Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Going Through The House: The Formal Dining Room.

The formal dining room.

I have to say, when I was a newlywed, I truly questioned the necessity of a formal dining room. A breakfast nook table is sufficient for meals, right? What's the point of a formal dining room? Especially if you rarely eat in there?

Well, Newlywed Katie, the point of your formal dining room is to have something pretty to look at, if nothing else. YES. Amidst rooms full of toys and hallways lined with shoes, there stands your formal dining room. Pretty. Cozy. Your daily eye candy as you pass by with an armful of clean socks and underwear. And, every once in a while, when you steal one moment to yourself in the morning, you settle at the table with your cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet view. Yes, Newlywed Katie, even a rarely-used formal dining room can provide overwhelming satisfaction. And, when you host your yearly holiday (Easter!) and the family gathers at the table, the room comes alive. And you love it. 

There. I've now sufficiently lectured myself. Onto the room.

Note: When I uploaded these pictures to the blog, they looked dark and fuzzy. I'm not sure if it's the blog's compression or what, but, I'm sorry! Just squint if you have to.

Nothing screams "formal" like "columns", ha! I've never been a big "column" fan, but I actually like these. They act as a non-intrusive barrier between this room and the hallway and front room, keeping this part of our house open and bright.

The table was a gift to me from my mother-in-law. It's the same table they had when my husband was a baby.  It's traveled with them through his life and was in the breakfast nook of the house where they currently live. When she remodeled her kitchen recently, the table came to me, complete with a fresh coat of walnut stain (it was natural before). I love it. This table will probably end up in our breakfast nook in a few years so we can put a larger table in here, but I love it in here for now! The chairs are from a local home decor store and were cheap. Yes, we have small children. Three cheers for pleather!

The hutch. The precious hutch. This once belonged to my best friend and through some creative negotiating, it ended up here. :) I love the pale yellow! It holds family treasures and has a character all its own, without being a typical stuffy and fussy hutch. Love.

Behold: The curtains. I had white curtains in here forever and finally decided to jazz things up. I'm a big fan of Celerie Kemble's interior design (will she please come and do my house?) and her Hot House Flowers pattern. Not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on curtains, I found these fabric shower curtains at Target for $15 each. Yes, fabric shower curtains. On my windows. Each "panel" is a shower curtain folded in half and they work wonderfully! Plus, you can see the pattern outside the window, too, which is fun because the window faces our front walkway. The only drawback is the length--I break every design rule and have curtains that only touch to the bottom of the window, rather than to the floor. But, I'm used to them now and with a crawling baby who loves to grab and pull things, I'm now glad these are shorter! Maybe someday I'll splurge ... but today is not that day. :)

The mirror was a quick find at Wal-Mart seven years ago when my husband and I got married. The blessed mirror has been with us since the very beginning. Our precious Wal-Mart special, ha.

Chandeliers are tricky for me because I try to avoid anything gaudy. It can be challenging to find something delicate and sparkly without it being obnoxious or excessive. I found this beauty at Lowe's last summer and it fit the bill for what I wanted with this room. It adds just enough elegance without consuming the entire room. Plus, I love how its femininity contrasts with the masculine chairs.

There you have it! The formal dining room. Oh, my husband's fish tank is also in this room, against the wall. Yes, you can't win them all. I'm trying to convince him how nice it would look at his office ... :)

Have a lovely day!


  1. Beautiful!! It's been so fun to watch you put your new house together, and, as a frequent frequenter, I must say that it is so cute, homey, and inviting. Love it. :). ("Creative negotiating"... Ha!).

  2. Ah, I love best friends!!!

    Your dining room is classy and elegant while not being fussy or stuffy. Good job!