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Before + After: Dining in Color

Does paint make all the difference or what?

The dining room in our new digs is, similar to our last two homes, adjacent to the kitchen, which I love. Unlike in my first home, where it was off the living room and fairly enclosed, the fact that it's in a more open floor plan means It's. Always. Used. Whether for eating or writing or Scrabble or whatever else, our dining 'room' is the place to be.

Oh - and the fact that the sliding glass doors bring in so much lovely natural light? Huge bonus!

Here's a glimpse at the all four of my dining rooms over 20 years...

Fortunately, our dining space here in the Valley was another blank slate, and therefore easy to breathe new life into. We gave it the same blue as the exterior of our past homes and it gave so much heart and soul to what initially looked, well, Dull AF.

After a lot of thought, I decided to duplicate the jute vibe from the living room, which I think helps the dining table stand out. We reintroduced the liquor cabinet for its original purpose, and as far as art goes, decided to make it a bit of an homage to our animals. From the 'dog wall' honoring our pup past and present, to the framed photos of our ducks over the past 7 years, it's our little love letter to the creatures who've given us so much joy.

Finally, while I'd ultimately like to replace the chandelier and properly center it over the dining table , I made two key changes to the existing lighting. First, I removed and donated the shade, which was dusty and ugly and had a slight funk to it. Second, I replaced the 'flame' bulbs with bubble-style LED bulbs to give it a more modern, less 1970s, vibe. It shows off the brushed nickel of the light fixture, and makes it more tolerable until the time comes where we want to budget that in.

Here's an up close look at some of the details...

...and here's how I've made our dining room sustainable:

  • Paint: Benjamin Moore "Deep Royal" Zero-VOC

  • Dining Table: I built this while on the farm from salvage wood, thanks to inspiration from Ana White and a friend's donation!

  • Area Rug: Safavieh jute...natural fibers rule!

  • Art: Our own photographs :)

  • Table Runner: Indigo fair trade from a little shop on Vashon

  • Carved Wood Cabinet: World Market


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