June 2, 2011

Old School Dining

We were incredibly lucky that my Grandmother gave us this beautiful Dining Room set before she passed away.  The wood was an exact match for the woodwork in The Bungalow and looked like it had always belonged with the house.

It also came with an intricate buffet that was too big for our Dining Room but fit perfectly in our front entry as seen in the right side of this image.

The chairs are actually pretty intricate too, and in an attempt to modernize them about a year ago, as well as preserve the wood from Ryder's sticky little fingers, I covered them with foam and sewed some clean line chair covers.

Before, during and after of chair process
So now that we are in The Lodge, Jay and I are having a tough time deciding what to do with this  beautiful set.  The new house is such a modern, natural style that I'm not sure if this antique, Gothic looking set will fit.  Plus, it might make the space in our new tiny Dining Room pretty cramped. 

The first step is to move it into the space, and see if all the piece fit spatially. (Much easier now that the mirrors are out, but we need to get the new wood floors in first.)  If it does, perhaps once we see it in the space, we'll start to envision how we can mix new modern elements with this old set to create a new modern style, maybe something like this:

This actually looks a lot like our table, and I can definitely see this working.  I envision white chair rail with a modern grey/blue paint above it, or an muted geometric print wall paper in the same tones, and soft white curtains around the sliding glass doors. We could recover the chairs with a bright yellow, or perhaps orange so that it works with our whole house color pallet and accessorize the table and buffet with the same bright shade.  A large capiz pendant like this in white could give a great modern and more natural twist on a classic chandelier look. Since the room is pretty small and isolated from the others, giving it a distinct "fancy" feel separate from the rest of the living spaces might not be such a bad idea.  I'm falling in love with the concept right now.

But then again... this is a very modern and sophisticated look, and what we were really going for with this house is natural, modern lodge.  Not only do we want the rooms to flow together, (so that it doesn't feel so split level-blocky), but we also want to use all those big windows and doors to bring the outside in.  More like concepts like this:

or this:
 Or this:

This style seems to be more like the comfortable and rustic look that we plan for the rest of the house. I could build a new table like this, and combine a set of high back chairs with a plush lodge-esk fabric like these with ones I could build myself like this for a slightly less formal, layered look.  We would wrap in the rust and orange tones from throughout the house, and use a statement light above the table to really set the rustic tone. 

I'm stuck.  I love both, but for very different reasons.  So this is where you come in- please cast your vote for "Modern Elegance" or "Rustic Modern" and tell me why. I'm wide open to suggestions on this one, just don't tell me to paint that table or buffet.  Do you want to have me killed?  After the time my father spent meticulously restoring that table back to it's original beauty, I would be completely disowned if I took a paint brush and bucket of primer anywhere near it. 


  1. Rustic Modern. It's more casual and I feel like your family would get more use out of a casual dining room. Plus after seeing a sneak-preview of the living room I think it will flow more nicely with the rest of the house :)

  2. What about a table with benches in your kitchen eating area? We love ours and I would imagine is fairly easy for you to whip up a set. I really like your current dining set and would try to make it work for now. Isn't your dining room sort of tucked away or is it visible from the foyer and living room? I can't remember the exact layout from the grand tour we got:) Either way, I don't think you can go wrong.

  3. oops, posted that comment from Oliver's blog account. See at seven weeks, he has some very helpful insights:)

  4. Ha! Oliver has really good design style. The Dining Room is a little tucked away, so it would be okay to give it a slightly different look. I also love the idea of working with what we have for now and maybe changing it later. Although I don't necessarily want to spend time on a design that I will just want to change... So much to think about.