Friday, August 10

Decorating my dining room

Have you noticed that dining rooms are becoming passe'?

It seems that more and more people are turning their formal dining rooms into offices, craft rooms, libraries, or other spaces that will be used more often.  And I understand that.  But I'm so glad to have a dining room.

I love the fact that there's a room in my house that's only used upon occasion.  For me, that means it stays clean--which means that it's ready for any kind of use at a moment's notice!  Our dining room table gets used for meals only once in a while, and it also gets used as the buffet table at showers and parties.  Aside from that, though, it's a great spot for the food spread at a shower or party. it's a good place for meetings, tutoring sessions, interviews--any sort of gathering of people that benefits from having a table and chairs.

I usually just keep a porcelain footbath with a green plant in the center of the table.  This is easy to move if I want to use the table at a moment's notice.

For holidays, I change the centerpiece, like this basket at Easter surrounded by my mom's egg collection at Easter:

I keep the footbath and fill it with ornaments at Christmas:

My dining room decor is based on a rug that I've had for many years.  I love this Karastan rug, and I'm constantly amazed at how well it hides dirt and dog hair.  And just look at all the colors!

I pulled a blue from the rug and had my wall paint color custom-mixed.  I like deep colors in a dining room.  After many years of having red walls, I'm really enjoying the French blue.  The blue might be a bit overwhelming if it covered the entire wall, but above the chair rail I think it looks smashing.  And as you can see, this room has lots of white trim and built-ins that really pop against the dark walls.

My dining room table, china cabinet, and tea table were my mother's.  Queen Anne furniture is not my favorite, but I am thrilled to have my mom's furniture.  The primitive sideboard I really like.  My mom and dad found it at an estate sale years ago.  I'd love to know the history of this piece.

My favorite piece in the room is the deacon's bench that serves as seating for one side of the table.  This deacon's bench was in the little church in Kansas that my grandmother attended all her life.  My mother was baptized and married in that little church, and I have fond memories of visiting it when I was a kid. The congregation moved into another building several years ago and the old church building was torn down.  My grandmother was given this deacon's bench, and I was blessed to inherit it.

My dining room decor is a mix of treasured pieces, inexpensive accessories,  and DIY decor.  For instance, I made the floral pillow that graces my treasured deacon's bench.  I also made the toile candles that sit on the china cabinet.

Of course, I love making special decorations at Christmastime, like the swags in the windows.  Because these windows are untreated, I can also add fun touches like the ornaments hanging from ribbons.

Do you have a dedicated dining room in your house?  Do you use it?

I'm joining Kelly at Kelly's Korner for her Show Us Your Life party. 


  1. Richella,
    I just love your home, every inch of it! Your dining room is gorgeous and I love the deep, dark blue wall color against those lovely white built-ins.
    I also love how you've accessorized, well done! Thanks for sharing and have a fabulous weekend! xo ~Liz

  2. Hi Richella. I absolutely love your dining room. Actually I love your whole house, it's simply beautiful and I love your use of color. I do have a dedicated dining room, a small one, but none the less a dining room and it gets used everyday. We do not have an eat in kitchen so our dining room is the room we eat all our meals and I love it. I think eating in a formal DR makes dinner all that more special. Thanks for sharing your DR with us. Love it!!

  3. I'm so with you on the joys of having a true dining room and yours has always been one of my most favorite Richella! It just speaks to my traditional-lovin' heart and is so beautiful! :-)

  4. Wow I really LOVE that blue color! I know it won't be happening in our new home because my husband wants to paint everything white haha!
    Sadly, we don't have an extra room for a dining room but I'll have to try to make our living-dining room as beautiful as your place!

  5. Richella...I have loved your dining room from the first time I saw it! Then you painted it this lovely French Blue and I loved it even more! I love your whole house, and I think that even though it is beautiful, and decorated so wonderfully, it is still very livable, comfortable, and inviting!

    I used to have a formal dining room in our last house, and I loved it. It always stayed clean and I used to go in there to have a cup of tea, and to write notes to people, since I had an antique writing desk in there.

    This new house has a dining area in the great room...and I like it too...but it doesn't quite give me the warm fuzzies that my last dining room gave me! Oh well! I love so many things about this new house too, and I am truly content. (:>)

    People seem to be so much more informal these days. At least I find that to be true here on the prairie! (:>) Ha! (Kansas)

    I have mixed emotions about this. I think it is good to simplify...and yet it is such fun to decorate, and accessorize. I just have so many pretty things, it is hard for me to get rid of any of it. But this house just doesn't have room for it all.

    Since we aren't getting any younger, the next time we move, (whenever that may be), the house will probably be even smaller, so I will have to get rid of stuff then! So, for now I will enjoy all my treasures!

    Have a blessed day Richella.

    Love, Linda

  6. You're my favorite kind of person..."I love it because it hides dirt and dog hair". I really smiled big when I read that. You have a beautiful home. I love a dining room that is a dining room. Mine is teeny-tiny and houses my grandmother's buffet that is really too big for the room, but I love it.I loved the picture you shared of the dining room table at Christmas, really pretty!

  7. What a beautiful room, and I love the blue!! I wish I had a dining room. I have a big great room, and it is wonderful for most things but there are times I want the kitchen to be closed off if I am not ready for guests, or just to have a place to hide the dirty dishes once a meal is over. I would like to have a butler's panty also. How wonderful to have family furniture...those are the things that make a house a home. Just beautiful!!

  8. Your formal dining room is just lovely. I love the color of the room, the furniture pieces and your special touches. I don't have a formal dining room in my current house but if I did, we would eat in it every night. I think formal dinners are fun and when my sons were small, it was a great place to teach them manners and just good table etiquette.

  9. Richella, your blue dining room is just stunning. I love the contrast of the blue and the white trim. I have my grandmother's furniture in my dining room; and can't imagine parting with it. I love that you have so many family heirlooms. It's just gorgeous!

  10. I'm stopping by for a visit from Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life.
    During my married life we've never had a dining room. When I was growing up we did. It was nice to have the space for entertaining.
    I especially love the colors and details you're using in your vignettes.
    Have a terrific week.

  11. I also love having a dining room. It's always clean also and I like that when someone walks in the front door. I love to have people over to eat - and we have more chairs and room in the dining room.

  12. I LOVE the blue! Your decorating is simply beautiful!

  13. Gorgeous Richella! Love the blue on the walls, and really love that you are using your family's furniture!
    XO, Barbara @ Chase the Star

  14. Well, you know I LOVE your dining room. I (or any bold color) could be overpowering, but you offset it perfectly with all of that gorgeous white trim! We rarely eat in our Dining Room, but I can't help but feeling like I just have to keep it...even though we could probably use that space for other things. I just love dining rooms!

  15. I do so ever love your dining room! :) When's dinner?
    (I think the story about your grandmother is so very sweet-- it warmed my heart! <3)

  16. No formal dining room for me, Richella :( but I have many fond memories of family dinners in the dining room of the home in which I grew up. It was usually unavailable January - April while my father prepared for turning in all the tax materials (hence my dread of April 15th) but otherwise my mother (usually) made him keep it clear. We celebrated many birthdays, holidays and everyday meals in that room. I look back now and smile, just as I'm sure your boys will do.



  17. LOVE the blue! I would want to hang out in that room! :) Erin

  18. Richella, Your dining room is beautiful! I love the color! I too have a dining room. I love the idea that there is a room at the front of my house that for the most part stays clean. You can see it the minute you walk through the front door. I just love the traditions that this room holds! Life to the full, Melissa

  19. What a beautiful room!!! Yes, I have a dining room and it is full of inherited furniture built by my Dad who was a master craftsman and built antique repro's. We have a breakfast room too, but since we have a large "blended" family, the dining room sees LOTS of fun!!! This Sunday afternoon, our home will be blessed with BOTH tables full of family celebrating a birthday!! PTL!!
    Thank you for sharing your lovely room!!

  20. such beautiful room, really did some great work. We have been shopping around and found some wonderful dinette tables that we feel could really transform the way our dining room looks!


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