I remember growing up we had a formal dining room that was rarely used except for special company or holiday get-togethers. We’re talking light blue shag carpet, light blue toile wall paper on the top half of the wall, separated by a chair rail and striped blue wall paper on the bottom half of the wall. The chairs were upholstered in golden yellow. Just thinking about that design scheme now makes me laugh. Oh well, it was the seventies. With the upcoming holidays around the corner I keep eyeing my dining room, wishing I had time to do an overhaul before the family gathers this year for Thanksgiving, but alas, there is no time. However, I’ve been collecting ideas for a spring-time overhaul.
I’ve been looking for some design inspiration on sites like Pinterest, HGTV, and Houzz. For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know I like my decorative moulding. You can make the most dramatic effects by adding this easy-to-use material that you can get at Lowe’s or Home Depot, to walls, doors, and windows. Of course I was blown away by this image with the paneled wall detail and plate rails that they created with moulding. In fact, this room uses moulding and trim to the max - from the window valance to the wide moulding around the door with the corner blocks, and the crown moulding at the ceiling. I’m not sure I like the gold wall color…kind of reminds me of the upholstered chairs we had when I was a kid. But everything else is stunning. At first glance I thought I might be a bit intimidated to tackle this grid pattern but with a level and a chalk line and some patience, I can see being able to finish it in a weekend or two.
I also love the “picture framing” elements on the wall in this next image (again with the gold?) They attached strips of moulding to look like raised panels on the walls. They mixed the formal with the casual by adding framed sections of blackboard paint. I’m not sure if I would do this in a formal dining room, but in a family kitchen area it would totally work.
I go back and forth between a formal dining room and a casual dining room. Then I see a picture like this beautiful white, clean space, and I’m torn. The natural color of the chair rail and the moulding around the windows really break up the starkness of the room. And the white crown and base moulding just seems to draw your eyes into the space between. I love, love the hardwood planks on the ceilings.
Hopefully all of these great ideas will culminate into a design reality for me by this time next year. This year my guests will have to settle for my current dining room surroundings. But I’m thankful to have them!
Let me know if you DIYers out there have any formal/casual dining room stories and pictures to swap. Also, check out my Dining Rooms board on Pinterest where I’m collecting dining room ideas!