Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Room Tour: The Dining Room

If you live in a house for any length of time you become aware of certain views - inside and out - that you grow to love. One of my favourite in this house is the view from the kitchen into the dining room. Both rooms are always flooded with light - particularly in the morning - and they've become my favorite part of the house, especially during the summer months when all the doors are wide open.


The door between the rooms was already removed, creating this doorway opening which looks directly onto the sideboard and the gallery wall I've hung above it. Every time I make a cup of tea or go to the sink, I see this.


These pictures form our family wall, a muddled assortment of memories and souvenirs and they all hold meaning for me. There are pictures the children have drawn, prints we've brought back from holidays (Copenhagen, Cornwall), a print I had made for John for our tenth wedding anniversary, my embroidered Cornwall holiday diary, a postcard from a dear friend. The display is not finished and will be added to as time goes on, and the top of the sideboard provides a nice surface to display things which change with the seasons.

Above the gallery wall hangs our new light shade.


Now, I have to be honest - I had a bit of a wobble when it first went up. I wasn't sure if I liked it after all. (I kept this to myself and didn't tell my Dad who spent an hour cursing the light as he fitted it for me.) It's such a statement, and such an investment piece too. But you'll be relieved to know it grows on me more and more each day and now I completely adore it. It's not to everyone's taste, I know, but we thought that this fabulous 1960s house (and I still pinch myself that we live here) with it's high, sloping, wood paneled ceilings deserved something suitably retro and bold. 


I especially like the way the shape of the shade echoes that of the round table below, and my four seasonal embroideries hung on the wall by the door. We used to have a very large, rectangular table in our old house but we knew that we would really struggle to ever find a house with a dining room big enough to hold it. So, we part exchanged it with some good friends of ours just before we moved. It now sits in their (enormous) dining room and we have their original 1960s G-Plan dining table. It is the most perfect table for this house and this room. Just big enough for the four of us day to day, it extends to fit eight (at a push) when we have guests, and I love the contrast of the warm wood against the white chairs.


And that brings me to my other favourite part of this room - the bookcase holding all my cookery books. It makes perfect sense to me that they are here not in the living room with the rest of the books, because it's here that I sit and read them. Eventually, I would like to get rid of that bookcase and build some floating white shelves directly onto the asymmetrical chimney breast (on the other side of this wall is the fireplace in the living room), changing the width of the shelves so that they are in line with the angle of the wall. 


One of my other favourite lines of sight in this house is from the living room door through the dining room to the garden. The patio doors are open most of the time and I like the way the light bounces off the prints and pictures on the wall.


You can see that this isn't a large room at all, but the high ceilings, big window and natural light trick you and make it feel more than the sum of it's parts. Do you have any favourite views or sight lines in your home?

While I'm talking about interiors, something rather exciting and lovely happened recently. Have you heard of the Amara Interior Blog Awards? Well, someone apparently nominated me in the DIY & Crafts Category! (Mum, was it you?) Thank you, whoever it was. If you'd like to vote for me that would be brilliant and you can do that here. My expectations are low - it's an extremely popular category with some very professional, gorgeous looking blogs and I'm now slightly embarrassed by my holiday snap profile photograph complete with windbreak in the background - but how nice have been nominated. 

42 comments:

Susan Smith said...

I love your dining room and how you've made it so fresh. Why worry about what other people think about your light fitting as it looks perfectly at home in that setting and I noticed the colour co-ordination of your cookbooks. Such a lovely idea. Your embroideries look lovely just there and it made me realise I've not yet come across some craft pictures of mine yet. Must still be in one of the boxes I've not unpacked (only a few left), but then I'm doing a big declutter anyway. Take care.

Jennifer said...

I've always thought you had a beautiful home and I think you do have a good shot at that award. I'm glad you're enjoying your new home so much. You have certainly worked hard at making it your own. I really like your gallery wall; personalized art and handmade art are my favorite kinds.

Bronwyn said...

I can see why you love your view from the kitchen! All of those frames on your wall must bring you such joy - and bring back so many memories. I am planning something similar for our stairwell. Not easily seen from the kitchen, but something I will pass every day, 10 times a day, as daily chores are completed! Isn't it nice to have all of your cookbooks right where you can see them - and use them?! We are adding cabinetry to our kitchen in the autumn, and I can't wait to fill the open shelves with my collection of baking books. Bliss. Looking forward to seeing more of your house, Gillian! Hugs, Bronwyn
www.queenbcreativeme.blogspot.com

Winwick Mum said...

Ooh! That's a lot of exciting things in one post - your lovely lampshade, your colour co-ordinated cookery books (mine are filed in the order that I use them most so it makes perfect sense to me but not to anybody else) and your award nomination! How lovely and good luck - I have made sure to vote for you and I will keep my fingers crossed that yours is regarded as the most professional and gorgeous-looking blog! xx

Chickpea said...

What a lovely room, I love all the little home made craft items.

CJ said...

Congratulations on your nomination, it's very well deserved. I shall go and vote for you immediately. I love the light. Glass wouldn't last five minutes here though, the boys are shockingly rough with absolutely everything. I bet it looks glorious with the bulb lit inside it. Two gorgeous rooms, you've made a beautiful heart to you home, just as I imagined you would. CJ xx

Gillian said...

It's perspex! I couldn't cope with glass, I'd be too worried something terrible would happen to either the lampshade or a child.

Anonymous said...

Colour-coded bookshelves! I love it. Gorgeous room. You certainly deserve that nomination and I shall vote for you right now. Sam x

Marion Ogden said...

You've done such a wonderful job turning your new house into a beautiful home. The new light shade looks great especially with the white ceiling and white walls around it. Good luck with the nomination, I hope you win it! X

Mac n' Janet said...

I love your new light, both the color and the shape.

Julia said...

I love your new light! It looks great against your white paneled ceiling - which I love. Your dining room is bright and cozy. I also really like your dining table with the white chairs - such a nice contrast. Your home is beautiful, Gillian.

Kerrie said...

I've just voted for you! Well done and good luck. The light is perfect for that room and it brings out the green in the pictures on wall, love seeing other peoples houses!

VeggieMummy said...

Congratulations on your well deserved nomination. I love your dining room - that gallery wall is gorgeous and the new light looks great against the white walls. Now, I'm just off to vote for you. xx

Librarian said...

It's a great lampshade and would be perfect for my bedroom :-) It suits the overall look and feel of your house and the dining room so well, a really good choice.
One of my favourite fews in my flat is what I see when I come into the kitchen, but my all-time favourite view is actually one not inside my flat, but out of it - from my kitchen window (as featured often on my blog).

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
Love the views through and beyond. And I admire the light; it suits your house perfectly. You have a wonderful home, my friend. Full of light, love and personality. That table's a cracker too!
Leanne xx

Anonymous said...

I love the fact that your gallery wall is framed by the door frame! It looks so neat! You have done a lot to that house in a short space of time and put your own stamp on the place. The lampshade is fab!
Helen

Sarah said...

I love views through to other rooms and I have special places I sit to catch the light falling at different times of the day too. I've said before Gillian that your eye for colour is spot on, you are creating a really lovely home for your family. Well done, I'm off to vote now. (I've just thought that a Euphorbia mellifera in a large pot could look wonderful on your deck. It's evergreen and architectural and I think you would like the colour of the leaves. It doesn't like cold winters but in a pot you could bring it close to the house for winter shelter. You see it a lot in Cornwall where it can get huge, not so in a pot, and the flowers in spring/early summer smell of honey, mellifera = honey flowers. A good place to see one is possibly Architectural Plants next to the Brinsbury campus on the A29, I think you and the children may enjoy a visit there!)

Gina said...

I think your light fitting looks fabulous and perfect for the setting. I love the way your books are sorted by colour too... very pleasing. Congratulations on the nomination. I'm on my way over to vote!

Gillian said...

It's great that you've got your house looking so wonderful even though it's such a short time since you moved in. The light is great and just perfect for where it hangs. Congratulations on your nomination.

Jo@awholeplotoflove said...

It is a lovely room, so light & airy. Congrats on your nomination it's very well deserved you always decorate so beautifully. I'm snorting after reading your comment on CJ's post, love that your clutter is in the kitchen & that I'm not the only person looking for a corkscrew at 5pm! x

Angel Jem said...

What a lovely use of colour and space. I love your bookshelf. I may just have to zoom in and see what books you have (and I love that they are colour coordinated!

Meggie said...

Very nice, especially the view to the back garden.

Karisma said...

So lovely Gillian! And congrats on your nomination! I love the wall of pictures that hold special meaning for your family. What an amazing way to hold you family together, to have everyone remember happy occasions. Wonderful post!

KirstenLN said...

Great views! I have favourites views here, too - quite a few actually.
I love your lamp - amazing colour! And your gallery wall is great - I love how every piece has a special meaning to you and how great they fit together.
Congrats on your nomination, you got my vote
X

Amy at love made my home said...

Your dining room looks great! I love your new light too. We are trying to gradually as time and finances allow to move towards mid century modern retro look to go with the furniture we inherited, but it takes time doesn't it! Hope that you enjoy your dining room a lot! xx

Gillian said...

Hi Sarah, thank you so much for that tip. I've made a note of that plant name and stashed it away for next year. We had a type of Euphorbia in our old garden in Leeds and I did like it very much. x

Tammy Chrzan said...

Your house is spotless!! How do you do that with children?
I have loved following you on Instagram and look forward to visiting your blog lots!
Have a wonderful weekend,
Much love,
Tammy

Emily said...

Gillian, you have done an amazing job decorating your new home! I love the fact that you are incorporating the mid-century style into your 1960s home, yet keeping it fresh and modern. Your dining room is simply lovely.

Anonymous said...

I have cast my vote for you because your house is very much to my taste. We also live in a 1960s bungalow here in Scotland and we have spent many years renovating to our taste. Catriona

Country Rabbit said...

such a lovely home ;) xx

Anne Schueler said...

The room turned out wonderfully! I really like the wall with the printings! It is such a nice reminder of memories!

Take care
Anne
Crochet Between Worlds

Lisa said...

The shade is perfect and a real pop of colour.
Congrats on your nomination and good luck!
Lisa x

Emma F said...

Ive just found your lovely blog via Bloglovin, and am looking forward to having a good read through the achives! I especially love your display of the seasons and was wondering if you would mind spilling the beans on their origin?

Gillian said...

Hi Emma, thank you for your lovely comment!

I did the autumn one first and elements of that were based on a pattern I saw in Mollie Makes a few years ago. But the following three were all from my own head and they were a lot of fun to sew.
If you click on the "embroidery" label in the side bar on the right they should all come up in there.

Giliian x

rachel said...

Love the lamp, it's perfect in that room. So exciting to see the house turning into your home xx

Nicola Taylor said...

I love how your recipe books are arranged by colour, I had boringly arranged mine by author I may just go and change it all now!

Nicola xx
P.s. I've just voted! Good luck.

Emma F said...

Hi Gillian, thanks so much for your response! I'm off to have a look right now! They are so beautiful, and since my comment I've noticed other works of embrodiery around your lovely home. Am feeling very inspired, and now the rain has finally reached us in the North East I can pretend it is winter and hunker down with a new project!

Claire/Just a little less said...

I've voted for you Gillian - you have such great style and write about interiors in an unpretentious way. We too keep our cookery books separate (although we don't have so many) and it works really well! Claire xo

Katie said...

love this room! feels like such a home xx

Helene said...

Your dining room might not be a large room but I think it's my favourite in your house! I love everything in it, the light, the picture wall, your embroidery hoops, the colour coordinated books, the chairs, the sideboard.. It's just lovely and cosy and I love it.
Well done on your nomination, you deserve it and I hope you win!! I've just voted for you!

Penny said...

What a beautiful room. Congratulations on being no,I aged, I am going to vote for you right now! X

Penny said...

Haha! Oh dear! In such a hurry this morning that I didn't proof read my comment. How did 'nominated' become 'no,I aged' Sorry Gillian......! X