Home Improvement

Dining Room Update: Decorating the Walls

If you are just joining, this is part three of a series in our Dining Room Update journey!! Read Part One here and Part Two here!!

All caught up?…great!

For whatever reason…life, kids, school starting…this part of the post has taken me forever to write!! It is such an involved post with so many details that it became this overwhelming thing. Silly I know! 🙂 But my family had needs that were more important at the time.

Finally on this lazy, rainy Sunday I am so excited to find the time to share our completed dining room with you! It is filled with pieces from my family, wedding gifts that have new life, and little details that added so much character!!!

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Let’s start with the walls! Our dining room has basically two and a half-ish walls. It is an open concept dining room right as you walk in our front door. There is a load bearing column that functions as the fourth corner, but allows the space to be open and airy! Because of that you get the light from the great big window in the dining room, the front door, and the back of the house windows, too! That is one of my favorite things about this room and this house really! Light is so important!

Back to the walls! I grew up in a Southern town in Mississippi where heirlooms of fine china, silver, and crystal are still given as wedding gifts. They are a beautiful fading tradition that I still hold dear to my heart! My grandmother ate on her china every day and always used her silver for every meal. The table was always set, and meals were shared as a family! It was a part of  her everyday life as much as checking our email is to us today! With my mother, she always pulled out the nice china and silver for special occasions, but we had our daily china and our stainless flatware for meals. But with both I can still remember a container of Weiman Silver cream under her sink (and my grandmother’s, too!) with a special cloth. And I can also remember it all soaking in the sink before it was given the final polish! Haha! It has a very distinct smell. Well, lucky for you, they now have wipes. No messy rags to wash! Click here to get yours! They last forever it seems like!!

Nowadays, I only pull out the nice stuff for holidays…at least some holidays. Not even every one! And gifts like these aren’t typically given any more because they are impractical and kind of hoity-toity and pretentious! It makes me sad because these were such thoughtful…and very nice!…gifts that we were given! They have been basically boxed up since we got married. I would tell you when that was, but it has been a while…and that is all you need to know…haha! So, I wanted to come up with a way to use my beautiful pieces and see them daily in a that felt warm and inviting!

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For these walls, I knew I wanted to have a vignette showcasing some of my silver trays! I love all the details and intricacies in these trays. Some have handles, some are round, some are oblong, some have a central area for engraving! They are each beautiful in their own way! I have started seeing similar ones…silver or silver plated…in antique shops and antique malls! Or if silver isn’t your thing, create the same look with pewter! It is much more durable and you don’t have to polish it…hah! You can pick them up for nothing! Here is a link for a round silver plated tray. Click here. Here is a link for a beautiful Baroque style tray for under $100. Click here. And here is a round engraveable one like the ones I have on my wall. Click here!

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I started by finding some very “go away” plate hangers that wouldn’t take away from the trays but that could still handle the weight! I mixed and matched the look until I was happy and nailed them in! To help me hang them in a straight line, I sometimes use a laser level. They are amazing!! If you are missing this tool in your repertoire, click here!

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They looked great, and I loved how they brought your eyes up! This house has tall ceilings, and it is a good tip to work within your space. Creating height is always a good idea! Achieve that by hanging things vertically and taking them up towards the ceiling!

After these were hung, I slid our little green table into place in front of the chair rail. This is an antique store find that we came across about 14 years ago on the McKinney, Texas square. I’m not sure if the store is even still around, but we paid $40 for it and thought we had gotten away with murder. It didn’t have a back or a bottom to it, but that was nothing a little cut MDF board couldn’t fix. 🙂 We have always had a space for this darling occasional table, and I love the whimsy of the green color and chippy paint! Now, it houses some of my holiday cocktail napkins and paper entertaining pieces!

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This little table was the perfect place for my silver tea service! If you are ever looking for a silver service, be sure to look for a coffee pot, a creamer, and a sugar bowl with spoon. I found a reasonably priced one here  for under $100!

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Then I added a dainty tall lamp that would be functional but not take away from the trays or silver service and trays! Finally, I finished with two of my favorite conversation/cocktail hour mini books and a potted succulent! This first book is called Classic Cocktails and I often use this as a reference for a dinner party! Love their Moscow Mule recipe!! Click here for it! The second book is called Sips and Apps and offers such fun appetizer recipes that fit every occasion and budget. Make even one of these, and it is a showstopper at your party! Click here for this favorite! Both of these make excellent hostess gifts!

Finally, one of my favorite parts of this vignette is this little bowl that I used as a pot! It is from a Mississippi pottery company called McCarty’s Pottery. They are based out of a little town called Merigold, MS, and it is in every home there! It holds a special place if you have any Mississippi ties, but it is beautiful in its own way. The coolest part of this company is that they don’t sell online. It is simply local shops and word of mouth that has driven up the price tag of these pieces! Each piece showcases a river running through it that is meant to represent the Mississippi river. This particular piece is part of their nutmeg collection! I planted a succulent in it for a low maintenance plant that offered some living color!

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I stepped back to look at this area…loving how well it came together but also feeling like it was missing something. It felt a little too formal, and I love mixing the high and low styles together. So…I found a bread basket and voila! It topped off this area! Done!

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The wall with the big window doesn’t have much wall space to hang items, and I knew we only really wanted something resembling panels so that we didn’t cover up any light. My mother actually found these curtains for me and they are now sold out, but don’t worry! I’ve found a similar pair here.

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This last wall leads into our kitchen and is a great focal point for our plate racks. They are a pair of antique reproduction French country plate wracks with the painted chickens on them. They are such a delight in this space, and I have always wanted to display them! While they are a one of a kind piece, I found a different but equally beautiful piece that would work for a similar space. Click here for this plate rack!

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It was so fun displaying my wedding china in these plate racks! And, how pretty are these plates?! They are the Lenox Autumn pattern, and they are so special because they are the same pattern that my mother had! I love the blues and hand painted details on each piece! Click here to order yours!

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The final piece was that I needed to mirror the height of the other two walls. I decided to use a platter from my Autumn china and two smaller serving bowls to blend the china and silver look together from the other wall!

It really changed this room, and I love how the light constantly changes this space throughout the day!

Be on the lookout for the final piece of my Dining Room Update series!….the tablescape!

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