Our very first formal dining room (a room tour)

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!

38 comments

Laura Gofton March 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Fabulous room Ronnie! I love those Tolix chairs, if only I could convince my hubby (we rarely agree on anything home design related)! The sideboard is also exactly the kind of thing I’ve been looking for. Is it solid wood or veneer? Also how does the room cope with your boys? We don’t have anything nice/breakable in our living/dining area because it would likely get wrecked by the monster.

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Pink Ronnie March 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Thanks Laura! The boys are actually really good with our things at home. Pete broke a lamp when he was a lot younger but apart from that, we haven’t had any major issues. We get spills on white rugs every now and again but most of them have come out. :)
Ronnie xo

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Pink Ronnie March 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I think the sideboard is just veneer.
Ronnie xo

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Laura Gofton March 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Thanks. Yeah I think most of that era tend to be veneer. If your house can survive three boys without getting too wrecked maybe ours has hope for just one monster!! :P

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Katie*Belle March 22, 2012 at 12:13 am

What an incredible room! There are so many great details and the space feels full of personality. I especially love the Bible verse.

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Pink Ronnie March 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Thx Katie. The bible verse artwork is one of my favourites too!
Ronnie xo

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Cecilia March 22, 2012 at 1:44 am

l-l-love the chair selection.
what a warm, inviting dining space.

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Stephanie @ henry happened March 22, 2012 at 6:56 am

I so love those yellow chairs! Everything looks so lovely together, love it!

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thestripedelephant March 22, 2012 at 7:44 am

This looks wonderful! I love those yellow chairs.

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Sewon March 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

Ohh I LOVE house tours! Your dining room is wonderful and I’m a fan of the yellow chairs. :)

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Pink Ronnie March 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I like looking at other people’s house tours too – thanks for your sweet words!
Ronnie xo

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Belly B March 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Your home is AWESOME! I LOVEEEE your dining chairs!!!

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Rebecca - A Daily Something March 23, 2012 at 2:11 am

I am loving these snapshots of your lovely dining room :) And that word art with verses from 1 Samuel…AMAZING! I want to do something similar :)

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Pink Ronnie March 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Thanks Rebecca! I did mine in InDesign but I reckon you could do it in Photoshop as well if you have the software.
Ronnie xo

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rooth March 23, 2012 at 2:30 am

Thanks for sharing your dining room. We just got tolix chairs for our dining table as well (that seats 6) but now I’m trying to find the end chairs. Off to scour the internets!

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Pink Ronnie March 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Best of luck Rooth! Let me know what you decide on. :)
Ronnie xo

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Anna March 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Oh! this turned out perfect! Everything from the art to the furniture. Is it just me, or is it something new with your blog design today? Love that too :)

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Pink Ronnie March 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I changed the colour of the top bar to beige, because I was getting tired of the grey! Also added those sidebar buttons – am a bit obsessed with them actually, if I have to be completely honest. :)
Ronnie xo

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kristina March 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

hi ronnie! i love your interior design work so much! i too am a big fan of mid-century and gosh i am in love w. your bright yellow tolix chairs! great decision with these!! and i agree that it works better w. the chairs all being the same because of the carpet, nice!!!!! p.s. oh and i also love the red cross pillow ;)
xoxo

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lamina @ do a bit March 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Wow the room looks gorgeous! Love those yellow chairs and the table! You have done an amazing job! You are very clever!!! Have you done interior design?

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Pink Ronnie March 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Thanks Lamina. Haha, no I haven’t studied interior design but I’m thinking about doing a course on interior styling…
Ronnie xo

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jaclyn @ thelateafternoon March 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm

your dining room looks absolutely fabulous!! the ice cream print and yellow chairs are my favorite parts – its such a cheery space! gorgeous job!

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jaclyn @ thelateafternoon March 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm

your dining room looks absolutely fabulous!! the ice cream print and yellow chairs are my favorite parts – its such a cheery space! gorgeous job!!

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Monica March 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

you made it all work well. and there’s a real challenge when you can’t change the carpet or room colour too. the artwork adds tons of interest and colour.

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Soph Russell March 23, 2012 at 11:27 pm

great looking room. I love the combination of mid century furniture and bright, modern pieces. Coincidentally we just had our dining table delivered on wednesday (our first “grown up” piece of furniture, we’ve also never had a formal dining!) and trying to think about how to decorate the lounge/dining now we have all our major pieces of furniture. Lots of inspiration here!

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Pink Ronnie March 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I know – there’s something about a proper dining table that’s very ‘grown up’ indeed. Can’t wait to see what you do Soph!
ronnie xo

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Punctuation Mark March 24, 2012 at 3:33 am

you have a beautiful space here… love the yellow chairs!!! happy weekend!

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Corrabelle March 24, 2012 at 5:19 am

I love the scandinavian table…and those gorgeous chairs- and I love that you picked that scripture….You’re making me drool over here!

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Jo March 24, 2012 at 9:42 am

What a fresh but cosy room! I love it. And those chairs… oooh, swoon. Great job :)

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mott March 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Wow…love your dining table and sideboard as well!!!! I have a couple of retro chairs that I love love love love so much, but am unable to fit in my house. Sigh. If I had 4 more of those..it would fit so so so well with your table.. :D

Also love your own artwork..and will be checking out that website you mentioned. We do alot of artwork ourselves… but framing is so costly!

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Pink Ronnie March 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Try cheapcanvasprints.com.au as well!
Ronnie xo

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emily @ The Beetle Shack March 26, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Dude, you know whats up! This space looks AWESOOME! you so made the right choice with those chairs, too.

xo em

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Computer chairs Melbourne March 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

I love the green chair.

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rachel March 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Ronnie, you are so cool. Do you take commissions for your interior design…in Canada? I especially love the green chair and the canvas art. Love that idea!

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Pink Ronnie March 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I would definitely consider it! Will email you.
Ronnie xo

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Sara @ Zahara Dessert April 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm

This room is divine. I love it!
I wish I had room in my house for a separate dining room. I am coveting your retro sideboard!

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 11:08 am

Scour eBay – you are sure to find something similar!
Ronnie xo

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I love hearing from you!

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