Creating a Formal Dining Room Space in an Open-Concept Room.
Since we chose to use what could have been an actual "dining room" as our den, our formal dining space found its home in our open-concept living room. While we don't usually eat at the dining room table, I still love to have a formal dining space. Placing our dining room in the living area allows us the benefit of having that formal area cohesively incorporated into our everyday life. Although it is open to our living room, it feels like its own area because of the way we've styled it without being closed off from the rest of the home.
Our dining area is a mixture of many things that we've gotten from many places. I love mixing pieces and this "mix" has become my style. What exactly is our dining room mix?
Usually when my mom comes to visit, she has a carload of boxes in tow. You never know what she might have. Her pre-Christmas visit means about a dozen new nutcrackers each for me and my sister. Her summer visit might bring old books from when we were kids. She came through for our elopement reception with bags upon bags of fabrics – old lace tablecloths, curtains, you name it. She is always searching for things. She loves giving. One year for Christmas, my mom gifted me many boxes of antique crystal. She bought them at the estate sale of a local physician’s home back where I’m from. So here I was, for quite a few years, hauling around boxes of crystal. What the heck was I going to do with all this good stuff?
Then came THE china cabinet. I had to leave my old china cabinet (which I bought from Craigslist for $40.00 and painted black) when I bought this house because there was no place for the large corner piece. So, I went without a china cabinet. When I moved in with George, one of my first tasks was to tackle his garage which was filled with lots of hand me downs and left behind pieces. The first time he opened the garage door to let me have at it, I saw the end of “THE” china cabinet. I have absolutely no basis other than my eye to say that I think it is an early 20th century piece (1920s – 1930s). Two full length glass paned doors to display all of my china.
The china is a mostly filled and topped with pieces from my mom’s estate sale finds, my dad’s mom’s (my paternal grandmother’s) china set which my mom had in her china cabinet when I was growing up. So as it turns out, it is my husband’s grandmother’s china cabinet filled with some of the china from my grandmother. Fun!
The mirror on top was a $5.00 garage sale find that I have carted around for about a decade. I never had a place for it but kept it around because I knew that someday I would.
The dining room table, including chairs and leaf, was purchased off of Craigslist for another whopping $40.00 (the same price as my old-had-to-abandon china cabinet). When I bought it, the base of the table and chairs were a light dusty blue. I fixed them up with a couple cans of black spray paint. The large candlesticks cost me $10.00 at a local yard sale. The “buffet” was a $90.00 farmhouse style desk. No kidding. It is topped with more of my mom’s estate-find china.
The dining room chandelier that came with the house was about the most generic-looking chrome light fixture that you can buy. It wasn't our style and besides that, we have customized almost all of the light fixtures that hang in our house. I wanted to turn this light into something that fit into the style that we had created for our dining room space. So we flipped it, we painted it and we added crystals.
As I was painting it, I noticed details that I had no idea the generic little chandelier even had.
Flipping the light so that it sits like a chandelier made a very big difference.
And, so did adding the crystals.
Our dining room flows from our living room and can be seen as soon as you walk in the door. By adding touches of elegance and by flanking the table on one side with the china cabinet and the other, the buffet, a separate dining room space is created within another room. Open and beautiful but functional and convenient.