2.28.2012

Evolution of Our Dining Room Style

Today is the second monthly Room Evolutions party over at Evolution of Style.
Have you found that your style has changed over the years?  Since I am starting fresh with the dining room in our newest home, I thought it would be fun to look back on our various dining rooms.

Our first house was tiny, so cute and our first foray into the world of home improvement.  We bought it two weeks before our wedding (almost 15 years ago!)  Every square inch of that house was covered in 45 year old pasted wallpaper that we stripped from horsehair plaster walls (a DIY job not for the faint of heart!)  The teeny dining room was our very first room that we renovated top to bottom; it boasted this beautiful corner built in, original to the house, that I kept my china in.  I loved the details in that sweet little house!

Our second house was brand spankin' new and we were brand new parents.  Mark & I both felt like it was time to invest in "grown up" furniture and "real" window treatments.  We again went with red on the walls of our dining room - such a huge trend 10 years ago!  It's a color that is said to whet the appetite, and definitely was a lively background for many fun dinner parties!  It took us 7 coats of primer and paint to get the color right in this room (and I still think it's a great, deep red - Roseate by Ben Moore).

Our third house came with a pretty green color on the walls and custom window treatments the previous owners left us that Mark liked, so I tried, I really tried, to love it and work with it even though it didn't feel like me.
{My mom, brother, me and my little Native Americans and Pilgrims one Thanksgiving.}


Over time Mark and I both started to feel like our decor did not represent us or our casual lifestyle very well anymore.  We didn't want to have rooms that we only used a couple times a year.  I tried to make the room feel less traditional by changing the wall color and curtains,  finally settling (after a couple failed colors) on metallic paint.  I know, I am completely insane with all the re-painting I have done over the years - you too???
Metallic paint does not photograph well but it's really pretty in real life.  With this color I discovered that a neutral backdrop allows you to play with pops of color.  Setting my table was so fun for different holidays and season because I wasn't married to any major color scheme in this room.
The metallic paint is actually very subtle in person, like in this picture above.  The picture below is taken with a flash; the color was not blinding in person!  This paint was really fun to try.

And finally, the current house.....don't be alarmed - it's a complete work in progress, a blank slate.  The traditional furniture was sold (tomorrow I'll share why I have seller's remorse about that one) and our "real" window treatments all stayed with the last house.  I am playing around with neutrals in this house.  Instead of traditional we're going for comfortable and casual but still pulled together (remember this post about defining our style via Darlene at Fieldstone Hill?)

On one hand it is a little overwhelming to start over, but on the other, so freeing.  At 40, I no longer equate being a grown up to owning formal furniture and investing in expensive window treatments.  While I truly appreciate beautiful fabric and the craftsmanship of custom drapes, guess what?  They don't make the quality of our life any better than the unlined white cotton Ikea panels that come 2 for $20.  And those unlined white cotton panels don't tether me to a color scheme I'm going to tire of in 5 years.

I love, love, love that the neutral backdrop of this house gives me the flexibility to change up the feel of a space with pillows and accessories!!  While I truly adored nesting in my other houses and experimenting with so many different colors and styles over the years, I also feel a newfound freedom in this house.  I am not worried about putting craftsman-style board and batten in my colonial-style house, or banging holes in the walls, or whether my dark-stained stairs are appropriate.

And YES, our dining room is extraordinarily vanilla right now and I need to pull it all together, but the possibilities are endless!

Maybe I need to put this on my dining room plate wall???

How about you - has your style changed over time?

Thanks for following along on my adventures of playing house.  I love sharing the evolution of this house into a home with you!

Hop on over to Evolution of Style and check out other room transformations, or link up your own!

19 comments:

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

It is fun to see how our style has changed over the years. I enjoyed all of your different styles. Hugs, Marty

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

i have changed so much, too! we closed on our first house 2 days after returning from our honeymoon! that was almost 9 years ago... i stripped tons of wallpaper in that house, and painted the dining room a golden yellow with red burgundy trim, i had reddish velvet with gold curtains.... oh yeah baby. the only thing that has stayed the same is our dining table. i still had rustic elements, just used them differently! its so fun to look back and to see how you "become" who you are as a designer.

Ange said...

It's so fun to look back and see what we have done and what we do now. Thanks for sharing! I should dig up some of my pics and post but instead I"m going to be painting the family room!

Ange said...

PS: I have that same dining table and chairs, last year I painted the chairs and table legs white. I'm thinking of selling mine. I want to hear about your sellers remorse.

Dana Frieling@ Make Them Wonder said...

Pretty sure I suffer from the same painting addiction. I'm liking your 'vanilla' dining room. Positive it'll turn out fabulous!

Noelle said...

Love seeing your style evolve over the years! I realize too at 44 that I am not the same person design wise or anywise for that matter! I'm liking clean simple, clutter free spaces that make me feel calm!!!! I like your vanilla dining room too, a nice clean, airy, blank slate.....take your time and dwell in the possibility!!

pam {simple details} said...

Too funny, Lisa, I was right there with you painting my heart out to be on trend with every one of those! Including my now white dining room! Can't wait to see your new style!

Lisa - A Room with A View said...

It is amazing to look back and see the "growth" or evolution. It is a sign of the times. I love that your room is a blank slate. I am in the process of doing metallic stenciling on dark walls. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer L. Griffin said...

I love this post, Lisa! Sometimes I just want to cringe when I look back at what I thought was so beautiful at the time. So glad that I have the freedom to not be locked in to one look or style, my taste changes often!

Karen of Little Red House Designs said...

OH how I remember those red walls in the dinning room... we had them too! I love your thoughts on owning grown up furniture. I remember thinking we had really made it when we started buying furniture that did not require assembly or come in a box. These days I don't like the commitment tied to 'expensive' furniture.

laxsupermom said...

It's fun to see how your style has changed throughout the years and all the houses. I've evolved some, too, but didn't used to take pics of my home before blogging. I'll have to see if I can find some pics like you have of the family where it was a wide enough shot to see the actual rooms. Thanks for sharing.

Nantucket Daffodil said...

So you have been redesigning/decorating for years now! I am more impressed than I already was. You have such style!

Anonymous said...

I can vouch for those metallic walls looking great in real life. Thank you for taking a trip down memory lane....loved it!
ntb

Aubrey {All Things Bright and Beautiful} said...

Oh my gosh, YES!!! I was just sitting here through your whole post just nodding my head in agreement...I love that to be "put together" doesn't have to mean formal anymore...especially doesn't have to mean dark! I am quite partial to the newest dining room, it will be so much fun to accessorize (c:

Jessica Bruno said...

Oh yes, I to painted our dining room a blaring red 10 years ago...only 4 coats though :) You basically summed up how I think now also, being 40 and what constitutes being a grown up :) I think I will always think of myself as a kid! ha. My style has changed over the years from a traditional/no clue kind of style to rustic/primative to now, a cottage and chic farmhouse feel with a little coastal if that makes any sense! I guess I am now a light and airy kind of girl :) !! Great post !

Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes said...

Girl, what is it about you lately? I am just loving reading your posts. They're like picking up a good book. I love this evolution of your many dining rooms.

I know you mentioned "vanilla" for your latest dining room, but seriously, when I glanced upon the picture, I was like. . . "Ahhhh"-- don't you think it's soo soothing? In love with the color scheme and all those windows. Sigh.

Andrea said...

How boring would we all be if our styles never evolved. I love that you are comfortable with your changing style and willing to try new things. This room has great light and tons of potential. I can't wait to see what you put together.

Suzy www.savedbysuzy.blogspot.com said...

What a great post Lisa! So many of the things you've said resonate with me too. I think I've come to realize that it doesn't need to be expensive and fancy to be beautiful. Things with meaning and that reflect are lifestyle are SO much better to me now.

Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing Lisa! I had to laugh, because I too, went through a "red phase", and I'm also nodding my head in agreement about being 40 and wanting to live casually, not formally. We're just not formal people! :-) I love the blank slate you're starting with, and I am already imagining the possibilities! Looking forward to seeing it all come together.

Thanks for linking up!!