Ikat Dining Room


It’s a gloomy day in my neck of the woods, so I thought it would be fun to show you some photos of my vibrant dining room! 

instagram of DR

When we bought our house the dining room was a big white box.  A blank slate is great except that the whole “possibilities are endless” thing can really wear on a person over time.  I had concrete ideas about what I wanted for our dining room.  A dining room/library combo, a huge  table, a window seat, and stenciled walls.  I had the idea to stencil the walls right from the beginning. A stencil is the perfect option for someone who loves wallpaper but either cannot afford it, or is afraid of the commitment. Why purple ikat? I have always adored everything from Madeline Weinrib, especially this purple ikat fabric, and I wanted something that replicated that rich design.  I used the Samarkand stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils, and the paint color is byzantine purple by Olympic.  My husband has a B.F.A. with a concentration in printmaking so naturally I made him do the stencil.  It took roughly two days to complete, and it was absolutely worth it, because it really couldn’t have turned out more perfect.

Once the window seat was built, I had the idea to “frame” the little nook with all of our books.  We used sets of L brackets to construct the towers of books.  In each column there are four sets of L brackets.  The books are piled on top of the brackets to create the illusion that they are just casually stacked from the floor up. A shelf painted the same color of the walls (to blend in) spans from one column of books to the other and helps finish that “library” feel we were going for.  I love me some inspiration boards, so the inside of the walls have photos and magazine clippings taped up with washi tape.  I do have to say that I’m ready for a change of pillows, the zebra Waverly print on the euro shams might stay, but the other pillows which are outdoor by Waverly, are too childish for the space.  Also the window seat cushion needs to visit an upholsterer for a snazzy new cover-so I’ve started brainstorming, and fabric searching.  I am also on the hunt for dining room chairs, something much more comfortable than the old things we have now.  I’ve been contemplating benches with thick cushions, but anything with an upholstered seat would be better than what we have now.  So stay tuned for another installment of Tara’s incessant need to change things! 

The photo lampshades were a fun way to personalize the space.  They are Instagram prints (printed using PostalPix) that we covered in adhesive and attached to the lampshades.  F.U.N.

A quick word about our dining table.  It’s this one from Ikea, although ours is the larger one that seats up to 14 people. It comes in three colors- black, brown, and birch.  No Bueno.  I did not want a big honkin black table in this space, but I did want the largest table I could find, and for cheap! So I purchased said table.  Then one nice summer day I proceeded to carry the big honkin table outside and sand the veneer right off of it.  It. took. forever.  Then I stained it, and polyurethaned it.  It’s not exactly rustic, but I don’t mind.  It is extremely sturdy, and for the cost of the table ($300) plus $20 for stain & polyurethane- I have the sort of table I had always dreamed of having, all with a very low price tag.  

color view DR

all books with light

close up seat

close up seat 2

perspective DR

lampshade closeup






So, yesterday I gave you a sneak peak at our new DIY train table/coffee table.  Today I am going to show you some pictures of the LR, and some recent changes that spurred from this new coffee table. I posted this picture of our little living room nook months ago.  The problem is that the whole nook started taking on this  feminine, cottage country feel.  It wasn’t that it was terribly bad, It just wasn’t right.  I decorate from the gut, and my gut was telling me something was off.  When the chalkboard table was done, I knew I had to inject more black into the space.  Another thing I might quickly add, is that we have our TV in an Armoire, OK, a cabinet-its not exactly fancy enough to be an armoire. Whatevs. It was previously 25 different colors, all in the course of two years, and now it’s white.  Rustoleum’s white gloss enamel to be exact, which is the most spectacular paint. Now all of the furniture in the LR is white. I am not a fan of matchy-matchy, but I must say it is cohesive, and lovely.  

I love the black tuxedo stripe on the cabinet, it transforms an ordinary piece into something, dare I say, sexy, and the lion head pulls will forever be one of my favorites.  The oriental lamp with the Liberty of London shade adds something whimsical to mix.  I ordered the Ikat pillow cover several years ago from an Ebay dealer in Uzbekistan.  The pillow got a fun little update with some Sharpie marker! It honestly took forever, but the end result is pretty fabulous, and it looks like I bought it that way!

These Ribba picture ledges are a great way for me to display my books and Magazines.  The asymmetrical valance was all moms idea. I have to admit, as someone who holds firm beliefs about symmetry, I was not totally on board with the idea. I quickly changed my mind, because it’s totally punk rock!  I have never dyed anything before, so I followed this tutorial for dip dye.  I already had a white fabric panel leftover from another project, and the drapery tiebacks that I spray painted white, so all I needed to complete the project was a three dollar box of dye.  I want to emphasize that I completed this little redo with things I already had, or things that are relatively inexpensive like a sharpie marker, and fabric dye.  Change doesn’t have to drain your pockets.

The design of this little nook has changed, but the premise has stayed the same.

 Make a drink, grab a magazine, sit down and relax. XO-Tara

nook beterDSC01867DSC01857good one


bar cartDSC01873