Hello there! I took an impromptu vacation from the blog last week, and now I'm dipping my toe back into writing. I've got no excuse for the absence except that it's summer, and my computer screen isn't exactly tempting me at the moment. However! I've got some new (to me) pieces that I just had to share. I hope you're not sick of rattan or burl wood yet!
It's been a minute since I shared updates of our house, and that's because not much has changed around here. But that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about what needs updating, and that means it's time for a round of Marry, Kill, or What to Effing Do With It? Today we tackle the dining room. Who's ready to dish out some tough love?
I'm working with a friend on a little refresh of her home, and that has me looking for dining tables. She and her husband have a large, open room that serves as both living and dining room. We'll need a table that will won't overpower the room, and that will look good next to living room furniture. Naturally, I thought of everyone's favorite midcentury table.
Just about a year ago, Edward and I decided to check out a little old house in Church Hill more or less on a whim. As much as we'd both loved living in the Fan, we were ready to try something new, and Church Hill was (and is) growing like crazy and looked too fun to pass up. The prospect of buying was more than a little intimidating, but one visit to a sad rental house with an utterly sleazy landlord made the choice easier.
So today I'm sharing a bit of the progress we've made in the months since. We'll start in the living room, which is the first room you see when you come into the house. Like most of the rooms, it's decorated with plenty of of thrifted items and plenty of metals. Unlike the other rooms, we kept the color palette pretty neutral. I suppose not every room in the house can be dark and dramatic.
I have a thing for dining rooms. They are, after all, where all the best things (like eating and drinking with friends and family) happen. So naturally, when Chairish reached out and asked me to design a room with shabby chic elements for their Mix & Chic style challenge, I took the opportunity to design my ideal rustic and relaxed dining room.
I started with the shabby chic dining table and dresser (wouldn't be the first time I've used a dresser as a china cabinet) to anchor the space and create a casual vibe. From there, I picked out a couple items that echoed the rustic textures of the distressed wood table and cerused oak dresser. The faaabulous concrete deer wall mount and mixed media art both have the patina (or patina look) of the other pieces, but add something a bit unexpected. Keeping with the theme of unexpected pieces in a neutral color palette, I added the industrial halo chandelier and Poltrona Frau leather and chrome chairs to lighten up and modernize the room a bit. I love a contrasting table and chair style in a dining room - it keeps things looking modern even when you're using vintage items. Finally, it was a no brainer to throw in the overdyed pink Turkish rug to pull together one of my favorite color schemes of black, white, cognac and pink. It's not the usual palette you'd expect in a more rustic space, but the key to today's look is all about adding the unexpected in thoughtful ways.
All that's missing now is some table wine, homemade bread, and farmer's market cheeses.
From top left: Halo chandelier / Jean Aber mixed media art / Ebony cerused oak dresser / Concrete deer wall mount / 1920's English pitcher / Art deco bust / Poltrona Frau chairs / Pink overdyed Turkish rug / Shabby chic distressed white table
We took advantage of the rainy holiday weekend to do some much needed housework. Most of this was the less than fascinating work of fixing electrical outlets and weeding the sidewalk, but we did make some major progress in the dining room. We now have a rug! And paintings! And narrowly avoided disaster when hanging said paintings!
I honestly didn't notice the floors at the time. I assumed (mistakenly) that they were hardwood like the rest of the house. What could be more insane than putting laminate over hardwood? You're about to find out.
In case you look at the photo above and think it doesn't look terrible, just check out how this stuff really looked:
Ooooooh the humanity.
I mean. What? Checkered linoleum in the dining room and entry? Is this the prequel to The Shining? Someone help me understand.
At this point we accepted that we were out of our league and called in our contractor. And got to painting.
Shiny, flimsy laminate. The good news is that the laminate was super easy to pull up. The bad news?
Put me on a ladder with a paintbrush and I'm a happy woman.
Our dining room is coming along nicely. It needs work, but it's a slightly more finished room in an unfinished house. The dining chairs we have here were free, and originally covered in a lemon yellow naugahyde that was... something. My sister-in-law and I spent a Sunday afternoon recovering them in this peacock blue velvet fabric, and it came out much better than my first attempt at upholstery. (For the record, two people can recover 5 dining chairs in the time it takes to watch Mystic Pizza and half of Bring It On. Do not attempt on your lunch break.) The only problem? We just have the five chairs. I assume a sixth existed at some point, but it's nowhere to be found.
I'd really like an even number of chairs before our next dinner party. Specifically, I'm looking for a pair of end chairs that will look good with what we have now. I've already documented my love of the Milo Baughman dining chair, but I just don't think they'll work with the existing chairs. We don't have to keep them, but it's hard to pass up free chairs. Especially free chairs that remind me of Jojo, Daisy, and Kat.
So, who wants to look at end chairs?
I've kind of had a thing lately for the peacock chair. I love the idea of some crazy drama at either end of our table. My only concern is that we're not exactly luxuriating in space around here, and they might take up more room than we really have.
And I know I'm not the only one. I've seen more and more of his furniture (and slightly more affordable reproductions of it) popping up on my favorite design sites and in local antique stores. His mix of clean lines and bold finishes just really get me.
We were lucky enough to snag a pair of his chairs from Edward's parents' basement (by far my favorite local furniture shop - and so affordable), and I managed to haggle my way into owning a great little burl wood and brass side table. Now I have my sights set on some dining chairs.
I about fell out of my chair swooning over this dining room from Because It's Awesome.
Welcome! I'm Arielle, and this is Scotch & Nonsense. Whether you've come for the home projects, the recipes, or the cocktails, I'm thrilled you're here and I hope you'll stay a bit.