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From Useless to Useful

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Apparently neither Nate nor Candace are coming to my rescue.  I’ve tried.  I have written sad, sad letters about my poor empty dining room, to no avail.  I’m on my own to tackle my dining room that’s not a dining room.  This poor room has been abandoned for almost 9 years.  We are not dining room people.  And I’m not a fan of cooking so I don’t need to have two rooms dedicated to food.

I really think dining rooms should be “optional” in new construction these days.  I think there are a lot of families who would rather have offices, libraries or dens instead of formal dining rooms.  Dining rooms look pretty, but are hardly used.  That’s my opinion anyway.

This week I have been contemplating what to do with this room.  Normally I’m not so overwhelmed with a project like this, but I want the room to look nice and be somewhat functional.  It’s the first room you see when you walk in the front door.  And it needs everything.  Paint, furniture, pictures, you name it!  Breathe Laurie, breathe.

A couple of days after my post on Navy Blue, I received the Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs catalog in the mail.  (Magazine/catalog day is always a happy day!)  Anyways, dark blue was shown in accessories, fabric and paint color.  I think it was a sign.  Now if I can get Hubby on board, I’m all set!

Blues from Pottery Barn

Blues from Ballard Designs

I love the color “Dusk” from Restoration Hardware.  It’s not navy blue, but it’s a darker blue.  I also like the color “Hale Navy” from Benjamin Moore.  I have picked up several different samples of fabric and they all have the dark blue in them.  I think it’s a sign that dark blue is what my “not a dining rooms” wants.

Restoration Hardware “Dusk”

Hale Blue – Benjamin Moore

I also just picked up three bookcases from Ikea.    They are the Hemnes series and I chose the Gray/Brown color.  It’s a different look.  I went to Ikea with the idea I was going to pick up the Brown/Black color, but once I was there, and with the cheering of my Bro, I pick the other color.  I think it will look great with a dark blue wall.  I put the smaller bookcase together already.  It took a little blood, sweat and beers (literally!) but the next two should be a piece of cake. 

Gray/Brown Hemnes Bookcases

I like the idea of adding a round table and a couple of chairs to the new room.

Kursi Kubu Armchair

Chair from Pier 1. A consideration for seating.

That’s as far I as got.  If I could only decide on fabric for curtains, I could buy the paint.  For some silly reason I keep asking my Hubby and my brother what they think of my choices.  And they are actually giving me their opinions!  Does rhetorical mean nothing to them?  I will post the end result of my room that’s not a dining room soon.  I hoping it will be a room that is beautiful, functional and dark blue!


Turning a Dining Room into a Home Office

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Dining rooms.  Really?  I wish I could say we have elegant gatherings around a beautiful dining table serving five course meals to friends and family.  Nah, I really don’t mean that.  We are not a fussy group here and family gatherings mean hanging out in the kitchen, snacking of appetizers.  “Formal” rooms aren’t my thing.  Dining rooms, I believe, are becoming a thing of the past.  But every home I’ve owned has come with a dining room, and that poor room just stays empty.  I never felt the need to buy a dining set just to fill the space.  So my dining room is just a walk through room.  We walk through it to get to other parts of the house.  And if a dining room set was sitting in the middle of the room, it would still be a walk through room, except we would have to walk around the table to walk through the room!

Unfortunately, like a lot of “traditional” homes, the dining room is the first room you see then you come in the front door.  I’ve tried to make it look like a useful room, but have failed miserably.  It’s a room with a hodge podge of unused furniture I don’t know what to do with.  So after fifteen years of an empty room, I really, really want to make it not a wasted space.  I’m thinking home office/library.  As a family of multiple computers, we would use an office much more than a dining room.  And maybe my kitchen wouldn’t be a dumping ground for bills and papers if they had a home to go to.  I have scoured the internet for some inspiration.  Here are some pictures I have come up with.

Better Homes and Gardens

House Beautiful





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