Saturday, August 7, 2010

Introduction: The Dining Room

When my husband and I were looking for a house, I had one specific request: A formal dining area.  Although this concept seems like a pretty common one, sadly, finding a house that isn't super old or super new in the Chicagoland area within a good price range WITH a formal dining room is a daunting task.  Somewhere in the mid-eighties to mid-nineties, families in this area ceased to want to a formal dining room.  I am not sure why this concept because unfashionable in this time period but, we had a really hard time finding a house with one.  Most houses had either never been planned with one in them by the developers or the dining room was somehow deleted and another room (such as the kitchen) was expanded into the space.  However, for me, a dining room is an important space.  I grew up with one and I grew up with formal Sunday dinners with family so, for me, this was important. 

The decor of our dining room is generally based around the furniture.  We got this whole dining set from a furniture store called Dania who specialize in Danish furniture.  I have had furniture from Dania my whole life.  My parents house and my in-laws house have furniture from here and it has proven in both cases to be timelessly fashionable and extremely durable (especially in the case of my in-laws with 4 kids and two big dogs).  So naturally, we had them as our first choice for furniture (our couches and coffee table in The Living Room are from Dania as well). 

The furniture to me sort of screams Frank Lloyd Wright-esque.  The runner on my table is actually one of his designs and from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.  My mother got it for us for Christmas last year. 

The glass rooster was my grandmother's.  We are not quite sure where he came from but, we know he originally had a brother that fell and broke.  I have a faint memory of my grandmother telling me that he was from France (she was born and raised in Paris and was a war bride) but, the origin is essentially lost.  He is one of my favorite pieces in my house.

I also insisted on having a china cabinet in the dining room.  This was another adventure that was deemed trying.  Apparently, people are not requesting china cabinets anymore and this was was actually one of the last ones Dania was selling and it was on clearance with a small scratch on the side (which you can barely notice) so, we took it.  I actually love the idea of china cabinets and I am not sure why they are out of style.  Where else do you put fragile and precious things?  Ours contains some of the Lladros my mother-in-law gave us, a Morroccan port wine set that was my grandmother's, a beautiful Kate Spade rose vase my best friend and Maid of Honor got us for our wedding, my nativity set, my bridal bouquet, and our crystal wine glasses.  I mean, where else would such stuff go other than a china cabinet?  (ok, I digress).

This is the sideboard.  I keep all my linens and our alcohol in it.  On top is our wedding photo and a vase we bought off a street vendor in Costa Rica.

Finally, this is a Tuscan scene decorative plate we got from a family friend (the ones that gave us the couch in our Front Room).  I love this plate and finally got around to hanging it.  Which was hard because it is big and heavy!


  1. Lara,

    Lovely to see the interiors of your home. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I too am looking for interior inspiration as myself and my boyfriend are building a new home in rural Ireland. I am forever looking for inspiration for kitchens and living areas, and have some ideas in my head, but nothing concrete as yet. I love Wright's Falling Water.

    All things nice...

  2. Very pretty! I know what you mean about the formal dining room...I just love them and they've really seemed to go soooo out of style. Well, they may be coming back in, actually. But like you said, during the 90's it was all about the open plan. Blech. Love your blog!!!