English Breakfast Tea Nook

White Walls.  White Floors.  White Ceilings.  An institution, you say?  Of course not.

Your new dining room.

As trends move away from china cabinets, chippendale chairs, and a table for twelve, we begin to look for dining furniture that blends into our living spaces.  As innovative as the invention of the t.v. tray was, I have a strong belief in the separation of spaghetti and How I Met Your Mother.

Keeping the room light and airy creates the illusion of a large space but will also allow you to create cozy areas using furniture and accessories to visually divide it up.  Who doesn’t love the idea of a library/dining nook?  Lucky enough to have a record collection? Even better.  Not ready to commit to refinishing your old wood floors, try whitewashing! The banquette is a no-brainer.  Raise your hand if you don’t secretly wish your friend will grab the chair when you sit down for a long dinner together.  I thought so.  

Clockwise starting top left:  Apartment Therapy; Technic Turntables; Philip Gorrivan; Wooden Floor StrippersRoom Polish

If your kitchen opens into your living/dining area, here are some great ideas for millwork, artwork, and storage solutions.  I love the idea of open cabinetry, but I should really brush up on my organizational skills.

Adjoining kitchen concepts all courtesy of Elle Decor.

And finally…

The finds!

1.  If you aren’t lucky enough to have built in millwork shelving, here is an option from Etsy made with recycled wood and steel.  If you don’t have a large collection of books or records, it is also a great alternative to the traditional china cabinet.  $700

2.  I fell in love with this vintage green leather sofa – perfect banquette – from England on Ebay.  Unfortunately, the international shipping makes this more of a splurge-worthy item, but in my opinion, so worth it.  $812 before shipping.

3.  This is a great deal on a tiered, vintage chandelier (plastic crystal, shh) from Ebay.  These are best found in small local antique/resale stores or estate sales.  $309.50         No j-box for a light fixture?  Try this option from the MoMA Store.  Use your own vintage family pictures.

4.  To make a banquette with arms a bit easier to maneuver, a trestle farm table is best.  This Amish antique is a great example of the style to keep an eye out for.  This listing also has an option to “Make an Offer.”  It never hurts to try to get a $450 table for $300.

5-7.  Vintage medical stools are all the rage now, but how great is this collection?  My suggestion – keep lines similar on fancier versions and contrast with the simple shop style.  Another great reason for stools is the versatility.  These can always be pulled into the living area for game night with friends.  Trivial Pursuit anyone?   Options 5, 6, 7.                 5 – $150; 6 – $115; 7 – $180

8.  The silver lining to the takeover of big box pharmacies, is the recent flood of vintage pharmacy furniture into the market.  Here is a perfect example.  This antique Rexall apothecary cabinet makes a unique sideboard for any dining room.  Complete with the old medicine labels, this piece is a great find for any room of your house.  $495

And the grand total is…

$3211.50 – the cost of a dining table and single chair from Restoration Hardware.

Happy Hunting!

drum roll, please…

After years of reading/stalking/loving/criticizing the blogosphere, I have decided to embark on my own journey through the interwebs.

“Why now?” you may ask.

Having recently found myself sharing an eleven foot wide house with another person and another almost person we call Oliver, my personal space has greatly diminished, and with it room for my many projects, thrifted items, deals that I couldn’t let get away and…well, you get the idea.

What to do, what to do…

Of course!

Share my finds with the world!  And by world, I mean my three friends, Matthew and mom that will be reading this.

Combine this with my need of a new creative outlet, and I am happy to introduce…

(insert drum roll here)

Five & Design.