Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dining with STUDY

Growing up in split level suburbia really squelched any desire to ever have an open-plan living space. Our kitchen opened up to a linoleumed eating area, which opened up to a plushly carpeted living room. I coveted the formal layouts I saw on TV, with elegant rooms separated by actual walls. That combined with a love of entertaining makes the dining room pretty much the most important room in the house. Our realtor thought I was crazy when upon seeing a home with no dining room, I suggested tearing out an existing bedroom to create one, thus making said property a one bedroom house. I then told her I didn't care to see anything without a dining room, even though my house budget already pretty much narrowed my options to anything with four walls and a roof. Ultimately we found a place with a bonafide dining room just large enough to accommodate my table, arguably my most prized possession when it comes to furniture. See the space in more detail after the jump.

An overview of the dining room as it looks right now. We still need to complete the boring but completely necessary quarter round piece of trim at the baseboard, plus a corner of the horrible, yet to be completed kitchen can be seen at the right.

After we removed the carpeting and about 2000 staples from the floor, we started sanding. Wished we had a true before shot in all its carpeted glory, but who really cares. It was just bad. Yes, that is a wonderful ceiling fan light you see peeking out near the top of the arch.

John and I have been in our little brick tudor since last July and so far revealed little of its interior beyond a glimpse of floor and walls here and there, while showing off our coffee table or sheepskin rugs. While we have been very occupied with our intrusive day jobs and scouting for vintage goods, we also spend our precious weekends refinishing floors and painting hundreds of feet of hideous orangey wood trim to a gloss white (Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace... I know), much to the horror of wood fanatics everywhere. I mean, we like wood as much as the next guy, but not when its ugly and poorly stained. Besides, our last two dining rooms were in Arts and Crafts homes, with huge dark oak molding being the dominant feature. Though lovely, I think we were both ready for something brighter and cleaner.

A view into the living room.

What attracted me to the room was the openness but still traditional layout, the big bright windows allowing southern and eastern light, and honestly, the lack of overall character. This house was a blank slate, and would allow us to go so many directions.

After redoing the floors, we painted the walls in buckets of Benjamin Moore's Iced Cube Silver with Chantilly Lace (white) on the trim and ceilings. It's nice to pick a white and use it throughout a house. We have since used this same color in the bathroom and our bedroom, and on all the trim and ceilings. A very cool white with a blue undertone, it really adds a lot of light to any surface. Next we placed my Georgetown Pedestal Table from Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers in the center, surrounded by vintage Italian campaign chairs purchased from 1st Dibs. A antique chandelier replaced an unfortunate looking ceiling fan. Our Danish orange dental cabinet added a much needed bit of color, and we used velvet drapery from Restoration Hardware, salvaged from a past living room. Please forgive the extremely wrinkled drapes... I need to rent a steamer as they have been in storage for almost two years.

A birthday gift from John, you will never see this cabinet for sale at the Vintage Bazaar. Part of STUDY's permanent collection. The bird print is from an estate sale, the lamp from Jayson Home and Garden.

It wouldn't be a STUDY dining room without a completely pointless vignette featuring vintage French measuring cups, porcupine quills, a fern under a cloche, and a cracked Emu egg.

This primitive watercolor featuring a hunt scene was hanging near our chandelier in one of our favorite antique stores.We didn't think they should be apart. That said, you just may see this puppy turn up again at the next Vintage Bazaar.

The room really came together when we added this eight-light, blue and brass French Empire chandelier, with wheat accents and a pineapple finial. The round mirror is a contemporary piece by Babette Holland.



Source list:
1. Table: Georgetown Double Pedestal Extension Table by Thos. Moser
2. Chairs: Italian mid-century campaign chairs from Holmes-Samsel Antiques, San Francisco
3. Dental Cabinet: Danish, mid-century from Olde Chicago Antiques
4. Light fixture: French, Empire style from Olde Chicago Antiques
5. Watercolor: Hunt scene, available from STUDY
6. Drapes: Restoration Hardware, Vintage Velvet 96" drapes in Flax
7. Round mirror: Moderne Mirror by Babette Holland, New York
8. Accent Lamp w/ cowhide shade: Jayson Home and Garden
9: Stool: Thebes style, available from STUDY
10. Other accessories include French measuring cups, cloche, tray, Dansk pottery all available from STUDY
11. Walls: Benjamin Moore's Iced Cube Silver, Trim: Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace

Next project: Our ridiculous kitchen. How exactly does one make cornflower blue laminate countertops and light oak cabinets look modern?