As I work on making our house feel like our home, I'm excited to tackle the eating area. Since moving in, we pretty much focused on the kitchen and worked our way out, painting everything white. I actually have fleeting moments of considering repainting the kitchen walls a brighter white than our original White Dove selection, but I still think it's a lovely white, and Jason has his limits.
We don't really "hang out" in the dining area. And I want that to change. We spend about 50% of our time in the kitchen, and 50% of our time in the living room, and the eating area is just sort of the space in between. We eat our meals there together, but I feel like we don't linger. I really want it to feel welcoming and cozy...like you want to grab something to drink and stay awhile. And right now it just doesn't feel that way to me. I'm a girl who loves open, empty space, but not like this. What makes a restaurant or cafe great, is the call to linger and stay awhile. We need that in this space. We went to a local sportsman store the other day, and as soon as we walked in the entrance doors, there was a grouping of four leather club chairs arranged around a gas fire. It reminded me of a similar setup at another local cafe style restaurant, which is the same chair/small table/cozy warmth setting. I was tempted to tell Jason to just go ahead and handle snow boot shopping with the kids by himself....that I'd be curled up like a cat in a leather club chair by the fire.
I have a very clear idea of how I'd like our dining space to look, but I also have a DIY Pinterest board full of new table ideas, so there a good chance that next month could see a whole new table and fleet of chairs. What can I say...I love change and I love making things beautiful, so if it isn't bolted down, it's most likely just on rotation.
And it is nearing flea market season. All those orphan chairs are waiting for me. Mama's coming little chairs!
In the photograph above, the door on the right leads to nowhere. A deck hasn't been put on the house yet, just the door leading to it, so when you open it it's about a 12 foot drop to the ground. Jason and I dream about mornings and evenings spent bird watching on the deck, but for now we just open the door to nowhere and use the binoculars.
I want to create a space where we can sit and have a drink, read our favorite magazine, and browse Pinterest on our phones. (Or read the world news, current events and all stock market happenings if you're Jason.)
There's about four feet in between the dining table and the windows. I considered a window seat/banquette situation, but it's actually TOO much space for that to be possible. You really wouldn't be able to sit at the window seat and reach the table.
Previously I had a big white dresser there below the windows, which houses homeschool items, craft supplies, gaming devices, remote control flying helicopters, life, etc., but that has now made its way into the living room. Plus a big white dresser doesn't exactly say, "Hey. Come relax here."
I envisioned a pair of chairs in the space in front of the window, with a little round table in between, Lady Grantham style, so I started my search on Craigslist. I already had a pair of IKEA armchairs, and tried them in this space, but they were too low and slouchy for what I was thinking.
Cue: my mom. She's the best mom in the whole wide world and I get all my love of homemaking from her. Of course she already had some craigslisted wingback chairs. And of course she was on the hunt for some better slouchy-like chairs for her living room. So what's a mother and daughter to do?? SWAP!!!!!!!
Jason and my step dad love our furniture shenanigans. They don't even have to speak it. We just know. Those two super husbands don't even flinch when we say, "Hey. By the way. Mom and I are swapping chairs, so she'll be here in 3 minutes, so I need you to bring the chairs down from the bedroom, unload the wingback chairs that she's bringing over, and then load our chairs into the back of their truck. Thanks honey! Love you!"
Behold. The wingbacks:
I plan on making dropcloth slipcovers for them, because I think we all know the dogs will absolutely dominate them. And the blue isn't really my style.
Look at those gorgeous legs.
My plan is to switch out this side of dining chairs that are along the table for a long bench, so that when the bench isn't in use at the dining table, it can be pulled up as a little table in front of the wingback chairs. See what I'm saying? We'll see. It could possibly only make sense in my head.
I haven't made a slipcover yet from dropcloth, but we bought dropcloth from Home Depot the other day, and I've washed it twice and dried it on high heat. I love how nubby and soft it became, and I can't wait to tackle cutting it, piecing it, pinning it, and sewing tight, fitted covers for the chairs. I draped and tucked the drop cloth just to get an idea of how it might look. I'm loving it already.
And look at Jason, looking relaxed already...
And I still don't know for sure yet, but I've considered an indoor/outdoor flat weave rug for the space. I'm still undecided, because I like hard surface floor, but this rug had me at "Ikat".
This is some of my inspiration for the space:
Images via Pinterest.
So the sewing machine has been fired up, and I'm ready to make our own little cozy cafe.