Situated just off of the living room, it made sense to keep the Bohemian party going in Darby's dining room. And so we did!
As a refresher, we started with a huge room, full of super cute details, but not a ton of personality or warmth. I wanted the dining room to flow well with the living room, but also be a bit more restrained in it's color palate and styling – a sort of Scandinavian/Bohemian blend.
Painting the top portion of the walls Valspar's Sensual Jade simultaneously added some dramatic oomph and instant coziness.
The other major concern were the original sconces. They weren't attached to a light switch in the room, and in fact, all operated independently from each other – the on/off option achieved only by way of a brave oven-mitted soul tightening or loosening the bulbs.
Darby had already looked into the installation of a light switch, but was informed that combining the separate wiring on all four light fixtures would be cumbersome and labor intensive – not limited to the extensive destruction of the plaster and lath walls. She opted to forgo that route and instead determined that new sconces with local on/off operation would be the next best option.
We chose the Plum and Bow Alba sconces from Urban Outfitters (sadly sold out now) because they had built in switches. Originally meant to be plugged into an outlet, Darby's electrician easily hardwired them into the wall instead and they fit the space like a dream. Seriously, I die for those sconces. They're understated with a vintage vibe that fits so well with the house; and the brushed brass with that wall color, yes, just yes.
The two prints on either side of the sconces are some of my favorite elements in the room. My friend Tiffani offered up the print on the right from her personal collection because it looked so much like the ones I'd shown in the mood board. A few weeks later, in a bit of kismet, I stumbled across the one on the left while at an estate sale. Upon further high-brow research, Wikipedia told me they were derivative of an ancient Mexican paper craft called Amate – this specific style popularized and made readily accessible in the 60s. Framed in some affordable 11x14 frames from Target they look punchy and modern.
One of the first things you see upon walking into the room is the adorable window alcove. To up the impact and also define its purpose a bit more I created a solo seating area – tucked just slightly away and privy to that tranquil early morning light, a spot for savoring the last drop of coffee and last bit of quiet before the rest of the house comes alive. I made the curtains out of a Nate Berkus upholstery weight fabric, plopped a vintage wicker Acapulco chair down, and filled the rest of the space with plants from Darby's teaming collection.
Also, I BUILT ANOTHER TABLE!
After months scouring craigslist for a light or medium toned, simple, dining room table that could easily seat 8+ and was within my price range, I gave up and decided to just build it. Ok, so I'm no carpenter, and this table is far from perfect, but I guess I'm naive and just foolish enough to tackle these tasks when I'm unable to find the right peace ready-made.
Don't worry, at some point I'll most likely devote an entire post to the foible-ridden tale of its construction.
Actually, so much of this design process revolved around hours of obsessive Craigslist searching. I'd find the perfect piece only to discover it was already sold, or it was located in a small town 4 hours away, or it was just slightly too big, too small, or most often too expensive for the space. Luck finally came through when I discovered this darling petite hutch – perfect color, perfect shape, perfect details.
Sitting atop the hutch is a cool silhouette profile of Darby and her husband done by local artist Graham Burkum (you can reach him at Awful Creative).
So that is Darby's new Grown-Up Bohemian (with a subtle Scandi bent) dining room! I'll leave you with this:
* Thank you Bethany Gilbert for the incredible AFTER photos!