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Restyling dining table

Natasha Assa
10 years ago
Folks, we got soo tired of our matchy-matchy dining set! I bought two antique chairs to put on both sides and two modern upholstered chairs (at the back), and the ottoman is just happened to be there. I am looking at the setup and realizing how dreadful it all is! What's wrong with this room? Thanks for your help!

Comments (63)

  • groveraxle
    10 years ago
    I think you'd do better with a round table in this space. I would also replace the drapes with blinds or shades; a wall of drapes like that is overpowering.

    The oushak rug you've chosen is FAB. But everything else you've chosen is the exact same color. You are right about drowning in gold. Let me see what I can put together. I'll be back.
  • groveraxle
    10 years ago
    Two looks with some furniture I happened to have laying around:
  • chookchook2
    10 years ago
    Really nice, Grover.
  • sbrustein
    10 years ago
    Natasha - I absolutely love the table you ave picked out from overstock. It reminds me of mine
  • chookchook2
    10 years ago
    Everyone but Grover is ignoring the elephant in the room.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Groveraxle, all great ideas and products, from excellent manufacturers. Problem is the dining area is too close to the living room area and if a round table is introduced, it will "spill over" into the living room. To be exact the dining area is 10' x 10' leaving me with barely 2.5' around the 60" table. Or perhaps 3.5' around the 48' table. Besides, there is an open access to the kitchen breakfast nook which has a round table already (the nifty 42" glass one from Ethan Allen discussed earlier with the New York man who got "divorced" from his dining table). I read the discussion and enjoyed all the pieces considered, so I have a fresh perspective on the variety of tables, etc. My question is if I go with the table I liked from Overstock (see the above link) and it would be of darker wood color (coffee with some lighter distressing) how would that reflect on the color of window treatments and the rug choice? I think that coffee brown would give a little more definition to the room without clashing with the warmer praline color wood in the entertainment center and the matching coffee tables. In which case, might the gold window panels still work, as in the above link from Overstock?

    Also, I may have been misunderstood regarding the placement for the Oushak rug. It is going in the living area of the room, not under the dining table. It would really be too much for the dining area with a battery of curtains. As to the curtains themselves, you might be right it is a little too strong of an accessory, but we live by the ocean and large expense of windows really requires to have heavy curtains in the winter, not to mention the cosiness, that one sometimes craves living near such vast expanse of nature. Never heard of that oceanic feeling? Well, now you have!

    Of course, groveraxle, I cannot be too thankful for the wonderful computer graphics. I will post pictures of the living room area next week when I get back home. I am out of town at present.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    If this is of any help I just found this wonderful room. I guess I am trying to achieve something similar, at least in color combo.

    http://houzz.com/photos/59284
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    I feel I also have to add that the oversized chairs on both sides of the dining table got moved to the living room area and are now used to anchor the L-shaped couch sectional. The whole composition is centered on the TV entertainment unit. I would like to layer the Oushak rug on the wall-to-wall carpet, as referenced above, as I do think it will bring stronger cohesion to the room.

    In the dining room area I moved the dark brown upholstered chairs from the back of the table to the sides, and I am thinking of completing the composition by adding either matching dark brown chairs to the opposite ends of the table or adding benches in some fun fabric. I am personally against the matchy matchy chairs and would prefer to unmatch them with the use of benches. But the budget is not infinite and I might have to prioritize. In addition I think we need a new farm style table, as the one here is neither the right style nor the right height.

    I would love your advice on the relationship between the existing medium brown furniture and red wall-to-wall carpet and the proposed introduction of a (1) darker coffee color dining table (2) curtains in either gold or green (3) Oushak brown/ivory carpet. Which combination would work better? Green or gold? Green seems to cool the warmth of the tobacco color furniture, while gold seems to brighten things up.
  • groveraxle
    10 years ago
    This table looks fine, but I think you're going for gold overkill here.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Thank you, groveraxle, just perfect!
  • abbyjean
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    Great idea to move those over sized chairs to the living room by the couch. Love that idea. And the plan to keep the dark chairs with a bench is a perfect one, too.
    Natasha Assa thanked abbyjean
  • n247080
    10 years ago
    Wow, looks like you're ready for change....always an exciting moment. That area has such great potential. The table seems very "wrong" to me. I like the chairs, but I don't know that they'll ultimately be comfortable eating out of as time goes by. I would keep them but find a different place for them.

    What about something like this

    Lindy Donnelly · More Info
    Natasha Assa thanked n247080
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Sandy, my god, thank you!!! Angel! I am trying and trying to do things in here, but despite effort and many hours on Houzz, I really do not have enough budget to afford expensive mistakes. I am going to print your advice and go through it point by point. I am agree (as my mom says).

    #1 The dining table can be reworked for another ten years of use with a bit of staining and/or painting. Chairs I do have, and I think I can jazz them up with light thin throws to introduce color. (Saved $781 plus tax)

    #2 Oushak rug in brown/ivory, as beautiful as it is, may not necessarily work surrounded by all the burgundy wall-to-wall carpet. Large dissonance! (saved $514 plus tax)

    #3 Drapes can be neutral or with a touch of color by way of trimming them in a favorite fabric. I have such drapes in burlap (saved $280 plus tax)

    #4 Artwork has wonderful accent colors of cobalt blue, olive green and ocher. Use it to introduce different colors into accessories. (saved $168 plus tax)

    #5 Light in the required round shape and rustic style had been purchased a year ago, still hadn't called anyone to affix it! Will do!

    Bottom line, and I really mean bottom line is .... $ 1,743 plus tax in my bank! Talk about valuable advice! Sandy, you rock!
  • abbyjean
    10 years ago
    I am smiling and soooo happy for you! Great decisions.......and great advice to follow, too.
    Natasha Assa thanked abbyjean
  • abbyjean
    10 years ago
    No valances. I do not think they are a good look for you, even though they MIGHT soften the look.
    Natasha Assa thanked abbyjean
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Happy New Year to everybody and thank you for your help!
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    -- WOW! I guess it does pay to have a big mouth at times? So glad I could help you get your room lined up a little bit! And so glad that you seem happy about the suggestions and about the things you already have to work with! Please post photos along the way?

    Happy New Year to all 'yall too! 2014 is gonna be a very good year! Cheers!
    Natasha Assa thanked Sandy G. ltd.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    These are the new pics from the open plan living and dining room. If you are new to this thread, I have updated the room by

    #1 moving the arm chairs from the sides of the dining room table into the living room to anchor the L-shape sectional

    #2 moving the upholstered dining chairs from the back of the dining table to its sides, and adding the slat back chairs on the back

    #3 adding new table lamps on both ends of the couch

    Things that stay for the next 3-5 years:

    #1 wall to wall carpet in burgundy red

    #2 entertainment center and upholstered furniture (couch and chairs)

    Things that might change in the next year or two:

    #1 curtains

    #2 area rugs

    #3 dining table and chairs

    #4 chandelier in the dining room (next week)

    #5 south western throws on the couch (change seasonally)

    #6 shelves decor on the entertainment center and coffee table

    Moving forward, I would like your opinions on the colors, shapes and sizes of the furniture and accessories. My general sense is that the room works as a 3-4 out of 5 on all those counts. But I ponder some improvements, so will be thankful for your input.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Here are the pics from the dining area. I didn't realize they cannot upload with the others. So the comments for these pics are from the above post.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Sorry, one more. Later this week I will have some pics of the new mirror above the petite console table (with the green ceramic bird shape base). That would be fun!
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    -- Pretty darn good! Your dining table looks terrific with the addition of the chairs that are close in color. The little stool is a unique, clever thought and is unexpected! Makes spaces so much fun to be in.

    And now, I will switch into my anal self and tweek mini stuff.

    I would loosen the drapes on their rods so that they come onto the window a few inches.
    They look "up tight", skimpy and should be a little more flowy. I know you have the fullness to do that. They should cover the window frames.

    The centerpiece does not need to be standing on a dish. If you are protecting the table from water damage, get a plateau or square of marble, etc. that is made for the purpose. The same goes for the bird on the small cabinet. Use a few books to set her on if you feel the need.

    The chairs work nicely in your LR. Lower the painting though - it is too high - should be no more than 6" above the sofa back. This is so the painting and sofa relate as one unit -mnot 2 separate things..

    Place the tall candlesticks on the cocktail table - you need the height there. Looks like the basket is the bastion of all things important for hanging out there so I suppose that can stay! If, however, you want to dress the table up for a party, you could move it or edit what you have in there so you need a smaller container. The hyacinth is a great hit of color. . . You have done a nice job with the entertainment center. Can always add more books though.

    Going forward, if you decide to get a pair of chairs for the LR and think you will be placing them where you have the pair now, the backs of the new chairs should be lower. As they sit now, they are acting as a 1/2 wall and it is not as welcoming as you want.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Sandy, like I said, you rock! I guess we think other people genius when they echo our own thoughts! How narrow minded of me. But yes, the height of the chairs is the nerve here - they do block the room making it smaller and kinda less hospitable. Will work on it as budget permits!

    Curtains, you are right, are a tad skimpy, bought in the first months of moving in for a quick fix of privacy. Need something richer. I do have neutral burlap looking ones in the bedroom, but would have to add four more for the full length of windows, again budget permitting. In the meantime will make the green one relax a bit.

    The coffee table is 48"x48" so plenty of room, but the magazines and remotes are in the basket to keep the surface tidy. Will switch for a smaller and nicer tray for a party.

    The entertainment center is another nerve here, with some china, books and knick knacks, but nothing precious. I am attaching a picture of it to show you the fine, well not mess, but chaos, that's hard for me to arrange.

    Later this week I will hang a mirror above the petite console, you will be pleased to see. But book supports for the bird lamp is a great tip.
  • carol_perl
    10 years ago
    Natasha, I'm impressed with your ability to focus on what's important!! You saved yourself a pretty buck and you did a great job reworking things there. I was thinking you might want to update that vase with something more unique. It's a cheaper way of giving your room a new and impressive look. I'm not sure what coloring will work though - the pictures are not clear enough. As of now I attached these - what do you think?
  • groveraxle
    10 years ago
    Your entertainment center could use some serious editing. Don't line objects up like little soldiers. Group items; two small can be grouped to balance one large object. When an object has a face, it should be facing inward. Candlesticks of varying heights are more interesting if arranged in a circle instead of a line.

    No item should completely fill a cubby top to bottom or side to side. (See the upper left compartment where the candlestick touches the top.)
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    -- You can get tons of tips for arranging book shelves by googling . DIY arranging bookshelves - . There is also a site or two where you can buy boxes of used books - you order the color[s] and vintage and shipping is free! One site is . books by the yard - You need more books and the spine and color should be the colors in the palette of your room.

    Your china is lovely and works well on the shelves. Stand one or 2 plates on stands against the back of the shelf to show the pattern with another piece sitting in front of it.

    So you have 2 categories going and you can add one more if you want to - but that's about it. Too many different categories leads to clutter! So you could add one more category - a couple of 4x6, black and white, family photos all in simple black frames, for example.

    And remember the very top. Use larger pieces there. A set of books, a large sculpture and a silk fern in a great pot [because it is going to show]. The top line of this group should be interesting, like a skyline or a mountain vista. Again, choose wisely to avoid clutter! Less is more up there. One final thought - it's all trial and error!
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Groveraxle, hi, nice to see you here! It's me, Natasha! Thanks for the advice. I did so e re-arranging of the shelves after taking the pic. Mainly the Christmas tree and nutcrackers are gone and the candlesticks fill the space to the left of TV, in a group, not in line. The upper left shelf houses a vase (not a candlestick) that's a bit too tall for the space, so you are right that it feels constricted, it does. I am gonna try and re-house it some place. Other pieces are copper colored horse statue (on the top right), a head of a woman (top left), head of a Buddha (top right) and a baroque style clock (middle). All are substantial, but not quite for the space above the unit and rage gaps between them need fillers. I would Robby buy some medium size topiary pieces for an organic feel. Books need to be color coordinated and photos given more uniform frames. Aghhhh... I feel better already! Am I the only one who loves/lusts for objects? Or is it our collective "malaise" here on HOUZZ?! I am writing this in the dark bathroom on my iPad while my DH is fast asleep!
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    I know it might be hard to answer, but this chair really appeals to me. Is it appropriate for my dining/living room though?

    Look, what I found on Overstock.com!
    http://www.o.co/6432827/product.html
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Another find: this time it's a rug in true red nod gold/green color. Just the thing?

    Look, what I found on Overstock.com!
    http://www.o.co/3168670/product.html
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    -- So, are you talking about using a pair of these chairs in place of the wingbacks? Are you going to replace the sectional? It looks like the rug/chair combo would be a nice one!
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Sandy, lovely to hear from you. Did you see my review of your advice/service on your page? You should charge (me) by the minute! About these chairs and rug, you know, I've been mulling over them for months now. The chair is not really easy to lounge in (which is what one wants to do in the living room), yet it is soo cute, I keep looking at it. Perhaps it can be used in my dining room? I have to see the height of the chair, cuz my table is 32", a bit too tall for an 18" seat. Alternatively, in the office (pics will follow).

    The rug is something less controversial, it's either buy it or leave it. I guess the color is right, if I am to try and coordinate it with wall to wall carpet. So I guess, I am on the right track, style and color wise? Will work on the budget. And I am sorry, I keep bringing it up, but I have had an eventful year so far - new house, new master bedroom, refreshed guest bedroom, office additions, new refrigerator, the lot. Living room was also updated in several ways - velvet chairs, petit console and lovely mirror (you will see that later today when I hang it), so I've got to pace myself. But my design OCD just keeps me going! I figured that one we share, no?
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    -- Thanks for taking time to key in a review. I didn't know you could do that - I don't know how to find it though . . thanks anyway - very thoughtful.

    You HAVE had a big year! Sounds like a lot of fun. At this point I am confused though about your priorities so it is tough to say much about the chairs and rug. . .
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Sandy, to see the review you need to click on your profile on HOUZZ. A lot of people do that and you can get much traction with HOUZZers like me that way.

    Here is the view of the mirror, the new rug and the chandelier. I am making some progress, even though the budget is smaller than I wish.

    Once again thank you for taking the time to assist me. Not only did I improve my room, but also avoided costly mistakes. What more could one ask for?
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    -- The mirror/table group is not quite right and I say this in the kindest possible way - -
    The mirror does not fit that sliver of wall and the table is too deep [sticks out too far]. Walls like this need a more delicate touch.

    Something like the things below would be better. You do not need a piece of furniture there unless it is ridiculously shallow. Perhaps a long, narrow, delicate mirror over a 6" deep shelf with an object on it would work.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Sandy, I did think of the size of the piece and the wall. I guess it is one of the rear instances where the image does not quiet convey the feeling of the space. And with absolute respect for your comment, I'd say it works. The only other thing I would do is invite you over, I would love for you to see it in person!
  • carol_perl
    10 years ago
    I still think you can do with a more updated silk floral arrangement for the dining table. It's not a large investment - and it's something that lasts - no maintenance necessary! Are you looking to update at all?
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    -- Well, as long as you are happy, that is all that matters! I know that you have a good grip on the look you want and how to get it. . . . Besides, I can tweek and tighten things up until they squeak in pain - the small refinements can make or break a space.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Well, one more design dilemma.

    As it turns out my new chandelier is off center of the dining table. Bringing the dining table dead center under the chandelier would leave too little space between the living and dining room.

    #1 I have perhaps one foot of space which can be used to move the seating arrangement away from the dining room, but that's not gonna make things radically different.

    #2 The other alternative is to remove the wing backed chairs and letting the dining room move closer to the living room. Pity to lose the chairs.

    #3 The third solution could be flipping the L-shaped sectional and putting chairs on the other end of the room, to gain a couple of feet of space.

    #4 Finally, I could leave it as is.

    Thank you for your opinions.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Here is the picture, hope it helps.
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    -- I found your review and am so flattered! Thank you for taking the time to write/post it! As you could see, this is my first review and it is lovely one! Thank you!

    You really need to center the table under the chandelier and do whatever it takes to make that work. As I mentioned above, it would open up the space some by flipping the loveseat to the other side of the sofa to take advantage of the lower

    Could you leave the loveseat where it is and remove one of the wingbacks? Would the extra wingback then fit angled in the window corner of the dining room? You could move it into the LR if you needed more seating there.
  • groveraxle
    10 years ago
    You left out one other option: move the chandelier. It's usually not that hard.
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    -- You are absolutely correct, groveraxle! I didn't mention that because most people would never go through the trouble of moving the chandelier, fixing the old hole in the ceiling, etc. Let's see what Natasha thinks! I have no clue how this one will end and it is always something . . .
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Sandy, Groveraxle, thank you again. Both options, eliminating one chair or moving the chandelier could work. There is one problem with moving the chandelier though. The reason it is where it is is cuz there is a bulkhead drop next to it (only 3") but that bulkhead hosts air conditioning chutes, so it can't be punctured at all and the chandelier has to remain where it is. I forgot to mention it in my post, sorry. I even asked the handyman if he could simply swagger the chain over to the left and he was adamant that it's impossible. So that leaves me with about two feet shortage of space. I feel that in the end it will come down to eliminating the L-shape and putting the two chairs across from the rump couch. The one reason I resisted doing it this way was because that's how the model home was set up (we are in a brand new community, so wanted to avoid cookie cutter design).
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    Bummer about swagging the chandelier! I wonder what is stopping that from being done. I have swagged many myself and it was so simple. Maybe there are more internal workings going on above the ceiling. The only other thought would be that there is not enough strength in the ceiling panels to support a fixture.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Sandy, here is the 5" bulkhead drop next to the chandelier. It hosts air conditioning ducts and cannot be punctured, even for swaging the chandelier. I guess the drywall would be 3/8 of an inch and the hook would need to be deeper, in order to secure the chandelier.

    For the time being I moved the armchairs from the living room and centered the dining table under the chandelier (as builders intended). Tis way there is no conflict between the living room and dining room space. Then I realized that I have enough space near the windows to put the chairs there, so they are now happily flanking the dining composition from the back. I will send you the picture tomorrow. But I am glad I did it this way, cuz chandelier on the side of the dining table was a bummer. And again thank you for leading me in the right direction!

    When budget allows I might buy a couple of pretty ottomans or a bench to anchor the L-shaped sectional. I feel that that way way they can perform a dual role of seating in the living room and in the dining room. And there is no conflict of space between the two. I just have to decide whether this should be a bench or two ottomans.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Here are the two ottomans I am thinking about:

    https://www.jossandmain.com/Hughes-Ottoman~BTL4152~E8446.html?src=2&referrerid=D8AAF3

    I love the architecture of them, as well as rich upholstery, I am just not sure of the color - seems like a cream to me. My upholstery is all brown/caramel color.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    And here is the bench:

    Look, what I found on Overstock.com!
    http://www.o.co/3964295/product.html

    Again I like traditional design here and brown chenille upholstery. Reviews are also positive, on the quality and the looks. But I have a feeling that a bench is a bulkier item, and if I want to use it for mobile seating, perhaps the ottomans like the ones above are preferable. What do you think?
  • PRO
    Sandy G. ltd.
    10 years ago
    last modified: 10 years ago
    -- This bench is lovely. A bench would be a nice addition to the "L" for added seating. I could not get the other stools to stick here for comparison, but they are nice too. The bench would give you cleaner lines - good for a space like yours.

    It would help to know if you are going to keep the layers of blankets/throws on your sofa, love seat and chairs. They are full of pattern that is Native American - not traditional. So, adding the traditional stool with another pattern in the upholstery is really too much and is also a style that conflicts with the Native American covers.. Can you remove the blankets and take a pix for us?

    There are lots of other solutions available for slipcovers that would be a more traditional style and that would coordinate better with your area rug.
  • Natasha Assa
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Sandy, yes, the south western throws are a bit of an outlier. They are mostly here for the winter. It is a very moist and cold winter here by the ocean, so it's kinda nice to have something warm from the hinterland. Besides, the couch is 8x12' and the longer arm is rather bland without any decor. Pillows, I feel, take up too much space, making it uncomfortable to sit down (where do I put them now? Is the gnawing question everyone has). But you did point to a dilemma here, seeing that the bench would clash with blankets. Will send you a pic of the naked couches shortly.