Our Dining Room

On Family Chic I’ve focused more on craft projects than decorating, so I thought I’d change things up a bit and share with you a few of my favorite spaces in our home and talk about the thinking behind the looks we’ve created. Today, I am starting with our dining room, more rooms to come later on…

Our home was built 86 years ago and even though we love it and all of the wonderful memories it holds, it’s obvious from the lack of closet space and the smaller rooms that this house was built for simpler living from a different era. To keep up with the demands of modern family life and to create an open and functional plan, we had to stick to a few rules.  Every piece of furniture that we purchase must be on the smaller side, serve double duty and have clean lines. Shopping for items that fit this criteria isn’t always easy in a world of oversized sofas and enormous flat screen TVs. Thanks to the clever living solutions from IKEA and some lucky thrift store and garage sale finds, living big in a small space isn’t impossible – it just takes a little tricky thinking.

Even though our 12′ x 12′ dining room is small, it’s my favorite room in our 1927 Dutch Colonial home. We do so many things in there — we share meals, the kids do their homework, we celebrate holidays and birthdays, I work on my craft projects and since the natural light is so cheery and abundant, it’s a great spot for taking many of my project photos for Family Chic. For me, it’s a room that is peaceful and eventful at the same time – it’s the workhorse of the house and it makes me feel good to be in it.

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Basic, stylish and easy to wipe clean, our IKEA table and chairs have been through a lot and still look great. Thankfully, the table extends to fit 12, so we can open it up for larger groups. Inexpensive, fabric-covered stools from Target provide additional seating and have removable covers for easy washing.

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A rug just wasn't possible in this room – too many things get spilled and dropped – so we decided to paint the floor instead with a tinted epoxy paint. This treatment helps to define the space like a rug would, but it's easier to wipe up messes.

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I wanted impact, but I wanted to keep the room simple at the same time – so we papered one wall with a large scale, metallic print. This paper looks fun and bold as it reflects natural light during the day and soft and intimate during candlelit dinners in the evening.

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An old chalkboard, propped up against the wall, serves as a showcase for impromptu doodle art as well as messages.

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A china closet, picked up at a garage sale for $25.00, was gray washed and lined with burlap and coffee bean bags. Since we do not have a closet on the first floor, this piece is my savior — it holds candles, vases, specialty glasses, cloth napkins — all the items that I love to use for get-togethers with friends and family, but cannot store in my kitchen. The IKEA baskets on top hold paper towels, napkins and paper plates.

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I love vintage paintbrushes – I hang them all around the house.

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When decorating this room, we wanted to add interest without taking up much floor space. An old door, found in the alley, and a vintage chalkboard fit the bill for us – they add detail and serve a purpose.

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A rummage sale mirror hangs on the door — a good spot to check your self out before leaving the house for the day.

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A collection of old keys hang from the door knob.

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Our money tree thrives in this space and adds life and color to the room.

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I am grateful for our happy little dining room.


  1. Jessica  February 1, 2013

    What a gorgeous room! It looks so fun and is still so practical! I *love* the cabinet–the burlap liner is genius!–and the wallpaper is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing your fabulous ideas!

    • camilla  February 1, 2013

      Thank you Jessica!

  2. Jen Alexander  February 1, 2013

    I love it! I want to try the painted rug for my eating area. So many great ideas, they all look beautiful together!

    • camilla  February 1, 2013

      Thanks Jen – the painted rug is easy – you could totally do it! 🙂 xoxo C

  3. Darcie  February 1, 2013

    I’ve always loved your dining room. Jealous of your light (and your style)!

  4. Lesa  February 2, 2013

    BEAUTIFUL, Just TOTALLY Beautiful…….adore your style; btw===how do you attach the burlap inside the cabinet?

  5. julia I mintlametta  February 2, 2013

    wow! the room looks so stylish but as well very homelike! love especially the wallpaper! * julia

  6. catie  February 2, 2013

    such a great space!
    thanks for inviting us in : )
    i am on the lookout for a big chalkboard.
    one of my son’s homework words this week was “blackboard.”
    they use whiteboards in classrooms now, you know.
    he is 8 years old – i had to explain: blackboard, white chalk, erasers.
    made me feel a little like laura ingalls, as i remember cleaning erasers for my teachers back in the 70s,
    clapping them together to make a cloud of chalk dust.

  7. Claire  March 7, 2013

    That wallpaper is seriously lovely.

  8. Tasneem  March 19, 2013

    I love the idea of painting a rug on the floor, so clever!

  9. Emily Wignall  March 20, 2013

    I just found your blog through Design Mom. Your dining room is my favorite space. I love the painted rug, and the lampshade (you have great lampshades everywhere in your house) and how tidy everything looks…but still full of personality!