In The Beginning…
Very early in our building process (even before our initial meeting with our architect), I did not plan on a dining room in our new house. Instead, I envisioned a great kitchen space with a large dining table. Our realtor convinced us differently. She did agree there is a trend towards formal dining rooms going by the wayside. However, she strongly believed the area where we were building buyers still wanted a separate dining room. Ultimately, consideration for our future home’s resale value won out, and a dining room officially became part of our home’s blueprints.
I fully embraced the idea of a dining room and on we went…
My Starting Point…
My Divine Dining Wish List:
1. A Beautiful Room
2. Comfortable Seating
I’ve always made it a priority to have comfortable chairs in both my dining room and my kitchen. I don’t care how pretty a chair is, I will not buy a chair with an uncomfortable seat or back that people eat the meal and can’t wait to get out of it. I always sit in a chair at the store before possibly purchasing it. I think it’s important that people (including myself) are content to sit in their chair & linger over a meal for hours. I want guests to feel comfortable at my table & chairs, and look forward to returning to our home for the next meal.
Since we enjoy entertaining, I wanted a dining room we would use many times throughout the year, not just once or twice – a room that was elegant, but also had a relaxed formal style about it.
The Room Plans
Our very first home had an L-shaped living room/dining room. I found it very useful at times (especially during the holidays) to be able to bring in a folding table to expand my dining room to accommodate more guests. I yearned for that flexibility again. Thus, we planned for our new dining room to be open on 2 sides to allow for this option.
I wanted a table that was capable of seating 12 guests comfortably.
4. Mixing Chair Styles
I knew I wanted two different chair styles in the room – armless style for most of the table and 2 arm chairs for the heads of the table
I wanted to incorporate some type of blue hues into the room.
My Inspiration File Pictures:
As I mentioned in one of my early building posts, I had files of pictures I collected for years. Here are some of the images that inspired me for our new dining room.
This picture is one of my favorites and was also designed by one of my favorite designers, Candice Olson. The chairs and oriental rug really spoke to me.
This dining room? I found it to be absolutely gorgeous – love the chairs, ivory table, and extraordinary wall covering. This is the feel I was going for…
Pretty blue draperies and wallpaper for inspiration
Another blue room – we planned on putting in arches similar to those
The Louis XVI chairs, dining table, wallpaper, and overall color palette appealed to me in this picture – also the chandelier…
Arm Chair Style
I kept coming back to a “Louis XVI or similar” style chairs for possible arm chairs.
Armless Chair Style
I was pretty sure I wanted some type of fully upholstered dining chair with a tufted back.
Love the shape, the tufted back, and the nail head trim in the above pictures
I also really liked the idea of putting some “jewelry” (pull hardware) on the backs of the chairs…
I knew I wanted to use at least two fabrics on some of the chairs like these.
These fabrics really appealed to me and I searched for a long time for something similar…
As I mentioned before, I was on the hunt for a dining table that would seat 12 people.
I highly considered pedestal tables like this one from Ethan Allen…
Another consideration was an oval-shaped table
A Look at My Dining Room Decisions
I decided on a Louis XVI chair style with a striped fabric for both the front & the back of the arm chairs.
I am quite happy with my choice for the other dining room chairs – the beautiful fabric on the back , the solid blue fabric on the front, and the actual style of the chairs themselves.
Both styles of the chairs I selected are very comfortable to sit in.
After much thought, I decided on an oval table – the Choate Table from Hickory Chair (Suzanne Kasler Collection)
The table extends to 126″ with all 3 leaves in it. I have already used my fully extended table several times . The finish of the Choate Table can also be customized.
I also love the fact when the table does not have any leaves in it, it is a round shape – a perfect size for an intimate dinner for 2-4 people.
Even though I now have the key pieces of furniture for my dining room, the room continues to be a work in progress….the finishing touches remain
Postscript: I recently had the walls fauxed painted a blue over the existing wall color. I think they turned out beautiful.“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. ” – Earl Nightingale