Monday, October 4, 2010


I have to be honest...I had a completely different room in mind to show you today. My sister told me that one of the best things about starting a blog was that it really motivates you to get all of your projects done and it has been so far. But, this weekend, I got a bad case of the "Blogger's Blah's"!
We had company all last week and then by the weekend I just kind of ran out of steam. I went out shopping with every intention of getting the materials to finish a project so I could have the room ready to reveal and what did I do instead???
Well, instead I went out and bought me a really cute pair of leather riding boots to go with the leggings and skinny jeans I am attempting to wear this fall.
Attempting being the operative word!
On a side note, when I asked my hubby how I looked in my new black leggings with my long grey sweater and cute, silver ballet slippers he told me I looked fabulous! But then he had the audacity to follow it up with "I'll tell Duran Duran you called!" 
The nerve! It's not like I was wearing them with leg-warmers or with 2 pairs of different colored socks!

ANYWAY, so there you have it! I didn't get my project done and instead I am going to show you a room that is continually evolving as I attempt to Un-Stuffy it!
My Dining Room.
This is how it looked before we moved in...

Wow! That is some GREEN carpet!
When you have dark carpet and dark woodwork (fireplace and cabinets) and then you bring in dark furniture, it kind of tends to make a room look, well...Stuffy!
Don't get me wrong, I like a little formality. The whole concept of a Dining Room is thrilling to me and we do actually use this space. But, still, we are a young family and I want our home to reflect that as well.
Here is a peek at how the room looks today.

I took the photos at night so you could see how soft the light is in this space. It is nice and bright during the day but in the evening, it takes on this warm glow. And really, I think we all look better in a lower wattage, don't you? The furniture we have had for 10 years and it still pleases the Traditional heart of this gal!

This is a before that I can't believe I am showing you because it is really quite sad and pitiful...

Just a bit stuffy don't you think? I found some new sconces and spruced this area up a bit and now it looks like this.

Here is a closer look at those sconces...

I think that adding another tone to the room really helped to warm it up a bit.
The back of the sofa sat for quite some time looking like this.
Then I purchased a new table for the family room and it freed up this lovely lady to join this space.
I used some accessories I already had and only added this beauty
She was $12 at Real Deals and since she was already "chippy" I knew that whatever my rascals did to her would just blend right in! I have seen some really gorgeous Dining Room Table centerpieces in Blogland, but I always struggle with this crucial decision! Nothing ever seems quite right to me and I am constantly changing it around.
This is what is currently on display.

 We'll see how long it lasts!

 I decided not to display my china in the cabinet but rather to put a little collection in there instead.

Here, I'll open the doors up so you can get a better look!

This collection has grown over the years and the pieces come from exotic and far away lands! From places like The Bombay Company...and TJ Maxx...and
Ross Dress for Less...and Second-hand stores!
Truly priceless I tell you!

The one really prized possession in there is the tea set sitting in the middle. It was a Wedding gift to my parents and I treasure it!
And, when you have 2 young children and you treasure put it up high and behind closed doors!

In continuing the process of "Un-stuffy-ing" this space, I remembered some pillows that I had purchased at Wal-Mart but never ended up using for long. I thought they might just help give some more color to this side of the room.
Here are the chairs before.

And here they are with the pillows. Don't you just love shopping from around your own home?

 I'm on the hunt for just the right pictures to help maximize the height of that space! I also dream of adding wainscoting to this room to give it just one more layer of depth and warmth.
 Maybe before Christmas???
There will also be a new chandelier somewhere in the distant future.
But for now, I will leave you with one last photo...
Now, that's how you fight the "Blogger Blah's"...
Don't you think?

From this Southern Girl at Heart,

 I'm joining these parties!

Show and Tell Friday

Spotlight Yourself


Anonymous said...

Your dining room is lovely and I love everything you've done to make the room Yours. I see we shop at all the same, high end stores.

I especially love those riding boots. Now where would we be in Oregon without our boots? If someone had told me 5 years ago when we moved here from the Bay Area that I'd be wearing Keene's hiking boots, I'd have told them they were crazy but that's my go to boot when it's rainy. I can run The Amazing Race from my car in the parking lot into TJ Maxx without a slip or slide :)

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

GORGEOUS! I adore all of the changes you made...sooooo NOT stuffy! I love the table behind your sofa...perfection!

My hubby hates the legging trend! He said he hated it the first time around and he hates it now! I say toooo bad...they're my clothes;)!

I have been having a BIG case of the blooger blahs! Don't give up on me! I will be posting again later this week!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend sweet friend! Great post!


Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Your dining room looks warm and welcoming. I could easily sit there for hours over a meal and great conversation!

Love your boots!

Katie said...

Beautiful photos!! You definitely have hit your home with a pretty wand. And those boots? Fabulous! :)

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Your dining room looks gorgeous Vanessa! How I would love to have a formal dining room!! Not a common thing in an old cottage. Your room is beautiful and the boots are going to be fabulous! :)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Your home is gorgeous. Love the new additions to the dining room. Your china cabinet display is beautiful. I really love it instead of a display of dishes. The sofa table is perfect and your vignette on it is wonderful. Everything is so well thought out. Your new boots are fabulous and I am sure you look wonderful in your leggings and boots. Hugs, Marty

Anita said...

Vanessa, it is just perfect!! You have definitely made it young and updated, but still elegant. I love everything about it. Love the centerpiece on the table. I especially love how you have accessorized the china cabinet. I don't like to see china stacked in a cabinet even though I have some that way because I'm out of storage! Love the sofa table too. You have done a beautiful job as always!!

Anita said...

Oh....LOVE the boots!!

Melanie said...

Vanessa, you won't believe this but I have that SAME pear container. How many items does that make that we have alike? To funny.

Your dining room is warm and lovely.

Val said...

I can't wait to have dinner in your dining room ; ))

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Vanessa, I always enjoy seeing photos of your beautiful home! Your dining room is fabulous and I love the new sconces and the centerpiece. Those boots...adore them! Have a great week friend.

Traci said...

A girl after my own heart - traditional!! I think you're dining room looks great! I really love the lamps!

Scribbler said...

So inviting, so Southern!

steve said...

Well, just butting in on a "ladies" conversation makes me feel, well, my feminine side... but I love your blog. I should have you photograph my stuff!

michelle said...

Your dining room is anything but stuffy my dear!! It is gorgeous!!! What a beautiful place to have company! I love all the little details that you added! I love my house at night, when I have the lights down and candles lit, it feels so warm and cozy!! Thanks for sharing and I love you blogger blah boots!!!!!

Pamela said...

You are too too funny Vanessa! I love the changes you made!! You are soo far ahead of me girl even when I am having a good day. I wantso bad to work on some projects today but I have to work on my Etsy sewing instead so I can catch up. Loving your new boots as well!:)

Denise Marie said...

great post!! love it all.

Sailing Simply said...

I think your dining room is so not stuffy! I love your new sconces and your centerpiece. I always struggle with this too. We must be kindred spirits girl because I played in the dining room yesterday too! Haven't posted yet but it's coming. LOL! Come to think of it, what are WE working on next? LOL! Love your new boots!

Becca said...

Your dining room is gorgeous !! I love your furniture ... your accessories ... the blue/white pieces in your china hutch. (BTW, HomeGoods just set up a display with some beautiful blue/white pieces they just received)! I love your centerpiece, too. And, the pillows are the perfect touch to your chairs! Your new sofa table looks perfect and I love the gold vase perched on top. You are truly gifted when it comes to pulling it all together! Thanks for the inspiration. Hugs, *Becca*

Christie said...

I feel like singing, "Hungry Like a Wolf!" Just kidding! You are SO funny and I love to come over here for a great laugh! Your boots are kickin' awesome! And so are the lovely rooms! Your style is so beautiful, timeless and it and all the touches you have added to make it your own! Wanted to tell you that 'Common Ground' blog is having a 'Vintage Inspiration Friday' party this Friday on front should enter yours! Thought of you when I stumbled on her site today! Also, thank you for your sweet words on my Sunday post. Boy, I sure learn so much from having children! I appreciated so much your wisdom about how you deal with things...I know God doesn't mean for us to re-live hurts by playing them over and over in our minds! You are such a sweet friend...wish you could run over and let the kids play in the yard! that song is stuck in my mind and I will be singing it the rest of the day!! Another book! Christie

Sue said...

Looks good, Vanessa, and hardly stuffy! LOL Like the sconces on the side of the mirror, along with the topiaries on the table. Looks better with five items on the table. I like a display in a china cabinet vs. stacking the dishes. Not too many people can pull it off well. A display makes more sense when done well, as yours is. Lots of pretty blues... And girl, I like those boots! :-)
hugs, Sue

Heather@Gourmet Meals for Less said...

Love what you've done to the dining room. No stuffiness in sight. Taking a moment to say "hi" to Steve up there. Miss you Steve!

And BTW....adore the boots and adoring the Duran Duran reference even more. Do you remember us listening to my Seven and the Ragged Tiger tape at the pool in dad's "sermon" tape recorder? Those were the you.

Debbie said...

This is one of my favorite of your posts ever!! (It would probably be "the" favorite, but I'm still sold on your adoption journey.)

You made me laugh one minute and OOOH the next. Love your room VERY much. I think you have great taste.

And then the final shot of the boots had me giggling again. I read that part to the husband just now, and even HE grinned.

Great post, Vanessa!

sheila from life @ #17 said...

I do love a good collection of B & W :)

Hi, I'm coming to you via the Table Top Tuesday blog party

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Vanessa, girl I love your DR and your drapes in the LR are to die 4...and girl go for the leggings there fun and warm as toast..Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I just love your dining room and all of your decor is stunning. I am so thrilled you linked this post to TTT. Your design style is so pretty and I always enjoy seeing your home. Hugs, Marty

Dining Delight said...

Not only do you have great taste in home decor but now I see, in fashion accessories too - great boots! Your post was fun to read as always, love the "Duran Duran" comment by your hubby! Your dining room looks wonderful and I really like all the "un-stuffy" changes you've made so far!


Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Vanessa, I meant to leave a comment on here this morning and then the phone rang and I got sidetracked. Your dining room is beautiful and I love the fact that you used the china cabinet for other accessories. I did the same thing before I switched to all the white stuff inside. Your front porch looks marvelous, too.

NanaDiana said...

Well, girl- I don't know what I like more-your room or your boots. I can't have your room but I COULD steal your boots...but I wouldn't-cuz I love ya!

That room is just gorgeous, Vanessa! I love a traditional room..and I think it is wonderful you can have it and still have young kids around. It is formal-ish but still feels very welcoming and homey, I love your little buffet lamps and the topiaries with them. Perfect finish!

I am just like you with a centerpiece...I am never quite satisfied with what I always looks a tad OFF to me...maybe that's because I'M a tad OFF? hmmm...not sure about that one.

LOL...Tell your HUSBAND that Duran Duran would love to have you as a member/follower/groupie. Hmmm... Is he still around? Well, at least it's better than Parachute Pants and Prince! xxoo Diana

Shelia said...

I'm just drooling over your gorgeous dining room!! Your furnishings are so pretty! Your little boots are cute as can be!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

Vanessa, I'm loving all of the photos of your house! Thanks for sharing with everyone. Also I love your new header. Very fall and very very fun! And, totally dig the boots. I love boots and shoes (just ask my husband!)

Debra@Common Ground said...

Hi Vanessa, your dining room is a great space, and you and I both have a love for traditional pieces. I enjoy so many different styles of decor. Playing with accessories is such a great way to change the feel of the room and hey, I bought some boots and skinny jeans and leggings too. FUN!!! so glad you came by!

Ann Nichols said...

You have a lovely home, Southern Lady and have done a fabulous job of making everything sparkle and shine and look so inviting and well, I just want to sit with you in your dinning room and have a cup of tea - using your best china of course!
Where were you born? I'm a southern lady at heart too as I am from Richmond!
Please drop by my history blog - It's about St. Nicholas and Christmas - and follow along if you'd like! I'd love to have you!
PS Going to become your latest follower now!

Vicki said...

Vanessa, these photos are gorgeous. I have the same buffet lamps. lol I love the dining room table centerpiece. So, so pretty...the sofa table really makes a huge difference too. Love it!

Mary said...

I enjoyed visiting your blog. I have that exact same chandelier that I wish to replace! I never even bought the little shades like you have, because I just never liked it. I've been putting up with it since we moved to this house eight years ago... I think this Christmas, it will be my gift to myself.
I liked the idea of using the dinning room cabinet for a display of your collection "from far-away places." :)


Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

Cute boots!! Love the dining room! The little touches you have done did refresh the rooms!! I had to laugh about the skinny jeans and boots. I have been trying to get up the nerve to wear them! I have mid thigh length gray sweater dress that I want to wear with tights and boots but it just hangs in the closet!!! So maybe I will pair it with some skinny jeans and boots!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Hey V, it's just me and I'm back from feather your nest this time ha ha!! And guess what your DR looks as beautiful now as are very good at this decorating thing my friend...It's all just beautiful...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Its So Very Cheri said...

Thanks for sharing your de-stuffying project.

I hope you have a great weekend.


Leslie @ goodbye, house! HELLO, HOME! said...

I think the blogger blahs have hit me, too!
I posted today, after 4 days!
I love your priceless collections- you get your pretties where I get mine, too.
Them boots sure are smexy!
And if you still look good in leggings- WEAR THEM!
Wal-Mart has the most awesomest pillows lately, don't they?
Yours are purty!

Susan said...

I love the center piece!! Your traditional furniture is so beautiful!! I have a traditional dining room as well. But I will show it more when we move into our new home!!

Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea said...

You have a lovely home and the before and afters are fabulous - well done.

I'm a new follower from My Romantic Home's Show n Tell Friday.

Happy Fall to you & yours!


Debbie said...

Hi Vanessa...been out of town and playing catch up. Your home is so really have that Southern hospitality feel to it. It is all so tastefully decorated. You are very much like me, that even when my kids were small, I kept all my pretties out...they learn not to touch and have their own corner of the world:) I know you don't show us their mess:)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Dark very traditional furniture will make any room look stuffy and old lady like. Bring in some up to date pieces in lighter painted woods. Buy a few pottery barn accessories and it will lighten the room up and make it shine.

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