Monday, February 22, 2016

Our Dining Room Revealed

Today is one I've looked forward to: showing off our dining room! In the midst of nesting, this room received a tremendous amount of attention, energy and effort, and I couldn't be happier with it.

Let's begin from the beginning: here's the dining room when we toured the house. It's adjacent to the living room (see the second photo) and features one paneled wall and a large bow window that affords the room abundant light through the majority of the day. Until mid-summer last year, this is basically how the room still looked.
We took an important step forward in August when our trusty carpenter Rich returned to add the same double crown moulding that he installed earlier in the living room. We then replaced all of the yellow/bisque electrical outlets with my favorite all white outlet covers (they make such a different, trust me). 

Then, the most dramatic change: removing a series of awkwardly placed can lights in the ceiling and installing a single chandelier. With these steps done, the ceiling, walls and trim received a coat of paint. Now, on to the fun stuff: decor.

The dining room's color palette stemmed from the abstract floral painting, Aubrey Levinthal's "Violets in November" that Adam gave me for my thirtieth birthday. It's mostly neutral with a few accents in grey-blue and aubergine. I'm still planning to invoke these colors with more accessories soon.
The furniture plan took shape when I discovered the antique oval table with shapely legs and casters, a serendipitous Craigslist find (the same seller sold me the living room hutch!) with extra leaves for larger dinners. The shopping gods must have been shining down upon me because, about a week later, I found the four-drawer chest from a nearby charity shop. It holds countless hostess necessities, like napkins, platters, napkin rings, etc., and has the most charming wooden scallop shell pulls!
Do the chairs look vaguely familiar? I found these 6 faux bois chairs at one of my favorite thrift shops back in October 2013, though they were all oaky and teal and not my style at the time. Since then, I applied a washed white paint finish before sending them to the upholsterer where they were covered with stain- and fade-resistant Sunbrella fabric. 

They got a whole new lease on life, didn't they?
On the wall opposite the windows, I kept it simple with a few white trinkets and the "Urns" print from Wayne Pate that Adam gave me for our first Christmas in Philadelphia.
The windows received a lot of attention in the form of new curtains. I sprung for a fabric I've admired for a long time, Sister Parish's "Clara B" pattern in beige that arrived just a few days after Astrid and I came home from the hospital; thankfully I was feeling well enough to work with Mom to sew the panels, which immediately made a huge statement in the room.

If you look closely, you'll see that we turned our bow window into a window seat. I had a 4" thick cushion made and upholstered in the same Sunbrella solid as the dining chairs. It will be such a fun place for Astrid to sit and read a book in few years while still being stain-resistant.

As you can see, the room is basically tone-on-tone. We opted for a budget-friendly jute rug that we're content with, but I'd love to introduce a bit more color when the perfect antique Persian rug comes along. The ideal rug would mimic the colors in the painting for an integrated look.

Likewise, I have antique botanical plates that I'll be adding to the wall and plan to sew an assortment of throw pillows for the window seat...but, you know, I've been a little busy lately. ;)
(all via Meet Me in Philadelphia)

The room came together in a relatively short period and it's already gotten a lot of use. Having a formal dining room makes me want to entertain even more, which is a lovely feeling. It will be the perfect backdrop for holidays and birthdays for years to come.

Hope you like it as much as we do!

In case you're interested, I've included some sources:
Wall and trim paint: Benjamin Moore's "White Dove"
Dining chairs: vintage via thrifting
Dining chair & window seat fabric: Sunbrella linen canvas from Patio Lane
Dining table: antique via Craigslist
Chandelier: auction find; very similar to the 5-light Coral Chandelier from Ballard Designs
"Urns" print: Wayne Pate
Sconces: antique via Etsy


  1. So fun to see your blog in my reader again! This is a lovely room -- so serene. Sarah and Joel just bought a house in Glastonbury that is SO similar to your "before" pics. It's fantastic to see what it can be after lots of hard work!

    1. This is Julie by the way...not sure why I'm "unknown!"

    2. How exciting! Please share my congratulations with Sarah!!

  2. How lovely! It looks like such a comfortable space that definitely says "home".

    1. Thank you! Comfort and "homey" is exactly what I'm after!

  3. Gorgeous. If you scroll through Bunny Williams's instagram feed there is a photo of her with a set of the same dining chairs. You're in good company. Those are such a score!

    1. So funny, Sam, I follow Bunny Williams and saw that, too! The fact that Bunny considered them (perhaps she bought them) affirmed that they are great chairs!

  4. Ashley your dining room is stunning. Can't wait to see more of your lovely home.

    1. Thank you so much, Karen! It was a labor of love so I sincerely appreciate the kind words!

  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I wish I could be a guest to a dinner party of yours. How fabulous the room came together and that painting fits right in.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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