Dining Room The Victorian House

Updating the Dining Room

My sister-in-law had a rug in her family room that used to belong to my mother-in-law, and now that she’s redecorating it’s ours. I’ve always liked it, and the colors are ones that I tend to gravitate toward — rust orange, pink, olive, and blue on a warm neutral base. (This rug has a similar color palette and feel.)

Vintage Rug with Paint and Fabric Swatches

Ideally, for maximum before and after effect, I would reupholster the dining chairs. Practically though, the beige fabric is still in great shape and I have matching waterproof seat covers to protect the kids’ chairs. They’re fine! The fabric may be a bit on the boring side, but it’s fine.

Our dining room is always dark though. It faces North and our house is close to the neighbors on that side, so even with two huge windows, there’s not a lot of natural light. Not helping is the antique pendant which, while very cool, has only a single bulb. I’ve always wanted to add sconces.

I’ve also always wanted to add wallpaper, but sconces first. And now that we’re brining in a new (to us) patterned rug and more lighting, I’m thinking a coat of paint may be in order instead of papering. The walls are a subtle pink that I still like, but would be happy to change for something more fun or dramatic.

So! Sconces. Honestly, I keep coming back to the same one and have loved it for years. I could overthink this, as is my wont, or I could just move forward with a pair of Vendome double sconces. It’s a beautiful fixture without being showy, and a classic design that looks great in a lot of homes. I’m not beholden to period-appropriate lighting (my Victorian originally had gas lights), but I do like to go either very modern or classic. These sconces are obviously the latter.

Vendome Antique Brass Double Sconce

The dog rose botanical print will go elsewhere and the sconces will flank the windows. And I’m excited! I love our home. It doesn’t need constant full-scale makeovers (as fun as those are), and these incremental changes over time always add up to something wonderful and personal.

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  • Kelly
    June 23, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Not sure whether it would be possible with your existing vintage fixture, but you may be able to add a bulb socket splitter inside the shade to bring more light into the room, too! They’re only a few dollars but really help!

  • carlal
    June 23, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    The rug’s colors are fantastic. I look forward to seeing the finished room.

  • Kim R
    June 23, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Those sconces are beautiful! I can’t wait to see the rug in place. I think it will be a dramatic change.
    This may not be your style, but what if you painted a stripe down the middle of the seats of your dining room chairs? I love the chairs. They are both unique and classic.

  • Jeannine520
    June 23, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    I love those colors. And the sconces are perfect. I live in an old house, too and I have them in my daughter’s room and they’re perfect with all of the trim, complements it perfectly. Will be buying more for my stairway as soon as I can tackle that project.

  • Barbara Snyder
    June 24, 2020 at 8:20 am

    More, more! What wallpaper would you use? What colors would you use for the dining room chairs if you covered them? What lovely things would you use to decorate the walls? Love those sconces, they will be the perfect addition to the dining room. I have a walkway dining room that is an interior room (and the walkway is diagonally through the room, ugh), talk about NO LIGHT!

  • Norma
    July 2, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    I will always and forever envy you those chairs!

  • Sarah Belcher
    July 20, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    love it!! can’t wait to see it all together :)