I know, I know, this second room tour has been a long time coming. But hey, it’s here so take a seat and let’s get right into it…
For every room, there is usually a starting point: whether it’s furniture you already have that you want to incorporate or some specific functional purpose that you have in mind for the room. As this was our very first ‘formal dining room,’ it meant that we had no furniture whatsoever to go into this room. In other words, it was a completely blank canvas.
My starting point was therefore the use of the room: apart from the obvious ‘formal dining’ aspect of the room, I knew that Rick would also be having a lot of his church meetings here. This meant we needed to be able to seat at least 8 or 10 people at the table. Also, as with every other room in the house, I had to bear in mind the colour of the walls and the colour of the carpet – neither of which we were going to change.
The first thing I searched for was the dining table since, in my mind at least, this would determine the rest of the room. Rick and I are very much still in love with mid-century furniture, so it was a no-brainer when we found this Danish inspired, extendable dining table on eBay that could seat between 8 to 12 people.
It took me a long time to decide on the chairs. At first I considered having a range of mismatched secondhand chairs, but decided against it because I didn’t want to risk the room feeling stale – plus I still think the ‘mismatched chairs’ look works much better on floor boards than on carpet. Once I’d chosen the replica Replica Pauchard Tolix chairs, the next consideration was colour choice. Rick liked my idea of different colours, but in the end, I decided that we would get them all in yellow to create a bright and solid contrast against the wooden table and the brown carpet. When the chairs arrived, I was so happy and relieved with my decision, because the yellow completely lifted the room and added just the right amount of cheer.
As for the end chairs, I’d originally wanted replica Philip Starck Ghost chairs, but ultimately decided on replica Verner Panton S chairs. I think these ended up being a good choice because the matt plastic contrasts well with the metal of the Tolix, while the simple ‘S’ shape provides some relief from all the table and chair legs. (Tolix chairs from Sokol, S chairs from Matt Blatt.)
For a while now, I’ve been keen to hang this Perfect Twist poster by Debbie Carlos somewhere in our home and the large dining room wall seemed to be the perfect spot. I love that down the track, I can easily swap this poster into one of the boys’ room or my own studio. Here, I’ve attached the poster with Blu Tack and added a piece of yellow washi tape at the top to give the impression that it’s hanging from the top.
I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly hard to locate a good floor lamp: one that stands up straight, that isn’t too short, isn’t too expensive, isn’t too boring… you get my drift. After extensive Googling and even ordering this tripod lamp that ended up being too short (thank goodness for money back guarantees!), I found this Space lamp from Online Lighting that reminded me of those cool industrial studio lights but it was only about one-tenth of the price. Score! No, major score!
The sideboard was a bargain buy from eBay. If you’re after something similar, just add ‘retro sideboard’ to your saved searches and wait till a good bargain trundles along. We drove one and a half hours to pick this up, which equated to a three hour tear-our-hair-out round trip with the three boys, but it was totally worth it.
The spotty canvas artwork was one we made for our third home. Back then, it adorned the wall of our studio/nursery (yes, remember that?). In our last home, it added colour to our meals area, and now it has been ‘upgraded’ to the formal dining room. If we didn’t already have this canvas, I would probably have chosen something quite different for this wall but I quite like the playfulness it adds to the room – the perfect counterpart to the yellow chairs and a nice contrast to the monochromic ice cream poster.
The ‘CREATE’ letters were from my old studio, and the ‘Y’ letter was from Freedom (yes, there are a few of these floating around our home). The green lamp is an old IKEA one – you can still buy it in white but they no longer sell it in green.
Oh, and the empty corner on the right of the sideboard? That’s the ‘naughty corner’ for the boys when they deliberately choose to disobey mummy or daddy’s orders. Works wonders.
This is the other end of the dining room. The oil painting on the left is one which we’ve had since our third home. We bought it at the Glebe markets while we lived in Newtown. It’s by a Melbourne artist called Bob White and it’s a painting of a rainy day in Melbourne. I just love the colours in it, as well as the richness and texture it adds to any space.
The tall canvas art is one that I designed myself and had printed through The Online Framing Shop. They’re not only affordable in their pricing, but their service is amazing. The owner actually drove to our place to deliver the canvas himself at no extra cost because he didn’t trust the couriers with such a big item! I was thoroughly impressed.
The artwork itself is simply one of Rick’s favourite passages from 1 Samuel 2 in the bible. I used an unusual typeface called Parkitecture to make it more visually interesting and to make people look a bit harder to work out what the text says. I was originally inspired by Elise’s big script art but I quickly worked out that I didn’t have the calligraphy skills to create anything like Elise’s artwork and a computer script font just didn’t have the same effect. Rick and I both love our final product.
The swivel armchair was another bargain find, this time from Gumtree. I was a bit hesitant about the green clashing with the yellow Tolix chairs, but it’s all come together just fine. I’d also stuffed around trying to create a small side table for the armchair by using a stack of magazines, but in the end, keeping it simple was the best solution. The cushion was probably the last item to be added to the room and yes, it’s also from A Cushy Number!
We’re almost there – well done for staying with me. Just some more detail shots…
..and we’re done! I do hope you enjoyed the tour. Let’s hope the next one doesn’t take three weeks to prep. Have a lovely day, everyone!