16 September 2011

Simply Dining Room

A few weeks ago, another Austin blogger, Kelly of Simply Kelly, announced that she was interested in taking on some room design projects. I like the direction she's going in her new living room, and the price was right -- free! -- so I sent her these pictures of our dining area:

(Definitely still the sparsest room in our house.)

(You know a room needs help when a Roomba is the main accessory.)

Although Kelly wasn't charging for her work, she took the project very seriously, asking me a lot of really detailed questions about what we like, how we use the space, what we thought of some of her preliminary ideas, etc. She even studied this blog to get a sense of our style. And then, a week or two later, I was thrilled to get my first look at what she had put together:

You can check out all of her explanations, as well as source information, on her blog here. Some of my favorite elements? (1) the metal table (I would never have thought to use something so industrial, but I love it), (2) that great, graphic rug, and (3) the metal and organza light fixture (which I first saw while we were making our lighting selections during construction. If we were going to have a chandelier, we would definitely get this one. Instead, we put in recessed lights so we can add leaves to our dining table without worrying about keeping it centered under a hanging fixture...but boy does this chandelier call out to me).

As I told Kelly at the outset, we're busy with other things, and it's going to be a while before we can really focus on putting the dining room together, but I am thrilled with the road map she gave us and look forward to seeing it come together. In the meantime, though, I moved our koa console table (which started out in the entry and more recently spent some time in the master bedroom) out to the dining area so we can get a feel for the size and whether it would interfere with the traffic pattern to the guest room (good news -- it doesn't). So it's still decidedly a "before," but the dining room is slightly less sparse now. (The way-undersized "centerpiece" is by no means permanent. I borrowed the pieces -- a cute peachy-pink flowery vase from Anthropologie and an intricate green glass plate -- from the great room a couple of months ago and haven't had the time or inclination to try something new.)

Obviously, the table still needs some action above it. And that's what that stack of white objects on the right side of that picture is -- frames (from FOUR different Target stores!). Kelly had an ingenious idea for what to put in them. She didn't include it in her write-up (it came up in an e-mail), but it's quite possibly my single favorite thing to come from the whole design process.) So we're taking baby steps, but at least we're on our way. Thanks, Kelly, for the nudge -- and the awesome design!

One final note. If you noticed the lone napkin on the table...that's Steve's. I found these on clearance at West Elm, so we switched over to cloth napkins to stop wasting so much paper in the kitchen. Now we each have our own napkin that we can use for a week or so (or until a really messy spaghetti dinner) and then wash.

But don't worry; if you come over, we'll give you a clean napkin. Promise.


  1. Thanks Devon-- it was fun to do. The table you've placed in there for now looks great!

  2. Hey, get to work on that dining room so it's done by Thanksgiving!