Tag Archives: dining room

A break, and other news

Hi All. We have been on a break, a long one. One month to be exact. Lyn has been crazy busy at work, and I have been crazy busy at life. A month ago, I decided to leave my job in product creation of 5 years, to pursue this blog full-time. I will also take on design work and projects on a part-time basis. I am super excited to have some more time on my hands to work on my own projects, as well as be available to help others with their home decor/improvement needs.

In other “big news” I just made a really important purchase. New dining room chairs. I have been spying/coveting these chairs for years and I finally saved enough to get them. (Also had some serious convincing to do with the Mister). Check out below and please understand that the dining room is a work in progress.

These are the Victoria Ghost chairs. I purchased from a local store here in Portland, Hive Modern. They were outstanding to work with, delivery was prompt and courteous. Before you freak at what I paid for the chairs, I have to explain the rest of the furniture in the space. The table was given to us by a dear family friend. (It is an antique Duncan Phyfe) We only paid to refinish the top, which I was told is rare Honduran mahogany. Score! The houndstooth parsons chairs were a housewarming gift from my mom and dad. Thanks! The solid wood antique hutch was $200.00, I purchased from a former co-worker when she upgraded to a larger piece. The mirror and chandy were given to us by my mother in law when we purchased the family home. So….really, I could splurge on my chairs. That is what I tell myself.

This room still needs:

1. An area rug. We have a lovely one we will most likely use, which belonged to my husbands Grandfather

2. Sconces on either side of the mirror, like below…

3. A fabric buffet table I previously blogged about here for the opposite wall, using fabric I already own.

Now that I have the time to get all my ideas in order, I will be regularly posting the progress. Hooray.




Filed under Decor

Pending Project…

One of these days I am going to make a skirted buffet table. I have been on the hunt for the perfect side/buffet table for my dining room, and I think I am going to have to make it myself. (Well, with the help of the Mister and my dear old dad). I love the inspiration from Little Green Notebook Blog.

Here is the color of my dining room wall. It’s miller’s divine Cayenne.

Here are my options for the fabric…

Though, I have a bunch of left over fabric of this pretty black and white from a previous project…so I may go with this one.

What do you think of the options? 1, 2, 3, or 4? I’m still looking for options. I found all these selections here.



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Decor Help for Ruth Ann

I was BUSY this weekend working on a room for a client. Below is the mood board we put together once we agreed on a general theme, budget, and color story. Then it was off to gather up all the goodies to make this room come to life. Since we are consulting from out of state, this room will take a bit of time to come together, as soon as we have it done we’ll get some before and after shots up.

Resource List: One of my favorite lamps of all time- Jonathan Adler Meurice Floor Lamp . For the blue dipped throw pillows click here. Also, in the same pattern pretty bolster pillows. The swatch of fabric here for re-covering dining chair seats will tie the eating area into the living space decor. The wall mirrors are from Crate and Barrel and can be found here. Candle sconce from WSH check it here. John Robshaw orange pillow can be found here. Large floor vases from Crate and Barrel here. Couch is Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, check it out here. White ceramic pagoda’s are Williams Sonoma Home (on sale) no longer available online, I must have scored the last 2. Gold bowl is also Williams Sonoma Home here. Dramatic black lacquered side tables with marble top (on sale at WSH) click here. The best coffee table in all of the world designed by Eva Zeisel click here. John Robshaw blue pillow, click here.

Happy Monday!


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Dining Room Focal Wall Ideas

Hi there. I am puzzled about my dining room wall. I have been slowly trying to fix up this room and incorporate the style into the rest of my home. I am (no pun intended) hitting a wall.

My Bare and Un-Inspiring Dining Room Wall

I love symmetry, and so my first thought was to place pretty candle sconces on either side of the mirror. Though now I am thinking that a nice display of plates might allow me to play with asymmetry and break out of my comfort zone. Check out what Teresa from the lovely blog The Stamford Wife did here in her dining room.

Pretty Blue Plates=Lovely Art Wall

I have been inspired by plate art walls ever since I was a guest at the gorgeous Viceroy Hotel for a buying trip years ago. So maybe I am meant to have one of my very own some day. See below the massive grey and white display of plates from the poolside bar at the Viceroy.

Image Courtesy of Remodelista Blog

Also check out this post by Remodelista about decorating with plates. There are some amazing and inspiring images. Here are the plates that I am admiring and loving for my space. Images courtesy of the beautiful local Portland shop Cielo Home.

Wall Medallion, yes please

John Derian...oh how I love him

More John Derian...I want it all

And again, John Derian

Check out the full range of John Derian at Cielo Home here. Now I just need to save so I can buy all these pretty plates and create my own special wall of loveliness.

Happy Friday. I wish you fun times with friends, good food, and lot’s of sunshine.



Filed under Inspiring Images

Decor Help for Amy

Amy had some questions for Lyn and I on our blog comments. See what she wrote to us below:

Dear Susan and Lyn…

I have a decorating condundrum that I was wondering if you could weigh in on. I am looking for a new couch. I would like to buy a leather couch because I have two messy 5 year olds and a messy husband and a messy self. Leather works well for my family. I have a distressed black entertainment center and black end tables. I have a dining room table that is sort of a honey color on top, black on the bottom with a black and honey small check patterned on the seats. I don’t really have any art that I am in love with. I have recently realized the colors that inspire me are that silvery blue, glass, silver, light celery green and that rose color that is somewhere between a pink and red but muted. My question is what color should my couch be? What about accent chairs? My instinct tells me to go light on the couch but light leather looks cheap. I need a distressed, lived in look that can take the wear and tear of my family but I am so sick of neutral, boring colors that I would like accent with colors that inspire me. Please help me bring it together. The couch is such an anchor piece to a room. The couch I am getting rid of is one that I have serious buyers remorse about and have had to live with it for 6 years. I don’t want to make the same mistake. Thanks girls!

And here is our visual solution to Amy’s problem.

Here is the source list:

1. Z Gallerie:  Mariposa Floor Lamp 2. Target: Bird and Floral Slipper Chair 3. Velocity Art and Design: Thomas Paul Melamine Plates 4.  Target: Dwell Studio Reversible Pillow 5. Z Gallerie: Mariposa Urns 6. Target:  Dwell Studio Reversible Privet Pillow 7. Crate and Barrel: Axis Leather Sofa 8. Target Crystal Lamp 9. Velocity Art and Design: Thomas Paul Melamine Plates 10) Velocity Art and Design:  Thomas Paul Platter 11) IKEA: Soli Wall Mirror

Okay here is the big idea for Amy. She needs a couch and a new look. She needs a functional couch for an actual family and not a design magazine. We say in this situation, leather all the way. Not just any leather, dark leather. The best part about dark leather is that it ages over time, so scratches and wear/tear can look “meant to be there.” With so many new styles and options, we say a sleek modern silhouette (like above) is the look to love. We suggested quality leather sofa, as this will be an investment piece and is not the place to scrimp. We say, invest in something that will be around for a long time and look to accent pillows, and extras as a place to save money.

Amy also wanted advice on accent chairs. Because she has little ones, we say choose a style that is on the less expensive side, and a classic shape that can be recovered if little hands create lasting stains. These chairs could easily be recovered by a removable slip cover (note: these are fairly inexpensive to have made if you find the right place). For the time being, this modern print is fun and bright. Amy wanted some green accents and we say a lime green is a happy way to punch in some color. The general theme here was nature inspired, which is why we went with the modern bird print on the chair and in the blue Dwell Studio accent pillow (which reverses to a pretty chevron for variation). Also, this pillow has a bit of black. Amy mentioned that her side tables are black, and we wanted to incorporate some black in the pillows, so that the tables are tied into the new decor. The nature theme helps to brings the feeling of the outside-in, and balance the look of the dark leather

When adding the extra’s to a feature piece like a leather sofa, accessories need to be chosen carefully. Because leather can look overwhelming, the accessories need to be light and airy. So we suggest…glossy white, clear-transparent hits, and mirrors galore. And speaking of mirrors, these IKEA Soli wall mirror squares are the best. Sold in a pack of 4 at $4.99 (a steal) these can be layered in any pattern to create an open feel and will help to fill space. Talk about inexpensive artwork! And more on that, we love decorating with platters and plates, especially in a family room that opens to a kitchen. These can be hung in a fun pattern with cheap plate holders purchased almost anywhere. (For a reference click here) This is a creative and fairly inexpensive way to create a diverse art wall.

Finally just a bit of info on the lighting here. We love crystal lamps to help balance the dark brown (especially the less spendy versions from Target). Also, the glossy white floor lamp will add a modern touch as well as brighten the space. Last but not least, we want to address how small updates can make a bit difference. Amy mentioned that she has an old black check pattern on the seats. Re-covering dining seat chairs is a simple and dramatic way to make something old look new. Check out the easy tutorial here. We suggest Amy re-cover her seats with either of the 2 prints below. Key West here or Andina here. Though, The Key West print is our favorite and helps to incorporate that rosy pink that Amy loves.

Key West Print

Andina Print

So go forth and decorate Amy, and keep us up to date on the progress.



Filed under Decor Help

Before and After – Bungalow Dining Room

Happy Friday everyone! We’re back with another before and after of my Sellwood Bungalow! Today, we’re featuring the dining room, while not as drastic a transformation as the kitchen, its one of the key areas of our home and includes several of my favorite things in our home. 

So, let’s start with what we were working with when we moved in. Beautiful yellow/dirt covered walls, dirty brown floor, old window AC unit and busted old windows. What a joy to be a home owner! 

Dining Room on move in day.

 Now let’s see what we have today. 

Dining Room today + cute doggie Cash

Dining table + console

Windows and art wall + more Cash

Not a ton of structural changes in this room, mainly paint changes, and refinishing of the floor. The major structural addition was of pillars to separate the dining room and the living room,  but I’ll discuss those when we feature the changes to my living room next week. The paint is Devine Truffle, from Miller Paint. We repainted the ceiling and trim white, as it was previously a cream color/dirty. The light fixture is from Restoration Hardware, but has since been discontinued. Table is from Sus (THANK YOU!) and was purchased at World Market. I believe its the Lugano Table and benches. Sideboard was a Craigslist purchase. It’s a vintage Henredon dresser. Drapery panels from Ikea, they are the Aina. Curtain rods are West Elm.  Almost all of the accessories on the sideboard are from HomeGoods (our favorite), including white bowl, chinoiserie vases, and the horse head (Hi Wilbur!).  Mirror over the sideboard is from a yard sale. Artwork on the window wall, is a vintage print I bought at a neighborhood consignment store, and the Sharon Montrose pheasant prints featured here

Finally, the dining room wall holds two pictures that are very special to me (on the left in the top picture). When we moved into the house, my parents gave me two prints that had previously hung in their home and prior to that, hung in my Grandmother’s home in South Carolina. My Grandmother and I have a special bond because I was born on her birthday and was named for her. She was Gwendolyn and I am just Lyn. Since she passed away several years ago, it makes me feel good to have a part of her in my home, knowing that she is looking down on me and (hopefully) proud of where her pictures are and who I am. They even have stickers on the back from the framing shop where they were originally framed in Columbia, South Carolina. Finally, unintentionally all the colors in these pictures are those that decorate our house. When we finally hung these, they brought the whole house together. Just perfect! 

Grandma's bird prints

The finishing touch on this room and the adjoining living room are going to be matching roman shades on the windows on the sideboard wall. I can’t wait to show them to you! 

Hope you guys all have a great weekend! 



Filed under Decor, Renovation Chronicles