Another sunny day means another part of my home tour. Come check out my dining room.
If you took the tour of my living room last week, you probably already caught a glimpse of my dining room. That’s because it sits directly behind the living room. The two spaces are divided by those gorgeous columns.
And here’s the view as you enter the dining room.
It’s the largest room on the main level of our house, and it’s definitely the heart of our home. We don’t have an eat-in kitchen, so we eat all of our meals in here, and as you’ll see later, we also do quite a few projects in here. So really, this is a tour of our dining room/art studio/board room/sewing room. Like I said, A LOT goes on in here …
and it all centers around this table. It’s a whopping 10 feet long, which usually catches people by surprise when they enter our home for the first time. But it functions beautifully for us.
We saw it on display in a Pottery Barn store, and fell in love with it; then, spent the next three years saving up for it. I was worried they would discontinue it before we had enough saved, but it worked out for us. Phew!
The kids’ side of the table has a bench, and the rest of the table has chairs. It’s big enough to seat 12, but we just use the bench and four chairs for our regular day-to-day use. We have extra matching chairs in the basement that we bring up when we have people over.
In fact, we have a large number of spare chairs in the basement. Our first shipment of chairs arrived damaged, and they told us to keep them. So, we have the “good” extra chairs that we ordered, plus the damaged chairs. They’re not perfect, but they come in handy when we need to seat a crowd.
I’m a big planner, so I like knowing that we have enough matching chairs for when our daughters grow up and start bringing their own families home to visit.
Our sideboard is also quite large. It’s actually an old grocery store counter. We spotted it in a thrift store in Manhattan, and had it shipped home. Finding a shipper on a Friday afternoon? Not easy. But it was definitely worth the hassle.
When it arrived, we were shocked to discover that it was the same length as the clerestory windows that are just above it. Crazy!
And another crazy thing about our sideboard: It came from the same thrift store as the marble end table in our living room. We found the two pieces on separate business trips, but they were both sitting in the same spot in the store. Weird.
As you can see, our sideboard is super l-o-n-g, and has a bunch of drawers.
We use cloth napkins exclusively, so the drawers are great for storing those, plus all of our other table linens and special occasion stuff.
And I absolutely love the long shelf that runs along the bottom. It’s big enough to hold my large collection of dishes.
I have three patterns that I collect for special occasions …
This McCoy pattern …
this brown transferware pattern …
and this brown floral pattern. Yep, it’s fair to say I have a thing for brown.
I’ve pieced all of these sets together by shopping yard sales and estate sales. I like to pull out a different set every time we have guests.
The top of the sideboard is perfect for setting up a buffet, but most of the time, it just holds our fruit bowl. Our current fruit bowl is an antique dough bowl that we found at a yard sale, and the “H” behind it was a happy church rummage sale find.
As I mentioned earlier, we do a lot more than eating and entertaining in our dining room. This space also serves as an art studio for us, which is why you will find all manner of art supplies tucked underneath the sideboard.
And what’s that sitting beside it? Yep, that’s a scrapbook paper rack. You have one of those in your dining room too, right?
My collection of ironstone is hung on our dining room walls. I love the way it contrasts with the wall color. Ironstone can be kind of pricey, but I’ve gotten almost all of my pieces for free. Every time I find a piece in a junk box at a yard sale or flea market, and ask about it, I’m told I can have it for free. Works for me.
The Roman shades on these windows are the only window treatments that we have downstairs (aside from one shade on a south-facing office window). I didn’t want to block any of the gorgeous natural light that we get, so I didn’t. Fortunately, our deep front porch and many clerestory windows afford us enough privacy to make that possible.
But back to these Roman shades for a minute. We were young and broke when we bought our house (only the young part has changed), so I had major sticker shock when I priced shades. I read up on how to make them, and that’s just what we did. We scooped up a bolt of khaki cotton twill on clearance at Walmart, ordered the necessary hardware, and my husband and I made them together. That was probably close to 12 years ago, and we’re still happy with them today. I try to go with neutral colors and classic designs for things like furniture and window treatments, so it’s less likely that they’ll go out of style, or we’ll tire of them.
When we bought our dining room table and chairs, we waited until we had enough cash to buy them, but we still put the purchase on a Pottery Barn card to earn the rewards. We paid the bill off as soon as it came, and collected several hundred dollars in rewards to spend. That’s where these monogrammed coasters came from, as well as several other things throughout our home.
And remember the mattress ticking arm chairs in our living room? I used some of the rewards points from that purchase to buy the monogrammed runner on our dining room table.
This plant is a recent yard sale find. I was told it’s called a Pitcher Plant. The plant stand is also a yard sale find.
And this is our lemon tree, Lenny. He lives outside when the weather is nice, but overwinters indoors. He has one lemon on him at the moment, and it will be ripe soon. When you only get one lemon, you have to think long and hard about how to use it.
And as much as I like natural light, we do have to rely on artificial light sometimes.
That’s where this beauty of a chandelier comes in. We outfitted it with LED bulbs, so it’s super energy-efficient.
And that pretty much wraps up the tour of our dining room. I’ll give you a tour of our front porch on the next nice day.