new house tour | the dining room

Marian ParsonsDining Room, My House55 Comments

I still have more of the studio transformation to share, but let’s take a break from that and continue the tour of my new house.

If you missed it, here are tours of the kitchen, living room, front porch, and my work spaces.   Today, I’m going to show you the dining room.  This is how it looked when we first moved in…

It’s a bit of an oddly-shaped dining room, in that it is more square than rectangular, so it ended up being a good thing that I sold my old dining table.  It just would not have worked here.

Changing that light fixture was at the top of my dad’s to-do list!  It was nice, but way too modern for me.  I also removed the drapes.  They were high quality and clearly custom-made for the room, but they were too formal (and beige) for my deign aesthetic.

I brought the chandelier from my PA house and happened to have a ceiling medallion in my stash.  I would still like to put a linen cord cover on that chain to finish it off.

I brought the antique primitive hutch and French chairs with me, but I just found the antique round table on craigslist yesterday.  I’ve been searching for one since we moved in, but I needed something pretty specific…  round, wood, pedestal, antique, and a diameter of 50″ or less.  (And it had to pass Jeff’s POJ test.  See this post if you don’t know what that means.)

And buying this table ended up being a craigslister’s dream.  The seller delivered it over an hour to my house at no extra charge!

I liked that the base of this table was simple and pretty.  It was the planked top that won me over, though.  I’ve never seen a round table in this style with a top like that!  And it has very unique mechanisms that pull the base and top together.  It didn’t come with any leaves, but if we need to sit a large crowd, that will happen at the kitchen table.  The room will be for small, intimate dinners.


I’m not planning on painting it, but it is a bit orange, so my plan is to strip it and decide what to do then.

This room has been the dumping ground, so it’s still a bit of a mess, but getting the table is good motivation to get it cleaned up.

So, my plans for this room…

  • Paint, definitely.  I will be painting it in Pearly White, the same color as my last dining room.  Maybe it’ll change down the road, but it’s an easy change that will make it more “me”.
  • The carpet will be ripped up!  We want to replace it with maple wood floors that will match those in the kitchen.
  • I’d love to install some decorative picture-frame molding.  I think that traditional element will suit this space well.
  • And, my biggest idea for the room is to build floor to ceiling shelves on the wall where the hutch currently sits.  I would love to fill those shelves with my ironstone collection, which will make a huge statement in this small space.  I don’t know what that will mean for the blue hutch, but there are other places it might work.  Or I may scrap the shelf idea altogether.  We’ll see.

Figuring it all out is part of the fun!

new house tour | the dining room

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55 Comments on “new house tour | the dining room”

  1. What a cool table, the planked top is different! The chandelier really changed the look of the space. I think your idea for floor-to-ceiling shelving would be a good space-saver. You could make the shelves less deep than the depth of the blue hutch, and wall-covering shelves would hold more than just the hutch will. That would give you more floor space. Also, a not-as-deep-shelved, pale-colored hutch might carry less visual weight, making the room feel more spacious. Definitely strip the table. Whatever else you do with it, will be wonderful. Doesn’t Sebastian look cute in his new home!

  2. sounds wonderful…but, I think the blue hutch is a statement piece in itself !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! after the carpet is gone, walls painting and that blue hutch would be stunning !!

  3. Love floor to ceiling display shelves! We built one on an unused odd wall in the kitchen and it turned out brilliantly. ☺

  4. What a great table! It looks so solid and has great lines. Maybe you could make a makeshift leaf that would be covered by a tablecloth…just for when you invite us all over for the housewarming party 🙂 The free delivery? That’s Minnesota Nice!

  5. Great find on the antique dining room table! I love the wheels on the legs and putting hardwood floors in the dining room is a good move.

  6. I love the table!!!! And what a great idea for this room to be for intimate gatherings, but hold out for one leaf…they are out there, keep an eye open. The open shelving would be perfect and would showcase your collection perfectly! I love seeing this house get your personality stamp on it, and making it your home.

  7. Love the table. My antique dining table is square. Some of the boards are the width of the table while some are shorter as in the top of your table. I have thought that maybe it had been repaired but now, after seeing yours, I think that is the way it was make. The round table is perfect for the room. The top is a bit orange, but you’ll figure it out and the table will be even better.

  8. I love your new table! Our daughter and son in law put a round oak pedestal table in their new squarish dining area too. My friend has a round stone table and to seat a larger group they made a larger wooden round to set on top that has something underneath that holds it in place so as not to slide around. It get a tablecloth and no one knows it just plywood. They store it upright in the garage so it takes little space. You have THE best Craigslist luck! Ours is just so lame.

  9. Love it!! We have a very similar table, and I have my chairs in a slightly different orientation. I’ve got them in line with the corners of the room, so that if someone is sitting at them, there is still plenty of room to walk around. It also makes the whole room feel a little more dynamic because it puts the chairs on a different plane than all the furniture that’s lined up against the walls! It might be a good fit for your space, too!

    1. Yep! I was actually thinking this very thing last night! I am going to give the table a little turn. 🙂

  10. Figuring it all out in a new house is the fun of it….and it takes time (and money). I love your ideas and I think it will change the whole character and feel of the dining room especially installing maple hardwood flooring. I love that you switched out the lighting to the chandy which looks much more like your style and that you got rid of the heavy drapery.

    Since this is a formal dining room, I think the blue hutch is way too primitive for this space so your idea to do built-ins would look beautiful. Now, I might be in the minority but I think the round table is too small for this space even if you only plan on doing small dinners in here. It just looks a little lost there in my opinion.

    1. Yes, it does almost look like a table you’d find in a foyer. As newlyweds my husband and I temporarily lived in a 1920’s New England estate home, partly furnished. We didn’t have any furniture of our own, so we hauled the round, heavy foyer table into the large dinning room. We used it there for the year we were there, but it was uncomfortable – the ornate apron was deep and there wasn’t quite enough room for standard chairs and laps underneath. I leaned then that even if a table is the right height for eating, it’s not necessarily a dinning table.

      My second thought is: Why have a dinning room? It’s not for family and the table is too small for guests. If it were my house, it would instantly become the library. As a MMS house, I could see it as a little “Ironstone Parlor” – shelves of collectibles, the round table with a beautiful display (sans chairs) and French chairs placed around the room.

  11. Love your idea to install pretty shelves on that one wall! Will be so useful as well as beautiful. It will also give the often less-used dining room a true function in your home, plus be gorgeous from the foyer. Good thinking. So fun to hear and see your ideas for your new Minnesota home. (Have y’all watched New in Town yet, haha!?)

  12. Love Kelly’s idea on chair placement. Obviously she has lived with such a room and met the challenge successfully.

    I think to make the room usable, less furniture (eliminate the hutch and any other pieces that seem to make their way into open floor space) and go for a bigger tabletop. Make the accessories artwork, not things that take up floor space. Make the room functional, truly functional.

    It is so interesting to watch you move in a bit more refined decorating style. Figuring out which primitives will work, which finishes look best, in your new home. It is a creative challenge, for sure.

    Wood flooring that flows with the other flooring will be gorgeous.

  13. It is fun to play with your space. It is a great idea to build floor to ceiling shelving in the dining room. It would allow you to display your collection and could provide , in part, for ever changing displays.

    Then you may revisit the size of the dining table if the deeper hutch finds another home.

    Thank you for blogging. I appreciate the commitment.
    Regards Janine

  14. I am finding it so interesting that the new-to-you furniture items are staying in their natural wood state. No paint. Is the furniture painting trend coming to a close? The typical response to an ending trend/fashion is the gravitation to the opposite – raw/natural wood.

  15. I agree with your plan to install built-ins along the wall. I love the hutch but I do think it is too primitive for your space, and built-in shelves will allow you to display all the ironstone without taking up any floor space with a piece of furniture. As much as I love that dining table, Kate’s comment above was interesting. Do you really need a formal dining space? Do you think it will get much use?

  16. Iwas not sure if you rented or bought but since you are doing so much you probably bought. Everything looks amazing! I struggle trying to decide what goes with what. I recently redid my living room. love the paint color but gave in on furniture….next time I am sticking to my guns. (there probably wont be a next time) i enjoy watching you! good luck!

  17. I have always wanted a separate dining room-mine is a side alcove of the living room now. But we have a huge kitchen with an island and a big farm table so I have an eat in kitchen with a fire place and French doors, sky light, and long pantry, all my desires are met.

  18. I appreciate how classy and considerate you are in detailing your changes. Some blogs can be a bit rude and insulting and I always think about the previous owner who loved the house in their own way. Your mom raised you right!

    1. Lynn, I was thinking the same thing! So many people trash the previous owners decorating and to me that just ruins my joy for the new owner. I see that a lot on HGTV and I usually turn the channel.

    2. Thank you. I confess that I am not always so thoughtful and have done my share of bashing in the past. The thing that struck me about this home, and why I love it so much, is that it is a beautiful home. The changes I want to make are cosmetic updates to suit my taste, not an overhaul because something was poorly done. I’m trying to be clear about that! 🙂

  19. Was just going to echo Kelly’s thoughts about experimenting with a 45* rotation on chairs and table so that instead of square with walls they are in line with corners. That tiny tweak really relaxes the relationship between dining furniture and its space and gives some stage room for focal pieces like the hutch. In any cas, YES, figuring it out is the joy.

  20. Coming along so lovely, thanks for sharing as you tweak your rooms, I’m never done either. I love to play house,lol.
    I love reading the comments as everyone shares ideas. So I throw my idea into the mix. Mb narrow built one for the wall the has the stairs to the kitchen behind it? Or the blue hutch on that wall. Anything you do will be great ! Love a round table !

  21. I’m so enjoying the new house tour .
    We’re sitting in Cracker Barrel just coming back from the Total Eclipse and then a quick Mt Rushmore trip . :0) But I always seem to find the time to read your blog !
    Would it possibly work at all to switch the tables and put the charming larger table in the dining room and place the sweet round one in the kitchen for the four of you ?

  22. Hi Marian, Maggie from PA here, I’ve been reading your blog and all of the changes you are making to your digs. I love what you have done!! Maybe you should build your shelves of cabinets around the hutch you have in the dining room now, I think the pop of color of the hutch looks great.

    Just a thought, how do you navigate Craigslist so well? Can you tell me how to navigate the PA area?

    Love your new digs, and many blessings you and yours.

  23. Wow – so many great ideas and interesting comments here today! I too high-five you on installing the chandy and …um…ahem….revising the window treatment! I am strong believer in dining rooms. True, I don’t use mine more than 5-6 times a year, but I would be lost without it. It serves as beautiful focal point for a vignette in our every day life, it’s a great storage area for when I am transitioning my decorating between seasons, and I do all my sewing at my dining room table. My stepsons always fuss at me when I decide our family meal will be at the dining room table-but I know it will bring them happy memories.

  24. What a sweet little dining table! I think its base needs to be painted the same color as the French chairs for more cohesiveness, but the top should be left dark wood.
    By the way, I love how Sebastian photobombs pictures of your new spaces!

  25. OHMYGOSH…I was looking for the heart (love) button…and remembered this is email (hahaha)…does anyone else do that? I just found the table of my dreams off Craigslist, too…$85 and it is round (kind of darkish wood) with two leaves and an amazing pedestal that has cool mechanisms to open it up. It’s French but not frou-frou…more like from the 1800s country style. The base is even painted in a vintage white color! Keep sharing all your fun with us!

  26. I love the idea of floor to ceiling shelves! The table looks pretty in there. I can’t wait to see it all done. Thank you for sharing it now. It is so exciting to see you putting your stamp on this home!

  27. The plank top of your new table is brilliant… You’re helping me rethink my own DR: Design it for small, intimate dinners.

    I’m surprised you’re considering built-in shelves instead M of additional vintage furniture pieces. Think of the shopping excursions you’d be giving up! The depth of the furniture pieces would also hold (and hide) a lot of ironstone, helping to keep Jeff guessing about the number of pieces you own.

  28. Everything is looking you, and that is exactly how it should be. Everyone’s home should be a reflection of who they are.

  29. I have a chandelier exactly like yours, but mine is in the bedroom. Still can’t believe that I only paid $20 for it at an auction. My dining table is also similar to yours. I have a bench on one side made from an old headboard and I’ve been looking for chairs to flank the other side. I have a built in china cabinet in front of the table, filled with white ironstone. After seeing your lovely hutch, I think I need to mix some other patterns with the ironstone. Now….to decide what window treatment I need for the sliding glass doors! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and especially for the inspiration.

  30. I like that you are buying some larger scale pieces. Some of your pieces seem too small for your new house! The idea of shelves in the dining room for your collection is a great one. An appropriate place for such a fantastic collection. It will give you opportunities to display other collections in other places. The changes you are making are promising and great to watch.

  31. I hope you keep the blue hutch in there. The table is a great find! I wouldn’t be surprised if you find a table for your kitchen like you had in your previous home. The dining room will be lovely with the hardwood floors and fresh paint.

  32. The people who had your house built also chose great woods for cabinetry and flooring. When we moved to PA, we bought a house with maple cabinets. I’m going to paint them, but I thank my lucky stars they aren’t oak!

  33. Where did you buy the dining chairs from. I’ve been looking for french dining chairs for a while now.

  34. I like your dining room! I suggest you turn your chairs and table 45 degrees – it will show off the chairs more and make it a bit easier to walk between a seated person and a piece of furniture. 😊

  35. Something we did, and I am not sure of your room sizes or placement (close to front door), was to switch out our dining room for a sitting room. We moved our big table into the biggest of the two rooms. Our entertaining almost always includes a meal, so having a big dining room, able to handle a crowd, was imperative. We used what my aunt calls “the regulation size dining room” as a sitting room, filled with good seating. Of course, the family room had even more seating. Except for furniture placement, we had to have an electrician wire the room for an overhead lighting fixture that would work over the table.

    Entertaining around food is traditional for many of us. Actually, even after the meal, many remain at the table, talking. It worked out well. Just another idea in the pot of ideas…

  36. I don’t always comment , but I read all of your post lately. I am so enjoying the process of watching you get things all set up. That is the fun part of a new space. Your choices have all been lovely, but at the end of the day it is your home. I really appreciate the realness of your posts. You are showing us the journey of unpacking and decorating and that is messy. We all love beautiful pictures, and you do have many, but I really like the real life shots. So many blogs only show the perfectly styled rooms all the time. It just isn’t real life. I appreciate your transparency in letting us follow along. What a beautiful home. It just gets better…..

  37. Marion, I am loving watching you transform your beautiful new home into more you. I had a little scare today though! Although the look is adorable please tell me that the ivy in the crock on the stool by the stairway is not real English Ivy. If so, please put something else there ASAP! Did you know English Ivy is toxic to dogs and I’m worried about Sebastian. Thanks!

  38. You are making such huge strides in turning your house into your home. I love the shelf idea in the dining room. It wouldn’t have to be as deep as your current hutch, just deep enough for your bigger ironstone pieces. What a great way to update the space to make it yours and to decorate with little seasonal touches. I don’t think you have to have one of your signature antique pieces in every room to make it yours.

  39. Everything is really falling into place, isn’t it? I like the idea of the blue hutch in the dining room. I think the phrase “formal dining room” is just something that we use to commemorate fancier dining. Having said that, ANY type furniture would be OK in a “formal” setting. The antique hutch sets the scene, so to speak, for what the rest of the house will look like when a person enters.
    I vote for the blue hutch, and, maybe opting for a larger table, as I’ll bet you’ll be hosting some dinners with Jeff’s new position in the church.
    Thank you, again, for allowing us to follow you and all the excitement of decorating a
    new home!

  40. It’s so much FUN watching you transform your new house! I adore the planked top of your new dining table. It’s a beauty.

  41. I am enjoying watching your videos on Instagram every day. I applaud your getting in there and making your home yours. It is hard to tell from photos about room size but could you do built in shelves around, under and over the windows? That way you could keep the amazing blue hutch also. Keep going, we are all cheering you on out here.

  42. That table top really makes a statement. I am wondering how you know what an antique’s value is, or maybe a better question is how do you know what a good price is?

  43. Read all comments to see if anyone else had my thought .Agree with Cindy about shelves on window wall … display without overwhelming whole wall , since little corner between foyer and dinning room seems perfect depth and could possibly redirect air vents into molding … just a thought. Then can keep hutch too …love all your blogs

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