Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)

Do you ever feel like you are in a creative lull with your home? It happens to most of us at some point. Actually, I’m just coming out of one of those lulls. I think it’s common to experience one after a remodel or completion of a series of big home projects.

It actually makes sense to me why some of us feel like we get in a lull, or even a creative “rut” or a period of restlessness at some point after a big project season is complete.

For months you were problem solving and envisioning new ideas. Then you were implementing your vision and watching it come to life! That’s an exhilarating (but sometimes exhausting) experience.

Once those projects are done … you’re no longer doing any those activities.

The change of pace and activities can be a welcome relief at first. But if your whole house isn’t “done” yet, and you aren’t planning to start another big project on its heels, you might start to get a little restless for what’s next.

A period of rest after a big project can rejuvenate the mind, which is helpful to make way for a new vision or creative project to begin. That season can also offer the opportunity to sense gratitude for what you have as well as time to find contentment with what you’ve already accomplished.

I find that not trying to rush through a lull to get onto another big project can also give me time to focus on other priorities, bringing more balance to other important parts of my life.

By taking a period of time to rest and enjoy what I have already worked on or finished, I actually find myself starting to get inspired again, often by those newly completed spaces! That’s what happened recently for me.

We don’t have any plans to start another remodel any time soon and haven’t built up the budget for any of the other bigger projects on my “wish list.”

But since I still want to make more progress on our home this year, fresh inspiration needed to strike!

The “lull” after the kitchen project gave me time to think and ponder my next steps in our house. I decided that I wanted to focus on small style updates the rest of this year. By using what I’ve already completed as a spring board, I can start refining other spaces accordingly and as the budget allows.

Inspired by the mood of my newly remodeled kitchen, I was recently able to make a few simple changes to our adjoining dining room using mostly things I already had!

It’s so helpful to have a completed project, our kitchen, as a style setter for decision making in the rest of the house!

A curtain swap with another room, moving around furniture, hanging some plates, and adding a pair of new lamps to the dining room helped refine our style a little more (at least for the time being.)

Now I’m inspired to keep going in other rooms of the house! Baby steps, but at least we’re headed somewhere.

In part two of this post, I’ll share five ways I jump start creativity to further refine my style. Plus I’ll share more about the simple changes we made in the dining room and the impact on other rooms in our home!

Dining room sources:

Scroll the arrows below to shop:

Sources and details:

Blue honeycomb pillows

Rattan chairs: sold out from World Market (similar: 1 // 2)

Wingback dining chairs: sold out from World Market (similar)

Ombre beaded chandelier (or similar chandelier)

Woven window shades


Rattan etagere/bookshelf – thrifted! Similar: 1// 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Gray and white striped pillows

Watercolor floral pillow

Peacock art print

Crane art print

Blue and white dishes

Round white rattan mirror

Gray ceramic table lamps and linen lampshades

Woven planter – Ikea

Copper planter

Polish pottery

Striped banquette bench

Sisal rug

It Is Well With My Soul artwork (above fireplace)

Wall color: Simply White Benjamin Moore

Shiplap Wall Details


Carrara Gioia Quartz: Marble Alternative

Carrara Gioia Quartz

Carrara Gioia Quartz

Today I thought I could offer a few more details on my Quartz countertops, as they have become one of my most FAQ on the kitchen remodel! I totally understand why; trying to decide on countertops is a stressful experience.

Perhaps sharing our own decision making process will help alleviate your concerns or give you some new ideas, now or down the road!

Carrara Gioia Quartz Daltile - Kitchen Remodel

Early on in our design process, we considered all the possibilities for our countertops. Everything from wood (which we used in our English Tudor) to marble to quartz to concrete to a mix of materials.

Because our kitchen is bright and VERY sunny at certain times of the day, we ruled out wood since we worried it would potentially fade or crack as well as feel too dark for our space. Concrete was out once we decided on concrete looking floors. We also decided against a mix of materials. Because it’s such a small kitchen, we felt like a streamlined look of consistent counters would look the best.

Carrara Gioia Marble White Quartz

I happen to LOVE marble countertops. I had them in a bathroom in one of our homes and thought they were so beautiful! But it is true what they say, they are sensitive.

We had a little friend visiting our house one time and he set a red popsicle on our counters. We never forgot that visit because forevermore our counter had an etched and pink stain to help us remember it! Honestly, those marks never bothered me. I think marble is beautiful as it ages. But not everyone has the same tolerance, so it’s really a personal decision.

White Quartz - Carrara Gioia Daltile Quartz - Marble Alternative

Even this time we considered marble countertops again, but my husband let me know he really wanted quartz. He has stained our marble baking slabs by setting beets on them, so I understand his concern. :) He loves to cook but he really didn’t want to feel like he had to be cautious about beets or foods that could etch when cooking.

I like to limit our household stress levels, ha, so we agreed to stick with quartz. We had quartz counters in our last home’s kitchen and they were pretty awesome, so I really didn’t have any reservations. It is a super strong composite stone material and can be so lovely, too.

Marble Alternative Quartz

The quartz we had in our old house was Caesarstone Organic White. We had tried to avoid any obvious swirly pattern on our counters in that house because our hickory wood floors already had a lot of “movement” and a rustic vibe to them. We didn’t feel our counters should compete, so anything with a marble look felt wrong.

But this house, I was excited to look for a marble alternative. Our floors are a porcelain tile that looks like concrete, so I was excited about the contrast between the look of the counters and the concrete.

Marble Alternative - Quartz

It wasn’t as easy as I had hoped to find a quartz we liked. Every quartz pattern we saw felt wrong. Either I felt like someone drew all over the slab with a pencil, or the coloring wasn’t right for our home. We also wanted a more “grayed” look, nothing too shiny, not too stark and not too yellow. We also wanted a subtle random pattern. Picky much? :)

The other piece of the puzzle was that we needed a 2cm quartz in order to fit under our windows. The best way to get the counters to fit and have a seamless look was to have a thinner countertop (rather than needing to cut down cabinets to a less than standard height).

For years I had preferred the look of thicker marble countertops, so I wasn’t too sure I was going to be happy with thinner. But after lots of research, I decided that I was actually going to love the look of the 2cm in our home! YAY!

Marble Quartz

But I still couldn’t find a marble-looking quartz that I liked. We just about gave up when our contractor suggested we try Carrara Gioia Quartz at Daltile. I had no idea that Daltile had quartz, but we ran over to their warehouse to take a look. Not only did we love it, but the 2cm was going to be in stock so we didn’t have to wait and could select our favorite slabs.

I dreamed of my countertops not only fitting seamlessly under the window, but also of a long expanse of uninterrupted counter space all the way around the corner of the kitchen.

It is not a big kitchen, but I think the seamless look of uninterrupted counters help the space to feel larger and be so much more functional.

White Quartz Counters with Farmhouse Sink

We’ve lived with our new Quartz counters for five months now and still love them! They are super easy to clean and take care of, too (we use Thieves cleaner on them for those who are curious)!

Are you looking for new countertops?

Have you tried quartz?

Related Posts:

Galley Kitchen Reveal

Kitchen Source List

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