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The first room we decided to complete was the dining room, which is odd since that’s the room we knew we would use the least. Daniel had the very good idea to not use the space as a full dining room since, as previously implied, we barely use it. We’re the kind of couple that eats dinner in front of the TV in the living room, not at a table over intellectual discourse. We decided to set it up as a half dining area, half adult sitting area. What is an adult sitting area, you may ask? Well, I’m not sure, but perhaps an area with books, chairs and no TV? We’re going with that.

When I thought about what my dining room would look like, I envisioned a space with lots of natural light enveloped in dark gray/black paint, and a mix of industrial and vintage furniture. That didn’t happen. I also promised myself that if I ever owned a house, I would get rid of all my Ikea furniture. Nothing wrong with Ikea – it’s pretty damn great, actually – but I just figured that I could move onto more grownup furniture stores once I was grownup enough to own a house. This didn’t happen either.

So the dining room is a compromise of what I had originally envisioned with what would work best in the actual space with the furniture we have. Gone with the bland beigey white paint and in with a dark gray accent wall (Distant Thunder by Behr) and a lighter warm gray for the rest of the walls (Silver Fox by Benjamin Moore).

The adult sitting area is our old Ikea chairs and bookshelves, a new Ikea ball of light and a new runner rug from West Elm. We already have new chairs in mind to swap these out and will put that drawing of the Manhattan Bridge in a frame and hang it up properly.

The other side of the room are old Ikea table and chairs. We are talking to a furniture designer on Etsy about a custom table that will fit that space perfectly (a mid-century modern version of a refectory table) and plan to hang a really nice piece of artwork up there someday in the distant future when we can afford nice artwork.

Separating the two areas are our bar cart (fully stocked and set up within a day of moving in, of course) and photos that Daniel took when he lived in Japan and traveled around Asia for three years.

As with everything in this house, this room continues to be a work in progress (for example, that ceiling fan and light fixture has got to go), but it is as done as it’s going to be for a while.


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