Okay, after all of the projects and cooking and general life stuff, let’s get back to talking about our home! Next up on the house tour is the dining room, which you got a little bit of a peek at when I wrote about our awesome dining room table and how it came to live with us. Other than putting in furniture and hanging the cross-stitch, we haven’t done anything to this room yet.
The door configuration to our house throws people a little. As you walk up the front porch, you’d expect the door directly in front of you to be the entrance to the house and we had intended to use it as such for awhile. (In fact, the little bronze lion got installed on that door at first, and then moved over many months later.) After getting our furniture into the space, it became clear that we’d be able to better utilize the space in front of the door into the living room for seating, so we started using the door to the dining room as the main entrance. It’s always fun to confuse door-to-door types by coming to the door they don’t expect to be opened. That transom above the door is functional and I love it. Most of our windows are low enough to the ground that there’s no way we can leave them unlocked/open overnight or when we’re gone during the day, so on warm days the transoms are awesome to get a little air circulating throughout the house.
The dining room is the only exposed-wood floor happening in the house at the moment, and we’d love to keep it, but we’re not sure how much work it’s going to take to repair the damage to it. The doorway between the dining room and the living room is actually a pocket door, but we’ll need to do some work on it to get it to run smoothly on the track. As it is now, I’m a little nervous to move it and get it really stuck in an inconvenient position.
The fireplace is not currently functional, though Tim did mention someday exploring the idea of getting it working again, but it’s really low on our list of priorities. The mantlepiece is gorgeous in person, Tim suspects it’s probably original (or close to it), though something was probably covering up the exposed brick part previously. We had two (non-functioning) fireplaces in our old apartment, so I’m pleased to have a mantle, though we have to be careful what we leave on it, because the cats sometimes will hop up on it and watch us in the living room by staring into the mirror. It is both cute and creepy.
You can tell from this picture how big that front window is. We have 9′ ceilings downstairs, and the window both comes very close to the top of the wall and fairly close to the floor. That room gets tons of light in the mornings, which is really delightful, though the strange beige paint on the walls (which is all through the downstairs rooms) kind of sucks up the light, so I’m looking forward to making this room feel bright and fantastic when we make it over.
We will also be getting rid of the baseboard heaters, which I think don’t work anymore (regardless, we don’t use them) [they are no longer connected to an electric supply], which are along this wall and the door wall.
We ended up hanging a semi-transparent shade over the window, for more privacy without sacrificing too much of the light. One of the dining room chairs permanently lives under the window, to discourage the cats from sitting their furry, sheddy little selves on our dining room table to watch the action outside. (Though they don’t always use the chair instead, so I end up shooing Michi off the table at least once a week anyway.) The niches on either side of the fireplace are really awesome, but we are underutilizing them at the moment (the one trunk fits perfectly in there, but it tends to be a catch-all for things I have yet to put away). I am eager to consider tons of possibilities for those spaces when we redo the room, but my brain keeps going back to “built in bookshelves.”
The problem with adding built-ins to this side is that it turned out to be the perfect spot for the Christmas tree last year. Hmmm. Also, I love me a ceiling fan, but I cannot wait to replace this one with one that is much more attractive. We didn’t end up using this all summer, it’s just occurring to me, because those glass eggs dangling from it were Tim’s awesome decorating idea during the holidays (they’re actually tree ornaments, but they made the whole thing feel more like a chandelier), but turning on the fan would mean adding centrifugal force to those babies, and potential shattered glass. You can spot one of the candles in the fireplace in this picture, which is also a leftover from holiday decorating. Pilar candles in the fireplace were super festive, though we don’t light them much for fear of the cats getting singed.
A shot into the dining room from the living room shows how much room there is to circulate around the dining room table, which is great. It also shows off my messy bookshelf, which is a project for another day. On the edge of the floor, we have our boot trays so there’s a good place to leave wet or muddy shoes when coming in the house, though I’d love to have some sort of bench here in the future to make the shoe removal process more comfortable.
As you can see, we’ve got a few ideas floating around for the room, but most of them won’t really be developed until we’re ready to start work on it. Luckily it’s a comfortable, functional space for us to use in the meantime.