves are wonderful! The table should be centered under the chandelier and the chandelier should be lower. If you'd like to get a new chandelier, that's something I would change. The room is pretty and a new chandelier with a bit more sparkle is a good idea. I would also remove the table cloth and perhaps, change the art on the wall and above the sideboard to pieces that enhance the beautiful wall color.

Christi, on behalf of Thos. Baker
August 25, 2014 at 2:51AM     
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Room is great, color is great. Does the table have a leaf? If so open it up. Paint the French doors white to match woodwork. Some dramatic art work like, Christi suggested and do something with the built-ins what is in there now does not enhance them at all
August 25, 2014 at 3:03AM     
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Thanks to everyone for your helpful comments. I will not be removing the cabinets; hubby has forbidden that. I hadn't thought of painting the wood on the French doors. that's reasonable and easy. I will not be painting any other doors however as they are natural mahogany.
The table has leaves and painting it is a possibility: I purchased it many years ago and it was old then. The sideboard isn't wonderful but it may have to stay for storage purposes. A new lamp can help.
The artwork one of you (Christi?) posted is a lovely idea. I am not so sure a crystal chandelier is our style, but I can look for something more in keeping with the house era of 1940.

I agree that the built in cabinets need other pieces on them. With toddler boys, and given my love of pottery, I don't foresee putting glass objects up however. Would any of you have advice on what else to display in the cabinets? All but the top shelves on each side can be removed. I tried tall glass vases with greenery in them but it didn't quite work: the top shelves seemed to mar the more dramatic effect I was going for.
Thanks again for your comments!
August 25, 2014 at 10:59PM   
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ps Christi, where did you find the second piece of art you selected (with the greens and purples)?
August 25, 2014 at 11:02PM   
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Remove table cloth. Vase with flowers in center. Paint french doors white. Larger art. Paint table and chairs a color or white. Spray paint chandelier white.
August 25, 2014 at 11:14PM   
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PPS. Black Cat, I am trying to work with the style of this 1940 cape cod house although my husband and I are wanting something a little more sophisticated too. If you have any suggestions on how to walk that line (is there one? ) within a smaller budget, I would appreciate your insights!
August 25, 2014 at 11:52PM   
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Black Cat Interiors
I would replace the light and the chairs (maybe even with upholstered chairs) because you still have enough coastal/cottage-y in there with the paint colors and wood floor, etc. I'd also add an area rug. I agree with everyone else that the art is too small. I like art because it's an easy way to add color and/or tie all of the colors in the room together but a mirror would work too. They key is layering different things of varying heights in front of whichever you choose. Do the same on the display shelves instead of 1 item per shelf, i. e. layer a frame in front of a vase, use candles of various heights and colors, stack a figurine or small sculpture on a couple of books, etc.

August 26, 2014 at 12:31AM   
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this space feels like an afterthought. I'd begin by painting the French doors white so they blend into the other architectural elements and don't stand out so much, then, switch the light fixture to something more substantial in a style you love, add an area rug that you love the colors of (which may inspire a new wall color), and consider a slightly larger table that can be centered under the light. consider painting the backs of the corner niches in a lighter variation of the wall color, and add to them a layering of interesting pieces...not just a single item on each shelf, but being cautious not to clutter them up, this should form a "collection". you also need some much larger scaled wall art for balance.
August 26, 2014 at 4:48AM     
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Gorgeous room! Love the blue and the chairs.
I might only add that if there are mahogany doors on three of the walls, painting the French doors white might make the room look unbalanced.
Have you tried putting your (or other) china plates on display on the white cabinets?
Two smaller but taller lamps on the sideboard might look nice.
I like the idea of upholstered chairs. Maybe put two parsons chairs with the others you have.
August 26, 2014 at 5:08AM     
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Thos. Baker
kedquist -- the artist for the piece I posted is Tracy-Ann Marrison. Here's a link to where this can be purchased. Glad you liked it!

Christi, on behalf of Thos. Baker
August 26, 2014 at 12:43PM   
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