The kitchen in this house opens up to the family room, but the dining room is completely separate. My first thought when we saw this home was that we should tear down a wall or two to open it all up. Then, within minutes, I completely changed my mind. I know separate dining rooms are not what is "all the rage" right now. However, separate dining rooms have their perks.
Perk # 1: No distractions. No one is watching tv while eating and everyone can just focus on the food and each other. I like that. A lot, actually. It simplifies meal time and I feel more connected to my family.
Perk # 2: We can't see the kitchen. I'm more relaxed when I sit down and eat with my family and I can't see the dirty dishes from meal prep, strewn across the counter tops and filling up the sink.
I know separate dining rooms aren't for everyone, but if you have one... enjoy it.
Above is the picture taken by someone within the realty company before we bought our house. Great structure. Love the archway going into the living room and I love the big window. The cons for us were carpet in the dining room (I guess we're messy people) and the paint color and light fixture were dated and not my style.
Here's another shot of the room from a different angle, about two days after we moved in.
This is the dining room today.
I know the quality of the picture above is horrible, but it's the only one I have, at the moment, of the whole room.
These are the changes we've made so far:
New laminate flooring (flowing into the other main living areas too), new paint, and new light fixture.
There are a couple of things we still need to do in here.
We still need to finish the base molding and I'd really like a longer dining room table. My husband and I saw a dreamy one at Costco yesterday. It came with chairs and everything. It was a fabulous deal, totally on sale, but when you haven't saved up for a new dining room table yet, a fabulous deal is still too much money. Ugh! It's hard to walk away from something you totally love when the funds aren't there. But we did the mature thing and walked away. :(
On the Opposite wall of the window, we have this old dresser that we've had forever. It holds some entertaining decor and other odds and ends. I love that the top of it can serve as kind of a buffet table during big holiday dinners or other special occasions too.
I bought this green metal container from a lovely gal on instagram. It holds extra napkins and multiplication cards, which I know is random. However, my youngest is in third grade and is learning multiplication in math this year. Having these flash cards out and easy to access, makes memorizing all those facts a little easier, when all we have to do is sit at the dining room table and grab a few to memorize every day. I'm all about making a space pretty, but even more importantly, functional and usable for my family. This metal container is one of those pretty + useful pieces of home decor, which are my favorite kind.
While our current dining room table is feeling smaller and appears more dinged up, as the years press on, I'm still trying to make the best of it. I decorated the top of it with a scrap of black and white gingham material, some layered wood slices (from some trees around our property we had to cut down), and some white battery operated candles.
Here's another angle of the dining room from the open kitchen/family room area.
Last weekend, I finally hung some framed pictures on either side of the arched doorway. It's so nice to see them on the wall and not just stacked somewhere collecting dust (like they had been for the last six months).
Each picture holds a memory that has become a little conversation starter as we eat dinner. I'd highly recommend hanging a gallery of family pictures somewhere near your dinner table. :) Most of the framed pictures are not fancy. Half of them are printed from pictures I took on my phone. It's awesome being able to see them in print everyday!
Last picture. I know the quality is bad, but I love that big sign on top of the dresser, "gather." It describes the whole meaning and everything that I love about this room.