A Fresh and More Elegant Look for the Dining Room

When I moved back to the condo, the dining room was sporting the same pale gray, Manhattan Mist to be exact, as the living room and kitchen.  Not bad, but I thought I could do better.  The white wainscoting deserved more contrast on top.  Here’s what I had to start with:

Manhattan Mist was fine but didn’t do the white wainscoting justice.

The first step was to paint an almost black like I had before I moved out two years ago.  I love the black and white, and this little dining area is the perfect place to go bold for two reasons:

  1. The half walls are small enough to not overwhelm regardless of how bold you go.
  2. Because there are only two half walls, it takes just a couple of hours from start to finish.  If I don’t like it, repainting isn’t a big deal.
Valspar Muted Ebony from Lowe’s warmed the room a ton.

And then a few months ago I posted this pic.  A white shelf with white objects was a project I sincerely meant to start…but didn’t.  I lost interest for a while, but I came back, paintbrush in hand, and did it!  Well, a version of it…

The inspiration photo. The plan was to paint all of this white and hang on the black wall.

I returned the large shelf shown above and I can’t even tell you why.  There was a reason, but it was a few months ago and, unless it’s critical, my bean doesn’t retain info that long.  I painted the two frames and a smaller shelf and nothing more.  The circle wall hanging was too big for the smaller shelf, and I kind of forgot about the cross.  I’ll find a home for it in another room. Without further ado, here is what I actually did:

The painted white shelf and frames, plus a gravy boat and a platter.

And here’s how it all came together.  I really like it.  I hung the shelf a little too high, and that bugs me, but I’m going to live with it for a while to see if I can live with it.  Extra holes in the wall bug me too.  It’s been said before, but sometimes I exhaust me!

I like the black and white. It’s easy to pull off in
a small space with enough of each color to balance.

Since I don’t have anywhere else to put my desk, I have forgone a dining table and am using the desk as such. It’s an antique library table that my Mom gave to me, and I and my sister Vicki refinished, so I hold this close to my heart. I’ll always have this desk, and I don’t mind the double-duty of desk and dining to accommodate it. The chairs were a steal from Stein Mart at $60 each, and because they’re a mix of contemporary with traditional, they bridge the gap between the shaker style desk and the traditional wainscoting.

Do you have a piece of furniture or antique that holds special meaning to you? Tell me how you’ve incorporated it into your style. Like life, it’s all about balance!