Posted by: DD | August 12, 2007

no. 496 – Where I Eat All That Delicious Corn on the Cob

I need some more input. This time something that doesn’t involve butter (unless you want it to, you bunch of sickos).

DngroomThis is our "dinette", which is the area adjacent to the kitchen. The space under that window is where the antique bench is going, but the room is seriously lacking in warmth or personality. Much like me.

I’ll probably put some kind of window treatment (with blinds so my MIL can quit complaining about how bright it is even though she always seems to plant her butt in the chair that faces squarely out the window) but it still seems to be missing something. So I’ve been thinking about adding a candle chandelier above the table. Obviously, it’s not the lighting I’m having a problem with, but there just seems to be such a . . . void. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck finding a chandelier that isn’t wired and isn’t completely frou-froued (yes, that is technical interior designer-speak) up the ass with crystals and beads.

Tell me honestly, is that a dumb idea? Do you have any others? If you are thinking rug, then I’ll be thinking "food chunks, stains, and difficulty moving chairs". Sorry, but that option is not on the table.

Pun intended.

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Responses

  1. I LOVE the color on the walls.

    I’m not sure if I’d hang any additional lighting, but I have no other suggestions to offer up either.

  2. if not a rug, how about a couple of paintings on the walls? that would personalise it a bit…

  3. You know, I really like it as it is. Blinds might add something to it and much as I love chandeliers, I don`t think this is the place to put one. As thalia said, maybe paintings/ bits and bobs on the walls might make it more personal.

  4. Ooooo…I looove decorating….

    I think there are two main reasons that the space looks a little empty. One is that there’s pretty much only one color family going on here — all the furniture and the floor are a similar dark brown and the walls seem to be (it can be hard to tell from the picture) a lighter brown. The second, related, issue, is that there are no decorative items to add color, texture and personality. Now, I can’t see the kitchen from this picture, so it may be that there’s some kind of color or pattern that you could pick up from that area.

    I think you’re right about nixing the idea of a rug on the floor. Curtains could add color and texture. You could put some big serving pieces or other large decorative items on top of your hutch-type thing (I can’t see what’s in it, so there may be some color going on there that you could echo) and on the antique bench. Some kind of important-looking and contrasting *thing* on the table would help.

    Some stuff hanging on the walls would be good too. If you’re not into pictures, maybe something like wooden Mexican animal masks or tin ceiling tiles or interesting pieces of fabric stretched over frames or sections of an ornate metal gate. (I don’t know what the rest of your house looks like, so it’s hard to know what would go). Another option (assuming it fits with the kitchen) would be to repaint the walls or hutch a new contrasting color.

    And don’t try to pretend that you’re lacking in either warmth or personality, when you clearly have both in abundance.

  5. Mmmmmm butter.

    I get distracted easily.

    What exactly is a chandelier that isn’t wired? Does it just hold candles or something?

    I think you need a couple of nice punches of color on the walls and as window treatments. Artwork of some sort comes to mind.

    How will the bench be covered? Can you pull in some colors there and use in the room? What color are the other rooms nearby? I’m a big fan of cross-pollinating from other rooms.

    It would also be nice to add some other texture. Perhaps fairly large plants? Or fairly large fake plants which would have less upkeep?

  6. I agree with a lot said here. Fabric with some color would be great…window treatments, seat cushions or maybe slip covers, a nice table runner/place mats, etc to soften the hard lines all around. I like the idea of a chandelier as that is what generally defines a dining area…light over the table. (The best thing about fabric is you can change it out if you tire of it without having to do a major overhaul of the room. Same with paint, which I LOVE.)

    I love the wall color and furniture. I’d add some kinda arrangement on the table, decorative pieces here and there, some art on the wall. You have a great foundation laid out, ya just need a few accessories.

  7. I agree with a lot said here. Fabric with some color would be great…window treatments, seat cushions or maybe slip covers, a nice table runner/place mats, etc to soften the hard lines all around. I like the idea of a chandelier as that is what generally defines a dining area…light over the table. (The best thing about fabric is you can change it out if you tire of it without having to do a major overhaul of the room. Same with paint, which I LOVE.)

    I love the wall color and furniture. I’d add some kinda arrangement on the table, decorative pieces here and there, some art on the wall. You have a great foundation laid out, ya just need a few accessories.

  8. What a nice room! I like the recessed lighting better than a chandelier. Maybe add some art/wall hangings, or something to the top of the hutch or tabletop. Generally I try to stay away from dust collectors (my mom has knicknacks out the wahzoo), but a couple of things might give more dimension. Actually, I do like it as-is.

  9. It’s a great place to start, but it does need a little color. I would begin with a rug in a rich hue and maybe, maybe a valance on the windows. I wouldn’t put curtains on them because they’re a nice simple design that I wouldn’t want to mask. I would also refrain from a chandelier and, instead, maybe put a runner on the table with a centerpiece. Just a few splashes of color will have this room looking amazing!

  10. I was going to suggest paintings on the walls. I also really like the table runner idea. Plus definitely some valences to go with the blinds. I love the furniture and the room in general though, it’s gorgeous!

  11. I like candle chandeliers but have never had a space where I didn’t need the lighting from a wired one. I just saw a couple in a pottery barn catalog.

    I’m all about art on the walls but I know not every one is. Also everything is hard angles…something to add a little bit of softness would be nice. A floor plant would add a little softness. Also when you get the antique bench you could throw a small colorful quilt over one corner or do a few colorful throw pillows to add some softness.

    But honestly, I like it as is! Looks great!

  12. Ditto, ditto, ditto.
    Color that “pops” on the windows, some artwork (go see Dooce’s frame job from last week) The table could use a bowl or vase and add another floor plant or two. The hutch is big enough to get some silk pothos or wandering jew or something that trails down the sides a little.
    Bold colors & textures for the placemats, perhaps chair cushions? (they can be a nuisance though)
    I wouldn’t put a rug down either. I love the tile.

  13. I would add some art work but that’s about it… I love your dining room and the colors.

  14. What a lovely room. I would add a chandelier of some sort. The recessed lighting is great but a chandelier would be a nice focal point.

  15. It looks good – I hate knick knacks, so I will not recoomment Precious Moments or Hummels – although I have a box of them in my basement if you want to take them off my hands for me.

    Just one though, since your house is on the prairie, have you gotten any inspiration from Frank Loyyd Wright inspired decor. I am personally a sucker for Art & Crafts and I drool over stuff I can not afford on websites all day long, but I see a lot of cross over with the two designs.

    Just a thought.

    PS: How about a butter dish. Hah, Hah, Hah.

    Yeah, I suck.

  16. Curtains (preferably off-white with a white on white or self pattern, one pair heavy, one inner set of sheers to cut the glare during the day but which will still allow light)(and yes, they should be FLOOR LENGTH), tall potted plants, one or two prints on the opposite wall to balance the heaviness of the armoire, and table dressing, perhaps a bowl of fruit, single flowers in single glasses, etc.

    Let me know if you need curtain help!!! Personally, I think blinds would be a mistake *unless* they’re of bamboo or warm dark wood, NO VERTICALS!!! Or you could splash out on shades…

    And there is nothing wrong with butter. Hmm, butter…

  17. By curtain help, I meant measurements. Used to be my job, ordering curtains for people…

  18. You’ve gotten a lot of comments on this so sorry if it’s repeat: There’s definitely something missing….artwork? More house plants? Something with color.

    I don’t see a chandelier working with the recess lighting, I think it would clutter up the ceiling too much and draw your eyes away from the beauty of the rest of the room.

  19. I was thinking that maybe something on the walls would help? Pictures or art. What about a mural on the ceiling (if you don’t like this idea, I’m totally kidding)

  20. OK, my answer is predictable but how about some cool pottery on top of the china cabinet??

    My other ideas: one really huge framed print on the wall to the left (I like vintage food ad posters) and something eyecatching in the center of that table? And window trim yes, but not blocking the light or the view. (Too bad for the MIL).

  21. No more light, but maybe some tapestries on the walls? Or sculpture? And a gorgeous centerpiece on the table.

    I love the windows – do blinds, not drapes. Drapes would hide the windows.

  22. I think an enormous KISS poster above the table (on the ceiling) would be classy and say, “personality!” If you’re not into that, I would aim for the walls. Either repaint in an intense colour or add some colour via paintings.

  23. You definitely need some art on your wall, or pictures. What might be good is to take some nature pictures and have them matted and framed. You know, the wheat or um, uh, yeah, all that wheat you have in Nebraska. Haha. Seriously. Some awesome prairie pictures in black and white (because color might be very similar to your wall color) and I say nay on the chandelier. Not with the track lighting. It will look way too congested. I know that once you get the bench and window treatments in there, it’ll really make it less plain and I KNOW you’re eschewing the idea of a rug, but what about something that’s woven so that you can wash it. http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family.aspx?c=1261&f=11087 You can wash this one down with a hose.

    And hey, if you decide to go with the KISS poster, I say you might as well go for the mirrored ceilings.

  24. ok–you may think this is crazy or extreme but if you have some extra bucks you could do some crown moulding or even beams (they now make very lightweight ones that look really nice) across the ceiling. They can both be do it yourself projects of you have the tools. If those are out of the budget, I would put a large long plant on top of the hutch, and I agree with the others about the greenery,and a few things (not too many or it would be distracting) on the walls, it can add a lot of warmth. By the way, I have the same color in my foyer and part of the downstairs hall and I love it.

  25. Love the room, especially the coloron the walls. Just needs a bit of color on the walls in the form of some artwork.

  26. My mom has her own business. Kind of an antique/primitive/gifty type thing. She sells the HELL out of some wrought iron candle chandeliers. I’ll take a picture and email it to you. Basically, it comes with two pieces of iron, probably a foot long each, to give you a choice of how low you want it to hang, with 6 or 8 places to put candles. They’re black and just straight iron, no fuss. Most decide to put these very cute fake berry wreathes around each candle place. I think one of these would look PERFECT in your middle of nowhere house!

  27. I agree with Catizhere, the top of that hutch is just screaming for a nice plant maybe a spider plant whose tendrils could hang down a bit.


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