thoughts on my dining area

In the past, I haven’t shown much of the process mid-design in my place because I think I’ve been a little embarrassed to reveal how often I change my mind and in turn, change the design.   I experiment, I make holes, I move things around, I make mistakes, I edit, edit ,edit.  (Case in point: My Bedroom.)  Well the heck with embarrassment, today I’m just shooting from the hip.  I make no promises to do anything, I’m just thinking out loud.

And I’m thinking about my dining area.  So this is what I’ve got going on right now, but it is all changing.

design manfiest dining room and buffet half way

I already hung my new chandelier.  It’s the Edmund by Arteriors and I LURVES it.

It’s antiqued brass, glass, faceted and just stunning in person.

edmund pendant

I need more storage, so I am hoping to switch out my wood buffet for a taller storage unit.

Love this guy, but its not good for all the random crap I have, so I want to move it upstairs.

dining room buffet small

I’m hoping to magically thrift upon a black Chinoiserie armoire like this…

black chinoiserie cabinet

If this piece could just walk into my life for a bargain I would be very happy.


I’ve been waiting on my mom’s old wood table to get refinished.

This is the only photo of it, but you get the deal…

wood table for the cottage

Traditional, elegant, woody.

Since my table is traditional, I’m inclined to have more modern dining chairs.

I just don’t think I’m going to like my black mix n’ match bamboo chairs with the wood table.

Plus I have this console table and stools to think about with the mix.

chrome console red stools

There is a part of me that really wants to get these chairs because they are seriously cheap and a fun shape and color.

(Plus I could use them outside)

green taboret chairs

I’ve never used green in my home, so this would be a definite departure.

But the chairs are actually similar to the wood Asian pair I have in my adjacent seating area.

design manifest living room fireplace television to the side

But can I commit to the green?  I’m being very selective with color on the first floor.   Every little bit needs to be special.

Maybe my chairs should just be comfortable and classic.

These are pretty well priced.  4 would be $680 including shipping.

safavieh dining chair

Not offensive, but also not exciting.  But not everything needs to be a statement piece, right?

I think what I need to do is search for inspiration rooms.

So perhaps I’ll do that and report back.

Happy Friday!

  1. Edyta

    So fun to see your home transformation, it’s looking so charming!


  2. Go for the green! Love that color and it never goes out of style. Fun and functional.

    Also, in LOVE with that Chinoiserie armoire with the great interior color. I would also die to have a piece like that. Let me know if you find a cheap-ish version in stores or something that would look like it w/ a hack.

  3. Brandi

    I’m not a fan of the green chairs. I think something more simple would be better but I’m not in love with those tufted ones either. I think you should let the cabinet (when you find it) and the pendant etc be the stars of the dining room and I feel like too fancy chairs would take away from those other great pieces. Not too mention how amazing your blue kitchen cabinets are nearby. And don’t feel bad about taking forever! We’ve been in our home 4 years and I’ve just started to pull it “together” within the last year. I think about stuff FOREVER! Then I obsessively check craigslist to find things haha!

  4. Substantial and light is a winning combo… liking this idea!

  5. Classic choice! I’ve never actually sat in one, though. Have you?

    I like the idea of something white and modern or very very thin and light with that table.

    And I forgot to say that it already looks REALLY GOOD in there!!!

    • Naomi

      I have sat in them. The legit ones are both substantial and light (easy to move.) Not sure about the fakes… which I’d probably do :/

  6. Oh yeah, tulip chairs would be cute! But I had a set and they were so hard to pull up to the table…

    Still, very cute.

    • Naomi

      That’s the problem, the bases make them tough to move. And when men sit in them I’m always a little nervous they’ll just keel over. Probably wont, but who wants to tell guests to be careful with their chairs?
      What about Pantons?

  7. Serial redecorating is tough, and doing it for all the world to see makes it so much harder to commit to anything! I’m totally in the same boat.

    So, I vote no on the green chairs because I have learned green is way bossy, and I think something light and open would look nice with your (fab) new chandy and help to enlarge the space… too weird?

    too wicker?—White/2340517,default,pd.html?cgid=outdoor-dining-furniture

    too hard?

    Finding a good chair is a bit like finding Cinderella, I guess but I know you can do it!

    • Naomi

      yea I dont know. I think I’ll just know when I know. I do have 4 tulip chairs but I would need to put money into new cushions and the bases need an automotive paint job. I do it if they werent a pain in the ass to sit in. They’d be cute, though.

  8. Priya

    This is slightly unrelated to this post, but I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog because you seem so much more honest and ‘real’ than a lot of designers who wave a magic wand and happen to perfectly style their house in a week. I was fretting over the fact that we moved home at the end of April and I still have boxes everywhere and it’s not looking perfect, and then thought, ‘hang on, Naomi is still figuring her place out and she’s a super stylist!”. It’s so rare to come across professional designers admitting to having to experiment and just see how things look. Please please keep blogging – I know you said recently you were finding it tough to make time and I totally get that, but I’d be gutted not to read your thoughts and ideas. x

    • Naomi

      thanks so much, Priya!!

  9. Ann T.

    If I may be so bold to suggest it, I think the green chairs would diminish the look of your dining room. Assuming for the sake of argument that green is a good color choice, they look cheap and uncomfortable. Personally, I really like your bamboo chairs, and they would be perfect with your dreamed for Chinoiserie cabinet. Were I in your position, and not wanting to spend a lot of money, I would reupholster the existing chairs, and put a contrasting welt on the bottom of each cushion, to add a touch of drama. If you have your heart set on green, I would paint the bamboo chairs, unless there is something wrong with them that doesn’t show in photos.

    • Naomi

      Opinions welcome, Ann. I certainly won’t act on the chairs until I have the table in place and test out my old ones. I definitely don’t want to swap them out for ones that aren’t comfy as I do a lot of my blogging from this table.

  10. Dear Naomi, The Ballard chairs with nail-head trim could be perfect, yes they are neutral however then you can accessorize with any of the colors you love! A great work of art. Table centerpiece bowl, even a cool rug!

    2013 Designer Series
    Art by Karena

  11. As a huge fan of your blog imagine my excitement to see you had featured the Chinoiserie cabinet that I had painted ! It was such a fun piece to transform. Always find inspiration in your posts. Thanks !!
    Kim Moore

    • Naomi

      It’s so gorgeous, Kim!!

  12. Elisa

    You have so many great ideas! I love the storage piece, wouldn’t that be a fab find! I’m excited to watch your space come together! Cheers

  13. Sabrina

    I like seeing the process and all the inner workings of a designer’s mind! And I love that light.

  14. Lori

    No embarrassment required, I think we all are guilty of the move it all the time syndrome. It’s so hard to commit when you know what all is out there plus your home is your playground right? I have the Ballard chairs (COM…so cool!) they are really comfortable and pretty well made. So nice to hang on for long leisurely entertaining sessions. I’m in your neighborhood if you want to come over for lots of wine and check’um out first hand!

    • Naomi

      Thanks Lori! Yes I’ve used the chairs for clients and love them. I’m just darn cheap with my place. 1) I redecorate A LOT and 2) just spent so much on the renovation. But perhaps the Ballard chairs will happen in my future. I’ve loved the Louis XVI style for so long.

  15. I love seeing in-progress shots and reading about your design/thought process. That light is gorgeous! Good choice. For the chairs, I think the upholstered ones would be best, because they would be much more comfortable and elegant. In the long run, those things matter.

    I have dinner guests coming over tomorrow, one whom has a bad back, and has difficulty sitting in hard dining chairs for very long. So I’m wishing had those kind of chairs myself.

  16. emily

    soooo, I’m a long time admirer of your blog and have never commented. but today I have to say just how refreshing it is for you to let us in on your thought process and to see your home unfinished. as much as I love to see an amazing space, it’s also nice for us little people to see you agonize over making decisions in your home, and not just POOF! beautifully designed space!! do you know what I mean??? love your style!

    • Naomi

      Thanks for the comment, Emily!! Decorating is definitely a process and I aim to keep it honest.

  17. LOVE that chandelier… or is it a pendant? Either way, so glad you went with that one. I have one of those traditional chairs, and while comfy, it’s exceedingly traditional looking in person. Somehow it felt like a modern version of a traditional look when I bought it, but when it came it was straight up traditional. Maybe you can find an in between option with a similar linking element? Finding *just* the right thing is not easy to do, so I wish you luck. The whole place is really beautiful. Sort of fun, though, to tinker and tweak, no? xoxo

    • Naomi

      Definitely fun to tinker and tweak. When I finish I’ll be sad 😉

  18. Carol

    I think the Ballard chairs are your best bet and look the most comfortable. You could always change the fabric on maybe just the backs of the chairs for a little oomph. I also like the idea had of painting your bamboo chairs white.

  19. could you paint your bamboo chairs white to contrast the table? i think you’ll like the styles together…but i can’t see the whole table, so maybe i’m way off?

    the louis chairs from ballard would look quite fancy. and i know you love you some ballard.

    i hope you find that cabinet! the rest of us will live vicariously through you…….

    and the chandy is NAILS. i’m on the hunt for one of those myself….thinking red, which is super unusual for me. but i think it would look good against the blue walls and a white table (assuming i find a table i’m willing to paint white….)

    • Naomi

      Oooo yes a red chandy would be faboo against your walls!!

      I love the Louis Ballard chairs but I’m not sure I want to spend the money. I’m so darn cheap with my own place.

  20. You such such amazing style. I love those green chairs and could totally see them in your home!

    • Naomi

      Very cute, Laura, but unfortunately that one is too big for my space/

  21. Jenny B

    I do love the green chairs, somehow that green really reads like a neutral to me because it looks like a green you would see looking out your window, but I have those chairs in white and some words of caution. They are not very comfortable, and are not very wide. If men or larger women sit in them they are squeezed by the arms of the chair. And be careful if you use them outside, they rust. Mine are outside and rusty, but I don’t mind!

    • Naomi

      thanks so much for the feedback, Jenny!

  22. LOVE being able to see other peoples creative process! I’m sure whichever chairs you choose will be amazing.

  23. Alex

    I would go with the classic chairs. I think with how bold your kitchen is you want that to be the focus and shine in all its prettiness!

    • Naomi

      Agree… and not sure if colorful chairs make sense against that turquoise kitchen

  24. Alexa

    Oooh that chandelier is beyond fabulous! 🙂

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