Four New Dining Room Ideas

These are my latest ideas…

Four Dining Room Ideas

The constants throughout all four designs are the ivory curtains (from Crate & Barrel, now discontinued), the lighting fixture (from west elm), the dining table and chairs (vintage, from Jubilee Furniture), and the wood trim and floors in our home. Also, I may edge the curtains with a coordinating solid to pick up on the other elements in each design.

Number One

Dining Room Idea 1

This is the only one of the four designs that includes wallpaper. In fact, it’s one of the wallpapers I was originally considering, way back in January of last year. That’s a good sign, right? The berries in the wallpaper are raspberry colored, so I’d be able to play off of that a little. The chairs would be upholstered in some pink fabric with a subtle striped texture that I bought on ebay. The ceiling and the wall area above the picture rail would be Benjamin Moore’s “Wild Aster”, which is the same color that’s in the living room.

Number Two

Dining Room Idea 2

This one has the ritzy stripe fabric that some of you liked and some of you didn’t. That would be on the chairs, and Moda’s Cake Rock Beach (in Leaf Honeycomb) would line back of the hutch. The walls (and probably the ceiling too) would be a simple creamy white.

Number Three

Dining Room Idea 3

If I go with number three, I’d probably repaint the kitchen. There would be too much yellow in the house otherwise! That’s not a deterrent though – I don’t mind painting at all. The OD Zig Zag Fabric would be used to cover the chair seats, and a patterned paper tablecloth from IKEA would go in the hutch.

Number Four

Dining Room Idea 4

Both fabrics here are from Anna Maria Horner’s upcoming Drawing Room collection. The top one would be for the chairs and the bottom fabric would cover the back of the hutch. The main walls (up to the picture rail) would probably be creamy white, and the upper portion of the walls and the ceiling would be “Wild Aster” to tie in to the living room.

101 Responses to “Four New Dining Room Ideas”

  1. sr April 1, 2008 at 9:45 pm #


  2. janet April 1, 2008 at 10:04 pm #

    I love them all! My first instinct is 1, 3, 4, 2. But I even like 2! You really can’t go wrong.

  3. KC April 1, 2008 at 10:14 pm #


  4. Alya April 2, 2008 at 1:07 am #

    Hi.. I just visited your blog over from Apartment Therapy. I must say it is soo inspiring. And true to ur name, you are making things lovely!

  5. Sherry April 2, 2008 at 3:38 am #

    Love those idea boards- you never cease to amaze me. Number one had me at hello.



  6. Peachy Keen April 2, 2008 at 4:21 am #

    While I am a huge fan of both red and green (these are the 2 predominant colours in our house!), and yellow is fab (love your kitchen by the way!) the pink really does it for me here! It just gives the room a real ‘pow’, and is totally rocking my world!

  7. Julie April 2, 2008 at 6:15 am #

    #2 is definitely my fave. At first I was worried it would be too much green for a dining room, but since the walls will be the creamy white color, I think it’s a nice balance. And I’m drawn to it because it’s “cooler” than the others – it seems like there are a lot of warm colors going on in the rest of the house, so #2 would provide a nice contrast.

  8. Darren April 2, 2008 at 6:50 am #

    # 1 or 3, they are all great, I just dont like the green fabric…


  9. Darren April 2, 2008 at 6:51 am #

    Hey Nicole, what are you buying a shipping container for..?

  10. JayEssJay April 2, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    What a wonderful way to compare the different decorating schemes! They look like they’re straight from a magazine. Personally I like #1 and #3 best. I think they’re the safest bets, even though I do love the colors in #2.

  11. Janelle April 2, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    I love #4!

  12. Marnie April 2, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    Castig my vote for Number 1

    After considering all of them, that is the one I can picture lingering over a long leisurely meal with friends and family, swirling red wine in big goblets and letting the conversation flow. It’s interesting without being overstimulating, and comforting without being boring. And the boids! Sweet and quirky.

    My second favorite is #4 but I have to say, it seems so similar to a lot of other projects you’ve done that it is bordering on cliche…

  13. Sommer April 2, 2008 at 8:30 am #

    I really really like number 1. It is colorful but subtle. I like the wallpaper print a lot (and I usually hate wallpaper in general) and it all seems like a room I’d want to eat in.

  14. Beth April 2, 2008 at 8:41 am #

    I vote for Number 4! I like the idea of tying in the wild aster from your living room. Numbers 2 & 3 weren’t really colorful enough for me.

  15. Jennifer April 2, 2008 at 8:45 am #

    I vote #1… I’m a little late on the game, but it’s my favorite! I love the wallpaper.

  16. Chris April 2, 2008 at 8:56 am #

    Maybe it’s the birds, but No.1 just sings to me. Love all, but it’s my top choice.

  17. Amanda April 2, 2008 at 8:58 am #

    (sigh) Option number 1 is so pretty it made my head go POP. I love wallpaper….

  18. dangerdorge April 2, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    #1 But I agree with an earlier comment that I would do the chairs in a red or deeper berry.

  19. Mary April 2, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    I adore the birds in #1, but I’m voting for #4 because it looks like it would create a great dinner party atmosphere.

  20. maryja April 2, 2008 at 9:57 am #

    Number 1 is my favorite – the wallpaper has so much character.

    Number 4 is the runner up although I wouldn’t use the fabric you’ve chosen for the hutch. Like the other one you tried, it’s too busy and distracts from the items in the hutch you are trying to highlight.

  21. Laura C. April 2, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    I vote 1. Too much pink? No such thing.

  22. melissa April 2, 2008 at 10:55 am #

    My favorite is definitely number 4. You know what would be really great is if the Anna Maria Horner fabric (the top one) could be used as wallpaper.

  23. Making it Lovely April 2, 2008 at 11:17 am #

    You know, the point about number 4 and the Anthropologie chair in my living room is quite valid. I don’t know if they’d complement each other or clash.

    I’m leaning heavily toward number 1. Before I had even moved in, I was considering that wallpaper!

    Although… super amazingly sweet reader Carol is sending me two yards of the fabric in number 3, but in green. So I could do some sort of mix between designs 2 and 3.

    Oh, and Darren – I bought a shipping crate because I need it to ship my furniture and booth items to the National Stationery Show in NYC.

  24. decor8 Holly April 2, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    I can’t recall what your living room looks like, I just remember pink and red, right? I would go with #1 based on that, things will flow real nicely. And try something fun with those curtains, either a colorful tie back or lacquer your rods in red, or add a border to the bottom or sides like that Drew Barrymore office you liked and blogged recently. Have fun!!

  25. Marina April 2, 2008 at 12:56 pm #

    #3 is my favorite!!!!
    But #1 is very charming!!!

  26. modernemama April 2, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    Love that Mibo wallpaper in #1, that’s definitely my favorite mock-up. I’d by cautious with the BM Bronzed Beige in #3 – it needs a lot of natural light. I tried in my hall and it came out dingy.

  27. Jeanette April 2, 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    I vote for #1. I thought I’d go for the second one since I love green so much, but I fell for that wallpaper. I also think everything just goes so well together.

  28. Becka April 2, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    I am loving the fabric of number 4, but all these looks are great. My second choice is number 1, that wallpaper is lovely. Good luck have fun. I always enjoy your website.

  29. Michelle April 2, 2008 at 2:38 pm #

    ooooooooh I lurveeeeee no. 1 …….the birds are gorgeous……..I like the raspberry… connects with the beautiful fabric in your shelves….I like No. 4 too but No. 1 is GORGEOUS !!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. my little apartment April 2, 2008 at 6:46 pm #

    number one! there’s something to be said for finding a wallpaper that you have loved for a long time. that’s a hard thing to do– believe me, i know…

  31. ann April 2, 2008 at 6:58 pm #

    I like them all but I love #1. I adore that wall paper. Also, this is a great blog. Today is my first visit and I’ll be back often. It’s an inspiration to see your work. :)

  32. Susan April 2, 2008 at 7:38 pm #

    Good luck making a choice. Those are some great combinations!

  33. phoenix April 2, 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    I love #1 – the wallpaper seals it for me!

  34. Elena April 3, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    #4 because it’s nice and bright, but still sophisticated.
    Then #3, b/c it’s still really pretty but not as bright.

    I LOVE the mockups you posted! How were you able to isolate those images and put them together like that? It would really help me in designing my own house. I’d appreciate any info. Thanks!

  35. Erin April 3, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    Number one calls to me- I looked at it and immediately said, “Oooh!” I love the wallpaper and the pink is so fun. And I’m not even a pink person. In the end, though, the real question is, “Which one goes best with Murray?”

  36. steph322 April 3, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    I like them all, but #4 is my favorite.

    I wanted to tell you that you’ve inspired me to paint my living room after seeing your new guest room. ‘Wheat bread’ it is!

    you are super talented, keep up the good work!

  37. Chrissy April 3, 2008 at 12:37 pm #

    #1! That wallpaper is gorgeous!

  38. Leanbean April 3, 2008 at 2:24 pm #

    I like #1. The wallpaper is so fun

  39. Making it Lovely April 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    Steph322, I hope your living room turns out well! It’s a nice color.

    Elena, I use Photoshop to edit everything and isolate the images.

    Hmmm… now which one goes best with Murray? ;)

  40. Fiasco April 3, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    I do like the birds in #1 but I’ve always felt that you need some red in a dining room. Maybe it stimulates the appetite!
    So, #4 it is!

  41. Melenie April 3, 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    I love number 1.

  42. susan April 4, 2008 at 10:54 am #

    number 1. number 1 all the way. i adore those birds and the pink color is wonderful.

  43. mel April 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm #


  44. Making it Lovely April 4, 2008 at 8:28 pm #

    OK, I’ve reached a decision.

    And the winner is… #1!

    I’ve loved that wallpaper for this long, so I don’t think I’ll grow tired of it very quickly. And I wanted wallpaper from the start, so I’m really pleased to have finally figured out which paper to use.

    I’m so excited!

  45. Making it Lovely April 4, 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    Oh, and you guys overwhelmingly liked #1 too, which is reassuring. :)

  46. Danielle April 5, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    1 & 4 are both lovely!

  47. amelia April 6, 2008 at 8:20 am #

    they are all nice, but number 3 really wows me. its so warm and inviting!

  48. jane April 8, 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    My order is 1,4,3,2. As always, they are all lovely! For some reason the green is coming across as “dowdy” to me—maybe it would be different in person. I love #1 and feel like you could even throw in the zig-zag rug that you love. Can’t wait to see the finished room!

  49. Anna April 9, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    #1 is a great choice! I can’t wait to see it!

  50. Making it Lovely April 9, 2008 at 9:29 am #

    Huh. The fabric that I ordered on ebay isn’t textured, it’s just a printed stripe pattern. It’s still pretty though! It actually might be better… the cats like to sleep on the chairs and a textured fabric would probably attract more cat hair.

    My wallpaper is supposed to get here today. I want to make sure the fabric looks good with it so that I could start on the chairs!


  1. Everyday Design at Today’s Homemaker - April 10, 2008

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