The Dining Room

When you enter our house the first room off of the entryway is the dining room, so it was the first room I stared working on after we moved in. I believe in first impressions and that the first room you enter in a home sets the tone for the entire house. So, I spent quite a while thinking about the dining room design and what feeling I wanted the rest of the house to have. Of course I wanted an overall farmhouse feel, but what spin would I put on it?

Before... (listing photo) Please note the hideous HVAC vent on the left wall.

Before... (listing photo) Please note the hideous HVAC vent on the left wall.



When I went back and scrolled through the Pinterest board I started for the dining room, I realized that I was pinning a lot of rooms that felt botanically inspired, they had a white and green palette, board and batten trim, they had vintage industrial touches, and all of them had big farmhouse tables! Those were going to be the big ideas I would design into. 

Check out my dining room Pinterest board here:

Now that I had the design figured out, I had to figure out how to make it functional for my family. I am not a fan of useless rooms, the idea of a formal room that doesn't get lived in does not appeal to me at all. Our dining room needed to hold up to 2-3 family dinners per week, messy kids, and overall wear and tear. The table, chairs, and rug needed to be tough!  I also wanted the furniture to fill the room nicely and a big farmhouse table to hold bigger dinners with our family and friends.

I pulled all of these ideas together using one of my favorite mood board apps:

The app makes it really easy to pull pictures together and see how they feel together - right on your phone! I set the background color as the paint color I am considering for the space and add pictures of furniture, rugs, lighting, etc.

Here was my dining room board:

The table and chairs from my last house was way too small and beat up for this house. At the top of my shopping list was a farmhouse table to seat 8. At our last house it was hard to fit more than 4  around the table, so I was excited for something big! I really hoped that I would find an antique table within our price range, but I didn't have any luck. After a lot of research, I ended up getting a table from Restoration Hardware. It was on sale, and we had a coupon, so we paid way less than the current price. I was hesitant to buy it because I read horror stories about their reclaimed wood tables buckling and warping after just a few uses because RH tables are not sealed. Major red flag for my family, but I did find a few suggestions online about what to coat their tables with to ensure that they last and I decided to go for it. When the table came I immediately applied 3 coats of matte poly to every inch of it. I used the Varathane Soft Touch Polyurethane in Matte, and after nearly 2 years the table still looks brand new. 


I really wanted dining chairs from Restoration Hardware too, but they were not in the budget - especially since I wanted 8 of them! I decided to go with inexpensive metal dining chairs from Overstock for the side chairs and striped, cushioned chairs from Anthropologie for the head chairs. To be honest, the metal chairs are not comfortable for long dinners with friends, but they are great for now because they are easy to clean and they stack when I don't need all of them. I love the bold pattern that the Anthropologie chairs bring into the room!


The rug I bought on a total whim when I was in the hospital, in labor, with my second daughter. What better time to online shop?! I know I can trust my epidural clouded brain because I LOVE this rug. There have been so many spills made on it and it still looks great! I'm talking red wine and pureed beet spills too. I am a big fan of jute rugs - they add texture, they are durable, they are nice and flat for under furniture, and they don't show the dirt! Here is the link the one in my dining room: Hand-Woven Chesham Indigo Jute Area Rug (in grey) 

The last major decor decision for the room was the light fixture. I spent months looking for the perfect one. Originally I wanted two vintage industrial shades hanging over the table, but I didn't want to pay an electrician to put up new electrical boxes for them - that was not in the budget. So, I ended up going with the Schoolhouse Electric Tangled Chandelier. I love that it is industrial, farmhousey, and quirky all at the same time. I get a lot of questions about this chandelier - specifically if it was DIY. Sometimes that question makes me doubt the money I spent on it, but then I realize that the headache I saved myself from trying to figure out how to connect 6 corded bulbs to one electrical box (without burning down the house) was worth it. I also love Schoolhouse Electric - they have the coolest light fixtures, furniture, and decor, so I am happy to have splurged on one of their pieces for my home. 


Now that I figured out the furniture and decor, it was time to think about paint and trim!  As I have mentioned in my previous posts, board and batten has completely changed the look and feel of my house and the dining room is where the board and batten love affair began. My next blog post is going to be entirely about my beloved B&B, so I'm not going to go to in-depth about it in this post. 


My main reasons for choosing B&B for this room were: 

  1. I wanted character in the space. The room is fairly large and I wanted to add some personality to the walls.
  2. Wash-a-bility. I don't know about you, but my kids unintentionally create Jackson Pollock paintings with their meals on my walls daily. So, I wanted a glossy surface that I could easily wash clean.
  3. I knew I wanted to incorporate sage green on the walls, but I didn't want to whole room to be green. That would have made it so dark! The room has three large windows, but the porch roof makes the room fairly dark - the white B&B makes it feel so bright in there all of the time. The height of the B&B was determined by just eyeballing where it felt good and where I would avoid hitting any switch plates or the thermostat. 
See how the board and batten runs above the thermostat? 100% intentional!

See how the board and batten runs above the thermostat? 100% intentional!

When I started this room I didn't know a whole lot about paint quality - which surprises me because I have been painting walls since I was 12. But let me tell you...this project made me realize that paint quality makes all the difference. The white paint I chose for the B&B was Behr Ultra Pure White in semi-gloss. I really like the shade of white, but I did not like the consistency and quality of the paint. I had to paint 3 coats on a primed wall to get the white to look even and fully covered. Since then I have only used Benjamin Moore paints. The sage green paint I chose is Benjamin Moore Moon Shadow 1516 in eggshell finish. It is such a calming color, and it pairs so well with all of the plants and botanical prints I added in the room. 


The finishing touches for the room were the botanical prints and plants! My botanical prints are all vintage. Etsy is a wonderful resource for vintage botanical prints. The yellow floral one I have above the side table was purchased on Etsy - it came all the way from Germany and took over two months to get here, but it was worth the wait! It pulls the entire room together AND it kind of covers the unsightly HVAC vent on the wall. When I was hating on the house at first, moving that vent was on the top of my list because it stared me in the face every time I walked in the door. I didn't move it because it would have cost way too much for a cosmetic update, so I painted it and covered most of it with the chart. Vintage botanical chart for the win! 


So, that's the dining room - our most complete room in the house! I love the way it came together and how functional it really is. I still want to add crown moulding in there and maybe replace the shelf with a china cabinet, but there are a lot of projects ahead of those!

 I hope you enjoyed reading! Leave any questions you may have in the comments below.