Dining Room Living Room

New Dining Room Table

I alluded to our new table earlier this month, and my patterned vase was photographed on it, but I hadn’t taken any proper pictures until this morning.

The Dining Room

Brandon and I had a number of gift cards to west elm and Pottery Barn from Christmas, so we decided to combine them for a more spendy item. Not so fun fact: I knew that the gift cards were interchangeable because I actually worked at west elm briefly when they first opened their Chicagoland store.

We looked around and finally settled on the parsons expandable dining table. Oh, and we were recognized by a girl shopping at the store! She saw Brandon first, and we later realized that it was probably because of the Christmas card! Tee hee.

The Dining Room and Living Room

Notice the absence of my pretty white rug in the living room, and the rumpled replacement jute rug from the basement. Eh. Not bad, but not very good either.

Moving on.

I love that three chairs can fit on each side now. The legs on our old table were inset from the edges and it was a little awkward with even two chairs on each side. Now if we really needed to squish, we can fit 10 people at the table when the leaf is in!

Dining Room Chairs and Table

I realized when I was taking photos that I had forgotten to follow up on the Tao console table I was considering from Room and Board. In fact, it’s been so long that Room and Board has since discontinued it. I did end up purchasing it for the dining room though! I hung my Amy Ruppel painting above it, and there’s a magazine butler for sorting mail (and keeping it neat).

The Dining Room and Living Room

Now we get to the truth, which is that I think the dining room is a bit boring. Blah. Ho hum. It’s nice, but I’m not happy with just nice. You all probably know that I’ve wanted wallpaper from day one, and I’ve also been waffling and indecisive since day one.

Here’s what the vintage wallpaper that I bought on eBay looks like:

Dining Room Wallpaper Mockup

I think something darker would might look better. I want a little drama in the dining room, and I’m afraid that vintage floral may just give off ‘crazy’. I really should just make a decision already. Or slap some paint on the walls. Something.

I do know that I would loooove to have these chairs:

Modernica Eames Shell Chairs

They’re Eames chairs without the official “Eames” name. They’re made by Modernica on the original presses though, and with the original fiberglass construction, so in my mind they’re more authentic than the polypropylene Herman Miller licensed chairs. They’re available at Velocity Art & Design in 16 yummy colors. I’m partial to mustard.

I’m debating whether I should try to paint the chairs we have now. I don’t really mind the shape of them, I just don’t like the light wood in our house.

So there you have the current state of our dining room. Suggestions are welcome, but I can’t promise I’ll commit to anything. After all, I haven’t done well with that in this room so far… ;)

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  • Sues is not Martha
    January 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I LOVE that wallpaper! I think it really makes the dining room something special. Not that it wasn’t before. Your house is beautiful!


  • Jennifer
    January 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    You know, I HATE wallpaper, HATE floral, and HATE pink. But that pink, floral wallpaper NEEDS to be in that room! I LOVE it!

  • Georgia
    January 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Well, for starters your new table is really nice! Painting/staining the chairs to better match the table/dresser/rails is a good idea. For the walls I’d prefer paint to wallpaper possibly with funky wall stickers. http://www.domestic.fr/index.php?serie=6 is great for some inspiration… and since you have a very good eye for colour, a more dramatic window treatment wouldn’t hurt either – crazy blinds like those featured in http://www.55max.com/product/index.asp?0,0,0,47,6 maybe ?? Btw your blog is GREAT!!


  • Lili
    January 21, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I saw the grain of the table in the vase post but at the time I assumed I had been sitting at the computer for too long and going a bit nutty. I’m happy to know that I wasnt in fact nutty and you now have a gorgeous new table.

    I think its the floor that i dont like with the wall paper. I think you’re right, it needs to have some richer tones.

    I’ve been lusting after the molded chair with arms for awhile now, rocker style. The pink and the mustard make me weak in the knees… hey, the mustard matches the fabric i picked out for the curtains in our living room. mmm… When I tell Henry, I’m going to blame it all on you!

  • Kelly
    January 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I love that table. It’s just what I want for our dining room. Gorgeous.

  • Jules
    January 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Sonofabitch the wall paper looks great. That pile of flowers I gave you such grief for buying actually looks very lovely. I knew that would happen–and I think I even said so at the time. While I made fun of your wallpaper. ;)

    I know you want drama, but I like it when each rooms flows into each other. Not all the same color, mind you. That I don’t care for. But it’s nice when all the tones are the same and you get a shot of three rooms at once and they are all harmonious. If you use really dramatic wallpaper in rich colors in the dining room, won’t it compete with the softer colors you have in the adjoining rooms? They’re pretty in their own right, and it’d be a shame if the dining room stole the show.

    My $.02. :)

  • Mads
    January 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Nice work! Lots of different elements that work well together. Compliments!

  • electric boogaloo
    January 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I’ve noticed this several times, but what do you use to hang your pictures? Are they all hanging from the molding?

  • Bunny
    January 21, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    If you want drama *and* that wallpaper, have you thought about papering the top half of the wall, install a chair rail, and either paper the lower wall with a darker color/bigger pattern or do some sort of more dramatic paneling?

  • megh
    January 21, 2008 at 6:49 pm


    I love your site and am so glad I discovered it! I was wondering where you found the dining room rug. I love the Chinoiserie-esque pattern..I can’t believe I just said that!

  • S
    January 21, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    I’m not crazy about the wallpaper. It’s not as awesome as the rest of the room. To me. You’re right, darker might be better. Or – I like the idea of a chair rail too.

  • ray
    January 21, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    i love your dining room and i love that wall paper- but not together. simpler, graphic wall paper in a dark red or blue with white would be fresh and happy or even a bright paint for the walls. maybe use the pink flowers in a smaller room.

  • paola
    January 21, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    I don’t like the wallpaper and rug combo. Why not move the red rug into the living room and get something darker for the dining room? And paint those chairs a dramatic constrasting colour.

    I ADORE your Serge Gainsbourg pillow…

  • laurie
    January 21, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    I think that the paper you have is lovely. That said, something more modern may look twice as fab. I was thinking of something along these lines:

    Something like this:

    Or this:

    And this would look AMAZING if you eventually added the yellow chairs:

  • laurie
    January 21, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Oops! on that last one I meant to send you the link to the other colorway — the one with a darker background. But, I like them both. :)

  • Melissa
    January 21, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Have you thought of adding chair rail and doing the bottom half with wallpaper and the top with a corresponding paint color?

    My taste may suck compared to yours, but I think something like this


    with a lemon or lime paint color on top could be dramatic and bright

    And that’s actually my dream dining room table that I was drooling over the other day :P

  • pve design
    January 22, 2008 at 12:13 am

    You have great style – love the paper for a bedroom – not for the dining room. I think it may come off “looking like it was there when you moved in”- For Drama a chic fresh coat of paint in a great color, chocolate, chartreuse, violet or an amber! Keep in mind, that once you do this, then the living room may shout out for attention and color!

    If you do the wallpaper – move the rug to the living room.
    So fun to dish out advice!

    Trust your inner designer, you have to live with it!

  • Patricia Scarpin
    January 22, 2008 at 7:16 am

    I love your table – big enough for a crowd, that is great!
    The chairs are lovely, too. In fact, everything is beautiful!

  • Lilllian
    January 22, 2008 at 8:30 am

    In my mind, wallpaper and rug don´t match. Per se, both are lovely.

    And I think the chairs in mustard would look great in this room!

  • Danish girl
    January 22, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Just recently discovered your blog – love it! Now I don’t have to spend all my time waiting for my interior decorating magazines to arrive in the mail. :-)

    I would have thought that I’d hate that wallpaper as it looks like something my grandmother might have on her walls, but I actually really like it with your modern furniture. It looks really funky. I agree with some of the other posts, though – it doesn’t work with the rug. I would paint the chairs black and get a really dark rug, maybe black as well. But that’s just me, I like to use black as contrast.

    Why don’t you just go for it and try it out? If you don’t like it, you can always change it. Ok, it’s a bit of work, but the times I’ve been in doubt about a decorating project of mine, I’ve usually just done it, and a lot of times it has turned out to be the thing I like the most about my appartment.

    (I apologize for any spelling mistakes – English is not my native language :-))

  • Doug
    January 22, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I have to go with the majority opinion on the wallpaper. :S I should include the caveat that I’m not a fan of wallpaper in general, so take my opinion lightly. If you decide to go darker in the dining room, the rug will look awesome, especially if you paint the chairs a darker color, or use a black lacquer. As always, I love the picture rail.

  • Courtney Baker
    January 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    I think the wallpaper is borderline grandma in a not good way :) I agree with the folks who have said go for a more graphic patterned wallpaper! Other than that, I think you should try painting the dining room chairs… the yellow would be really nice I think!

  • kiona
    January 22, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    oooooh, I am so jealous, that’s exactly the table I have on my wish list for our diningroom/my studio!

  • Making it Lovely
    January 23, 2008 at 1:21 am

    I’ve been having internet connection problems over here… I couldn’t login and comment until now.

    I think I’ve decided to not use the vintage wallpaper in the dining room. It’s not quite right, and I think it would always bother me and I’d wish I had gone with something else.

    The rug does not have to stay. I don’t think I’d move it into the living room because it’s a bit much with my orange patterned chair, but maybe it would look good in the bedroom.

    I don’t know about the chair rail / paneling idea. Wouldn’t it make the room seem chopped up? I’m planning on painting the area above the picture rail and the ceiling (once I figure out what paint or wallpaper to use for the main walls), so I think that I could bring in additional color that way.

    Oooh, Romo has two new wallpapers that I’m really liking right now: This and this.

  • pve design
    January 23, 2008 at 5:25 am

    love the chevron paper.
    tiffany blue paint- pink sky ceiling!
    no chair rail –

  • lindsay
    January 23, 2008 at 7:13 am

    Just found your blog and love it. You have a beautiful home full of great ideas. We are putting our house on the market this summer. Most of the homes we will be looking at, will also be 1920’s 4 bedroom, approx. 1400 sq. ft. bungalows. So it’s nice to see what you do with your rooms. We currently live in a 963 sq ft. home, it’ll be fun to have more space to decorate. As an artist, I’d like to think I have an eye for home decor too, but I think I need all the help I can get! :)

  • Natasha
    January 23, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I love the contrast of the dark table and the light chairs. Of course, that’s very similar to my dining room, so I may be a bit biased.

  • Chelsea
    January 23, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    I just found your blog, and I LOVE the photos of your home– it’s beautiful. Who is the artist of the piece in your living room, over your couch? I really like it.

  • susan
    January 23, 2008 at 1:49 pm


    Love,love,love your site. I was wondering how sturdy the new dining room table is. We are in the market but want something without even a hint of wobble :-)



  • Making it Lovely
    January 23, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    The table is nice and sturdy!

    Chelsea, the art over the couch is actually a quilt over stretcher bars. It’s from Dream of Stars, but it looks like she’s closed up shop.

  • meg hunt
    January 23, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I am loving your rug….orange? Where did you find it?


  • Making it Lovely
    January 24, 2008 at 2:24 am

    It was from west elm. They don’t have the same one anymore, but they do have this one: taksim tile rug.

  • Sean
    January 24, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    I love the parsons table. My wife and I have been considering one, but we didn’t know they could be expandable. Brilliant! One thing I’ve been meaning to ask since the first time I saw the pictures of your beautiful home, where did you find the chandelier in the dining room? It’s fantastic!

  • your mother
    January 25, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    your dining room is gorgeous and Melissa and I LOVE your new purse! Mother’s Day is coming up you know…. :)

  • londoncalling
    January 25, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    That chevon paper is awesome! Love your blog. Great pictures of your home much inspiration. Your anthro chair in the living room is my favorite.

  • Wanderluster
    January 25, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Just came across your blog…beautiful blog, beautiful dining room! I just put up some really graphic wallpaper in my dining room so I know how daunting the task can be. Your rug looks great in that room so I’d do a wallpaper with similar colouring, maybe more white than orange, and in a smaller print, to balance out the room. Great job so far!

  • Making it Lovely
    January 28, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Hint taken, mom. :)

    Sean, the dining room light is also from west elm: metal and wood chandelier.

  • Megan
    January 29, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Please, oh please. Do tell me with what you use to hang your paintings from the picture rails.

    My landlords won’t allow holes in the walls (no use anyway – they’d likely crumble) but I haven’t found a material that I like to hang things with.

  • John
    February 1, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    This is only loosely related to this specific post – but can I ask what you use to get such awesome photos of your place? The point-and-shoot Canon my wife and I have works well enough for our blog, but I’m always jealous of how professional your shots look.

    What kind of camera? And other tricks you’d be willing to divulge?


  • John
    February 1, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks for the comment love on our site, Nicole. My wife and I totally love all your stuff so means a lot!

    And, I realized I’m dumb and you say the camera you use right up in your sidebar. Now, any tips for where I can score one of my own for cheap. Hopefully I won’t insult my little Powershot Elph in the process…

  • Making it Lovely
    February 1, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    John, yep you saw the camera info already… I use a Canon Digital Rebel XT. I am far from a professional, but here’s what I do for my photos:

    * I almost always use a tripod.
    * I avoid using the flash.
    * I take a zillion photos from a few different angles, figuring that at least one or two will be good.
    * I take photos from a low height (usually around 3′ or so).
    * I try to plan my photos around the time of day that the daylight comes in best.
    * Photoshop is my friend!

  • Making it Lovely
    February 1, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Megan, I order my picture rail hooks from Rejuvenation.

  • julie
    February 2, 2008 at 9:31 am

    loose the wallpaper, paint the chairs. Great design !

  • Making it Lovely » Blog Archive » Another New Dining Room Table (& Chairs)
    February 10, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    […] Just over a month after I bought a new dining room table, I’ve purchased another. With six […]

  • mike
    June 27, 2008 at 2:12 am

    I have to say, that these pics are truly amazing. That you can capture the feel and lighting, and compose them is awesome. Are you able to keep you place looking this neat and clean at all times? I love design, and the problem I have is keeping it up and keeping it clean.

    We love Pottery Barn, and I haven’t visited a West Elm yet…which do you prefer?

    Where did you get your sense of design and style? any resources I can check out?