the switch - living - dining room

Right before Christmas, I mentioned that we switched our living room and dining room. While the thought has been in my head for awhile I always hesitated because it meant losing our white oak credenza on the main floor. It might seem hard to believe but the only wall it fit on downstairs was the one it was on. After some measuring and some cajoling, I convinced my husband that it was time to try the switch and move the credenza upstairs.

The front room of our house is a very awkward space to put furniture in. With two doorways, a cast iron radiator, a bay window, a fireplace and a maximum width of about 12 feet across creating a comfortable seating area is difficult. It's fine when there are only 2-3 people there but once you add any more guests it becomes difficult to communicate.

Luckily, the sofa I bought when we moved functions as both a sectional and as two separate seating areas. I always thought it would work well against the long wall in the dining room with one or two of our Bertoia wire chairs facing it. I've also always loved the idea of having a dining room that also functions as a library or study. I could easily imagine lining all the walls of our front room with bookshelves and really making using of all the vertical height would have. (Not to mention that it would be nice to finally get all of our books out of the basement.) If we decide that we really like these two rooms this way than I'll think seriously about getting some bookshelves put in.

To date the change has worked really well for us. There is definitely more circulation space between the two rooms which makes life a little easier. I also really like collapsing on the sectional with the whole family at the end of the day. It's a little more informal and relaxed than our old set up. I've also added a bit more colour to the living room through some new pillows and a flokati like rug (from the lovely Mrs. Huizenga). I originally bought the new rug for Henry's new room (it might still end up there) but threw it down when I bought it home and it hasn't moved since.

What do you think of the switch? How about the splash of colour I've added to the living room?

By the way, don't forget to enter the Big Tinsel giveaway to win a Fox Necklace. You can do so on last Thursday's post. You have until Wednesday night to enter. Good luck!

the reveal - dining room

After months of deliberating and a few Cast Your Vote posts I am finally ready to reveal my new dining room. But before I do that let's look at some before photos and remind ourselves of what I was hoping to achieve. We'll begin with the chairs. As I mentioned previously, for the past five years or so we have had knock-off white vinyl Thonet chairs around our table.

While they have been more than adequate I was really hoping this time around to spend a bit more money and purchase some vintage or licensed reproduction chairs. I think in the long run you get what you pay for.

The other update I wanted to make was to our light fixture. When we first moved into The Marion House we didn't have the large black painting of Napoleon's Hands on the wall. The large, cream drum pendant we had in place really obscured the view of this painting and took away from its presence. If you remember, I was hoping to find something that complimented the artwork and the black chandelier in our living room.

So without further it is, my new dining room.

What do you think? As you can see, I went with the black Eames Molded Chair with dowel bases and the Moooi Non-Random Light.

I am super happy with the results. The addition of more black into the room really ties it all together and makes it quite dramatic. The chairs are classics and are actually very kid-friendly as they can be easily cleaned. The painting is clearly the focus of the room and is quite visible through the mesh pendant. I also like how this Moooi fixture references the shape and style of light you would find in Morocco which ties in with the kilim rug below the table. It is also absolutely stunning at night as it casts beautiful patterns around the room. Truth be told, if I had the money I would have bought a Serge Mouille fixture but every project has its budget! And in the end I think this combination works really well with all the elements in the room.

So, was it worth the wait? Is this what you were thinking of when you saw the boxes? I'd love to hear what you have to say!

before and afters

Are you like me? Do you love a good before and after? Two years ago, this March, we moved into The Marion House. Since that time the house has gone through a lot of alterations and renovations. I have tried to document the changes along the way. The other day, as I was going through my archives I came across this selection of before and afters. What amazes me is that many of the rooms have already changed since these photographs were taken! The living room in particular looks quite different. I guess I really am a serial renovator.