The Dining Room

Since we have an open concept layout for the kitchen and dining room, the colour scheme and flow need to work here as well. I could really have included it in the kitchen post, but I think having a dining room that I love is worth a new post. It will also be a little bit larger than it looks in the above picture after demolition. With the peninsula gone, it will be a bit wider than before. It will really become part of the greater space. This has both pros and cons. All the food will stay in one place for easy transfer from kitchen to table, but the guests see all the mess while the cooking is occurring and while eating. I can see now why my mom would put dishes under the sink until it was time to clean up after the guests left. It leaves a much more serene feel while eating.

Other than the peninsula moving, there won’t be any structural changes in the dining room. The changes will be all cosmetic. We will be focusing on the table, lighting and painting.

First the table! It’s going to be great to have a table big enough to comfortably seat my whole family when they come to visit. I need at least 10 chairs to be able to fit (it doesn’t have to always be comfortable for 10). BDF54AE6-BDF1-4D84-9E67-EE64A1508D52I’m hoping to find a table long enough yet not too obtrusive to fit three chairs comfortably on each side. Right now our table only fits two and if you add a third to the corner you have to straddle a wide leg and bump into a sharp glass corner. Besides that though the table is great. It has an indestructible glass top and wide thin drawers underneath that hold our placemats and trivets. I am really going to miss that feature. It’s a table from Ikea and I can’t believe they don’t sell it anymore.  It is so functional. Especially for someone with small kids and a placemat fetish. I do wish it was just a little bigger though, then I might be able to keep it.

Instead, we are on the hunt for the perfect dining room table. I saw this really cool table on Houzz.

We already own the chairs, so I thought this would be easy peasy. The only thing is that it would have to be custom-made. I’m not sure that is realistic with our other splurges at present, but I’m going to use it as a starting point and see what I can find. I really love the mix of the natural wood and the plexiglass base.  Seems very retro yet modern. I may change it up and use a natural wooden base that is very minimal with a clear glass top. They seems to be more accessible.  I like this one at West Elm but I’m not sure it will be big enough. And it means we need to get new chairs.

Jensen Table from West Elm

If anyone has an leads on tables like these I would love to know!

We also want the room to be well-lit for entertaining and dining. While I love shopping, looking for lamps and lighting has never been easy for me.  There is so much out there that is boring or just plain ugly. I find it very time-consuming and disappointing. So when Amber showed me a sketch of a light she had seen at a local artist’s studio, I was thankful and hooked. She is able to work with this artist to make a lighting fixture for over the dining table that is going to look fantastic. It will be exactly the shape, colour, and size that we need. It will fit exactly with our midcentury feel and we are supporting local artists.  It’s a win-win. I can’t wait to see it in person.

Here is a sample photo of what one of these looks like.

Sample Pendant Light Fixture

Single Pendant Light Fixture Inspiration

Thirdly, the painting. Since the kitchen is going to have a lot going on and most of the open concept room is actually floor to ceiling windows, we don’t actually have many walls. There is one wall behind where the dining table will be. We think it would be cool to make this a feature wall since most of the rest of the area will be white. Amber found this cool picture on Flickr to use as inspiration (click the link below to see it). I can’t wait to see what she will come up with for the final paint design.

Mondrian Wall Art Inspiration

Our inspirations

We have been living in a white box forever. We can’t wait to actually be able to plan a space, pick out pantone colours and go shopping for furniture that will actually match and fit into our space. It feels nice to be a grown up finally!

The problem is, we don’t have a single interior designer bone in our combined bodies. I feel like I can see “good bones” in spaces, but then I over think it, put too much stuff in the place and nothing ever comes together. We need help! The first thing we did was try to figure out our style. We had an artist friend (Sarah Gee – check out her website) come to our house a little while ago (ok actually a few years ago if I’m being honest) and look around our space. She is amazing and I hope to bring a bit of her art into our space. She looked over our furniture. Most of it had come from Ikea but there were a few other more unique pieces as well.  She looked at the curves of the arms on the chairs, the wide sofa arms, the geometric design in the hutch, the retro feel and came up with Midcentury Modern. When I googled that term, I loved everything about the design.  It has a 60s feel with a modern take. Very much Scandinavian influenced. Funky but practical. So we had a point of view to start with.

Sarah Gee

Sarah Gee 2

The Black Wave by Sarah Gee Miller

Mid Century Modern Furniture

Mid Century Modern examples

Mid Century Modern examples

Then we were lucky to visit NYC for a graduation trip and went to MoMA for a day.  It was magical. So many great artists. So many different points of view. So much colour! Brad got hooked on Piet Mondrian (as above in the feature picture). He loved the lines, the colours but it was still abstract. You could guess anything about the mood of the artist and that of the viewer. It was totally up to you. And he was from the Netherlands too! Point 2 for midcentury design.

Then we saw Henri Matisse‘s Blue Nudes and Dance Prints and we were hooked on the primary colour of blue. It has to be a focal point somewhere in the house. However, I am a lover of red in all things. Just ask anyone who knows me even a little bit. But, I can’t really have a bright red kitchen, so that will have to be brought in through accents and art I think.


Blue Nude by Henri Matisse

Dance by Henri Matisse

So, we just need a designer with a great eye to pull together midcentury modern design using Mondrian and Matisse for inspiration yet strong enough to tell us when things are just not working together. I’m excited to get going on this reno and design.