Dining Room Dreaming

If you know anything about the Cottage, it’s that we bought a fixer. The dining room was actually not bad. We basically threw our furniture in there, hung a mirror and said, “Yup, it’s fine. We have bigger fish to fry.”


So I did, until this fall. The girls were going back to school and I looked at our perfectly fine dining room and thought, “I don’t really like that chair rail.”  So I did what I do, and I Photoshopped it out. Plaster walls are no joke; this isn’t something that would be easy to undo in real life.  (And it wasn’t, when I finally did pry off that old trim and plaster and concrete came crumbling out.)


In my opinion, this was 10000% better already. And if you give a navy-loving mouse a cookie…


Ooh.. Blue is nice.  This room has been so greige for so long that this pop of color instantly added cheer! But as much as I love the idea of a dark blue dining room, these are north facing windows and it’s actually pretty dark in here.  So I decided to lighten it up and add board and batten.

And wallpaper. Because wallpaper is awesome.


At this point, I was ready to run to Lowe’s and start buying trim.


By accident, I hid the ‘paneling’ layer in Photoshop and saw what a full wall of this awesome Hygge and West paper would look like. And whoa, that was pretty. And rather expensive, at $190 per roll. I only briefly considered it.

But when I saw this Raphael Wallpaper by Sandberg, showcased here in a Los Feliz home by Taylor Jacobson, I was smitten.


(photos by Amy Bartlam)

Amy Bartlam Photography

Amy Bartlam Photography

It’s vintage-looking but also modern. And bold. Definitely bold.

And then Brittany at Addison’s Wonderland used the Raphael in her mudroom and on a living room accent wall and that was it.

Seriously, look at how pretty this is:

Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 7.51.34 AM

So I had to try it in my dining room:


Hello, Gorgeous. How is this the same room?

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Well, technically, the second room doesn’t exist. YET.

I love how the white paneling will brighten the room. Right now any light we get dies on the flat grey walls. The satin finish alone should bounce some light, which will be an improvement. I definitely need a new chandelier of sorts. The current one is too narrow for the space and doesn’t distribute light well at all.  I’m searching, but I feel like I’m going to have to see some in person to get a feel for the sizes. This one is at least 10″ too narrow for this space.

Next, I moved on to rugs. My living room has a cream rug with large dark blue quatrefoil and is across the foyer, visible, so my plan was to get something with a smaller design that almost reads as a solid.

rug1Rug 1:

I like this stripe, but it might be too busy with the living room rug:rug2Rug 2

The pink was a last minute option. I think if it has enough light blue, it could work.rug4Rug 3 – I almost like the pink rug the best… but I keep playing with colors, and honestly can’t decide yet.

What I am VERY excited about are World Market’s new forest green velvety dining chairs. I hadn’t planned on getting new chairs, but these are tempting.


Here they are without the pink rug confusing things:


What do you think?

I’ve been in a holding pattern while waiting for the Raphael paper to arrive. It was on backorder and then had to ship from Sweden. I decided to go with a professional wallpaper installer because the paper is expensive (and tricky to order) and I don’t want to get 90% done and have to order another roll because of a novice mistake. My other papering projects have been in less high-profile rooms and they are ok, but there is something comforting about letting someone else hang the fancy paper.

The good news is that it has finally arrived and my installer is making it happen this week. Which means we can then move forward with the trim. YAY! I’m ready to see this room start to take shape.

As for rugs and chandys and chairs, who nows? Photoshop is fun, but seeing it happen in real life is oh so satisfying, indeed.

Stay tuned. Thanks for reading!


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