Our current house is the first house we’ve lived in that has a proper dining room. We’ve lived in apartments and houses with dining areas, but never a proper dining room. When we bought our current house we thought about creating an open concept floor plan between the dining room and kitchen, but ultimately decided to stay true to the 1929 design. In a way there is pseudo open concept between the living and dining rooms because there is a size-able archway between the two spaces. There are no built-ins like you may find in homes of this era; just very large windows and originally there was a swing door that lead to the kitchen. The swing door was actually pretty cool as a novelty. However, in order to maximize the wall space in both the dining and kitchen rooms, we removed the swinging door and moved the doorway to one side of the wall.
The bones of the dining room and the house in general, are very good. When we first toured the house we loved the arches found throughout the house, the coved ceilings and large windows in the living and dining rooms. There were also some things we did not like. The popcorn ceilings and carpet in the living and dining rooms were a couple things that really had to go. We did like the picture rail, but in removing the popcorn the abatement company we hired, suggested removing the moudling to ease access to the popcorn. We were sad to lose that detail, but it saved some money and we added back visual interest in other ways.
We considered installing an island where this wall is, but we would have needed to add extra support for the top floor, which was an expense we didn’t want to incur. At the time we were planning the kitchen, and I was worried how all of the finishes would have affected the dining room decor. When rooms are closed off, it feels like you can create more individual spaces. Had the doorway stayed in the middle of the room, the view would have been looking in to our breakfast nook. That would have been pretty cute, but the lay out in the kitchen would have felt chopped up. Since we really liked the existing arches in the house, we opted to make this new doorway an arch!
One of the goals we had for the house was to restore some of the original charm that had been lost during renovations that took place in the 1960’s and beyond. An easy swap was removing the 1980’s light fixture and replacing it with a chandelier that felt more Art Deco, 1920’s. I had looked at some vintage brass chandeliers with arms that dangle with tear drop shaped crystal beads. See examples below. Since most of the finishes we were choosing were a bit more subdued, we opted for a less blingy fixture. I think we could have made it work, but it didn’t feel right at the time. One day I will get that sparkly chandelier! To add a bit of flourish to the Restoration Hardware piece, we chose to install a ceiling medallion. It is not an antique, just a piece from Home Depot, but it really adds some old world vibes.
This credenza is located on the new wall. Another reason we chose to keep the kitchen and dining rooms separate and move the doorway is to have another wall for furniture like this that can store linens, glasses, and currently I have art supplies in the bottom drawer. Oh gosh I love this piece. I was lucky to have found it for FREE on Nextdoor. Can you believe it?? Along the wall with the large arch, there is a cabinet that stores more glassware, books and other decor. We have a ton of stuff and I need to stash it all somewhere.
Here is another view of the wall with the new doorway. All of the little squares on the wall are paint samples that we are trying out. A couple people have commented that they like the pattern and that it would be cool to extend it. A cool pattern will not be painted on the walls, however we will be selecting one color. I have gone back and forth about the choices, agonizing over the possibilities. I am afraid I will hate the color and want white again. I am afraid all the plants and paintings will clash against the color. I need to just make a choice and roll with it! Or brush with it, ha ha paint tool joke! It’s just paint right? Stay tuned to see the color we choose.