Monday, August 29, 2011

Redesigning the Dining Room: An Update

Tina, at The Enchanted Home, recently featured a fun site for creating mood boards. It's called Olioboard ( and even though I usually use Picassa and Microsoft Publisher for creating boards, mosaics and collages, I thought I would give it a try. I liked it- it was really fun and easy to use. I'm not sure which program I like best- they each have their positives and negatives.
Try it out and see what you think- it's not just for designers!

Some ideas for the new music room!

I decided to use the olioboard site to give you an update on where I am with the dining to music room conversion. The last time I posted about this, I had just moved the dining furniture out and the "new" old furniture in. That's where it is still. I knew I wouldn't get much done over the summer but with fall looming, I'm feeling like I need a plan!

Next, I'll break down the mood board and I really would like to hear your feedback. 
Also, as I redesign this room, I will detail the general process.

This is a detail of the border.
The oriental rug is my jumping off point (aka the inspiration piece).
It's a 9x13 Tabriz and predominately deep red. The border has cream, black, olive, orange, a lot of purple and a beautiful blue. It's the blue that I would like to use in the room as a primary color. I have collected a lot of blue and white accessories throughout the years so pulling the blue out is a logical choice. 
The adjacent room (the foyer) is blue-gray. I like when colors flow from one room to another and my rooms are not that big, so in my case, it's essential.

Find your inspiration piece. It could be a rug, a painting, a fabric that you would like to use, ...just about anything can be used as an inspiration piece when you are starting from scratch! 

Music Room Floor Plan

I have collected pieces of furniture throughout the years that I liked and knew that I would use someday. Some of it needs to be refinished.... so, the next step for me was to figure out what furniture I would be using and how it would be arranged. The pieces in the above plan that are labeled, are the pieces that I really, really wanted to use. 
The cocktail table is large but here's my rational for using it: 
1.) it's a Russell Wright table that goes with the Russell Wright buffet and mirror- I like that the wood tones are the same, I think it connects the two areas.  
2.) We like to play board games -we need a table that is large enough to function for that purpose and
3.) I no longer have a "dining room" and when we entertain (about 25-30 people for every birthday and holiday) I can see the kiddies sitting around this table- Japanese style! It will work and I like it. 

Here's a side note- if you like the way something looks or the way a room feels- throw out the design rules!
 I mean seriously, it's your home, right?

Now on to the furniture! 
Wisteria sells a caned chair very similar to the one that I have. Black painted finish, cream upholstery- I like it. My rug is busy and I'm not big on mixing a lot of colorful patterns. 
Here's my chair:

This will be the "before" pic.
I've never reupholstered anything so this will be a first!
Also, I like change. By keeping the upholstery neutral I'm free to change the look of the room by switching out pillows, throws and accessories.

With that said- have you seen this couch?

This is the inspiration for the settee (see the pic below). You will have to use your imagination a whole lot but this is how I want to upholster the settee cushion.

Another re-upholstery job and I'll add bolster cushions
along the back in order to carry the color up the back a bit.

...and the zebra print pillow- gotta have it!

The Russell Wright buffet will serve as a much needed storage piece and also a hub for the phone and a few desk accessories. 

I think I will use this chair. It's light and can be easily pulled up to the table. I'll be looking for a fun fabric to use as a cushion or pillow- I may even paint it. What do you think?

As far as wall color- I need to repaint. I like the blue/cream combo that I have but I'm considering a brighter white for the wainscot -just to freshen the room up a bit.

Any other ideas?


  1. What a fabulous post, walking us through the whole process! I am going to have to try it as I want to redecorate my den.

  2. love your ideas- so much to learn from them!
    Come follow my blog sweetie :)

  3. I'm especially excited to see the settee transformation. I would never be able to visualize that. Can't wait!

  4. great ideas i love your moodboard & choice of furniture

  5. Ooh, this sounds fabulous! I can't wait to see how it turns out. Isn't olioboard the easy to use?

  6. I enjoyed following your thought process as you work towards your music room. I love your caned chair and zebra print pillow and of course I can't wait to see how the settee transforms.

    I'm slowly starting to come around to the idea of making better use out of infrequently used rooms. My husband wants to change our dining room into a computer work station/office. I'm curious where your guests sit when you entertain, because that's something that stops me from getting rid of the dining room. About 6 times a year we really need that seating area, and our kitchen is too small for a large group.

  7. In response to Yvonne's question I emailed her the following response. I'm copying it here in case anyone else was wondering the same thing.

    Thanks for stopping by Yvonne. We have six so we have a large table for everyday right off from our kitchen. That table can be extended and I've actually had fourteen around it. Without that I could not have ditched the dining room.
    I tried setting up the dining room as a study/computer room but our dining room is essentially part of the foyer and I hated the clutter that became visible from the formal entry area. Do you have a pic of your dining room on your blog? If you do, I'll check it out to see if I can come up with any ideas.

  8. I really like the caned chair and the settee. The mix of furniture in the room is perfect and I love your idea for the upholstery of the settee. It gives it that little somethin' somethin'!

  9. I like your rug that you're using as your jumping off point. How will you decide upon a new paint color? I always get overwhelmed with choosing paint. I like how you broke this down for us as well, and looking forward to seeing your progress updates and photos. I also really like that you keep things fairly neutral and kick it up with some fun pillows. Oh and I love your buffet!