As we work through flooring installation across the main floor (more about that here), we are FINALLY getting close to needing completed designs across the main floor of our house. That means I’m deep in the mood boarding and planning phase in our home! Obviously, I’ve been thinking through ideas and plans for every space in our home for a long time, but now we’re getting to the point where very real decisions need to be made.
Our dining room is one of those spaces where we will see things come together very quickly. The flooring is already done, so we just need to paint, install a new light fixture, and bring our furniture in.
If you’ll recall, our living spaces are a bit long and skinny in this house. When you walk in the new front door, the kitchen is to your right, with the dining room on the left and the living room beyond that. The dining room also has a door to our primary bedroom. A funky setup? Sure. But walk through dining rooms aren’t entirely uncommon, either.
Dining Room Inspiration
In fact, as I started working on this room, I decided to find some other walk through dining spaces to inspire me—and, as I said, it’s not entirely uncommon. In a world where open concept living is everything, it’s common to have to pass through one space to get to another, and that middle space often gets a dining table!
So, let’s examine some dining room inspiration before we get into my plans, okay? Okay.
Personally, I love to see a dining room without a rug—I know they’re stylish, but it just seems so impractical. Plus, in a pass through dining space, it seems like it would expand the footprint of the table and encroach on the walking space, visually.
In this space, I really love the armless upholstered chairs with the wood table (that table base!), as well as that super linear light fixture. I love the gallery wall, though, since we’re putting a gallery wall in the living room, I won’t double down. But that collection of objects on the table? Mental note!
When you think about it, there’s not really much *to* the space above. But, while it’s simple, it feels really comfortable, classic, and cozy, which is really great.
The rounded shaped table is ideal for a pass-through dining space and the color of the table just steps away, allowing your eye to discover the stairs, the wood, pile, the light, and, of course, those black chairs!
Again, this is such a simple look, which makes sense so you can just stare out these massive windows! That linear chandelier is positively dreamy, isn’t it? I love the way it tops this unified color story with more of the same. The whole space feels so calm and relaxed.
While I’m a fan of table linens, it’s interesting that all of these images have very simple table styling. Maybe some simplicity is appealing to me. Certainly, our dining room can be a space to take a breath between the entryway and living room, where we’ll have more color and pattern.
Defining the Dining Room
Now that we’ve seen some inspiration, the issue at hand for the walk through dining room is: how much distinction does it get without walls blocking it off from the living room or entryway?
Let’s discuss. First, we’re going to paint this room the same as the living room, entryway, and kitchen: Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee on the walls, and Revere Pewter baseboards. It’s the same color scheme that we went with in the upstairs hallway and on the stairs. I think it’s nice to have everything the same color until there’s a doorway, trim of some kind (like a cased opening), or another obvious divide—painting a random line on a wall to change color just isn’t my style.
So, everything is going to be quite unified given that paint scheme. And, we’re using the same dining room table and chairs that we had at our last house. They’re beautiful, from Room & Board, and we intentionally invested in them and chose neutral colors knowing that we’d hope to have them for a long time.
In this mockup, we have a console on the left side, with artwork and a sconce above it. I’m really hoping we can fit some kind of console or cabinet to sneak in a little extra storage for table runners and other entertaining items.
And, of course, that light! It’s a long room, so I decided to lean into it with a linear fixture—and the inspiration images definitely support this choice.
My initial instinct in here was to just put up white linen curtains and move on with life. But lately I’ve been feeling like that would be a lot of white, and this walk through dining room might just deserve a little more personality. The question is: how much?
A lot of this will depend on final styling of the living room, of course, since that’s the room next to this one. But that doesn’t mean we can’t play around!
Dining Room Mockups
As I look at this room, it seems obvious to play with the curtains, add in some complementary artwork, and choose a table runner that picks up on the colors in the curtains. But in these mockups, I’m mostly playing with the curtains since they’re such a big element—and a decision I’m hoping will be permanent!
Now, let’s turn to the window side and pick curtains. To begin with, I was considering this mustard color, which picks up on the accents from the living room but on a much larger scale:
But then I started craving pattern, so I decided to try Strawberry Thief, which would bring a lot of additional colors and a more traditional vibe to this space:
Also pretty traditional, but here is a blue and white ikat option, which would play off the blue and white wallpaper I’m thinking of using in the entryway, as well as the primarily blue color scheme in the living room.
Finally, also from Pepper Home, here is a really fun tiger pattern that brings in some additional color as well, while still on a white background.
Pepper Home also creates wallpaper, so I do have the option of matching the dining room curtains to the entryway wallpaper, which might bring some nice cohesion…but again, how much personality should the dining room have of its own? SUCH a fun question to consider!
Mocking up The Dining Room
So there we have my dining room mockups and inspiration. Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite curtain option and what you think of my initial ideas!
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