Dining ROOM? Not really…

It’s not its own room, it’s part of the living room and kitchen, nestled halfway between.

Clearly, we didn’t build this house for just us. We’ve got seating for 8+ at the table, 3 at the bar… we are ready for everybody! The left corner of the bench and the soft chair at the far end are getting all the play right now, every night, when we eat our dinner. Last year this time, I’d tell you we never sat at that table unless we had bags of fast food. We used to eat dinner out almost every night. My how times have changed. It started with my “quarantine” post transplant, and here we are again. At least we are prepared.

It’s interesting how the table ended up coming together… When we built the house, I knew I wanted to do an “eclectic” table and chair set, not matchy-matchy… that way, all our guests could choose which seat would be best for them! The table and bench quickly became an easy decision. I had seen some iteration of this farm table and bench at Pottery Barn, World Market, and Pier 1. After pricing them all, and inspecting how they were really made, I discovered none of them were solid wood. I also decided at that moment that I’d constantly be stressing every time a football or basketball game was on TV and Brandon was at the table. Those tables would SURELY DIE. So I happened upon this fella, McGinnis Millworks, on Facebook. He is based in Greensboro and does PHENOMENAL work. He made us a SOLID Pine table and bench for a FRACTION of what I would have paid at either store. I gave him a challenge with the turn buckles, but his vendor was able to produce something for us right away. I cannot tell you how thankful we are! The end chairs are from World Market, but what I like about them is that the fabric is actually removable slipcovers and they can be washed when they get dirty!!! (And I can change the color as I change my mind…) The chairs are where the stars aligned……

I need to give you a sneak peek of the island to tell this story:

Soon after moving in the house, Mama and I were shopping in Target and stumbled across this nugget:

So, I searched for MONTHS to get just the right color for the island. One of my Holly Aiken purses has this perfect shade of turquoise. It’s just the right balance of green and blue. So, I set off to all the stores (with my purse in hand) to find just the right swatch. I ended up finding a Sherwin Williams HGTV color at Lowe’s. Then I just happen up on this chair, and pull out the swatch from my purse and Y’all. IT IS THE SAME COLOR. I had resolved to myself I’d have to buy unfinished chairs for $150+ and have them custom finished for who knows what. These were $71.99 each PLUS 30% extra off online PLUS I applied for a credit card so I could get 10 more percent off. I’ll let you do the math, I’m just saying they were a good deal. They are also solid wood and super sturdy with a great finish!

So all this is aesthetics, right? What about the function, and what makes this for everybody? Well, all the things I have told you about in this house so far are not divided by any walls, it’s all one space. It’s open and accessible, no one is excluded based on where they need or want to sit. it’s easy to slide onto the bench, sit in a loose chair, or rest in one of the comfy end seats if you need a soft place to land. The chairs are also all at slightly different heights, including the 24″ bar stools on the island. The chairs can also easily be moved to accommodate someone who brings their own chair! The lighting is dimmable, and all these common area lights and media are controlled via the remote, the wall keypad, or a phone or iPad app. So everything is accessible to the seated diner without them having to get up and down. Alexa is over by the TV and you can even tell her most of the things you need, like adjusting the temperature or dimming the lights. The large window also does give us a natural opening to do an addition if we ever wanted or needed one.

My favorite thing about this part of the room, leads us to the kitchen where I will stop today’s tour. Check out this door:

My sweet friend and neighbor Mindy took this door we saved from the old house that was on the property, stripped it and refinished it to match our table. Being across the room, it’s a lovely tie-in and was a complete labor of love of which we are most thankful! Don’t look at the pantry yet! That’s for next time.