Dining Room Decisions: THE CHAIRS

DIY ceiling medallion

Window shopping for dining room chairs has always been fun and easy. I’ve filled Pinterest boards with different inspirational dining rooms and chair options, But of course, now that I’m actually ready with an envelope of real, live, dirty greenbacks, I can’t make up my mind to save my life!

Why is it so difficult for me to decide on dining room chairs? I have completely changed my mind from the last time we discussed this. I think I’m having commitment issues. But like I said before, if we’re going to get new chairs, I’d really like them to be chairs we’ll have around for a very, very long time- if not forever! You guys brought up a good point, though. If we’re going to invest in forever chairs, I probably shouldn’t be crunching number so tightly. What’s a few more hundred dollars for a real dining room investment? (I’ll tell you what a few hundred dollars are- they’re about half a year’s worth of home improvement savings!) But I’ve decided to wait to take the dining room chair plunge, and really settle on a set that we truly love.

Here are the top contenders right now- of course, the one I love the most (this white spoke dining chair) is the most expensive. But I’m crossing my fingers for a sale. Oh- and while we’re talking about my dining room improvements, check out this ceiling medallion DIY I shared at A Beautiful Mess today!

West Elm Spoke Chair

I love this spoke dining chair from West Elm, because it has the traditional feeling of a spindle-back windsor chair, but the tapered style of the back lends the chair a bit of a funky vibe. It would be easy to wipe clean, and its more substantial size would stand up well against our large farmhouse table. This chair is a winner- but we’ll be saving quite a bit longer to take home a set of six.

Panton knock-off chair

The idea of having a grouping of these Panton style dining chairs alongside our rustic farmhouse table seems like a perfect contrast to me. I love the sleek style and mod design of these chairs, but they are a bit bulky, visually speaking, and the knock-offs that I actually can afford (The originals are more than $300, and I prefer the West Elm chair for that price.) have this weird webbing behind the curve of the seat, to give the weaker material extra support. The chair really doesn’t look so elegant with the webbing, so I’m not so sure I’d like to have the Panton knock-offs lined up in a row at our dining room table. Maybe somewhere else in our home?

 

Modern Sleigh Chair

This modern sleigh chair reminds me of a cross between the Panton chair above, and the gorgeous Saarinen tulip chair that I shared in my last dining room chair post. I love its sleek and mod vibes, and that it’s much airier that the clunky looking Panton chair. The cushion can be removed for cleaning and even recovered- which would be a great way to change up the look and add pattern to our dining room. But I’m just afraid that this style is such a statement that I’ll grow tired of it as the years progress. Also, would its small frame not work well with our bulky table? And could I ever commit to such a funky chair? I’m just not sure!

So what do you all think? I have a while to think about all of our options, because right now we’ve decided to save for six of the West Elm spoke chairs (option one), which will take a bit of time, unfortunately. Waiting is so difficult sometimes, but at least when the time comes, I’ll know with confidence which chair we want. Or will I?

Image sources: first dining room  image by Lena Ostling for Hus & Hem via Bright Bazaar Blog, second image by Barry Calhoun for Style at Home, last image by Daniel Mahon of Kirra Jamison & Dane Lovett’s home via The Design Files.

Paisley’s First Big Girl Room

Cute and creative little girl's room

I’m learning quickly that it’s a bittersweet thing when kiddos grow up! But I’ve also learned that putting a brick on your child’s head doesn’t keep them from getting big! Just kidding. I haven’t tried that yet. (Does it work?) My friend Stephanie‘s daughter Paisley just turned four, and was reminiscing about when she got her first big girl bedroom makeover for her third birthday. She was so excited, and can you blame her?  She especially loved her pretty Ikea bed, and it looks like her stuffed friends do too!

Stephanie did a few of easy little projects that really add character to Paisley’s room, I thought you’d all be just as inspired as I am! Maybe I won’t be as sad as I thought I would be when Lucy turns three.

Cute and creative little girl's room

cute and creative little girl's bedroom

I wondered if the Swiss cross wall in Paisley’s room was a stencil job, but it turns out Steph hacked a decal idea she had loved by cutting little strips of black electrical tape and just sticking them to the wall! Genius! The tape hasn’t peeled after a year on the wall, so I’d say this DIY idea was a success.

The prints on Paisley’s wall are from Etsy artists and also Boom Boom Prints, a site where you can customize artwork for your exact needs. Check out that whale! I Love how the washi tape holding up the art adds the perfect quirky touch. Maybe not great for living room art, but perfect for a kid’s room! And because of the tape, the art can easy be moved around for a fresh look without worrying about holes in the wall.

Cute and creative little girl's room

Cute and creative little girl's room

I love that everything Stephanie and Noah selected for Paisley’s room is so affordable- the dresser is from Walmart, you guys! (Stephanie sanded and painted it.) The bedding and bed is from Ikea, the rug from Urban Outfitters, and the elements I particularly love are all handmade.

The idea of using a rugged, painted wooden chest as a night stand seems really special for a little girl to hide her treasures inside. Stenciling Paisley’s initial on the front is an added dose of cute! The hanging rod for clothes is a great use of vertical space and along with the tassel garland on the other side of the room adds an unexpected element of whimsy.

Great job, guys! Paisley’s such a blessed little girl. Check out more of Stephanie’s life at her blog Love, Life, Babies.

Cute and creative little girl's room

Cute and creative little girl's room

 

Inspired By: Classic and Quirky Wall Art

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Wall arrangements are the easiest way I become bored these days. Nail holes? I’m really not worried about them. They’re easily covered up by new art arrangements, and by the time I leave my apartment, I’ll slap a coat of drywall compound over them and sand away.

Right now I’m torn between finding some classic neutral colored art that will let my funky floral sofas and pillows shine, or even taping up lots of colorful, unframed postcards and magazine clippings. The wheels in my head are spinning!

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Inspired By: Ana’s Bohemian Home

Ana-bedroom

Today I’m excited to share with you a little peak inside of Ana‘s very groovy pad. She’s collected and decorated her way into a posh, bohemian home worthy of note taking.

Having lived in an open-plan apartment of my own for the past year, I can appreciate the challenges Ana faces in the configuration of her own home. Spaces tend to become lost amungs the chaos of furniture, clutter, and shelves if you’re not a carefuly planner. I noticed Ana has anchored each space with tight gatherings of furniture to create zones. Even the art on the walls helps each living area feel separate from the next.

Ana-front-gate

Ana-tv-room

I D E A S   TO   B O R R O W :

Want to make your television less conspicuous?
Try arranging a variety of large and small art around your television set. This trick keeps the eye from settling on your big black moniter. Instead, your television will seem more like just another part of the art on the wall.

If you’re in need of large statement art pieces on your walls, but can’t afford one, try hanging tapestries or quilts instead.
They are great graphic pieces that can really anchor an entire area of your home. I love how Ana has hung a tapestry over her bed, where a headboard would normally be. I’ve been living headboard-less for a while, and tried something similar. I loved the way it made the space seem cozier.

Ana-cabinet

Ana-bedroom-wall

M O R E   I D E A S   T O   B O R R O W :

Don’t be afraid to mix decades!
This is my favorite decorating technique. It keeps a space from feeling stale, and is an easy way to mix lots of meaningful objects. If you are worried about everything not meshing well, just be sure you are only including very beloved pieces and balance each space with a little bit of each style. Rearrange things frequently, until you get it just right. And in my opinion, you’ll never get it just right. But that’s the joy of making a home! It’s all about the process.

If you need a little more bohemian coziness in your home, try hanging portieres, or curtains, in doorways.
I’ve been contemplating doing this in my own home. You can use pieces of fabric, actual curtains, or even large scarves. It’s also a great way to visually separate spaces that are open to one another.

If you like color, but are afraid of getting too crazy, stick with mainly neutrals for your walls and furniture.
Then, you can mix in colorful art, rugs, and pillows to brighten up the space. This is also a great idea if you’re the kind of person who changes your mind a lot. Changing out a rug is typically a lot more feasible than purchasing a brand new sofa or console table.

Ana-desk

Ana-living-room

If you’re in need of even more inspiration for your weekend, check out other Inspired By: Fridays posts here. If you’re looking for home related inspiration, feel free to browse Here’s Lookin’ at Me, Kid‘s home decor archives. You will find lots of inspiration from around the web, links to other great blogs, and even some images of my own home-in-progress.

Thanks, Ana, for letting us into your beautiful home!

Images courtesy of Ana aka Threadbare on Flickr. Click photos for original links.

Ana-wall

 

Posting at Apartment Therapy

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This past month was my last month writing for Apartment Therapy. I’ll be popping in to AT now and then to do some house tours and feature local businesses. But in the meantime, I’ve been enjoying more time to focus on this blog and my work as a designer and photographer.

I’ve rounded up my last posts at Apartment Therapy, and if you are interested, you can see all of the posts I’ve written here. I’ve gotta say, I think I went out with a bang when I featured my brother’s office space (pictured above). Never have I seen so many comments inquiring as to the marital status of the homeowner, even outweighing questions about wall art and flooring materials! What a stud my brother is. :)

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