Dining Room Mood Board

Of all the different rooms in the new house, the first one we decided to work on was the dining room. Everywhere I look I see these amazing dining rooms, and frankly I wanted one, too.

Can you believe we have been using two outdoor lawn chairs since we moved into the house? It’s 100% true. And there are 3 of us. Do the math.

Original Dining Room

We knew we wanted something that would above all be comfortable. Something that could be used for pizza and beer one night, and entertaining the next, plus the occasional game night.

The space is right in the middle of our house too. The windows you see get great evening light. The ceiling is tall (around 12 feet) and has the ugliest medieval chandelier you have ever seen. There are no real walls separating it from the kitchen or living room. It’s just right there.

Our budget was around $2,500. Designing a dining room on a budget is never easy – especially when it gets heavy daily use and needs to look amazing.

But we think we came up with something perfect.

You’ve heard the phrase “measure twice, cut once”? Well our mantra is “have everything in hand before starting the project”.

Yes, this takes planning, and resources, and time. But in the end it makes the process go so much faster.

I keep a running list on my phone of all the things I find across the web that inspire me. I know some use Pinterest or other on-line board tools, but for me I just use the notepad app that came on my phone. I can add text, links, and images, and it’s easy to share via text with my wife, or anyone else.

Then when it comes time to get serious I use Air Drop to move it from my phone to my MacBook Air. Makes everything fast and easy.

Plus it’s always with me. If I’m at the hardware store, I know what I need.

Here’s what we decided on:

Table: West Elm Mid-Century Expandable Dining Table – Walnut. We opted for the middle size 72-80″ based on the size of the room. It easily seats 6 and doesn’t look too heavy for the space.

Chairs: Some people like to mix and match. I personally like them to all be the same. But they have to be comfortable. I’ve sat in the West Elm Baltimore Dining Chair before and they are super stylish and comfy. Plus they are the perfect height for this table.

Rug: Alexander Home Isabelle in Ocean / Rust – 8×10 size. You can see the outline with blue painters tape on the image above. We got it on sale with a tip from Chris Loves Julia ~ thanks!

Chandelier: West Elm Mobile Chandelier. 50″ in Antique bronze. We will get some LED Edison lights as they aren’t supplied with the fixture. 60 Watt 5000K, dimmable.

Plant: A nice snake plant in a white pot with wooden legs. I try to get them from my local nursery, but when they don’t have any I just get it from Amazon. The snake plant pot I’m loving is from West Elm. It’s the white one with the wooden legs. Should fit nicely in the corner, dontcha think?

Paint: Benjamin Moore in Simply White.

Have you used any of these for inspiration? Share in the comments below!


What does your Dining Table say about you?

When we decided to move, one of the conditions we set early, was “nothing ugly is coming to the new house” That meant our old black IKEA dining table was getting donated, and we would have to find a new dining table for everyday use.

You would think it would be easy. It’s not.

Did you know that dining room tables come in different shapes? Each says something about you – and I’m going to put on my POP-psychology (did you see the Dad joke in that) hat on, and let you know what each means. Take each with a grain of salt, or take it personally. I don’t care 🙂

Rectangular Dining Table

If you have a Rectangular dining table (ie farmhouse style), you like tradition. The Dad sits in the Power seat, at the head of the table, the wife sits at the other end (typically closer to the kitchen), and then guests are seated on the longer edges. If you arrange your guests boys on one side and girls on the other side, you are way to organized, and if you alternate boy-girl-boy-girl then you may have control issues.

Square Dining Table

Nothing says family time like a square dining table. Growing up, this was the style table we had in our breakfast room, and everybody had their “side”.

Since it’s a square, all sides are equal, which prevents arguments between siblings. Plus it is an equal reach for everyone to get that last slice of pizza.

Round Dining Table

If you have a round dining table, you are into harmony. Life is a circle, and your choice in dining room furniture choice is all about creating peace and calm and tranquility. Everyone at the table is equal, and should feel comfortable sharing their feelings

I really like the clean modern look of these tulip style round tables. They come in a variety of sizes and materials, and can fit in almost any space. The round-ness breaks up the typical square angles of modern dining rooms.

Oval Dining Table

Of all the different kinds of dining room tables, oval tables are my favorite. They combine all the different features of each of the different styles, but are softer.

Done wrong, this style can look traditional, and dated, and just plain old, but if you get the materials and proportions just right, it’s magical!

I found some guidelines that were helpful when looking for a table for your space:

Table placement: In terms of space, try to leave 36” from the edge of your table to the nearest wall or piece of furniture.
Table accessibility: Ensure your guests have ample room to sit down and rise from the table with ease.
Chair spacing: Leave 24”-30” per chair for comfortable seating.

What’s your favorite style table?