Switching to the Serengeti
A Dining Room Do-Over
I should've known. After painting my dining room for about 4 hours, the drama queen inside me slowly emerged. The olive green paint that I had chosen was beautiful but it didn't seem striking enough for a formal dining room. I decided that I needed a wallcovering to create that dramatic and distinguished feel which I had hoped for.
After I accepted the fact that I had to start from scratch, the next question was, what kind of wallpaper should I choose? A few months ago, I asked my readers on Instagram about this "Dining Room Debate." Many of you voted for grasscloth but grasscloth always seems very soothing to me. As much as I love to evoke this emotion in my decorating, I didn't want a tranquil dining room. I only host in this room during holidays and the occasional dinner party. This is the ONE room in my home that I can express my wild side. I'm not in there 24-7 so why not get a little crazy right?
Leather! Well in this case, Vinyl but I won't tell if you don't! ;) I love love love texture. I love texture on pillows, clothes, art, everything; so when the walls carry depth, it doesn't get any cooler! Also, as some of you know, I am a British colonial, Banana Republic back-in-the-day fan. I can't get enough of vintage maps, trunks, animal prints, banana leafs and cane. So when I spotted this cigar, camel colored wallpaper, it was like these two worlds had collided. I needed to buy it immediately.
To compliment this expedition/explorer vibe, I brought in my Tommy Bahama mahogany stained table that has ornate, chunky legs. I splurged on these Joshua Tree Chairs by Ralph Lauren. I bought two for the ends and then purchased these inexpensive director chairs for side seating from Hayneedle. These chairs have a campaign/safari look but are also machine washable which is great for kids!
As for art, I always try to find framable items in obscure places: antique books, scrap books, etc. For example, I found this vintage map of Italy in a calendar. As for the frame, in the store carried another print that I didn't like. TIP: Instead of moving on, add up the price of custom framing. If your print measurements are not standard size, sometimes it's cost effective to buy the frame and remove the unwanted artwork. That's what I did here...
Another cost-cutting tip...look to the floor models! If you're in a store and like a piece of art, ask if they will sell it to you as is. You might be able to get a discounted rate. This goes for all items: chairs, sofas, even rugs. The good thing about art is, it's basically protected from wear and tear. Both these pieces are floor models at over 50% off!
Next, I bought simple yet masculine lanterns from Ballard Designs to emphasize the grand table.
As for accessories, it's the little touches that can tie in an entire room. The subtle intention and personality behind choosing these items, makes a place uniquely yours. I bought my alligator skull on Ebay, my hurricane lanterns at Sundance, the pulls and knobs at Anthropologie, and my bar tray and coffee-mate at Pottery Barn.
So there you have it!! My wild and crazy dining room. I'm so happy that I changed my mind and let my freak flag fly. It's funny, sometimes decorating is just like life. If we don't acknowledge our screw ups, the consequences become something that we, ourselves have to live with. It's always better to own the mistake, learn from it, and make room for something even better.