Before & After: A Reorganized Dining Room

Before & After: A Reorganized Dining Room

Sarah Rainwater
May 27, 2010

It's amazing how quickly the desire to make everything perfect can cause my spring cleaning and organizing to grind to a halt. Case in point: my paralysis over finding dining room storage solutions and a light fixture have lead me to let the room languish with a crowded yet empty-looking layout for almost a year. But lately I've come to realize that I'm actually happier with the results of a room when I don't over-think it and just make the most of what I already have.

The white shelf felt like it cut off the flow of the room and the parsons table in the corner — which doubles as a desk and a buffet for dinner parties — was a constant source of ire. Its awkward placement in the corner meant frequent bruised hips and unspoken permission to let clutter pile up. Moving the desk to the middle of the room makes it feel more like it belongs in the space and it's prominent placement forces us to contain the mess of cords and papers (a deep vintage crate does the job nicely).

Are the results perfect? Absolutely not. Art still needs to go on the walls, the light fixture still needs to be picked out, shelves need to be bought … but for now the space is a million times more comfortable and doesn't cause me to cringe whenever I look at it. A lamp, a plant, and a few pieces of art (all relocated from other parts of the house) give the room a little bit of personality — and serve as a vital reminder that progress can really only be achieved in baby steps.

• Vintage painted camp sign from Etsy seller Artful Vintage
• Vintage crate from Etsy seller tippleandsnack
Bourgie Table Lamp from DWR
• Desk chair from IKEA (we painted it yellow)
Print by Ed Templeton, available from Arkitip
• Red dining room Holz chairs from DWR, no longer available

(Images: Sarah Rainwater)

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