Dining Room Bookshelves

How do we feel about bookshelves in dining rooms? Kinda weird, right? It’s not my preference, but with our current room/furniture arrangement, having our long and low bookshelf along our dining room wall is what works right now. I loved its previous home in the den, hated its short-lived residency in our family room (I guess enough that I never photographed it there), and kinda like it in our dining room now.

I do love that it gives some purpose to our awkward kitchen pass-thru wall and adds a pop of color to a monochromatic room. I feel the same as I always have about color-sorted books: it’s pretty lame, and sign me up.
I’m continually purging books and feel like my stacks are at such a pretty, minimal place right now! Shedding excess books has been super freeing and I highly recommend it…though this home library embraces the opposite mentality and is so beautiful!

My husband built this bookshelf, by the way. Sliding doors made of waxed luan hide uglier reads, kids books and photo albums.I have always struggled with how to style the top and I visually really like this version. A home bar would make sense, except we aren’t the boozy type and I think it’s super cheesy to have liquor on display – no offense liquor displayers! This beautiful glass set belonged to my grandparents who stored it in their swanky wet bar, so I love seeing it, but the placement of barware in here seems a little pretentious and overly styled considering. Just add it to the “pretty lame, but sign me up” list I guess!We are off camping in Sequoia this week so hopefully right now I’m not being mauled by a bear after trying to hug it. If I survive the camping/bear hugs, then see you next time friends!!! xoxo

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Dining Room Tulip Table

I’ve been trying to get our current dining room situation to work for our family for years and it just wasn’t. We finally decided to invest in a new table that was the right size and offered a more durable surface, this Lippa reproduction tulip table. VERDICT: A THOUSAND TIMES BETTER IN EVERY WAY! (Sources at the end)

This has been a great lesson that just buying what you love and making it work doesn’t actually always turn out. I wonder sometimes if I should be more content and less persistent when it comes to house stuff, but every time I invest the time and money to get things right, I’m always blown away at how much it elevates our day to day life. Often times “contentment” is really complacency. I think that’s why I love architecture/interior design/industrial design so much. A little effort towards good design can literally change your life for the better. Yes I just said that about a table.The things that weren’t working before: We never used this room, talk about a house red flag. It was uncomfortable and cramped. The table was too big/wrong shape for our awkwardly small square dining room. And the table, which was a vintage Heywood Wakefield dream table/find/purchase, was too precious, not to mention rickety, to let the kids go to town with art/homework/regular disgusting kid eating or even for me to spread out with a project. Add in that it took up the entire room but could only seat 6, and the color wasn’t popping with our grasscloth and wood floors, and it was time to move on. I’ve known for years, but it felt stupid to spend money on the table I wanted and knew would work when I had “a perfectly good one already,” which actually wasn’t true. I should have spent it sooner. Lesson learned.

Pedestal (for the tiny room size) and white (for the dark room color) were the parameters. Since I’m in a huge tulip phase right now, a tulip table was the only answer. I’ve been keeping an eye out for vintage ones and I even looked into the cost of a Knoll, who has been in tulip table production since the beginning of tulip tables, because vintage/real is better than fake…usually. But vintage and very expensive originals need some stewardship and responsibility that I don’t want for this season of our life. I need a table that can take a beating, that we can really use, where markers and spaghetti sauce are a go. So sellout repro it is!The cost was a little daunting. I’m a by low, sell high estate sale scavenger type and I think this might be the single most expensive piece of furniture we’ve ever bought and it’s not even real… I’m hoping to sell our old one for about the same price, so I’m justifying it as an even trade. But, so far, the cost and hassle (SO HEAVY WE CAN NEVER MOVE OUT OF THIS HOUSE) has been totally worth it because we are actually using it. I feel like we gained a room.

This room is small and acts as a passage from the family to the dining room, essentially leaving only a 9.5′ square for the dining area, making it difficult to find the right size. Rectangle didn’t work, I thought oval might, but once I got down to the actual available dimensions none were right. Circle made the most sense, 54″ or 60″ being the options. Normal recommendations are that you have at least 30″ from your table to your wall, and neither size offered that clearance. But the most important thing for me was table top square footage…for a giant workspace. Cozy was fine with us as long as I could comfortably move around the table when we weren’t sitting there. I took a chance and went big (60″) and I’m so glad I did. This may not work for the host who throws drawn out dumb dinner parties where people need to be able to come and go from the crowded table, but I am so not that person. Mostly I need this to meet the daily needs of the four of us, and it would be nice if we could occasionally squeeze a few more around our table. The 60″ fulfills all those needs. I’m SO glad I went big. The room is spacious, bright and comfortable – finally!As for the top, I went with the engineered artificial marble over plain white just for durability, but I am so happy with the texture it adds. I’m not really a marble person, there are so many other surfaces I’d choose over marble, but I UNEXPECTEDLY LOVE IT. I’m no expert, but the fake marble is pretty convincing and it won’t stain. The shine bounces light around in the room in a wonderful way.

Our chairs are from Ikea, 7 years ago. We have 6 of them and they easily tuck under the table, with room to squeeze in a few more if need be. I’ve apparently been collecting tulip stools for various parts of our house (dressing room and I recently got another for our kitchen desk area). When I brought one in out of curiosity, something magical happened! They look SO CUTE AND I WANT A TABLE FULL!!! Like 8 multicolored spinning stools around this round table. Highly impractical or the most practical solution ever??? The kids and I are all in agreement, husband thinks that is crazy talk.The most glowing endorsement for the new table has been from my son, who often cannot tolerate change or new things, especially when they involve getting rid of familiar pieces of furniture. When he saw this table he proclaimed, “I usually hate new things but this new Palm Springs table is great!” Hmm? While tulip tables star in many a Palm Springs homes, he has never ever seen one there himself. His explanation: “Things in Palm Spring are bright and clean and this table is so bright and clean that it reminds me of Palm Springs! I love it…even though it’s new!” GREAT SUCCESS.

Mostly for my benefit, here’s our updated dining to-do. Notice that baseboards are crossed off. I AM LIVING. Next up in here is a mind blowing wood room divider. I can’t wait to get to that project. Pure fluff fun! 2018?

Dining Room To do:

  • Remove carpet
  • Swap out old light for Nelson saucer
  • Paint trim
  • Remove wallpaper
  • Paint ceilings and walls
  • Hang grasscloth wallpaper
  • Frame out pass through
  • Put some weird woodwork in the pass-through
  • Build room divider
  • Walnut curtain cornice boxes?
  • Finish wood floors
  • Baseboards
  • Paint the pocket doors
  • NEW TABLE!

Now I need to figure out if things are getting too themey in our house. Tulip table in the dining room, tulip coffee table in the family room, tulip stools in the dressing room and kitchen. Plus round white table just outside on the patio. Too much??? It feels right to me, but some non-tulip-obsessed eyes would be appreciated.

SOURCES

table – Lexmod | chairs – old Ikea | tulip stools – Amazon (I recovered)

painting – DIY ripoff of this one | bookshelf – DIY

light – Modernica, now at Herman Miller | grasscloth wallpaper – Brewster, similar

Easter Weirdness

I don’t always decorate for Easter, but when I do, I keep it weird and simple. This is as far as it went this year. Less strange than last year’s web, but same eggs holding tight! Lucky us, we have a glass hoarder AND a stick hoarder living in this household, so this modern take on an egg tree was way easy to throw together on our dining room table.
Happy Easter everybody!!! xoxo