Shaker Simplicity or Cheerful Country Clutter?

Shaker Simplicity or Cheerful Country Clutter?

Janel Laban
Sep 15, 2009

Q: Looking for ideas and inspiration! Our SF Victorian rental on Dolores St. is a great place, but after 2 years I still don't feel like we've made it our own. My first project: Paint the dining room...

Our formal dining room gets just a tiny bit of natural light (first-floor flat) and has no view. There is wainscotting all around the room and wood floors and it's a basic square shape with 2 closets. Would love to have tips on what colors would work. White walls and a color on the wainscotting? or the reverse?

Currently, walls are creamy, wainscotting is a blah beige. I veer b'n'forth between wanting a very simple Shaker style look (we have a great wood farm table and six of those bowback wood chairs) and an old hutch. Or I think about cheerful, cluttered country. We have a toddler, so I'm thinking simple might be best, since we have so much stuff in the house. Right now, this room is underused as a dining room and houses her toy kitchen, an art easel, her toys and bookcase.

Sorry for long email, but I have looked for ideas and feel stuck. Help me turn my dining room into a place I'd love to entertain (or even just have a family meal in!)

Sent by: Amy

Editor: Please share your ideas and inspiration with Amy in the comments below on which design direction you would go with a formal dining room for a family...thanks!

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