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The Dining Room {Refining the Vision and Experimenting}

by | Mar 30, 2016 | Decorating Inspiration, My Dining Room, My Seattle House

The Dining Room {Refining the Vision and Experimenting}

When I last was brainstorming on the blog about our kitchen and dining room, and what the main floor plan might feel like, basically the conclusion was to leave the kitchen in the kitchen and keep the dining room as a dining room, rather than swapping the two rooms (BRILLIANT IDEA, right?).

With all my brainstorming and planning, I’ve been able to feel more at ease knowing at least something is for sure. The kitchen is going to stay where it is. I don’t like living with indecision. I love brainstorming ideas and making them happen. That’s fun. But the in-between stuff and the waiting isn’t my favorite.

While I feel great about leaving the kitchen where it is, the specifics like whether or not we will change the location of the sink like we thought or remove walls or spring for the addition of a mudroom, are still up in the air. But now that we’ve lived here for nearly seven months, I am starting to feel more like I can get in my groove now. I’m ready to make changes and am more confident about making decisions about what I really need or want to change.

The style of the kitchen and the bathrooms and the overall vibe of the house are going to evolve and change, that I know for sure. We’ll paint, we’ll add paneling here and there, we’ll change light fixtures, we’ll update the kitchen and the bathroom and somehow update the look of the fireplace and even change two exterior doors to Dutch doors. I am committed to finding ways to incorporate our style and make our home comfortable for us to live in.

The Dining Room {Refining the Vision and Experimenting}

But here’s something else I’m SUPER SURE OF!  I want to make changes that will cause the least amount of disruption to our family. We moved here to be close to our family, so we could spend more time together. I wanted our three kids to live close by each other for sibling bonding times (our girls moved to Seattle years ago and our son, their brother, still has a few years left in school).

I didn’t move here to design a house, but rather, we came to create a home for our family. There’s a difference, and I feel at peace with the fact that the decisions I make will need to reflect our need for simplicity and family time in this season of our life. I don’t want to create more mess or stress than necessary to achieve our goals.

Moving furniture around is an affordable way to alter the look and feel of your space, so that’s something we will also do for sure! Probably many times. I mentioned the other day that we moved our glass cabinet from the living room to the dining room.

The Dining Room {Refining the Vision and Experimenting}

Forgive the unstyled room and the fact that there are pictures hung incorrectly above it, okay? :) This is real life here and I just didn’t take the art down yet or restyle this room. I know I’ve shared probably a million different ways we could set up this dining room, and ways to open the wall or enlarge the doorway to the kitchen (if we decide not to completely open the wall, the archway idea is still a strong contender!). But as you might recall our latest plan was to pull a table up to the window to create a banquette with a view!

Moving the table to the window was a great first step. The vision for this room makes sense to us and feels right when you are in the room even now. It will likely take a lot more changes and layers to make how it feels in our minds more obvious in the photos, but bare with me until I can get things rolling.

Right now we are working with the furniture we have in the dining room, so we’ll have to play around with it to really see what works or consider what might work better. But at least we can have fun trying new things and enjoying the space in the meantime.

The Dining Room {Refining the Vision and Experimenting}

We took the leaves out of the table and even though it is on the small side, round feels really nice in this room. We definitely need a light fixture and maybe some other changes to fully make sense of this arrangement, but I can see it working.

A reader mentioned the other day that with some of the mid-century influences of the design, changing the location of the furnishings might be helping to “balance the space.” She is so right! We’ve been playing around with that balance in our living room and we definitely sense how the placement of the furnishings impacts how comfortable and cozy the rooms feel, which is pretty cool.

The Dining Room {Refining the Vision and Experimenting}

The room feels quite inviting this way, almost like it is a pleasant breakfast room off the kitchen. There’s enough space to expand to create more of a dining area for bigger family meals or holidays, but I have to say we love the idea of considering it a charming breakfast room with a view! Yesterday I enjoyed sitting down to work at the table for awhile (if you saw my Instagram pic!), it was wonderful!

The Dining Room {Refining the Vision and Experimenting}remember the art won’t go on the wall there, this is just an in-process pic!

Our next step with this room will be to have this entire space repainted. I can’t wait! Even if we eventually widen the kitchen doorway or remove the wall entirely, we can take this room in baby steps. We might add some paneling to give the room more character and are still considering the idea of a built-in bench/bookcases (remember our ideas for built-ins? We may have changed the location of the table but built-ins could still work in here, even if we wait on them for awhile).

The Dining Room {Refining the Vision and Experimenting}

We have also already looked through samples of blinds and selected our favorite, so I’ll be ordering blinds in the next few days (I’ll share which ones soon)! The sun is so bright already in the later part of the afternoon! I love it, but blinds are going to be a must for summer.

The Dining Room {Refining the Vision and Experimenting}

That’s the latest in this room! I’ll keep you updated and I know I still have to show you my painted bedroom (so many delays on the simplest of projects, ha!). It takes awhile to get in the groove in a new house, but once you do the whole process of creating a home starts to become more fun!

More Posts:

Built-in bookshelf inspiration for the dining room

Inspired By: 8 Charming Banquettes


  1. Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

    Melissa, after having lived through an extensive renovation a couple of years ago, I completely understand your need to keep the disruption to a minimum! Whatever you decide to do with your home, I know it will be beautiful!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thank you, Jann. I’m sure your renovation was worth it though!

      If we can keep ours to a minimum, we would love to but we’ll see. It seems like all changes cause some disruption so I suppose it is just a matter of which disruption or how much of it makes the most sense!

  2. Gail W.

    If you can spare some of the wallspace from the kitchen, it looks like it would be nice to open up the wall dividing the kitchen and DR. The one doorway seems a bit narrow and opening it some looks like it would expand access to the view.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Yes, I agree. I’ve written several posts with ideas for opening up that space! It’s definitely a challenge because the kitchen is very small and losing wall space isn’t ideal. But the previous posts have shared ideas from opening up a bigger archway to moving the wall entirely. At the very least, I’m sure the doorway can be widened!

  3. Jenny

    Hi Melissa!! Love that you are taking your readers along on the journey! It’s so refreshing to see REAL homes in addition to STYLED homes. As I was reading, the concept of turning that window into patio doors hit me. I understand that it would change the direction of the room, but I can just imagine all the sun that would pour in!! :) I don’t recall you mentioning that in prior posts, so I’m assuming you don’t want that option. But, for some reason, I’m commenting anyway! Lol! Blessings to your family on this journey!!
    -Jenny :)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Hi Jenny!Thank you! It’s definitely nice to be able to share the imperfect process of creating a home! The styled images are so fun but you do have to go through THIS process first!

      Thanks for sharing your idea. I have thought of how we could create backyard access from this room but it isn’t as easy as I wish it was. This floor is not at ground level, nor is it high enough off the ground to make it easy to create a deck or make sense as a deck because the window is right above the access to our lower level entrance. But, nothing is impossible, we’d just have to get creative. I’ve had a few ideas that could work, but they may not be worth the expense.. At least right now.

      I think we can nestle this space in with built ins or a window seat, though!

  4. Chris Cloen

    If you did many posts on the actual decision to move and the packing up process I must have missed them. We are now moving after 30 years in our home. HELP! I love my home! I need your wisdom. How do I make this work?

  5. Cathy

    I think it would be really nice to dine by that window!

  6. Debbie from MountainMamaOnline

    Can’t wait for the bedroom reveal – I’m anxious to know if you went with the dark, cozy paint color!

  7. Cathy L

    We are currently renovating our master bath and it is more of a project than we realized (and more of a disruption!), so I can understand your viewpoint.

    Do you remember where you got the white and blue pillow on your leather sofa in the picture above? I love it.

  8. Donna @ Modern on Monticello

    I can so relate with just wanting your home to be done and a calm haven for the family. We have been updating and renovating since last August and I have vowed that this current room is the last one for the year! I need a break. Love what you are doing with your home though and can’t wait to see more.

    PS I plan to read your new book during my vacation in June. I so enjoyed the first one.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thanks, Donna! You sometimes have to go through all the stress and remodeling to get to that calm haven but if there is anything I avoid, I will. Ha! It is a lot of work to remodel, so I can understand your need for a break.I hope you enjoy the book!

  9. Karen

    Looks good with the table and cabinet in the dining room and I so get waiting for the house speak to me !!!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      They are sometimes slow to speak but in the end, it is worth it to listen :).

  10. Claire Flatman

    Melissa, I love the cabinet in the dining room, it’s perfect on that wall. I had a thought….. You could block up the doorway and move it along nearer to the cabinet then you wouldn’t lose too much kitchen wall space and would have a straight walkway through to the sitting room. Alternatively you could just double the opening if you wanted it larger and use either pocket or barn doors in case you wanted to close off either space. I know it will be great whatever you do ! Looking forward to seeing the finished room !

  11. Jamie B

    I like when you said you didn’t move to design a house but to create a home for your family. This is why I enjoy your blog so much; not only do you have a talent for decorating outside of the box but you use this God given talent to bless those around you. Thank you for being real and sharing that with us.

  12. Christie

    Your spirit about home and family is so refreshing! I’m excited to watch the process because you are realistic while setting up a lovely home. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to style a time capsule home or keep a kitchen as-is, but adding your own touch to some of the original and well-designed elements will make a really unique and personal home, like it grew up with a family. I think it is a gem, and so are you.

  13. Linda

    It is important to live in a house for a while to determine what works, what doesn’t, and how you use the spaces. I love the banquette idea for the dining room and really love that cabinet! I think widening the doorway between the kitchen and dining room would balance the opening to the living room and create a more open feeling. Love that your leather couch is scratched up like mine–dogs and cats!!

  14. Susan A.

    In the dining room, have you considered taking out the door bell thing replacing with drywall? Then get a cool door knocker for front door and/or double doors!

  15. Serene Spaces Living

    I love moving stuff around to see how I can spice up the room. Every couple month when we do a “deep” clean I usually end up rearranging furniture and accents. I know not exactly what you are doing here, but we don’t have the budget for remodeling.

    Can’t wait to see how the room turns out.

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