One of the biggest decoration black holes in our house has been our dining room. Our dining room is a fairly large room, but the middle needs to be clear so we can easily walk from the living room to the kitchen.
We have a kitchen table that we inherited from Kyle’s grandmother and I love the thing madly, but it’s a mid-century chrome table with a yellow formica top, so it didn’t really work in our beige-on-beige carpeted dining room. Since our house only has two bedrooms (ours and Eva’s), we decided a better use of the space would be for me to turn it into my home office. So, we installed my giant vintage desk in the dining room and left it at that.
The space ended up being very functional, but not that attractive, since my desk was inevitably cluttered and the whole thing looked like a giant cubicle. Over time, we flipped the desk so that it was facing the shortest wall rather than the window and used the rest of the room to store odds and ends. Again, it was very functional, but it really just looked like a storage room and since our dining room is in the direct center of our house it was visible most of the time.
I finally got fed up with the whole thing and started scouting around to see if I could find dining rooms with large windows that inspired me a little bit. Lo and behold (thank you, Pinterest!):
Everything about this is lovely. I adore the use of light, the way it’s all tucked in, the fact that you could seat quite a few people there, the sunny cushions…love love love love love.
So, I took some measurements, sketched out an idea, got in cahoots with my amazingly skilled stepfather, and just a few weeks later…
How lovely is that? I love that it looks built-in, even though we rent and can’t actually alter our rooms that much. I also love that the whole thing was insanely inexpensive considering what we got. My stepfather made the benches and the shelves and table were purchased from IKEA for $300 total!
I also love how the white paint really catches the light and brightens up the room. On the wall without shelves, I hung four of those cheap dorm room mirrors from Target, so the whole dining room is flooded with sunlight all day. One of these days, I’ll have to take an evening shot to share, because we live up in the foothills of the Wasatch mountains and the view from our dining room looks over the entire Salt Lake Valley, like this:
One of the absolute greatest things about the new dining room, though, is that each of the benches is a storage bench:
That means that I didn’t lose any storage space when we got rid of that massive vintage desk and now I can sit at the dining room table and work with all of my stuff in reach but out of sight.
Oh, and the little fabulous vintage children’s table? A gift from my stepmother, who got it from her mother, who used it when she was a little girl. That means that Eva is the fourth generation of kidlet to enjoy this darling set and I wanted to make sure that we had a place to prominently display it in our house. I’ve already sat Eva at the table a few times so we can “work” together.
All in all, I’m in love. I still need to make curtains and nail down whatever decorations we’re going to put on the top two shelves, but this has already made a HUGE difference in how much we’re enjoying our house. I’m especially grateful to both of my stepparents for their contributions. I don’t really know how people get along in life with only two parents. Four parents is so handy!
(Eva definitely agrees, by the way. Having six grandparents and three great-grandparents has increased her toy stash exponentially!)