Tag Archives | Dining Room

Chair Rails Don’t Have Feelings

Dining Room // The House of Figs

Today I’m sharing some new dining room photos with you because I updated that gallery wall.  The pictures in it were pretty outdated.  Plus I had been wanting to change it for a while, the style of it just wasn’t me- I hung those items when we first moved in, just to kind of get something on the wall, using what we had from our last house.  Over time though, with learning my style a little more and experimenting and hearing this house “speak” to me I wanted a little more of a modern feeling in that room.  You can see what it looked like before here.

So its a little more colorful now, with more clean and straight lines, and anchored by that large piece that says “Life is Beautiful.”

The House Of Figs 8

We have what I feel like is a basic suburban 90s floor plan.  The entry way opens to a formal dining room and then leads into an open kitchen and living room.  There’s nothing really custom or unique about it. When we had the floors put in we had the baseboards replaced with taller and more simple ones and I love the slightly custom feeling that gives the house.  The chair rail was already there though and had been originally painted a bright glossy white while the rest of the dining room was painted a different color.

Chair Rails Don't Have Feelings// The House of Figs

Honestly though, I didn’t love that chair rail.  I love woodwork and craftsman detailing, but this chair rail feels wimpy to me and like it didn’t really deserve to stand out on its own.  Sorry ’bout ya chair rail, but I’m just speaking the truth. Painting it white would have drawn attention to the fact that it was really just a builder grade wannabe trying to be custom.  Ouch, am I being harsh?  Its okay, chair rails don’t have feelings, I promise.  So we just decided to paint it all the same color as the wall.  Paul thought I was a little crazy at first when I suggested it but I found some inspiration pictures with similar looks and he went for it.  I love the effect it created.  We still get to see  the architectural detailing, but its not this wimpy white line across the room.  Dining Room // The House of Figs

Are you thinking of  doing something a little “out there” in your house but afraid of how it might turn out or how its a little different from the norm? Just remember- chair rails don’t have feelings!  Neither do walls or windows or tables (even antique ones) or couches or photographs or books or pillows.  We are the ones with the feelings and we get to decide what happens in our homes.  Go forth, be brave, and offend all those inanimate objects.  Maybe its time to say goodbye to some of them or recover them or repaint them.  They truly won’t care, I promise, and it just might be worth the risk!!

Dining Room // The House of Figs

xoxo

Bethany

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The Seasons of Home

I’ve been a wife for 11 years now and a mother for 7.  I know that’s not a lot compared to some, but even still, I feel like we have gone through several different seasons already.  While there are still many, many, more to come, I love reflecting back and seeing how the seasons have affected my home and my attitude towards it. We have three kids and our middle one just started Kindergarten.  So all of a sudden I find myself at home with just one little guy- and he takes a long nap in the afternoon!  Quite a change from the busy summer I had with three home all day!

The first season for me as a mom was with this little guy.  He was and is so easy going.  My days were quiet and simple.  Lots of playing on the floor with cars and trains.  Lots of Lightening McQueen and swinging on the back porch.

Nursery // The House of Figs

 Not long after came our second- a girl (they were two years apart) and I was thrown into a new season.  No more quiet; it definitely felt more like chaos. The house looked slightly like a daycare during the day. Breastfeeding and potty training were my life.  Oh yeah, and I didn’t sleep much.

Santa  This is us visiting Santa at our little tiny neighborhood library where we used to live. Both kids look thrilled, don’t they? As hard as that season was though, I look back at it so fondly now.

We moved to a new city and the kids got a little bigger, and a little more independent. A different season. You might recognize this kitchen?

Kitchen // The House of Figs

 Just as were adjusting to this new phase, along came baby number three and we decided I would homeschool our oldest.  I know that sounds crazy, but at that age, the baby was pretty laid back- plus he couldn’t go anywhere! He hung out with us in our schoolroom upstairs while I did lessons with my oldest.  My daughter played or colored or sometimes watched TV.  There were lots of Chickfila and park playdates with friends, lots of trips to the gym (I needed a break somehow!) and I’m not really sure how I did it, but I remember that year fondly as well.

Schoolroom // The House of Figs The next year my oldest started public school for first grade.  There’s a lot that went into our decision to stop homeschooling and I won’t go into all of that here.  Needless to say we prayed about it a lot and felt it was the right choice.  But what I will say is once again- new season.  I now had two at home.  I decided to do preschool at home with my daughter, which felt easier since I had done a year with my son already.  I hadn’t loved being isolated upstairs in the playroom and wanted us to be in the open downstairs, so we used the dining room for our lessons this time.  I found this old piece of a hutch in Round Top and we hung it on the wall for all of our supplies.  The dining room took on an art room/homeschool room feeling and a few days a week she and I would work on letters, numbers, and do some simple crafts.

Our House Dining Room Small_5 WM

Our House Dining Room Small_2 WM

Even the boys got into it.  And we still have this room set up like this, by the way!

artroom // The House of Figs

At this point, our upstairs schoolroom turned into more of a playroom and guest room (that’s a futon). We stuck their art on the wall like wallpaper and the other half of the room is full of toy storage.

Playroom // The House of Figs

Just this morning, we dropped off our oldest two in school.  The house is a lot quieter right now.  My day today has been so similar to what it was 7 years ago with that first little boy.  We had a playdate with some friends and then we came home and played with some cars on the floor.  I thought he might be sad to not have his brother and sister around but he seemed perfectly content (excited even) to get the toys all to himself.

Toys

I’ve got some extra time to myself in the afternoons now while he naps.  There are a few projects around the house that I’m planning to get to.  The first one involves some purging- getting rid of some of the excess and maybe trying to organize some things.  I want to go into that a little more but that will have to be a whole different blog post.

For now I just wanted to leave you with this.  What season are you in and does your home reflect that? Is your home working for you?  I’ve got bookshelves in my living room full of toys and kids books.  My home is not a show room.  Its never been in a magazine.  But yet beauty is important to me.  You knew that already if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time.  I’ve tried to strike a balance between beauty and purpose here.  Keeping my family in mind means that I design with our season of life in mind.  It works for us.  Its a balance of beauty and purpose for our family.

Thanks so much for reading!

Bethany

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Contemporary & Casual, The Spring Valley House

I’ve been working on a home that I’m calling the “Spring Valley House” for a former client that recently moved to a new home.  I say new, but its actually an older home, built in the 1950s.  While the home had been remodeled in the past, it still felt pretty dark in some places and needed some remodeling to the kitchen as well as some paint updates.  Here you can see some before pictures.

    

Even with that wall of beautiful windows, the kitchen still felt dark and somewhat closed off from everything else.  To really make it light and bright, the contractors had their work cut out for them- there was a bit of wall knocking down to do and then everything went white.  We decided on Benjamin Moore’s Abalone at 50% for the walls everywhere else. Below is the kitchen and breakfast room plan we came up with.

Kitchen and Breakfast Moodboard- The House of Figs

Here’s the moodboard for the rest of the living area- the dining room, entryway, etc.  They love blue and we added in some coral, grays, lots of white also, and a little black for contrast.  Contemporary & Casual The House of Figs

I went last week for the first part of the install and while they didn’t have all their furniture and the electrician hadn’t been by to install all the light fixtures yet, things are definitely coming along!  The kitchen looks beautiful with its new marble countertops and I can’t wait to finish everything up and get Paul in there to take some real photos.  For now, these “after” iPhone shots will have to do.

 My absolute favorite part of this house?  This little vestibule entryway covered in this beautiful wallpaper from Hygge and West.  The contractors were installing it when I arrived and they did an amazing job- see how it even covers the lightswitch plate?  Just stunning!  I’m not finished styling this area and in fact we ended up switching this print for a mirror to really reflect the light and that beautiful pattern, but I just wanted to share how its coming along.Foyer // The House of Figs

Living Room Progress // The House of Figs  Contemporary & Casual // The House of Figs  Contemporary & Casual // The House of Figs

I’ll keep you updated on the Spring Valley house because of course I can’t wait to show you this kitchen in all its new white and bright-ness!

I’m slowing down the blogging a bit right now as I prepare for the switch behind the scenes to my “new and improved” site. Thanks for your patience and for your continued support!!  <3  I’m hoping to make the switch in August and will keep all of you updated.  The web address will stay the same and if you’re already subscribing via email you will continue to receive email updates with hopefully no interruptions.  If you are not subscribing and would like to- you can do that in the sidebar to the right of this post by clicking the “follow” button.  Thanks so much for reading!

Bethany

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The Montgomery House Kitchen & Dining Room

Are you tired of seeing and hearing about this house yet?  I hope not because I seriously have saved the best for last. 😉  Today I’m sharing the Montgomery House kitchen and dining room.  Both are open to the living room (which I’ll be sharing with you next week).

The Montgomery House - Dining Room Small_0 WM

Because the kitchen is a big eat in kitchen, the clients chose a smaller dining room right off the kitchen.  They didn’t want the feeling of a “formal” dining room, but just more of a casual place that is right there in the heart of the home.

The Montgomery House - Dining Room Small_2 WM

One of the coolest pieces in this room (and also very hard to photograph-ha!) can be seen above- its this giant antique mirror that’s leaning against the wall.  My clients bought it at an auction a while ago and were looking for the perfect place for it.  Its so unique and brings in so much charm, character, and light!

The Montgomery House - Dining Room Small_4 WM The Montgomery House - Dining Room Small_3 WM

The Montgomery House - Dining Room Small_1 WM

Right off the dining room is the kitchen, one of my favorite rooms in the house (do I say that about almost every room??).

The Montgomery House - Kitchen Small_0 WM

We went back and forth over granite vs. marble for the countertops for a long time.  My clients and I both love the look of marble but after they researched the upkeep and also the price, they weren’t so sure.  We stood in the countertop store staring at different slabs of stone, looking at every vein and color for a long time.  Finally we settled on this lovely grayish granite.  It has some brown, some gold, even a little blue in it.  It occurred to me as we were looking, that we would never again be looking at those slabs of granite vertically like that.  When you walk into your kitchen you don’t see a wall of granite the way you do in the store or quarry or wherever you go to pick your slab.  What you notice more are your cabinets, the overall colors, and (my favorite) the lighting! So we decided together it was better to put their investment into those types of things rather than the marble.  Though I’m not against marble!  In fact I’m working on an install this week with some clients that have chosen some beautiful marble countertops.  I’m just saying its just not for everyone.  Here’s a really great article for when you’re considering marble countertops:

http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2013/04/living-with-marble-countertops-a-cautionary-tale/

Okay, on to more pictures of this kitchen!

The Montgomery House - Kitchen Small_1 WM The Montgomery House - Kitchen Small_2 WM

The view below is from when you’re standing in the dining room.  You can see into the foyer and also catch a glimpse of the butler’s pantry.  Its really not a huge house!  The floorplan just makes great use of space.

The Montgomery House - Kitchen Small_3 WM

While we did go with white cabinets and a white backsplash as well as light countertops, the husband had concerns that the kitchen would feel too light and washed out.  Our solution to that was using a gray grout in the backsplash and also a darker gray on the island.  Those choices along with the floor really warms everything up.  Another thing we went back and forth about for a little while was how big to go on the lighting.  In my opinion, bigger is always better when choosing a light fixture.  You can never go wrong having a HUGE light fixture.  It will never be TOO big.  Please, someone try to find me a picture of a light fixture that is too big for a table or a space.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that I thought was too big.  The pendants I chose are the Eldridge pendants from Ballard Designs.  They come in small, medium, and large.  I knew the medium would just get swallowed up by this huge island and it had to be the large.  I’m no artist, but Paul is, so one night I asked him to do some drawings.  Sometimes we just need to visualize things to see the balance.

Kitchen Island

He drew a couple of different pendants of different shapes and sizes so you can see the erase marks, but this is the one we landed on.  I snapped a pic of it with my phone and texted it to my clients.  We were all in love and knew these were the ones.

The Montgomery House - Kitchen Small_4 WM

Last glimpse, looking in from the mudroom.  This one gives you a peek into the living room as well!

 I’m still working to get my new blog up and running and when I do each picture will have its own Pin It button, but until then, if you see anything you like here, there’s a button down below where you can pin any of these pictures on Pinterest!  Thanks so much for reading. I’ll be back next week with the living room!!

<3

Bethany

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My Dining Room {Before & After}

Today I’m sharing more of my home with you! Here’s the dining room before we moved in. I know some people like this.  But if you’ve been here long, you’ll know this is not really my style.  And honestly, it makes the dining room look tiny.  We weren’t sure our over seven foot long farmhouse table was going to fit in here.

BeforeBelow is the room just after we closed on the house.  Just getting all the stuff out of there makes it look a lot bigger.  Before we even moved in we painted everything and had all the downstairs floors ripped out.  I know some people worry about wood in the kitchen and entryways, but this is a fairly newer home and I guess its a risk I’m willing to take. I like a seamless look from every angle and so we had engineered flooring put in from the front door throughout the downstairs.  We did this in our last home as well and it sold very quickly.  The woman who bought it told us she was so happy we had not broken up the entryway and kitchen with tile- she had looked and looked for a home like that and couldn’t find it.

House Pics Before_38

Especially in a small home with an open floorplan, it can really break up the space and make your home look even smaller to have different flooring in the entry way and/or kitchen.  Of course if you’re renting or don’t have the budget to change your flooring right now you that’s okay- I’m all for making the most of what you have!! But if you’re making the decisions, and spending the money, don’t be afraid to choose something different than what has been done before! Or different than what you feel like “they” (whoever “they” happens to be) are telling you is right.  You get to choose!Our House Dining Room Small_6 WM

The House of Figs Dining RoomThis room really doubles as a craft and homework room for us.  My daughter does preschool in here and lots of coloring happens at this table.  The wooden centerpiece filled with crayons was found in Round Top, TX.  I totally got the idea from that brilliant and talented Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper, but you guys probably already knew that! 😉

Our House Dining Room Small_0 WM

Our House Dining Room Small_5 WMThe cabinet/shelf on the wall is also a Round Top find.  Because the room is kind of small and just fits our large table, there’s no room for a buffet or any other piece of furniture in the room.  This piece now holds a lot of our crafting and preschool supplies.  Eventually I envision it holding serving dishes and bar type items.  We do host potlucks and family Thanksgivings in here often. Its been a great multipurpose room for us!

Our House Dining Room Small_2 WM The table is from Laurie’s Home Furnishings, a great store in Tomball, TX full of beautiful antique reproductions and unique pieces. The chandelier is from Ballard Designs and the chairs are West Elm. As much as I love the chippy old shelf on the wall and the farmhouse table, I’ve got to have some clean lines and bright white modern to balance it all out.  I just love the contrast of it all.  Just in case you were wondering, you sure can mix bright white with slightly off white, chippy, creamy, antique white!

Our House Dining Room Small_3 WMI am normally a curtains girl- you’ve seen the Ikea Ritvas all over my house, but this room hasn’t had any. I’ve been looking at fabric samples, but still haven’t done it.  I guess because the room is pretty small and since its mostly for eating and art, I’m just not feeling the need.  Its also one of our darkest rooms as far as natural light.  I may leave it as is, at least until our kids are a little older.

Our House Dining Room Small_4 WM

Thank you so much for reading, hope you’re having a great week!  Click the tag below that says “My House” if you’d like to see more of my house tour. <3

Bethany

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