Entries in dining room (8)


a love affair with a hutch

Of all the corners, nooks and vignettes in my house, I'm pretty sure the built-in hutch in my breakfast room is the most photographed, by far!  (If you've been following along on Instagram, you know this to be especially true!)  This little corner of our home gets beautiful morning light, looks out over our deck, pool and backyard and is where we eat all our meals, where little miss paints and colors and it's also where I've been blogging as of late.  And yet, it rarely, if ever, makes an appearance here on the blog.

When Annie over at Most Lovely Things tagged me over the weekend to share a picture of my favorite, cozy weekend spot, I didn't hesitate to post this little corner.  What makes it so special for me is the ginormous hutch we had installed about a year after we moved in!  It took about that long for me to realize that nothing I put in this space would ever look proportionate with the vaulted ceilings unless I had something custom made to fit and I'm so glad I bit the bullet and had it made.  Sometimes, custom is the only way to go and, in this case, it ended up costing much less than some of the bookshelf options from big box retailers!

I ended up commissioning a local cabinet maker with whom I had worked on a number of new construction homes for past clients and he did such an amazing job of making it look like it had been here for years!  (I know the chandelier is hanging too high; I'm in the process of replacing it!)

For those of you who were asking about details the other day, here they are! 

- The hutch itself is almost just under 9 feet tall and 5.5. feet wide. 

- A row of Shaker-style cabinets are along the bottom (there are 4 doors) to match my kitchen cabinets, since this space is directly adjacent. 

- Beadboard runs vertically along the back of the plate wall to match the wainscoting in my bathrooms, dining room and under the kitchen countertop/bar side. 

- Paint is Sherwin Williams Extra White, to match all the trim and cabinetry in the rest of the house.

I honestly couldn't love this little spot any more and the drama and interest the oversize hutch provides when you walk into my house (you can see it from my living room, too) just can't be beat.  Sometimes, it's so hard to pull the trigger and have something custom made but when you are having trouble finding a piece that fits your space and your budget (especially for those vaulted ceilings like mine or awkward large walls), but I promise it's so worth it! 


dining room progress: grass cloth goes up!

It's been an exciting few days at my house as the grass cloth I've pined for the last few years started going up in my dining room!  I bit the bullet a few months ago and ordered a few rolls and even though just the ceiling, tray sophet and one wall are done, I can't help myself from walking past just to sneak peeks all day long! 

I went back and forth over whether or not to paper just the walls or to do the tray ceiling as well, but in the end I chose to do it all and I'm SO glad I did....the molding looks so amazing and having it on the ceiling adds so much drama to the space now!  It definitely wouldn't have made the same impact, had I not taken it up to the ceiling and I figured, if you're going to spend the money, you might as well get as much bang for your buck:

A peek from the entry way into the dining room; I love that all that golden goodness will be reflected in the oversize round mirror:

I have to hand it to my amazing installer; she killed it on the corners of the sophet AND she did it all by herself! 

I'm so obsessed.  I can only imagine I will have an aneurysm from excitement once the entire room is finished:

A view from the dining room into the kitchen; even from another room it looks so crisp against the white cabinetry and I LOVE the contrast of the cool chrome chandelier against all that warm texture:

You might remember my original plan for accessorizing the room which included using my existing furniture (for now):

...but now that I see how much the room has changed with the paper up, the cherry table and hutch look even more red against the walls, so now I'm debating either selling it all OR slapping some glossy white paint on it as a temporary fix.  What do you think?  To paint or sell, that is the question.....

See what I mean?  We really hadn't planned on shelling out money for more furniture right now, but this cherry cannot stay.  I'm thinking that hutch would look fabulous painted glossy white, but am on the fence as to whether or not I should just sell it all and start over.

More pictures to come as soon as the rest of the grass cloth gets hung! 

Happy Hump Day!


a long-awaited mini makeover

If you guys follow me on Instagram you know that Christmas came a little early for me in the form of four glorious rolls of the most gorgeous grass cloth wallpaper for my dining room!  I've had my heart set on hanging grass cloth since we moved in almost six years ago, but with every decision for my own house, I went back and forth for a while (it's so expensive; will it look okay?) I finally bit the bullet and ordered a few rolls when Sherwin Williams had a huge sale on wall paper last month and I've never been more obsessive over something for the house before!

For those that asked on Instagram, this particular pattern is from the Grasscloth II book, #489-2332 and it's HEAVENLY!  It's getting hung professionally in January because I've never hung grass cloth and would prefer not to screw up my first attempt, so stay tuned for progress pictures in the New Year!  The only decision I have to make in the meantime is whether or not to paper the tray ceiling, as well.  The molding is so thick and beautiful I'm leaning toward papering everything so that it stands out.

This is definitely going to be a MINI makeover, not a complete overhaul - I'm keeping my chandelier, bamboo Roman blinds and white curtain panels.  I'm eventually going to sell the existing dining room set because it's super formal (we couldn't be less so) and also because it's cherry and looks super red against my espresso floors.  For now, I'm focuing on getting the paper hung, looking for a fabulous buffet (I'm OBSESSED with this one), accessorizing with my blue and white ginger jars and buying a large seagrass rug.  If anyone knows of any fabulous FAKE topiary that look realistic, PLEASE let me know!  I've spent a small fortune on the real ones only to have them die on me.  This is what I'm thinking for now:

There are a few stunning dining rooms I've been drooling over, all of which are papered in gorgeous, golden grass cloth similar to my own and which have all been providing a ton of inspiration:

I recently posted this one by Kelly McGuill and am still quite obsessed; the white trim looks so crisp and I actually love the fact that there is a lack of color, focusing instead on all the natural textures (and that buffet still has me swooning!!):

How amazing is this beauty by designer James Michael Howard?  The brass details, the wave molding and that geometric rug?  Be still my little heart....

Another lovely one by Kelly Robson; again, I love the texture from the jute rug and burlap-covered chairs, as well as the mix of seating:

Love the silver accents in this formal dining room:

This coastal-inspired dining room by Alice Lane is another favorite; I love how the oversize artwork and paneling compliment the paper:

I hope you're all having a wonderful Monday and are finishing up all your Christmas shopping!


decorating around a white dining table

I was catching up on my Pinterest feed late the other night (thank you, insomnia!) when I stumbled upon an image of foodie extraordinaire Katie Lee's dining room in her former Manhattan abode.  I know we've all seen this image (as well as the rest of her home) a million times, but what really caught my eye this time was the white lacquered dining table. It was as if I were noticing it for the first time and holy hell, I've not been able to stop thinking about it since! 

Nothing makes me happier than having something that you can't pinpoint where it came from and a white dining table is definitely not something you see every day.  To be honest, the words "white" and "dining table" in the same sentence tends to conjure images of shabby chic interiors, which, while very pretty, is just not my style.  But there's just something about a white lacquered table that makes my heart skip a beat.  Not only does it look incredibly amazing, but it adds a much-needed modern touch to an otherwise traditional space and it's actually refreshing to see something other than reclaimed wood Restoration Hardware-lookalike tables everywhere:

Glorious, glossy perfection.  And how amazing does it look with the pale walls, antique brass chandeliers and the super dark floors?  I LOVE....

After a little sleuthing, I found a shot of the same table in her Hamptons home here.  I think it looks just as amazing in a much more casual setting, paired with a jute rug, high gloss painted trim and molding and a rustic wood console:

A lacquered paint treatment would be a great and inexpensive way to transform an existing dining table that isn't exactly working in your space.  I've never actually tried a lacquer finish, but here is an amazing, step-by-step tutorial by the fabulously talented Stephanie Jones, if you feel so inclined to try. 

I thought it would be fun to create a room around a white dining table - one that wouldn't look too soft or feminine.  I think textured walls covered in a beautiful, golden grass cloth would be the perfect backdrop, along with simple brass lighting, blue and white accessories, chic seating covered in the most perfect, pale blue linen and a stunning cluster of topiary as a centerpiece (and to bring in a live element).  Here are my picks:


Topiary / Dining chair /White dining table / Devon chandelier

Blue linen / Blue and white ginger jars / Basket

What do you think?  Would you ever spring for a white dining table?


gray malin - au park

I've been posting a lot of artwork recently but not without good cause - I'm looking for the perfect, oversize piece for a long wall in our dining room and, of course, it's taking me forever because I ultimately want something personal and meaningful, making it that much more difficult to make a decision!  I know I'm nautrally very slow to come to decisions on items for my own house but this is especially tricky because it's literally the first thing you see when you walk in the front door, so I want it to be absolutely perfect.  And since we use this room a lot, I want it to be huge and dramatic and a conversation starter. 

I have always loved photographer Gray Malin's overhead prints of the beach and the sea and keep coming back to them as a heavy contender but did you know that he's now got a few of park scenes from all over the world?  They're not only unique and breathtaking but a lovely way to document a trip maybe you've taken to that same part of the world!  I've mixed some of the overhead park views with some of the waterscapes I love; all are available at One King's Lane right now and come in a variety of different sizes (in case a ginormous piece of art isn't on your list of needs right  now):

Which one is your favorite?