Archives for August 2016

Signature Style – My Dutch Door Plans

Signature Style - My Dutch Door PlansGood Housekeeping

I‘m pretty sure I’ve said the words Dutch door on this blog nearly a million times in the past year. DUTCH DOOR DUTCH DOOR DUTCH DOOR. I’m not sorry though because soon the Great Dutch Door Transformation is soon going to be a big game changer here at this house.

You see, our house is a very very very fine house (as they say in that song). But I didn’t want just a fine house, I want it to be more than fine. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It’s not ever going to be lavish on my budget. It’s not going to win the award for the most dreamy house you’ve ever seen on all the internet because WHOA, some people live in some seriously dreamy homes. But I just want this little house to feel like home to me. And to me, a home has character. It has personality. It has charm.

Signature Style - My Dutch Door PlansHouse Beautiful

While we didn’t have many handy dandy charm points as a built in advantage when we moved in, we do have a great blank slate. And blank slates are full of possibilities. As I mentioned the other day, it’s the Dutch door that is actually helping to refine my design decisions, not only helping to set the tone for my kitchen remodel, but really the whole house.

If your home doesn’t have a particularly stand out feature that is memorable, it really helps to pick one design element you have or can add to your home that is going to be YOUR THING. Claim it as your signature look, your starting point for other design decisions.

I have written before about the significance of having your “signature style” piece. You might have a signature staple in your wardrobe, perhaps a really unique or eye-catching watch or a classic set of earrings you wear almost every day.

I actually LOVE the idea of a signature piece because of its simplicity. Just like that signature piece of jewelry that becomes your go-to, your signature style piece at home lets you relax a little with all of your other design decisions. It simplifies everything, but elevates everything else around it all at the same time.

Signature Style - My Dutch Door PlansBlackband Design

Think about how you could incorporate a signature piece into your home. I have lots of different elements I incorporate into my home so a unique style isn’t limited or defined by just one thing, but I think when you can identify at least ONE THING that can stand out about your home, you can run with it and make that element a key part of your home’s personality.

For this house, the signature style is going to be set right as you enter the house with the Dutch doors. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a door to be a signature style setter. Yours might be a great buffet piece, a standout rug, a unique table or any number of special features that make a splash on the look and feel of your home.

There are many styles of doors to choose from and any of them could have helped set our signature style piece, but we are selecting Dutch doors because they make sense. They inspire the image of this house so it will have the character it deserves.

Dutch doors have a fantastic personality, but they are humble about it. Dutch doors are unassuming, but still so very charming and unique. They aren’t pretentiously showing off on the outside, but they show off real character inside and out. They aren’t closed off or snooty, but rather they are effortlessly open and inviting.

I think a Dutch door sums up perfectly what this house wants to be, which makes it the perfect signature style piece.

In case you’re wondering about what our paint colors will be, our brick house will soon be getting a fresh coat of soft white paint (exact color still to be determined). The Dutch door in the kitchen will be a shade of blue, inside and out. The front Dutch door color will either be the same blue, or might be a similar color as the inside of our old front door and our old kitchen cabinets (see many of my paint colors listed here). Stay tuned for this little brick house to start showing off her more spunky side!

What is your home’s signature piece?

PS. I’ll share more details about our specific Dutch doors in an upcoming post.

Related Posts:

Your Signature Style

Dutch Door Inspiration

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps

Hey friends! I took a couple of unexpected days off from blogging this past week, mostly just trying to get the house ready and decisions made for all the projects ahead. Phew! We’ve been making progress everywhere but the biggest transformations are just around the corner so I CAN’T WAIT!

I’ll have lots more to tell you about our kitchen plans and the Dutch doors (if you missed the news, our kitchen demo begins in just a few weeks, yippee!) but today I thought I would share the plans for the other side of the dining room (for those of you who wanted to see more of the room the other day when I showed you the shiplap wall).

Nothing to hide here, it’s just slow going on this side of the room. While I wish I could just snap my fingers and show you the shiny after room photos, right now it’s still in process. But we’ve made progress bit by bit so I’m feeling good about it so far.

Here’s a reminder of how this side of the room looked a few weeks ago…a blank slate!

Dining Room Progress + Next Stepsbefore

I’ve been envisioning this room as a breakfast room, a bit cozier and much more casual than a formal dining space. We set the table up near the window to take advantage of the view (our dining bench is on order). To give this bright sunny room a fresh clean backdrop, we painted the walls a soft warm white.

Below I’ll share the additions to the room so far and a bit of what’s to come.

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps

We recently installed the bamboo shades. We are super happy with them (they are installed above the windows, but we left enough of room above if we decide to add curtains or crown molding). I’ll do a whole post specifically about the shades in a future post, but in the meantime, they are the Good Housekeeping Woven Wood Shades called “Bali Abaca”. You can find the ones I have and more here (my affiliate link will ensure you receive the best discount available at the time you order).

Our Parson’s chairs arrived and they are just as comfortable as we expected. We comparison shopped by sitting in several Parson’s chairs locally, looking at price, style, quality and comfort (you can see our roundup of some great options here). The Restoration Hardware chairs were the clear winners for our needs. The linen slipcovers are nicely tailored and add a lot of softness to the space.

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps

We added a new seagrass rug to add a layer of texture. I was surprised what an impact it had on the feel of the room, it just feels more “grounded” and cozy. While a rug in a dining room can be a challenge to keep clean, seagrass is indestructible! You can find the rug we chose here.

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps

In the next few weeks my new dining bench from Ballard Designs should arrive! You might remember me talking about some options for dining benches. The bench I ordered is the Bristol Bench with driftwood toned legs and a linen and navy stripe upholstery (the sample I received shows wider placed stripes than it appears in the product shot, so it’s helpful to always ask for fabric samples before you place an order).

I really wanted a long more substantially sized bench with a padded back to fill the space under the window, so I really think it’s going to help anchor and complete that side of the room.

The biggest changes will be seen as we add more architectural interest to this space. Besides the new shiplap we already installed, the next step is to enlarge and arch the doorway opening between the kitchen and the dining room. The arch will frame the view to our new kitchen and of course bring more shape and softness to the room. The current opening is pretty small and uneventful so I can’t wait to see how the arch transforms the look of this room.

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps

Soon we will have an electrician move light fixture box to be centered over our table so we can finally install our new wood beaded light fixture! It’s been just sitting in a box forever. My mom thought our new dining light was small from the product photo I posted on the blog awhile back. To help offer perspective, my daughter Courtney is holding the light up over the table so you can get a better idea of the actual scale.

It’s a large enough light fixture to make a statement, but not too big for the room. It will hang down from the ceiling at an appropriate level for the table. Courtney is only 5 feet tall so a lower height simulation was the best she could do, even on her tiptoes :). Also, note she is a very small person, so you can see by comparison how big the light actually is.

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps

We are also considering adding sheer breezy curtains to the windows. I’m always a fan of patterned curtains to add more softness and interest to a room, but heavy curtain fabric didn’t seem right in this airier space.

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps

I found some cute sheer panels with a swirl pattern from Target online, but they only had two left. I ordered them anyway but then searched eBay and kept my eye on the Target website for the past couple of weeks just in case. Finally two more panels randomly popped up for sale. They are on their way to my house right now!

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps

The two panels I have so far are just tucked around our shades to simulate what they might feel like. I know how we hung them looks ridiculous in these photos, but at least you can get the idea of curtains. If we actually hang curtains, they’d be on a rod outside of the window and double the fabric of what you see here. I could go either way, curtains or no curtains. I guess I’ll know better once I see the bench in place. What are your thoughts?

Lastly, we plan refinish our old oak floors to a more brownish less orangish tone. The goal is for our floors to all flow together more effortlessly. There are are lots of flooring changes in this old house! While we aren’t changing every floor surface, we will do the best we can on our limited budget help the house flow together style-wise and tone-wise.

So, that’s where we are at so far and the vision we have planned for this space in the upcoming weeks!

Have a great Monday!

*UPDATE: See the progress on my home in my Fall 2016 House Tour!

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps

Dining Room Progress + Next Steps


Seagrass rug

Leather sofa

Blue and white rug

Gray and white striped pillow


Dining bench

Glass sideboard (ours was the antiqued taupe color)

Wood beaded light

Slipcovered linen chairs

Woven wood shades

Rattan shelf – thrifted

Bird botanical canvas art (out of stock)

Blue and white swirl lamps

Rattan and white round mirror on shiplap wall

Shiplap wall details

And as always, you can find more sources in my shop!