Wednesday, March 9, 2011

7 Ways to Keep It Real in the Dining Room/Home Office

This is the second in a series of a tour of my home. Here is the living room.

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace. –Gaston Bachelard

During the Fall Cure of 2007, I completely redid this room and nearly had a nervous breakdown in the process. (Wow, has it really been four years?) A post about that is here.

I have been happy with this room ever since. More or less.

The dining room is just to the right when you come in the front door. It is 10 x10 feet (or so) and the window is on the North wall. The oak floors are original and beginning to show some wear.

I spend more time in this room than any other and I admit, it is a challenge to keep the clutter under control. Nonetheless, the room is the place for my dreams-- mostly because the computer is here and my books, the family scrapbooks. and the sewing machine. It is the place where I create: and before creation comes dreaming. So, this room is the least fussy of all.

So, (somewhat tongue in cheek) this post is all about how NOT to decorate your home office/dining room.

1) Don't paint the knotty pine door.

(This shows you the pretty new grey I painted the foyer. BM: Edgecomb Grey with BM Cloud White for trim. And yes, the baseboards are not the same on either side of the door.)

Previous owners installed and verathaned it. I look at it and think how elegant it would be painted white. If it weren't for the fact that I cower in the face of all those mullions, I probably would have risked my husband's ire by now and painted it.

2) Don't organize the books by colour.

It kind of hits you in the face when you enter, doesn't it? This is my much coveted Expedit. It holds scrapbook supplies, school books, painting and decorating samples, projects and my scrapbooks. I may never colour code my books, but, I think this does need a bit of attention. Funny how photographs make you notice things your eyes just slide over in the room itself.

3) Don't lengthen the curtains.

Yeah. Let them hang there, absurdly short. I won't bore you with my excuses, but fabric selection stinks here. (And I foolishly returned a second set of panels because they were from a different lot and the colour was slightly off.)

4) Don't paint the walnut breakfront.
(and for heavens sake, just stuff things in there. Don't fuss with arranging it. Yeesh.)

This was a gift from my Mom.

5) Don't style the shelves.
6) Don't beef up the shelving with molding, either.

Yep. This is a Billy bookcase from way back. It's only 9 1/4" deep (23.5cm) so it fits perfectly here. This houses a lot of Bibles, dictionaries, and our homeschooling binders. The basket, on the bottom left, houses library books I'm about to read--an idea I got from one of Aby Garvey's workshops.

Continuing to the right, we have the door to the kitchen: and the wall o' desk. When we use this room as a dining room (Easter, Thanksgiving, some birthdays and Christmas) the "desk" becomes my sideboard and I hide the ugly office chair--which brings us to our last bit of (non-decorating) advice:

7) Don't slipcover the ugly office chair.

I think I'd just call more attention to it, if I did. It would also be just one more thing to clean.

And so, there you have it.

Truly? It is the room of dreams--even if it isn't exactly, well, you know, dreamy.

1 comment :

Liz@Violet Posy said...

All great tips! Keeping it simple and easy is the best idea!

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