BeachBoy has the flu, so I have spent the last three days of vacation stuck in the house.  And, everytime I’m stuck in the house, I start sketching ideas for how I’d rather it look.

Today’s victim? The dining room.

For several years, I’ve longed for a dining room with big, cozy seating.  I love the look of a table with a settee or two big wing chairs.

Home and Harmony


Taken during KB-Martha Stewart Home tour


We’ve never had real dining room furniture.  Our current table was picked up at a flea market.  After months of scraping off layers and layers of sticky white paint, we were left with a decent–yet wobbly–table for four.

BeachBoy helped whenever my frustration set in.

 There is no reason for the chairs other than the fact that, at the time, they were the cheapest thing I could find to get us by.

Our dining room has two, and only two, things going for it.  First, it has two corner built in units.  They aren’t fancy, but they are something.   Second, it has windows on two walls.  The other two walls are completely enclosed, except for two standard sized doors, making the windows very important.

Because of the location of the shelves, I’d like to put a settee under this window. It is also the window you see when entering the room, from the living room/front of the house. 

(Have I mentioned that you must walk through the dining room to get to the kitchen in our cottage?)

Today, I found this one online at a reasonable price.  I also learned that settees are hard to find!

It’s not exactly what I had in mind, but it looks very workable. Plus, the low arms will allow it to slide under the table if needed.

Here is one of my inspiration pictures, from the very talented Miss Mustard Seed.

Miss Mustard Seed's Settee


The one I found lacks the solid back I was hoping for.  But the ability to cover and wash the pillows should make up for it.  The colors of the settee I found will have to go.  I’m tempted to rub some paint over the wood frame, too. For now, I’ll padd and cover our existing chairs to match the settee’s slip. Oh for new chairs!

As much as I’d like to hang sconces on either side of the window, there is no electical outlet on that wall.  So, I’ll probably go with lanterns. Hopefully, I can find some to match the ones in the living room.

As you can see in the background, the dining room doubles as my sewing space and triples as BeachBoy’s office.  So, a little comfortable seating should go a long way.  Having the set moved to a wall will free up some work space in the room, too.


Since we moved into our cottage, it has been a mess work in progress. The bathroom has been almost 3 years in the making.  The boxes have been unpacked, only to be repacked for our goal of listing the house.  In fact, many things never had a chance to be unpacked. (Personally, I think that means they should be taken immediately to GoodWill.)  We’ve been ridden with tools, boxes, and demolition debris.  Frankly, we’re exhausted.

My most nagging frustration is the living room.  It has had multiple (ugly) personalities since we moved in, a direct result of our not purchasing furniture specifically for the space since we knew we’d be moving. 

Here are just a few of those personalities.

After all those photos, it’s hard to believe so many phases, including our current one, have been left out. Whew! Just looking at it makes me tired!

You see, we purchased our current living room furniture when our local Norwalk closed.  BeachBoy picked it out, and how could I tell him no? Nevertheless, it’s too formal, too froo froo, and too blue. And, it’s nothing at all like the living room I dream of creating in our home. 

from: house to home

I know what you’re thinking. That looks NOTHING like her living room. You’re right.  I should’ve spoken up while we were looking at furniture, but I didn’t.  However, as a huge fan of slipcovers, I think I can salvage the room with a temporary fix.

I’ve decided the chairs can’t be saved, though I can modify them enough for a short term fix.  BUT, the Candice Olsen sofa really does have good lines.  Plus, it’s comfortable. As much as I’d love a more relaxed shape, I’m willing to make it worth.

BeachBoy has already agreed to inherit the chairs when he gets an office in the new house.  At that point, maybe we will get the chairs I love and will use them with our sofa. Until then, I’ll need three slipcovers.  Here is the long-term plan:

For reference, this is the plan for the dining room.  In the house plan we are considering building, the two rooms are open in one large space.

In imagining the shell, think large wall of windows, french doors, a stone fireplace with white cabinetry, aged pine floors finished with tung oil, and rough cut beams overhead.

It sounds nothing like our current house, right? Haha! Perhaps that’s why I love it. Really, though, it has taken 4 years to pin down something that combines BeachBoy’s many (varied)  design loves in a way that I, too, can love.

Step one: Start small

My big project in the month ahead will be to sew the slipcovers.  I think I’m going to start with the couch, not because it’s the largest (HA!) but because it has nice straight lines.  Then, I’ll move on to the chairs.  The hunt for the perfect fabric begins next weekend.

My big debate at the moment? Piping or no piping. In my inspiration picture, there is piping on only a few of the pillows.  However, they are throw pillow in style, whereas mine are not.  All the slipped couches I’ve ever seen, however, having piping.  Currently, our sofa does not have a piped edge.  I know.  This should not be a big deal.  But, as you’ve probably already discovered, I have trouble with commitment. Perhaps that’s because I’ve never attempted to do what I really want.