Thursday, February 5, 2015

Studies, Libraries and Dining Rooms

I am a wee bit stuck on how to progress with the dining room/home office (which I've decided to rename the dining room/study).

I have my own little Style Cure planned for it, loosely based on the Style Cure AT hosted last fall.

So, this is my style tray. If anything strikes you as a common theme in these images please let me know. Sometimes I can have quite the blind spot for the dead obvious.

I like this because it feels just like a library with the table (and what a beautiful table!) in the center of the room. The shelves and books feel like part of the walls--not intrusions into the room. It makes me wonder about the feasibility of doing away with my desk entirely and getting a beautiful table and using it--and only it--instead. I am not a fan or working at a round or oval table, though. I prefer an ell shape for a work surface. 

The red is a bit much! But I love the comfy chair by the window and the books on the shelves beside it. I don't have a reading chair in my dining room. I'd like one--but there's no room for it currently.

This is brilliant. The table is a dining table--isn't it? The white chair is a dining chair--but the yellow one is an overstuffed reading chair. I wonder if I could do this? Bring out the laptop and work in a chair like the white one and then switch to the gold one when it was time to read or get cozy.

This is one of my all time faves. Again, an inviting chair by the window. That table is really something else, though, isn't it? This has the right feel. Light and bright. I don't want the room to feel too heavy.

All of the above shots inspire ways of arranging the furniture. I'll do a post on floor plans, soon.

This next set of pictures capture something of the feel I'm after. I love the idea of dark and moody: I'm just not sure I could live with it, here, where I crave light six months of the year.

This one is colourful, but not terribly over the top. Maybe there's just one or two too many paintings hanging off the bookcase? Not really a fan.

Light and bright:

Of course, the scale here is ridiculous!

And look, closed storage!

Moving on.

One room, two ways:

Now, a dining room.

This is the perfect blend of modern and traditional. That chandelier creeps me out and intrigues me at the same time.

This next chandelier I could probably figure out how to make!
I look at those Nate Berkus lamps from Target and I mourn. Love the subtle wall paper here, too. Adds some interest to those bare walls.


I think it is all the contrast in texture which appeals to me here. The softness of the fabric on the Louis chair vs the hard metal of the lamps and table--their sleekness against the fluffiness of the rug; black vs white, modern vs antique, warm metal vs cold.

But, really, if we're going to be a minimalist about this?

I could do just what Jane Austen did:

It's worth clicking through.

Thanks for all your thoughts. They are helping me think this through. Any favourites, above? Any similarities you've noticed above? Any suggestions? 


Marian said...

I'm seeing a lot of floor-to-ceiling shelving, which makes me wonder if you could maximize the Expidit further with more functional storage above (the necessaries, in other words, rather than the purely decorative, although I do love the bird pictures!), or even if you could do some sort of Expidit hack and build upwards to increase the storage?

Your desk (or your desk plus your filing units on either side - it's hard to tell if they're part of the desk itself) looks like it has a lot more storage than any of the desks/tables in the pictures. In other words, I have the feeling you're trying to do a lot more with your room than any of the pictures. This may be a limiting factor as to what you can do with the room.

I like the idea of the desk in front of the window (Jane Austen-like) but not right in front, where it would block the light and the view. Is there room for the desk to go where the china hutch is, but on an angle? Then the china hutch could go where the desk was, and the table could be moved to the centre of the room? And you might have room for a chair in the opposite corner of the window, if you scootched the Expidit to the left a bit?

I think if we knew more about what the room is used for - for example, who uses the dining table and for it actually ever used as a dining table, or is it for your kids to do homework or projects...then we can perhaps help a bit more.

And I hope there wasn't a family mutiny about the phone! When you said the phone would have to be relocated and that would be an issue, I imagined the jack would have to be moved, not that someone would vehemently object to having it moved down onto the desk :)

Marie said...

Love Marian's ideas. I too immediately saw floor to ceiling built in book shelves as the common denominator in all your photos.

Could you make just one wall all bookshelves and leave 1-2 blank for your breathing space? Maybe some pretty art on the wall where the smaller white (Billy?) shelves are now?

Marie said...

Another thought...almost every table is wood, adding texture and mood.

Alana in Canada said...

Thank you Marian and Marie! Interesting thoughts on the arrangement, Marian--I hadn't actually thought of that. Worth a try.

And yes, Marie, I'd noticed that too. If I do decide to do away with the computer desk and use just the table, I will either resurrect an old pine table I painted white a few years ago (and sand off all the paint, at least the top, lol) or find a wood table which can expand. The drawer untis are separate. I can put them side by side, by themselves or even stack them, I suppose.

About going all the way up--I hadn't thought of that but I like it. Ikea makes the kallax, now, not the expedit--but they may have a unit I can layer on top. I'll investigate. The unit will fit quite comfortably where the desk is now.

oooh, the wheels are turning....

Anastasia Inspiderwiht said...

See, I think you're on to something! What you REALLY need is the giant inexplicable floor-boulder in picture 6!

Seriously though, I dig the way the bookshelves are very front-and-centre and used as a sort of backdrop in all of these. I think floor to ceiling shelves are a nifty idea (might be a good way to eliminate the bookshelf-top space that always seems to attract a pile of knicknacks?) but I'm not sure I'm on board with the... artistic horizontal book-stacks.

Lisa @ Lisa Moves said...

Reading your post made me think of a Life in Grace post from a few years ago, where she turned her dining room into a multipurpose library/homeschooling/dining room. Its a little busy for my taste (although take out the desk and I think it rocks), and she talks a bit about the pros and cons of having a multipurpose space in this post:

I am hoping in the next house to put our bookshelves in the dining room :-) I think its a fab idea!

Alana in Canada said...

Anastasia--yes! That's what I need, of course. A big wooden egg thingy.

Lisa--ah yes, the homeschooling laundry room. I remember that post--but I will check it out to see if we are thinking of the same one. I can't wait to see what you do in your next house.

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