Many people say that the kitchen is the heart of the home and to some extent I agree, but if the kitchen is the heart, the dining room is the next most important heart valve. ha! The dining room is where we come to after a long day, where we come together as a family to just relax and be ourselves, share the highs and lows of our days, make jokes, and break bread together.
Some say the dining room is becoming less needed in a home, but I strongly disagree. For those who cook dinner without making a mess, I commend you, but that’s not me. Making dinner is usually a bit chaotic and not always planned out well. Sometimes, yes, but when I go to eat, I don’t want to see the mess but go away to a beautiful scape of a clean table with a pretty setting full of the food I made. Sure, it’s not always perfectly clean and it has more uses than to just eat dinner such as homework or playing games, but that’s what make it so beautiful!
With all of that being said, I love me a good, well defined dining room. I have always wanted one and has taken top priority in every house hunt we’ve had, (3 houses in 6 years). Each time after purchasing, one of my favorite places to start and paint was the dining room. It’s an opportunity to provide a beautiful and yet comfortable space to invite strangers in to become friends and then friends to become family. To play board games when screens have been banned. I cannot say enough about how meaningful a dining room is to me and our family.
Also, to nurture our bodiess, a place for me to bring the meal I made, and sometimes the meal we purchased over to the family. Where we all come together, serve each other getting water in glasses and napkins and silverware set as we prepare to eat together. We do this together as a team and I love it. I love our meals together.
Funny story, every single dining room I’ve had, I’ve painted a dark blue. I’m quite the fan of all shades of blue, always have been, so it’s no wonder that when I saw my [who would soon to be] mother-in-law’s perfectly blue dining room, i fell in love. It was everything. The old pieces of wood furniture, her old blue and white plates on the wall hanging and against the blue walls sparked creativity in me. I loved helping (my daughters do now) decorate the table scape for the holidays. Picking from her many plates, silverware, napkins and napkin holders. I think that’s where it all started, my love for a dining room!
When we purchased our current home, the dining room was placed at the front of the house. It was a small space and between the dining and kitchen was….a laundry room. It bothered me on every level. I knew the space wouldn’t be the dining forever but we had to make due with what we had for a few years and big adjustments were not in our budget.
I also have learned, I do best living in a home for 2 years before I really start to be able to cast the vision for changing a house we live in to our home we dwell in. It takes lots of life to figure out what it is we need, even if it’s not what our house was originally meant to be.
If you are to take any decorating tip from me, let it be to make your home work for you. No matter what the space is designated for, you get to figure out how it best works for your family and the season you’re in. Also, just know it may change and that is more than okay! It doesn’t have to be forever unless you’re blowing out walls, which we did and love so much!
Our first home, the Zekey House, had a dining room but I had little kids and they needed a space for homeschooling my oldest and teaching my other kids the basics of the alphabet. So, for a time, it was anything but a dining room and we made it work! I think I also made it my sewing room, a hobby I once had 😉
Now I’m excited to show you what and where our dining room looked like when we purchased our current home in 2015.
Wow. This space is no longer where we dine, so keep that in mind when I show you our current dining room! The photos above represent the space we now call (because it sounds super fancy), The Study. I’ll show before and afters of this room soon! Until then, let’s show you where we dine and what the actual room we dine in used to be when we first purchased our home in 2015!
It was a cute little sitting area but I knew it wasn’t functional for my family and our needs. And let’s be honest, it wasn’t what I wanted. Below is the other side of the wall, the main living area in the back of the house.
That first Christmas, I had the greatest urge to get all four of my children’s pictures up on a wall so I could see them all together. This is the first place I put their school pictures up. It felt so good and right. This is the same wall you see above.
It wasn’t long after moving in that I needed an office so I went ahead and with the sweet blessing of my husband, turned the sitting area into my new office. I wallpapered the wall on the right and painted it a salmon/coral and I still love to look at photos of it to this day! The rest of the walls I painted a very light grey- so light you couldn’t even tell it was grey until I painted the baseboards white. It was really cute and perfect!
Oh, I also ripped up the carpet all by myself and painted the floors a darker grey to help make them disappear because I had visions of getting hardwood floors someday, of course!
I no longer needed an office after awhile so I turned it back into a sitting area and added our piano but not yet settled on what was and kept dreaming up what could be!
So not long after, maybe a few months, the wall that kinda drove me absolutely crazy needed to go. But how? I was told by professionals it couldn’t be done but with my dad’s convincing and my determination, oh and after 5 quotes, I found my guy and he moved all the things so I could open up this wall!
This wall would take over 6 months to finish but I didn’t care. I knew it would get done and because of a tight budget, waiting for my FIL to come in town for electrical and my dad to help with framing and drywall, we saved lots of money and I’m so grateful to them (you’ll see them a lot in future before and afters!).
My dad, Todd and Andy made the wall safe and open to the living room! I wanted it to be symmetrical even though the little wall on the right wasn’t needed.
I also wanted there to be a curve to add character and my dad pulled it off! It took months but I just enjoyed every visit our dads made and every bit of help! I knew it would be worth it!
Now that the wall was almost finished, I wanted to start to really get this room to be the dining room I dreamed of. Everything about our house was builder-grade…basically it looked cheap. So, I wanted to dress up our windows with character.
I got on Pinterest and found a lovely DIY for window trim (the same trim my brother-in-law beautifully put up on my sister’s windows!).
Even before we painted the trim, I was so in love! And so impressed with Andy’s ability to just make my vision come to life!
Next, many more months later, we went to Home Depot and picked out a color for the walls. My husband was very hesitant but somehow I convinced him to trust it would be perfect. I knew I wanted it to be dark and cozy. I’m known for painting with shades of blue and I also know if I didn’t like it, or he hated it, we could always paint it again!
We didn’t hate it and we actually really loved it! The color matched the rug he bought me years ago for Valentine’s day that used to be in our master room in our first house perfectly!
We were blessed with a really great deal on our hardwood floors and they really warm the space up! I’m so grateful for the many hands who helped us get up the tile and the carpet so we could lay these floors!
I decorated this wall in the dining room with my beloved children’s photos and I love it so much. It warms my heart. I feel our Zekey with us when we eat together and simply throughout the day. This wall makes my heart at peace, a glimpse into heaven and us all being together again someday.
We will celebrate ballerina birthdays and celebrations of Zekey’s life too, with friends and family gathered around in this room. This is why I take decorating so seriously, it’s holy ground and making this house our home and creating a beautiful space for all who enter is an honor. My momma gave me the old buffet we used to have in my house growing up! I love this piece so much!
More before and afters of our home to come! Leave a comment if you’d like and feel free to subscribe and see my posts by typing your email in on the very bottom, right side of my page so we can stay connected on here!
Living between grace & glory,