I’m not sure what took me so long, but finally taking the time to create a thoughtful design for one of my own living spaces has been giving me life! (If you’re just joining me on this journey, I am currently redesigning my dining room.) Unlike designing for one of our clients, I haphazardly purchased decor for this space that caught my eye while shopping. Then, I pieced each item together, one at a time. That practice ultimately led me to a completed space I didn’t truly love. So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to redesign my dining room as one single thought with coordinating details. After removing all of the existing decor, creating a mood board, and sitting with the empty space for a bit, I created a dining room design board and started making my first purchases!
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After enduring a week of empty space, I took a few hours one day to start sourcing the pieces that will bring my visions to life. I am a researcher at heart, so it can take me a while to make decisions such as this. It’s almost as if I need to be convinced before I make an investment. I like to search for competitive pricing to ensure I’m getting the best deal, and positive reviews are always a must!! So, after searching for the perfect accents, I placed them all in my “shopping carts” and slept on them for the night. Yep! I’m one of those people too…
Once the final decisions were made, I placed my orders and eagerly waited for the order confirmations, and ultimately, the tracking details. And thanks to the expedited shipping world we live in these days… orders have already begun arriving! With that, I took some time this week on Instagram and Facebook Stories and chose one accent a day to share what I’ve chosen or am considering for the space to give you a first-hand look at what’s going into the final design. (If you missed my Stories live, you can find them saved in the highlight section of our Instagram bio). Let’s just say, I’m pretty excited with how it’s all coming together!
If you’re a visual person like me, then you’re probably itching to see how all of the pieces work together. Believe me, I wouldn’t have been able to make these decisions without some sort of direction, so I created a dining room design board to help me with the process. I’m also sharing a recap of each of the details below and included shoppable links in case anything catches your eye.
Dining Room Design Board
This dining room design board is ultimately what helped me make final decisions for my purchases. If you’ve never created a design board before, I highly recommend doing so for your next design project. It truly helps you visualize your space and see how all of the pieces work together. If you find yourself torn between options (let’s say you can’t decide between two different area rugs), a digital design board allows you to swap them in and out so you can see what you like best. All in all, this dining room design board made it easy to piece all of the details together so I could make my purchases with confidence.
Not sure how to make a design board? If you do not have design software, we recommend using PowerPoint. If you do not have access to PowerPoint, a Word document can also work!
1. Simply find an image of the item you’d like to include in your design board. Selecting a product image with a white background is best. Right-click on the image and save it to a dedicated folder. If the site does not allow you to save it, take a screenshot of it and paste it into your document.
2. Insert the image into your document. If you’re using PowerPoint, you can remove the background by clicking on the image. A Picture Format toolbar should pop up. Click ‘Remove Background’ in the upper lefthand corner of the screen. From there, you can use your cursor to mark areas to keep and areas to remove. Keep changes and voila!
3. Continue inserting images of the details you’d like to incorporate. Move things around and see which pieces you like best until you’ve reached your desired look.
The Foundation – Dining Room Area Rug
The first choice for my dining room rug is currently out of stock until May 2nd. My husband, Bobby, always laughs at me because it never fails. Everything I tend to want is usually backordered or out of stock. Go figure, the foundation for the space was no different.
With that, I went back to the drawing board and chose this beautiful neutral design to hold me over until the one I want for the space is available. Once that happens, this beauty will find its way to our living room because she’s too good to live without!
This dining room area rug is a Threshold designed with Studio Mcgee wool-cotton blend. It features a handwoven plaid design in neutral hues that work with numerous aesthetics seamlessly. I especially love how the wool and cotton construction make for a soft landing underfoot! While I love it temporarily in my dining room space, it’s going to make the perfect living room rug as well!
Softening the Space – Window Treatments
One area of my dining room I’m not a huge fan of is the builder-grade window. All in all, it’s not as large as I would like it and doesn’t help to make an already small space feel any larger. So, instead of focusing on the size of the window, I’m focusing on accentuating it with beautiful window treatments that help soften the space. Furthermore, if they’re hung properly, they can help make the window appear much larger than it actually is.
When selecting my window treatments, I began with the curtain rods. Since my chandelier is champagne and leans more towards gold, I decided against silver and black. I didn’t want the metallics to compete, and I felt the black would be too much of a contrast with the muted gold. That left me with two options – gold or wood. I strongly considered a coordinating gold, but it felt too obvious. After some research, I stumbled upon these wood curtain rod holders (I ordered the square) and fell in love! Turns out, all you need is a wooden dowel to complete the look, so I was sold.
From there, I decided on curtain rings. I considered wooden rings but wasn’t overly excited about any of the options I could find, so I settled on these warm gold curtain clip rings. They’ll help elevate the look (since the wood rod is a bit more casual) and will help tie in the chandelier and various gold accents throughout.
Finally, I selected the curtains. I know it seems like a backward process, but I already knew I was going to choose a creamy white, off-white, or ivory linen. Knowing linen can be quite an investment, I was determined to find an affordable option. After some careful research, I found these faux linen curtains with amazing reviews! And they arrived the next day!!
Overall, the quality seems amazing for the price, but I’m not quite sold on the color. Since I painted my walls Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee at 75% strength, they are pretty light. With that, the Rice White curtains are blending right into the walls. So, I went back to the drawing board and saw the same supplier offers the faux linen curtains in Barley. I went ahead and ordered a pair to see if the color works better for my space and will report back once they arrive.
As far as the length goes, I chose the 50” x 108”. The 50” width is more than enough, especially with two panels. Furthermore, we have 9’ ceilings with crown moulding. While they will be a bit too long, the 96” option would be too short. I may have to have them hemmed, but either way, it’s better for them to be too long rather than too short.
Design Tip: Hang curtains 4”-6” above the window trim to help make the windows appear taller/larger.
Adding Depth- The Shelving
Before I began the redesign process, I had one wall that featured two wooden shelves. One was a floating shelf that allowed me to display various decor pieces such as a white pitcher, framed art, and various white serveware. The other was a thinner shelf that allowed me to feature decorative white plates and hang white ceramic mugs from the S-hooks. While I outgrew the farmhouse feel of those pieces, I did enjoy having shelves showcased on that wall.
After going back and forth about whether or not I should do something different, I decided to purchase shelving for that wall again. This time I am opting for something a bit more modern in both the material and design as well as how I will display them. For instance, I chose a clean, white marble shelf that will help elevate the room design without making it feel overly elegant. Furthermore, both shelves will be the same style and size for a more modern look.
To mount the shelves, I opted for antique brass wraparound shelf brackets. Their streamlined design will further modernize the space while their vintage-inspired finish will bring warmth and help make it feel more relaxed and lived in.
And since I like options, I also ordered this natural rattan tiered shelf because it caught my eye. I do have some reservations about it mainly because it reminds me of something you’d find in a bathroom, but I’m curious to see it in person and can always return it if it doesn’t work.
Bringing Life to the Space – The Greenery
One goal for my home this year is to bring more life to each of my spaces through the use of greenery. Since I do not have a green thumb (in fact, I cannot even keep a cactus or succulent alive), I am planning to incorporate artificial greenery throughout. For the dining room design, I am opting for a faux olive tree because I am drawn to their muted green leaves. This will help to keep the overall aesthetic warm yet soft.
Olive trees, whether faux or real, seem to be having a moment in interior design these days, so finding an affordable and realistic looking one took a bit of researching. I’m almost positive I found the one I want but of course, it’s out of stock until sometime next month. In the meantime, I found this sparse artificial olive tree at Target. It’s another Threshold designed with Studio McGee piece that provides a designer-inspired accent at an attainable price. It’s also the one you’ll find pictured in my dining room design board.
While I love this faux olive tree, I’m afraid it might not be staying. It feels a tad bit too short for my space (we have 9’ ceilings) and like it’s getting a bit lost in the space. However, I’m going to hold onto it for now and hope to be able to purchase the other one to compare it to.
Creating Visual Interest – The Artwork
Last but certainly not least, I am planning to incorporate more artwork into the design. My vision is to feature at least one piece on one of the shelves and two of varying sizes on the opposite wall where I previously displayed framed art.
This time, however, I am planning to feature vintage-inspired art to bring a bit more warmth to the space. Since vintage art can be an investment of both time and money, I found an Etsy shop, Heirloom Print Shop, that offers instant downloadable files that can be printed locally. This not only allows me to feature affordable art but also to choose the exact sizes I need. Here are the ones I’m considering.
Surprise Element – The Table
I stated multiple times in Stories that I was planning to keep our existing dining room table and was hoping to replace it sometime in the future. However, while I was sourcing all of the details above, I found it almost impossible to not dream about what that table would look like. But, as I searched, I found it difficult to find “the” one. After some careful consideration, I concluded I was thinking about it all wrong. I was putting too much emphasis on finding something unique that would stand out from the rest when what truly matters are the unique individuals that will fill the seats around it. Once I shifted my mindset, I knew I wanted something simple and sturdy; something that fit our space and welcomed loved ones to stay awhile.
With that, I decided on this contemporary rustic design from West Elm. It’s similar to what we have now but of better quality and with a lighter and more weathered finish. I was also quite surprised by the price point, although I will have to wait for this beauty to arrive sometime at the end of Summer.
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Now that (almost) all of the pieces have been selected, it’s going to be a bit of a waiting game while each item is shipped and delivered. While I’m eager to see it all in place, the suspense is giving me something to look forward to. More importantly, it’s giving me time to really reflect on how I want my dining room to serve others and who I will be connecting with around the table.
Are you enjoying my design journey? If so, be sure to check out Jenna’s dining room design as well! While we are striving for similar aesthetics, the final looks will be completely different!