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Formal Dining Room – decor plan!

Alright friends.  Let’s talk decor!  Finally.  :)  A few days ago I shared our new formal dining room with you all.  A nice blank slate!  Here are a few details about the room.
The lights are from Art Craft Lighting and you can find them here.  I am so in love with these fixtures!  I always think modern elegance when I see them.  But maybe that’s just me.  I put a similar fixture and matching sconces in Kenny’s office because I loved how they looked in the dining room so much.  Really these pictures do NOT do them justice.  They give off such a nice glow for dining.  They make me actually want to use this room!  Which means I have to cook.  Or call for take-out.  Something modern and elegant?  Anything other than my typical cheese tortillas will do.  :)
The paint for this room is darker than the paint I used throughout the main body of my house.  The walls of the dining room are painted “Wavelength” by Frazee.  The inside of the cabinets are one shade darker.  Another Frazee color called “Elf.”

A few of you asked about the size of my baseboards.  I made them 7 inches tall which was as high as I could go without hitting plug outlets.  I think my builder thought I was a little strange to want them so high and so plain, but I love how they turned out.  Some of your other house related questions I’ll answer in a Q & A post.  I’m anxious to show you my decorating plans for this room!
First up – our new table!  I took a pic with the lights off…
and one with the lights on.  :)  Oh for the love of all things farmhouse!  I have adored this table for a LONG time.  The second it was decided that we would be putting a formal dining room in the house I knew exactly what style of table I wanted!
The table is from Restoration Hardware and aside from the rustic farmhouse look, I adore the simplicity of it.

These pictures show its true color.  It’s light but has subtle grey undertones so I think it works well in this space.  The wide planks are my favorite.  With all of their perfect imperfections.  :)

These are the chairs I fell in love with that fit the style of the table.  This set is actually from Aidan Gray and I was all set to order them.  (Love the metal back!)
But then I realized they sell a set at Restoration that match the table and are $200 cheaper per chair!  They don’t have the metal back which I wish they did, but I don’t think the back is worth paying so much more for.  They also don’t come with a padded seat, but Restoration sells pads for them for not too much so I think I’ll buy those.
Here is the Restoration picture of the table and chairs with the pads.  I’m only buying a few of these chairs because I don’t want the chairs to all match.  I’m looking for something different to go on the two ends of the table.  And on the side of the table in front of the window I’m having a custom bench made.  Fun!

This is an inspiration pic I have always loved.  See the similar chairs on one side with the grey bench on the other side?  Love that look.

Here is another inspiration pic I love with the three chairs similar to the ones I’m going to order and two different chairs on the sides.

Ok.  Moving on to the rug!  Thank you again so much for your help with my rug decision!  I loved hearing all of your feedback!  You all brought up so many good points.
Here is the one I chose (for now anyway!):

I LOVED the octagon rug too (that was my initial first choice) but I was a little worried about how much of it was white for under a table.  Even though it’s not an every day table, it only takes one spill.    A lot of you pointed out the same thing.  The rug above seemed a little more spill friendly.  Maybe it was the dog and bone in the picture that gave me that feeling?  :)  I decided to order it and see how it looks and then figured if I don’t love it I can return it and get the octagon rug.

But I think I love it!  It’s so happy!!

I took these pics right after I laid it down.  What do you think?  It’s a little Bohemian looking.  But I think I love that too!  I don’t know why, but I always pictured a yellow rug in this room.  Probably because yellow is just so happy!!  Did I already say that?  Is it making you happy too!?  I can’t believe how much it lightened the space.

Ok.  Here’s what I’m picturing for this space.  Since this room will only be used once in a while I’m excited for it to be a room that actually stays looking nice.  You know – no pillows tossed on the floor, backpacks tossed on the table, train tracks under the chairs.  Well.  There will probably still be train tracks under the chairs, but you get the picture.  So I’m thinking about an upholstered bench with three pillows on it.  My designer/friend is helping me with it.  Here are some of the fabric options I’m considering…

The fabric in the back with the grey ovals is what I’m leaning towards for the bench.  I was originally going to do a plain grey tufted bench like the inspiration picture but I think it will be too much grey with the grey paint in the room.  I don’t want to go too crazy with color on the bench so that I can always mix up the pillows.  I think a white/grey pattern will be good for me and my constant need to re-arrange/change things.  The three fabrics in front of my bench fabric are some I’m considering for the pillows.

I also love the grey striped pattern to put on an extra chair (I’m ordering two extra chairs to set in the corners of the room for when we have to extend the table to fit larger groups).  The fabric on the far left is so fun.  I like that it also has black which will tie in with the light fixtures and hardware on the built-ins.  The only thing I’m debating is bringing in one more color for the pillows and swapping it for one of these.  An aqua pillow?  Or navy?  These fabrics are only for a few pillows so I’ll also be able to bring in other colors with decor in the built-ins and whatever I end up doing on the walls.  Regardless, I think the room is off to a good start!

Our house is still so empty that any start is a good start.  :)

Here are some other random shots I took of this room before the rug came…

Here you can see where this room is located.  Just down the hall from our stairs and my office.

And here is a shot from the other side of the dining room by the window.  You can see how it is also located across from my butler’s pantry/kitchen.

So that’s it for dining room decor so far!  I’ll post updates as the room progresses.  Fun!  My first decorating post in the new house!  First of many I’m sure.  :)

xoxo, Erin
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40 thoughts on “Formal Dining Room – decor plan!

  1. I like the fabric on the far left with thats white with the yellow & aqua design for the pillows.
    Can’t wait to see more!

  2. I am sure it is a regional thing but I think it is funny that it is called the “formal dining room” particularly since you don’t want it to be formal and also because my mind keeps asking “where is the casual dining room?” In the Midwest, we call it “the dining room” and you either have “an eat-in kitchen” or a “breakfast room.” Your floor plan would be considered an eat-in kitchen because it is all open. Older houses around here typically have breakfast rooms which are literally second dining rooms – smaller, more quaint and right off the kitchen. These would be where the family would regularly have meals. Anyway, just sharing for laughs.

  3. Looking good, Erin! I love it – very similar to the dream house in my head. I like the gray and whites for the seating and the other patterns for pillows. I would probably add a pillow to swap each season – I’m indecisive though so that would be my “out” :)

  4. So beautiful! I also have similar dark hardwood floors, and have a love-hate relationship with them. They are beautiful to look at but HORRIBLE to keep clean! How do you keep up with yours? If I don’t scrub at least twice a week they look “dusty” and it drives me nuts. You can’t possibly sweep/scrub that entire house twice a week by yourself?!

  5. Thanks everyone!

    Alicia – I’m not sure what brand that fabric is! I’ll find out and let you know.

    Amy – that is funny! It’s always referred to as the “formal dining room” around here. But yes – I didn’t want it to be that formal. :)

    Jen – For sure will be swapping pillows around throughout the seasons/holidays! That is why I want to keep the bench neutral. Thank you!

    Katie – I know! Dark floors show everything. I vacuum the main floors in the family/nook/kitchen every night with central vac. Then I have help with the deep cleaning. Have you tried Bona? It’s a cleaner that works great on these floors. You can get it on-line or at Target. The kit comes with a mop and you just spray while you go. I do that every few days on dirty spots and it works wonders! A quick fix vs. mopping the whole floor. :)

  6. Beautiful Erin! Love the fabrics you’ve picked. Are you going to have the bench treated? I would be worried about such a light fabric, knowing that the bench would be the first place kiddos would want to sit. We have a “formal” dining room, and I would love to open the wall between it and our kitchen because we RARELY use it. Such a waste of space.

  7. Love the style of this house and add that happy, yellow rug to the dinning room and I’m drooling here! Good thing only my cat is around right now.

    As far as Navy vs Aqua I think your past decor choices point toward Aqua. If you have any color blind guests Aqua is easier to distinguish from Black than Navy. Just a thought.

    Thank you for letting me live vicariously through you and your house. Can’t wait to have a house of my own, but it will be some time yet.

    Take care!

  8. I love the table, the rug you chose and the lighting. I love the inspiration picture!!! Like everyone else. I can’t wait to see it done.

    I LOVE navy and yellow, Those are the colors I did in my master redo. I love yellow and aqua too. I brought those pillows back and then I went with navy and green. (Colors you had in Kole’s nursery.) Brought those back too. I stuck with the navy and yellow. I should have kept them all. I could have changed them when I got bored…lol. Talk about being indecisive. :)

  9. Erin – the room is coming together so beautifully! I love your furniture and fabric choices. Just one suggestion – you mentioned that the formal dining room will be used for adults and perhaps client dinners for your husband – I’m not sure a bench would be the best idea for adults – if the person sitting in the middle has to use the powder room, it might be awkward!! I think it will look beautiful – I’m just considering the practical side of it.

  10. Hi Erin! First of all, I want to tell you how much I LOVE the table and chairs you ordered from Restoration Hardware! I love the smooth aged wood look, and I adore the chairs! You could even get the matching armchairs for the ends of the table and have custom chair covers made for them. But that would involve picking out another fabric! (haha!) The chairs are going to look so good with the chair cushions!

    Your light fixtures are simple but ELEGANT – and the ‘squareness’ of them is perfect with your built-ins and windows. I love the black frames on the lights!

    Your new rug really lightens up your whole dining room and makes it look so happy! You always make such wise choices! You are a brilliant decorator! I love it all!


  11. I like the white and gray fabric, but I have a sample of it and it’s not very thick. Also, I wonder how well the white background will hold up against stains. Have you considered using an outdoor fabric for the bench? Sunbrella makes some nice options.

  12. Erin, I love the symmetry and the balanced feel of your dining room, it is calming. The built-ins are to die for. On the question of formal dining room being a wasted space: I used to think like you originally, but came to realize it is a wonderful bonus. Dining rooms is where we share a special meal with special people– I am all for that. I actually just wrote a post about that today on my blog.

    I have no doubt your family will share a lot of great meals together/with friends/co-workers in your dining room (home-made or not).

  13. Mila – I love that! A special meal with special people. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m even more excited to use the space now. :)

    Anonymous – thank you for all of the fun fabric options! Love them all!

    Jane – when can you come over for dinner? :)

  14. Hi Erin!

    I just ordered the same chairs from RH. I was wondering if you bought the cushions for them from RH as well? I am a little confused with the size of the cushion since it is smaller than the seat? Any info would be really helpful! Thank you so much!


    1. Hi Joy! Yes! I ordered the seat cushions from RH too. Whatever size they sell with the chair works perfectly. :) xo

  15. Hi Erin,
    Is the tall cabinet in the dining room a built in? I’m looking for a built in look cabinet for our living room in the craftsman style, but haven’t found anything yet. Any ideas?

    1. Yes! It’s a built-in. Have you looked at Restoration Hardware? Their furniture is a bit pricey, but they have beautiful cabinets that look like built-ins. xo

  16. Where did you buy your Baseboards? Are they Mdf? They look like they curve into the wall at top, does that help with dust? I’ve been looking for some that are totally flat but that don’t have a flat Ridge on the top. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Victoria! My carpenter built and installed our baseboards when he did the rest of the molding in our house. The don’t curve into the wall.. they have a ridge. :) xo

  17. Can you please tell me what color are the RH table and the RH chairs you purchased? I’m looking at these chairs and another table from RH and/or Potterybarn and trying to figure out colors. Thanks for your constant inspiration, fun stories, and beautiful designs.

  18. Hi Erin,
    Could you tell me what length the table is in these photos?
    We are thinking of getting the 72″ farmhouse table but we can’t find anywhere to see it in person or any photos. Also, we’re not sure if it will be too chunky in the shorter version.
    Many thanks

  19. Hi Erin – Did you get the salvaged natural or the salvaged grey table from RH? Does it get dirty or stain easily? We have a messy child…

    1. Hi Stacy! I got the Salvaged Natural! I love the table, but I wouldn’t get it for an every day table because it’s rough wood and hard to wipe off. It’s perfect for the way we use it in the formal dining room.. just for special occasions. We haven’t had any issues with stains, but we’re pretty careful with it! I’m sure my kids could do some damage if we were using it every day. I hope that helps! xo

  20. Hi Erin,

    I love this dining room light fixture, but I am having trouble finding it on the Art Craft website. Do you know how I could order one?
    Beautiful home!

    Erin Miller

    1. Hi Erin! I don’t! So sorry I’m not more help! I’m hoping to have dining room sources filled in my blog header at some point and I’ll link to similar lights if I can’t find those! xo

  21. Love your color scheme. We recently purchased a new Home and we have chosen Seattle, elf, and wavelength as our colors based on your pictures. I noticed you have listed several whites that you are using for your cabinets moldings and ceilings, which are extra white pro industrial Sherwin Williams, Arothane by Sherwin Williams and Highly Reflective White, Which of these three do you recommend as you’re number one choice? We would be using this color on our kitchen cabinets as well. We welcome your feedback thank you so much

    1. Hi Becky! Thank you! Do you have my actual paint printable? The white I shared on the printable is the best/most correct white! Congrats on your new home. So exciting! :) xo

      1. Hi Erin, looks like your printable indicates Extra White Pro Industrial SW7006 semigloss. Thank you for sharing your talents

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