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!