Monday, March 30, 2015

Chinoiserie Chic Dining Room Reveal

I'm posting my Chinoiserie Chic dining room reveal, even though things are far from perfect. This is the view of the dining room from the breakfast nook.  It is one step down, so we have this amazing railing. The hardwood is laid over concrete that slopes towards the far wall... this room was the first garage addition.  When we bought the property it was being used as a media room.  There was track lighting, lots and lots of furniture and the carpet was maroon with a large scale tropical motif.  I think it was a remnant from a casino (we're just South of Reno, NV... reno-vate...).  Another thing that couldn't be moved... that front and center intake vent.
This is the dining room looking back from the french doors.  I'm sorry about the weird color!  I want to get professional photographs. This is actually the second time I have decorated the room.  At first, I had the hutch in front of the window.  Natural light shined through an opening in the hutch but it was very hard to open and close the window. The room is very long and narrow and I thought the previous arrangement would make it a more comfortable shape, but it didn't work. The curtains were hanging on the french doors, but they were always in the way.  The wide woven-wood shade works perfectly. I also thought I wanted a dimmer more moody and romantic dining room. At that time the room was painted a dark caramel color, but it just wasn't me. I love me some white and bright decor!  The plantation chairs are slipcovered and I bought them from One Kings Lane years ago.  The kid booster chairs are from Ikea. If you have kids in your life, get some!  Their little feet can sit on the rail so they are more comfortable for them than sitting in a booster in an adult chair. The Chippendale style chairs were from Ballard Design's garden collection last year.  If you don't remember seeing them, I bought the brown ones and painted them white.  Good outdoor furniture is indestructible.  My boys can tip them back and the legs won't come loose and when they get dirty I can wash the cushion covers. We eat outside all summer long so it's nice to be able to go in and get extra seating without worrying about it getting damaged.
The entire room was inspired by these vintage Scalamandre curtains.  The colors in them are so luscious.  Coral.  Teal.  Olive green.  Lilac.  Sage green.  Ballet slipper pink!  I had to take advantage of the colors, which is why I painted the ceiling green.  If I had these panels made today, it would cost about $6000.  A couple of years ago I was searching "Scalamandre" on eBay, maybe thinking I could score a La Tigre remnant or something else fun.  These draperies were left over from an estate sale with a reserve of $70!  I couldn't believe my luck when they actually arrived on my doorstep for the reserve price.  The ticket from the Estate auction was still pinned to them, with an auction reserve of $1700.  I'm telling you, half of my home furnishings are from Ebay and Craigslist.
I love the pacing of this room.  It unfolds in little vignettes.  First, "Oh, there's the dining room".  Then you see the pretty focal point of the window wall, then you notice the hutch.  Of course, my beverages were totally depleted when I went to take this picture.  This room is the pass-through to my husbands office, and he likes to sneak a bottle of Martinelli's now and then.  The picture is hanging on the wall, there is no back to the hutch.  That's where the window was before.  
My father in law's mother bought this crystal punch bowl at an antique store in Virginia City, Nevada in the early 1960's.  The family had lived all over the world, but had just moved to Reno.  My mother in law inherited it, and it moved around with them until she passed it down to me when I was living in Oregon.  We love that it's come home, just down the road from where my husband's grandma bought it almost 60 years ago.  It is 2 pieces, the pedestal and the bowl.  The bowl is so heavy, I can hardly carry it.  I love that it is safely in that little niche, tucked away from my rowdy boys, refracting the sunshine by day and twinkling in the chandelier lights by night.
I host at least Sunday dinner every week.  My table seats 12, and if more people join us, there's always the kitchen.  Last night my sister and her family joined us along with my mother and father in law.  Most weeks we have our college-student cousins over.  Their gratitude towards being in my home encourages me to keep on with this tedious renovation for another week.  Don't wait to share your home until it is perfect, because it never will be.  
Gracie wallpaper would have been so perfect in here, but it didn't quite fit in the budget.  Instead, I grouped the landscapes and still lives from around the house.  It gave the artistic watercolor affect I wanted.  I just wish I had twice as much art!  I only want real things in my home, and that includes original art as opposed to reproductions, so the collecting process is slow.  The two little "love" pieces are from TJ Maxx.  They were hung as Valentine's decorations and never came down.  They're just place holders, but they're cute and only set me back $11.  Once the art was hung, I made sure everything was level and put a bit of sticky tac on the bottom corners of each piece.  If you have a gallery wall, do this or it will drive you nuts trying to keep everything strait!  I remembered this tip because now I'm noticing the "Love" art is crooked.  The door goes to the man cave, which was garage addition #2.  That garage had been converted into an office before we bought the home. We do not currently have a garage.
I still need to replace that door... and get the new door matching hardware. Details, details.  The hutch is supposed to be installed as a built in, but that still hasn't happened.  The room isn't trimmed, baseboards are missing, and the French door either needs some serious TLC or it just needs to be replaced.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the little tour.
Oh, and speaking of things being real, every room needs a living, breathing plant.  The dining room has a fern on a nifty brass plant stand.  The fern has such long fronds and you can barely see the pot.  It reminds me of Cousin It and it always makes me smile.

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