BEFORE & AFTER: A CASUAL, COMFORTABLE DINING ROOM

January 3, 2019

Many dining rooms are very formal and abandoned feeling and that is THE OPPOSITE of what I wanted to achieve for ours. The comfortable and casual sentiment is important to me in a dining room because I want it to be 1) conducive to long post-dinner conversations and 2) because our dining room isn’t right by our kitchen, it has to be an incredible space we are drawn to sit down in every night. (And for me to be inspired to make the short walk with setting the table.)

We switched the room up from maybe what it was more traditionally planned for – a table going vertically straight down the middle. We instead flipped the table horizontal and made a wall to wall banquette. It works so well for us. I love creating a nice family table, which in a lot of ways is the heart of a family’s life together.

This is an after shot, and below it is the room before – with the previous owner’s stuff! Also a little video to give you the whole experience! (With visible baby bump!)

rus white dining chairs | blue lucca velvet pillowshexic stone taupe rug | dining table diy | dining banquette diy | indigo linen art | wood stool | left vase | center vase | right vase | white lumbar pillow | round blue patterned pillow | green velvet pillow | wood serving tray (similar) | white fur throw (similar) | brass flush mount light fixture| paint color

A must for me for the room was a big sideboard or buffet with extensive and organized storage (ideally with both drawers and adjustable shelves) and I went with this bios sideboard from article. The reality of a family like ours is the dining table is used for a lot more than just eating – schoolwork, puzzles, arts and crafts, card games. Also it’s just a good place for my older kids to work on something without the baby being able to get to it.

Many families probably wouldn’t need it to store china or a bunch of weird serveware (we are just nice, everyday plates kind of people!), but I DELIGHT IN IT for storing all the other stuff a family does around a table together.

rus white dining chairs | bios sideboard |  mustard lamp (similar) | black lamp shade | ornate chalkboard | light boxsilver tray |  pearl photo frame (similar) | blue & white throw blanket

The built-in banquette is another accomplishment for loungey-ness (I pile on these resilient velvet pillows), fitting lots of little ones when needed, and more STORAGE! Storage like there is no tomorrow! I mostly keep small kitchen appliances (instant pot, coffee maker) and hospitality materials for hosting large groups in there. And definitely it’s just nice to have a big place where a project can be put away when the table is needed at dinner. For example, right now the center one has my stuff for catching up on family photo albums, so I can pull it out or stash away when I like.

David made the dining table and having the table sideways makes the traffic flow and furnishing options in the room so much better. Walking through is easier, while still seating as many as possible.

Because the banquette seating is a little untraditional, for the opposite side of the table I wanted something sturdy and easy for grown men or perhaps pregnant or elderly folks who just want a nice, strong, normal chair! I got four of these rus dining chairs which are solid wood and fulfill that want for strength to sit in. Aesthetically I am super into the clean-lined modern meets traditional shaker style. Which is kind of the style of this whole room – a little modern plus some really traditional elements for a good mix. I normally keep three chairs at the table, but love having the fourth nearby when we are fitting more.

 square matted photo framenatural wood frame | figs painting

Like the chairs, for the art I mixed some abstract with very traditional elements. The centerpieces are pretty blue and white vases. I feel like blue and white ceramics are essentially a neutral. Looks good everywhere! For vessels that act as centerpieces I like ones that look good both empty or with something in them so I can have flexibility depending on the season or what I do or don’t have around at the time.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT DINING RUGS! I get a lot of questions about how I have one and keep it clean. This is the hexic stone taupe rug which has raised hexagons in sheep’s wool. The texture and color dimension is beautiful and we definitely have messy and irreverent eaters in our home. And still, I wouldn’t want to do without a rug in here because I want the coziness and pattern.

For that particular age range with babies, if we are having something messy at dinner I just put down a wipeable mat. (These leather ones are beautiful.) And I think the bottom line to success is not being afraid of cleaning your rugs routinely. I pick up food after the meal and generally spot clean when needed. It doesn’t take much to keep it looking good. And I suppose I just keep at it working on table cleanliness with the kids!

As for budget, the main expenses in here were the bios sideboard ($1099), dining chairs ($596 for four), rug ($499), velvet pillows ($297), table ($250), light fixture ($62), then about $400 for accessories and $300 for paint, crown moulding, and the built-in bench.

SOURCES

rus white dining chairs | bios sideboard | blue lucca velvet pillowshexic stone taupe rug | dining table diy | dining banquette diy | indigo linen art | wood stool | left vase | center vase | right vase | square matted photo framenatural wood frame | figs painting | white lumbar pillow | round blue patterned pillow | green velvet pillow | wood serving tray (similar) | white fur throw (similar) | mustard lamp (similar) | black lamp shade | ornate chalkboard | light box | silver tray |  pearl photo frame (similar) | blue & white throw blanket | brass flush mount light fixture | paint color

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Comments

  • Denise

    Stumbled across your blog while looking for some home reno inspiration. Your posts make it look so easy! I absolutely love the mountain scene painting under the figs picture. Who is the artist please?

  • stephanie J

    I love everything about this room. Did you make the linen potato art yourself? And may I ask, who framed (or which frame did you find)? All so beautiful!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thank you Stephanie! Yes, I did the art and my husband diy-ed the frame. We are posting at tutorial actually on Thursday. : )

  • B.Sheehan

    Looks great Rachel!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thank you Bethany <3

  • I love this so, so, so much, Rachel! I am plotting how to do something similar in my dining room as I read this! Thank you!!

    • Rachel Schultz

      That’s awesome! Thank you Kelley <3

  • Phylicia

    Rachel, this is lovely and you look beautiful. Pregnancy suits you!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thank you Phylicia : )

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