Shifting Perspectives | My Dining Room

This past autumn was a time of huge interior household shifts. My brother had just passed away and I was needing some serious change. Additionally, my son Charlie, who moves about our house in a wheel chair or a walker, needed more space to circumnavigate the house. I also have some larger goals for the house as they relate to my Radical Homemaking goals. I wrote about it in late October HERE.

Here's an excerpt from that October post:
I'm a form and function kind of girl. I don't care for wasted space or money and in my estimation, a home is a living entity in service of the humans that reside there. Through my Radical Homemaking journey, I've been challenged to look at my home in a new way. If it is truly a unit of production and creation, rather than one of consumption and waste, then where are the empty, unused spaces? Where is waste happening? 

At long last, the house has settled into it's new configuration. I have worked really hard to make each space work for my family and serve our individual needs. The following is a list of what has occurred in my household since September:

- remodeled our hall bathroom for wheelchair access

- retooled our laundry space to make room for the bath remodel

- built a chicken coop and invited chickens to live with us

- moved my sons into the guest room

- moved my studio into my sons' old room

- moved my living room into my dining room

- moved my dining room into my living room

- turned my old art studio into a studio apartment for a co-housing situation and invited a wonderful young couple, whom we dearly love, to come live with us. They moved in this month.

This week, I thought I'd share with you our new, re-imagined communal spaces. Today, let's start with the dining room, which used to be our living room. You can see before photos HERE. I didn't purchase anything new, I simply re-arranged the existing furniture and art to make new spaces.

My goal for the dining room was to create space around the table for Charlie's wheelchair. I also wanted this to be a center of my home, a place where homework, and piano practice and reading can happen. I cleared the built-in hutch of decorative clutter and made it the home base for all of our children's books. The black sideboard was emptied of dishes and instead, I've filled it with all of our games, puzzles and children's art supplies. Everything is on hand for family interaction.

Since I always get questions about where I got stuff, here is my source list.


Dining set:  came with the house and then I painted the chairs

Rug: Free from a neighbor

Map: Ebay

Black sideboard: family hand-me-down

Channel back chair:  Bough at Again & Again and then reupholstered

Art: by Leo Posilico - family hand-me-down

Curtains and pillows: Etsy

Piano - gift from a friend who was moving

Big turquoise lamp - purchased from a neighbor

Wall color: Symphony Blue by Benjamin Moore

Turquoise side chairs: Antiques Moderne - a Christmas gift from my husband and brother

Missing Friends

Today, I'm missing friends from home. I'm in the final stretch here at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and my energies are now shifting towards packing up my little family and preparing for our departure. But when I let my mind move towards Dallas, I mostly think of good friends whom I have dearly missed. Perhaps a little dinner gathering is in order - just a way to reconnect and hug on my dearly missed loved ones.


Dreamy Tablescapes

Are you hosting Thanksgiving at home this year?
Or are you traveling to visit friends and family?

These photos are meant to inspire.
But if after scanning your favorite blogs and posts
you're feeling a bit envious (as I sometimes do),
you might benefit from reading THIS little article
by Hilary Walker at Our Style Stories.
It's a great way to refocus that energy on gratitude,
which after all, is the reason for the season.


White Dining Tables

I love the look of a white table. I've made good use of the little country style Ikea table in my kitchen, but lately I've been enjoying the more modern Parson and Tulip style tables. I especially love the table pictured directly below. I took this photo while covering a home tour for last summer. It is still one of my all-time favorite tables. I found some good look-a-likes below at Furniture Choice - a UK furniture company. Maybe someday I'll have a gleaming white table like this, but I think I should hold off until my sons stop marking their territory with crayons.



Stockholm White High Gloss Dinning Table via Furniture Choice

Or if a rectangular Parson's table isn't your thing, what about ovals?



Monaco White High Gloss Oval Table - via Furniture Choice

Here are a couple of shots of my little white kitchen table from Ikea (Liatorp). 
This all-purpose workhorse has served me well.

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You could win a beautiful bathroom faucet from MOEN.
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Win this faucet fixture!

DIY: My Dining Set Makeover on Houzz

I'm so excited to share my latest article for
Its a DIY story about my dining room chair makeover!

From the article:
When my husband and I bought our Dallas ranch house, we also became the owners of a dining set the previous owners had left behind. It wasn't our style, but it was sturdy and comfortable, and as my dad says, "Love the one you're with." After living with the hand-me-down dining set for three years, I was ready for a budget-friendly upgrade. Here's how I took my dining chairs from blah to bold one weekend.

Tools and materials needed:
  • Staple gun
  • 3/8-inch staples
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Spray can of B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer (I used two cans for four chairs)
  • Spray paint in your chosen color. (I used two cans of glossy Apple Red from Rust-Oleum to refinish four chairs)
  • Spray can of polyurethane clear gloss topcoat
Seat cushion materials:
  • Box of tea to stain upholstery fabric (I used 10 bags of Earl Grey)
  • about 1/2 yard fabric of your choice per cushion, depending on seat size
  • Plastic bucket, sink or soaking tub

Again, from the article:
I love the look of script, so I chose this typographic fabric from Ikea. I covered five cushions using less than 3 yards of fabric. The fabric was too white for my dining room, so I altered the color with a simple tea stain.


Ta da! I love the bright red chairs against our dark dining rooms walls. All in all, the job was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I can't believe I waited so long to paint and reupholster them. If you've got some old chairs that need a lift, don't wait!  Find a bright color you love and go to town!

Click HERE to read the full article 
and get all the details about my dining chair upgrade!

Red Dining Chairs

Remember last spring when I posted THIS?   It must have made an impression because last weekend I painting my dining chairs apple red. But I didn't stop there - I also reupholstered them! I'll be posting a DIY article about the process on, but until then, here's a little eye candy and a sneak peek of my finished product!

I'll post the full article from later, but until then
here's a little peek at my handiwork...

My Living Room is Finished!

I painted my living room blue last weekend and the results are in!  I snapped photos yesterday morning while fixing oatmeal for my 5-year-old and intermittently picking up a crying 2-year-old. So while they're not top notch photos, you'll get an idea of what I've done!  Presenting my very blue living room:

And just for fun, here's a before shot:

I painted with Benjamin Moore's Symphony Blue, which took four coats.  It was crazy but worth it.  Most of the room is comprised of furniture I already had on hand. However, there are a few new things in place.  The primary purchase was a set of red ikat curtain panels from Castle Creek Designs on Etsy.  They are beautiful and I'm in love with these curtains.  The other new piece is the red tripod table pictured above from West Elm - an early Christmas gift from my husband.  It was on sale!

Where did everything else come from?  Here's the breakdown:

Everything below came from Craigslist:
pair of yellow Midcentury chairs
pair of blue barrel back chairs
brown sofa
both sofa side tables
coffee table
circular table between blue chairs

Thrift Store
all four table lamps, each lamp was 5 dollars or less
(I spray painted two of them in turquoise)

red ikat curtains from Castle Creek Designs
grey chevron pouf by Aleta Fae - I won from a blog giveaway at Head Over Heels

Joss & Main
blue Ikat pillows on sofa
lumbar ikat pillow I won from a blog giveaway at Deliciously Organized

Pottery Barn
red paisley throw pillow and blanket
area rug

Stuff I made:

And just for fun... here are photos of our eat-in kitchen and dining room, both of which share space with our new living room... 

P.S.  All of the art in the photos below were painted by my son, Walker. 
Our dining room is like his little gallery.

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to go bold and paint my living room dark indigo blue.  I love the look of it, as does my family.  It's warm, dramatic, energizing and just plain fun.  Have a GREAT weekend!


THIS home is ridiculously beautiful.  What was this space?  A ballroom from a bygone era?  First of all, the crumbling plaster on the walls is so beautiful and the soaring architecture - astounding. But the manner in which the inhabitants have filled this cavernous space is brilliant.  I love all the intimate seating areas, dinning area, books, large scale art that sets off the space, rather than competing with it - all of it is so well done. 

Bold Blue

A little something about me that you might not know: I'm psychic.  And I know what you've been doing.  You have been hemming and hawing for far too long about what color to paint that room.  You know the room I'm talking about.  Want my advice?  Blue.  Bold beautiful blue.  Cobalt for drama.  Or peacock for playfulness. Your choice. 








Green Dining Chairs

I've got little shots of green all over my house, but I'm very tempted to go all out and surround my dining table with green green green.  I've been collecting photos for a while and thought you might enjoy seeing some of what I'm thinking.  The cool thing about this color is that it doesn't matter whether you choose a vintage or contemporary style and shape, it always looks contemporary and fresh.  What do you think?










source unknown to me


source unknown to me

And as always, keep your eyes peeled at consignment shops and thrift stores...


Formal Dining Room

For a gal who lives in a low key, boho casual home, I'm always a little surprised at my attraction to formal dining spaces.  I have a formal dining room in my home.  Its the first room you see when entering my home.  I've had great fun creating a formal dining room that multi-tasks as a music-writing-reading room as well.  Here's my dining room:

Here are some other formal dining rooms, far more inspiring than mine:

Not My Beautiful Home

Leber PR

Jonathan Adler

Skona Hem

The Nero Chronicles

Old House
How about you?  Formal or casual dining space?

Inspiration from Dallas, Texas

A rare Sunday post!  When I am searching for design inspiration, I usually look to homes in more exotic cities than Dallas to provide ideas.  So this week, I thought I'd turn my eye toward beautiful spaces right here in the Big D.  All the the rooms below are from homes featured in D Home magazine. 

My husband and I have lived in Dallas for three years.  We moved here from Seattle, Washington and as you can imagine, we had quite an adjustment period.  Whenever we travel or take time off, we leave the state to visit family in other parts of the world.  However, now that we have another baby and money is tight due to his medical expenses, we're looking for a getaway a little closer to home.

So here's my big idea: Each day this week, I'll post about unique Texas getaway spots.  We'll start in Dallas and travel south to Austin, San Antonio, west to Marfa and back to Dallas by Friday.  It looks like my family and I will be living here for a long time and I want to develop a more personal experience of the place in which I live, love and work.

Please join me this week while I scour the state for beautiful vacation locations!My goal is to discover great places within driving distance that will bring me into closer communion with my new home state.

Dinner Party

This April, I have two intimate dinner parties planned for two very different groups.  I love having people over for a meal.  First off, it forces me to clean my house.  (Tip: invite people over more often and your house will be cleaner!)  Second: I love the way the house smells when I've been cooking all day!  Third: Its always exciting bring new people together and strengthen the social bones of our community.







Pierre-Jean Verger


Living the Dream

Yesterday, I posted about my dream home and today, I thought it would be nice to post about my real home.  Dreaming has always served me well, but I'm also a "love the one you're with" kind of gal. I've spent the last few days indoors due to severe weather conditions here in Dallas and I've had some time to putter and rearrange furniture.  Last week, we introduced a piano into our home.  It was a gift from a friend.  I don't know about you, but when a new piece of furniture arrives in my home, I start re-thinking my furniture layout.  So, I've puttered, I've tinkered, I've re-shuffled the deck and I've taken some photos.  No doubt, it would be wonderful to have an apartment in Paris.  However, dreaming of Paris reminded me that I am living my dream.  Right now.  It just happens to be in a ranch house in Dallas.

Piano and Orma's Painting

Piano Corner

Wicker Bench

Like most American dining rooms, ours is a multi-functional space.  In addition to eating meals, we also use the dining room for art projects, writing, working, surfing the web, play time, playing music, listening to music and general family lounging.

Dining Room and Entry

Desk Caddy

Side Board

Side Board Detail

Here is our living room.  We have a rotating art installation over the mantle -  my three year old son is always cranking out art work and this particle board allows me to tape up the masterpiece of the moment. 

Living Room


Mantle w/ Walker's Art

...and I'm still loving the throw pillows I recently made out of napkins.

Living Room

Coffee Table Detail

And just for fun, I'm using a vintage suitcase and Samsonite as a make-shift side table for the chair in my office.  I'm always looking for a place to set a glass and this works beautifully. 

Library Chair

Suitcases and Books

...and here my snow covered front yard this morning!

You can see more of my home via Flickr.
Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to show you around my real dream home!