This is the first house we have ever owned that has formal living and dining rooms. To me they are completely unnecessary and a total waste of space. We are not formal people and have in fact NEVER eaten dinner in our formal dining room...and we've lived in our house for 4 years! I'm on a mission to reinvent these rooms and turn them into something that will work for our family. I've gotten started but it will definitely be a work in progress...
Here is what our formal living room used to look like. I never really knew what to do with the space and I guess I thought it needed to be somewhat fancy. It's SO not us!
We ordered the sofa and chair from a furniture store and didn't like them the day they arrived. We kept them anyway (dumb, I know). I do like all of the tables because they are casual and rustic. I ended up painting an accent wall with swirls to jazz it up. And I hung silk curtains. It's an OK room, but nothing special and definitely not representative of who we are as a family.
This is the dining room which is opposite the living room. I have always loved this dining room table and chairs. My husband and I bought it on our honeymoon. I thought we'd keep it forever and pass it on to our children. But now, I'm over it. We are a 5 member family and this table only seats 4 people. Obviously it doesn't work for us either.
I decided it was time to begin slowly changing the rooms to make them spaces we want to spend time in rather than rooms we just walk by (not to mention dust and vacuum).
Here is what we've done so far. We recently had the downstairs floors replaced with a "wood" laminate. Originally my plan was to paint this wall with a chevron pattern. However...it was impossible for us! My husband and I tried every way possible and could NOT get our pattern to turn out...very frustrating! So we went with the next best thing, in my opinion, stripes! I also made new curtains and pillows.
This is the fabric I chose for the curtains. The fabric store had beautiful expensive fabrics but I was able to find this in the calico section for just a couple bucks a yard.
I thought this fabric was a good companion to the curtain fabric. I cut the fabric off the old stuffy pillows I had on the furniture and recovered them in this inexpensive fabric.
Sorry this photo is so bad...apparently I need to purchases a lamp or two.
Since we wanted a casual look we went with random stripes. We used Benjamin Moore Rockport Gray as the background and one of its complementary colors for the stripe.
I'm still trying to figure out what exactly to do with these rooms. I'm leaning toward some kind of study-slash-crafting area. I don't want it to look out of place so I'm thinking of adding some bookshelves or storage of some kind, along with some type of work station. Every time I sew or craft I basically destroy my kitchen counter with a huge mess. I'm thinking an area for me and my kids to be creative is just what we need. A casual, creative and family friendly room is what we're going for....now to make it happen!
For more on this room design, check out these posts!