• December 9, 2011

Restyling the Dining Room

Lighter and brighter


Our Plan
1) Saarinen table 2) Pelle Bubble Chandelier / DIY: how to make your own bubble chandelier featured in the February/March 2009 issue of ReadyMade magazine…RIP… 3) Farrow & Ball Lotus wallpaper 4) Cherner arm chair 5) Sisal rug with border was featured on Fab a few weeks ago

{Confession: I am completely addicted to Fab and Pinterest and spend too much time on both!}

But, I digress…this is supposed to be about our dining room. The dining room is the first room we restored in our house and it holds a special place in my heart.

The truth is that even though I think the dining room is beautiful, it has never felt like “us”. We got so caught up with restoring the house, the strong architectural lines and period details, that we somehow left ourselves out of the equation.

I want something a little brighter and more playful. I intend to leave all the period details intact except for the light fixture, but that isn’t so unusual. I swap out lights around here the way some women change earrings. I always save the antique lights so I can put them back or move them to a new location if… make that when…I change my mind.

I am trying to find a balance between the Modern furnishings that we love and all the beautiful period details…that we also love.

Mix of period details and Modern furnishings. Image from Pinterest

If you follow me on twitter, you already know that we have installed the Farrow & Ball wallpaper that I have been lusting after this fall. The dining room already looks brighter.

I purchased the sisal rug and it arrived last week. Unfortunately, it is letting off the most noxious chemical smell. My whole house smells like Three Mile Island. This cannot be normal…

We are keeping the baby grand piano in the dining room, so I can’t have a dining room table that is too large. There is also a lot of wood in the room with the piano, built-in china cabinet, box beam ceiling and wainscoting. I think the white Saarinen table will be a nice counterpoint to all the woodwork.

I have loved the Cherner arm chair for years. To me, it is a functional piece of art. I’m not sure if we will have the budget for it. Although, I find it incredibly beautiful…I also find it pretty expensive.

It will be a few months, or maybe a few years, before I get this all together, but I am excited and ready for a change.

Comments { 11 }
  1. Elissa

    I’m excited to see how it turns out! I love the mix of modern furnishings in a traditional space. I understand the Pinterest addiction, they should have support groups.

  2. Sarah @ { rad: renovations are dirty }

    I love your aesthetic! I would kill for a marble-top Saarinen tulip table… Your dining room is going to look sensational. :)

  3. Adrian H

    I think the design aesthetic that ‘less is more’ is a good direction to take that has seen me through 4 house projects including an immense Methodist church we turned into a home. An ornate frame can hold any picture it is your choice and taste that makes it a home.

  4. Katie Kobelinski


    I just stumbled across your blog while doing some research for our 1912 foursquare bathrrom redo. Thanks so much for all your helpful photos. They are awsome! I am wondering, it looks like your window in your shower has wood trim. Is that correct? If so, what did you do to protect it. We also have the beautiful original wood trim, but can’t figure how to protect the wood, besides an ugly plastic shower curtain. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. You can e-mail me @ [email protected]



  5. Sarah @ housecrazy

    Your 1912 Bungalow is beautiful! As for the stinky rug… try putting out bowls of baking soda around the room for a few days to absorb the smell.

  6. Tamara

    I’m remembering the circa 1910 foursquare I grew up in and how mad I was when I entered my “purist” years recalling how my parents had painted the woodwork in that house. And then a few decades later I was living in my own A&C house full of A&C oak furniture, the darker the better, and I started to feel the weight of it all and craved lighter brighter. I’m sure there’s a way to do it leaving the woodwork intact. Love the wallpaper swatch, and I also love the mix of modern furniture with old house. You have such great taste I know you’ll do a great job, and I look forward to seeing the result!

  7. Karen Anne

    I’m not sure that that existing light fixture is actually “correct” for that room. It looks more Victorian than Arts& Crafts to me.

    • Heather

      You are right! That was a temporary fixture we purchased from Restoration Hardware when we first moved in. This is the light I found on eBay for the dining room: http://1912bungalow.com/2010/07/confessions-of-an-old-house-fanatic

      I have since replaced the eBay light with the modern and historically incorrect Pelle bubble chandelier pictured above. I love it…just wish I had spent a little more for the larger size. :)

  8. whitney

    I’m so happy I found this blog! I just bought a 1890s Victorian with tons of natural woodwork and am trying to reconcile my love for bright, modern interiors and my love for this house! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  9. Polly

    Where did you get the red rug in the dining room? I’m looking for something just like it!

    • Heather

      Hi! The rug came from Crate & Barrel, but they haven’t carried it in a while.

If you would like to select an image to appear next to your comment, go to Gravatar.