Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Our Dining Room

If you had told me a couple of years ago that I would one day decorate my house with bright green and orange I might have kicked you in the shins. I'm the girl who used to live in a placid river of beige and white, after all.

{Moment of Personal Reflection: My pendulum tends to rocket wildly from one extreme to the other. What does this mean?}

Now that I think about it, I've sort of come back to my roots, since my "colors" when we first got married were lime green, bright yellow, and royal blue. (And by "colors", I mean the colors of towels we registered for at Target and Kohls.)

This time around, it started with the orange chair, then the tapestry curtains, and before I knew what had happened, we were channeling Carmen Miranda.


 With an open floor plan, our dining room followed suit.

It's fun thinking about the evolution of this house. I planned and stewed for months and in the end, almost nothing has ended up the way I imagined. What I thought would go here with there instead. This house has a vibe that captured me, not the other way around.

I dig it.


Our "dining room" is actually either extremely small and lacking walls or an eat-in kitchen. I'm not sure which. But the space is tiny and we needed to find a table that would fit since our old table was too wide. I scoured innumerable shops and flea markets for a long/narrow farm table. I tried to tell Cory he could *probably* make us one. I broke down and dialed up my old lover, Pottery Barn.

In the end, we found her on Craigslist. She was listed as a set with 6 pressed-back chairs, but I negotiated way down for just the table, wowing Cory with my gutsiness and scoring us a beautiful table in the exact dimensions we needed for $200.


The chairs have been with us forever, with the strutty addition of the aqua one, scored at a sale for $7 this summer. (The old girls are crying out for a seat re-cover. Can you hear them??)

So. The curtains.

You can't possibly imagine the angst I endured over curtaining our lower level. (In fact, you probably can imagine since I whined and wailed about it out loud for a good three months.)

Through some flukey math/logic, the builder installed windows much larger than what the plans called for.

Score!

Except standard 84" curtains would be too short. And we had 4 windows that needed to be outfitted. And I had already played my wild card with the tapestries.

The dining area needed something that would work with the tapestries and not break the teeny, tiny budget. They also needed to be wider than normal, since the window is actually two windows side-by-side, or roughly the width of a garage door.

Driving up to Allegan in August I told my sister-in-law, "My dream find would be curtains in some shade of green or aqua. Haha." That was never going to happen.

Only it did. Roundabout.

Two stops in I spied a bolt of greenish/aqua striped twill. 18 yards. $50. SOLD!

I punched them up by sewing my prized $0.10 garage sale fabric to the top.





I've been pinning plate walls since I was a wee baby pinner.

Wall space is rare around these parts, but this nook was the perfect place to go for it. Swoony!



I love these lights so much I want to lick them.

$35 bucks a pop from Allegan. Don't hate.

And he said he had 15 more and I ONLY BOUGHT TWO.

Go ahead. Hate. 

This shot goes out to Robert, who used to dream about coming over on his 18th birthday to drink out of this cup. Via his last letter: "I never even got to drink out of that cup lol"

:)

So this is home. It continues to surprise me in the weirdest, wildest ways. I can't promise that we'll live under the Big Top forever - there may be a day when I need to enforce a little serenity. But for now, it fits the budget and it keeps me smiling.

We're kept close in this little space and we couldn't be happier.

For anyone feeling the itch to downsize? Do it. And while you're at it, paint something green or orange. It seems to be a fitting combination.


88 comments:

  1. Oh be still my heart.
    I am coming to visit.
    Right this instant.
    My favorite thing is the chairs : )

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  2. Actually, I probably should have used the word, "cool" instead of "neat."

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  3. I don't know what made me laugh harder....
    pottery barn being your former lover or your desire to lick those lights.

    girl. you are F to the U to the N to the N to the Y ...hilarious.

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  4. I want to smooch that plate wall.

    Allegan. Swoon!

    Robert not drinking from no.18 makes me teary. Do you know Si and I pray for him everyday? We do.

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    Replies
    1. Now you're making ME teary.. Thanks so much for this. xo

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  5. Love it I say as I sit in my bright orange kitchen with a gold and avacado vintage sofa. I dig it.

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  6. I LOVE your plate wall - and how great does it look with those curtains! I still live in the white and gray with a tiny pop of yellow world but oh how fun to visit yours :)

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  7. LOVE IT!!!! Really, really, truly, madly, deeply LOVE IT!!! YES, IM SHOUTING!! Can I come visit if I promise to bring some of those Killer Brownies from Dorothy Lane Market?!?! Pleeeease???

    XOXO,
    Angie Pants

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    Replies
    1. Can you imagine...between the Killer Brownies and the peanut butter sheet cake we won't be able to move!! I'm kind of okay with that... This has to happen.

      XOXO,
      Angie Pants

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  8. Your comment about Robert just broke my heart....

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    1. Oh, don't worry. I'm giving him that cup when he gets out. :) In the meantime, pray for him! He's a total riot. Wish you could all meet him! Maybe he'll guest post one day. Haha.

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  9. Gahhhh...I lurve your house. A lot. That wall of plates - Can I copy? Pretty please with salsa on top?

    ~FringeGirl

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  10. Your house is beautiful! And it makes me smile too! Such a work in progress... turning a house into a home.

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  11. love it all, especially the silverware on the table. genius. and I'm a Michigander and not an antique-r at all, but you've inspired me to plan a trip to Allegan.

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  12. You are completely distracting me from writing finals with a post so early. However, I'm totally in love. It's come along so beautifully. And I'm in with many of the comments... want to all out smooch that plate wall. Genius. Come rescue my home. Besides some pretty cool sheet music wall decor, I'm devoid. One day, will you come over and fix it all? I'm having a hard time waiting for next season of Allegan.

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  13. Oh you and your swoon-worthy decorating skills. I loved your farmhouse (sorry to bring that up) but I think I love this house just as much. Maybe more since it's where you're supposed to be.

    I hope Robert gets to sit in that very spot and drink from that very cup soon!

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  14. Wow. I love everything. Every.Single.Thing. I don't know how you do it but I am glad that you do and that you share it :)

    That cup. Tears.

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  15. I've never enjoyed plate walls ..til now!!

    We'll be downsizing in the spring and because you said so, will be painting in dreamsicle tones.

    Love your house!!

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  16. You had me at the first photograph of hanging plates...Can I please go thrifting with you sometime?

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  17. I love the table and the curtains and the plates. Yes, all of it.

    When we married our first home was a little two bedroom trailer on the lake with a kitchen that had green appliances and yellow flowery contact paper on the doors of the cabinets. We found a perfect round table in yellow to go with. There were splashes of orange in the curtains, too. 1980, baby.

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  18. Love the "Brady Bunch" vibe!! It is so perfect and colorful and fun! Can I ask what the square footage of your downstairs space is? I want to copy some of your ideas :)

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    Replies
    1. That is a great question. :) I'm guessing 900-ish? Total for the house is 1500.

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  19. freggin' amazing! As all your spaces are :)

    --Katie

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  20. dear nolongerfarmgirlkindaghettogirl,
    make sure the lights are off before you lick them or it might burn a wee bit.
    love,
    idigtheplatesbutyou'rekindacreepingmeoutgirl

    p.s. i am praying for roberto! {i know it's robert, but roberto sounds cool}

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  21. love, love, love. You inspire me. I can't decorate, but this makes me think that maybe I can - even in my small home. (Doesn't come much more downsized than my abode, but I'm learning to love where I am.)

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  22. What a happy, bright place to raise children!!!
    You decorated methodically and nailed it.
    Baby pinner :)
    Those column thingys will be great for stringing banners and
    birthday crepe decor.

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  23. goodness, your UNcircus-ey home had me at hello. truly, shannan, it's crazy lovely. those allegan pendants are definitely lickable. {totally logical...i get you.}
    downsizing suits you.

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  24. Love. It. Loved reading this in the midst of being on the verge of a dramatic downsize myself. As in our downsize is about half the space of yours, BUT we are excited and trusting our path is greater than square footage. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Erin

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  25. every bit and piece of it is all kinds of amazing.

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  26. i didn't think it possible to be more fond of you than i already was, but then you used the word lick and lights in the same sentence. also, you share my love of faded china. swooooooon. your space is amazing and makes me feel happy to just looking at it!

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  27. I'm ready......to downsize that is :) I'm also ready to stop in and see this house with my own two eyes!

    Speaking of Mr. 18 - lol! I love how he uses that in his correspondences - lol! ;) I'm also lovin the fact that I have the privilege of getting to know him better - thanks for sharing! lol!

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    1. LOL!!! And how about his refusal of all punctuation? As he told me, "You'll be outta breath after reading my letters lol"

      Haha. Thanks for loving him with us, Heather.

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  28. Your killin me smalls.... All of it perfection. The only thing in the whole wide world I like more than you is that white cabinet in your living room. It is pure amazingness, I dream about it:) and your Robert I pray for him every single day.

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  29. OMG that whole room is Amazing. I can't believe this is the first time I am seeing your blog. Must follow.

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  30. First of all, please YES a guest post from Robert! I will pray for him indeed. And I love your happy happy space with all the color.

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  31. ok. just stop it already with the awesomeness! :)
    robert sorta breaks my heart, but then i remember how God used his brokenness to bring him to Himself and i can't stop smiling!
    so awesome!

    and i'll admit it, i want to come over. or live there. either would work. :)

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  32. do you think heather is going to ask you to do home made lovely? i think so. i mean, i feel like she was drooling when she wrote her comment.

    anyway. i really love this. it makes me want white walls instead of gray.

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  33. umm. i just love you. and i want to come hang out in your gorgeous, white walled house.

    xo

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  34. I saw it all on PINTEREST and it made me so happy. I'll come over, sometime, ok?

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  35. Your home is amazing!! I know you didn't paint the walls because you didn't want Dad and I to steal the paint chip number again, lol. When my grandson gets out we are going to have a great big party with him at the head of the table with his cup. Do you think he would want to try your brussels spouts again???

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  36. LOVE it all!!!! we're downsizing in a big way...and love the creative chaos of color. in our new little house? that we haven't found yet? they'll be lots of color!

    <3

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  37. I love every single thing about this room. The color. The sunlight. The different flavors and textures. It looks SO warm and inviting and HOME.

    Also, the way those plates take the curve of the doorway? It's brilliance.

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  38. I LOVE it. Your house screams "Happy!!"

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  39. I love it all! The colors, they speak to me! Love the color of your kitchen island, too! remarkable.

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  40. I just adore you, your style, your home, your heart!!!! It's all so crazy and perfect!!!! Uh Robert and the cup - I teared up too!!!! My thought was he may not have gotten to drink out of that on his 18th but that cup will be waiting for him when he's ready and I'm sure God will link up 18 to something else significant - He's clever like that!!!!! I looked at those lights and said out loud "I love those lights" then I scrolled and read what you said and seriously laughed out loud!!!! You're a hoot!!!! Keep the pictures coming.....I can't get enough!!! Would love to come visit!! :)

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  41. First, I love the way your plate wall circles are mirrored in the medallions of your living room curtains. (I'm sure you planned that :) )

    Second, please don't call the cops if you come home one day and see ME licking your farmhouse retro totally-yummy light fixtures.

    Those.are.so.cool.

    ~ Dana

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  42. I love your house! Also I couldn't agree more about downsizing. Best thing ever. Small houses grow close families!

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  43. SO NICE TO SEE HOUSE PICS!!! It looks lovely girl. Uh and I am hatin' on you with those barn lights...just a little;) Who's he?? I need some. Text me!!!

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  44. In. Love. That is all. Except... are you accepting boarders? Seriously, Shanny-Wanny.... this is the bomb. I was going to "pin" for the great wire basket on your table... then the plate arrangement on the wall... and I figured... what the heck - pin it under home tours. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. What a happy space! Sally-Wally

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  45. these shots are divine with a capital D! i love every bit and i'm kind of a beige and white girl myself! i love the plates...very understated, but really pack a punch!

    you know what i love about your house? it's a new house, but it doesn't look "new"...i like old so much better and that's hard to do in a new house. love it!

    ps: turkey problems solved at my web space today ;)

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  46. Beautiful! i'm impressed as always. and that #18 cup? sigh. praying for all those 'Roberts' in our lives...

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  47. Love your dining room. So approachable and family oriented. You're right, that plate wall is swoon worthy. Great flow between your spaces as well. Love, love, love...I could go on forever. Thanks for sharing, liz

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  48. Love : ) What a happy space!

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  49. I adore adore adore this space! It's a great combination of colors/open space/randomness..just everything about it is great! Also like that drawer thing in your living room!

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  50. LOVE your use of color--so happy!
    And by the way, you make me laugh out loud. You love your pendent lights so much you could lick them?
    Priceless!! :)
    I love reading your blog.

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  51. I love your dinning room! And love that you have made a basic builder home so unique. Perfection.

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  52. Well, I just love it, that's all.

    xxoo

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  53. I love your home. It reminds me of Claudia's home. I think it's like a farmhouse/vintage look. It al works in making everything all COZY, and you know I like that word. Those pillars are interesting. They frame in the dining area. As far as I am concerned you only need one place to eat. Love it.

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  54. your home makes me smile too, as do you! :) especially after returning from a full day of packing, to come back to this. swoon... :)

    thanks for not only preaching it, but LIVING IT (that's my favoritest part)!!!!!!

    you inspire me lady! in more ways than one you inspire. thank you.

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  55. Beautiful! I love the light walls and bright colours! Your plate wall is pure awesomeness (totally a word, right?) You have settled in quite nicely where God wants you to be - I'm proud of you! And thanks for sharing the journey with us! We love tagging along and seeing where God uses ordinary (and yet so extraordinary) people for His work. I have a stash of lickable lights!! Saving them for the next house!

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  56. Could not love it more! Every single inch of it! Your curtains are pure brilliance. You have me looking at my windows with new colors in mind! (Maybe not aqua and orange...but something funky for sure!)

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  57. You are SO right! We have lived in every size home from 900 square feet to nearly 4000 square feet. Know what? The smallish houses are the BEST. They decorate nicely. They feel cozy ~ not in a sour grapes kinda cozy, but cozy in the very sense of the word. They cost less to heat, to maintain, to clean, to insure, etc..... it is pure freedom whilst still being able to paint the outside aqua if you want to.
    My next house, God willing, will be about 1000 square feet smaller. Because I lost my mind when moving here and went too big again.

    I love the way you have decorated, by the way. Gorgeous!
    ~Kate

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  58. Small + colorful = perfection, in my humble opinion. Love, love, love that plate wall! *swoon*

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  59. Your house is alllll kinds of lovely. This entire post just made me smile :) (and pin several images for inspiration too). I love, love your home! And your writing. :) When's your book coming out?

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  60. Yeah, when are we going to get an update on the book????????

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  61. this post is my first time to your blog and I LOVE IT!! we have 4 kiddos and live in s 1200sq ft home and it has been so fun! can't wait to read the rest of your blog!!

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  62. I just knew I would love it. And I do!!!

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  63. the curtains are my favorite bit to date. so cheerful and perfect.

    ps you have a plate wall + a silas. an equation for excitement if i've ever seen one. :)

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  64. That is a room full of happy! You know my favourite bit - the skinny white tallboy/cabinet with the clock above. Perfect. Bx

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  65. PS about saving that cup to give to Robert? Yes! Love that.
    PPS My brain is a little wonky spatially, but I think your home would be considered pretty spacious in the UK - average 3 bed house is about 1,200 square ft. Norms are so relative aren't they? Looks like you are making your space work brilliantly.

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  66. love, love, love your space. We have been in a tiny house since day one.I should hire you to come redecorate, I like your style ;)

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  67. I LOVE your dining room and I completely agree with downsizing! I'm so glad to be following you, love your blog:)

    Katie
    www.funhomethings.com

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  68. I love your style! It is simple, lovely, elegant, happy and colorful. You are an inspiration in so many ways to me.

    Have a lovely Thanksgiving ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

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  69. Could I be a total stalker and ask you approx. how large that basket is on your table? I'd love to find a similar one bc I love the idea of silverware and such already being on the table. Thanks!

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  70. I'M NOT A ''WHITE'' PERSON BUT I LOVE EVERYTHING YOU'VE DONE--ESPECIALLY THE ISLAND IN MY FAVE COLOR! ONLY THING I'D CHANGE--I'D REMOVE THE VALANCE OVER THOSE AWESOME D.R. DRAPES--SORRY! I LOVE YOUR CRAZY SENSE OF HUMOR & EVERYTHING YOU WRITE, HAPPY, SAD, THOUGHT PROVOKING! I LOVE YOUR GIVING, GRATEFUL, GENEROUS SPIRIT! YOUR WRITING STYLE IS BEAUTIFUL & SO INSPIRING! YOU'RE SUCH A TREASURE! GOD BLESS YOU & ALL OF YOUR GIFTS FROM GOD. LOVE & BLESSINGS, BONNIE J.

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  71. This space offers up so much inspiration! It's like eye candy. I can't stop looking at everything. Soaking it all in. Thanks for so many fabulous ideas as I charge forward on redoing my very own dining and living area combo ...

    :) Linda

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  72. I love your kitchen design! Especially the colors and the unique look of the stools that you chose. Thanks so much for sharing! Your dining area is truly spectacular! :)

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  73. Gorgeous design! So many ideas. I am renovating my house and this blog is truly inspiring!

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