Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dining Area

While everything is still tidied up from Easter, I thought I would show you my dining area.  It's not really a dining room -- it's just separated from the kitchen by a bar/counter, but it is a nice size space.  

Below is my hutch.  Sadly, it got badly beaten up during our move here six years ago.  As a general rule I try to practice "defensive decorating." In other words, have things that are already supposed to be distressed-looking, or things that are super difficult to mess up.  Believe me, this is very necessary with a large, mostly male, family.  You don't want to know how many holes in my wall, blah blah blah, that I don't even show you.  The hutch was not one of those supposed-to-be-distressed pieces. But, hey, this blog is supposed to be about finding the good things, so that's what I'm concentrating on:)

Anyway, on my hutch are some pottery pieces I've accumulated over the years.  I don't have any china (although I love looking at many of yours!), but I am very drawn to pottery.  One of these days I would love to learn how to make my own.  My mom even has a piece of pottery -- just a simple crock -- that was made by her great-great-grandmother, who we know very little about but was apparently a potter.  Who knows, maybe some her genes passed down to me?  

Some of the pieces below were made by students at Georgia Southern University and were purchased when we lived in Georgia, others were purchased at art festivals here in Texas, a few were gifts.

Here's a little closer look, although I have to say in person they are much more beautiful.  Mixed in I have a few metal pieces.  The little teapot in the center is something one of my children bought and likes to keep there:)

I do use these pieces, pulling them down to put cookies on or displaying flowers in the vases.  The long pewter platter on the bottom shelf was just used during Easter for a lemon pound cake.

These barn pictures hang on the wall to the left of the hutch.  The one on the left was given to me by my mother-in-law.  It reminds me a little of East Tennessee.  The other one is a pastel drawing of a barn and pumpkin patch by my oldest son when he was elementary-school age.

The geranium painting on the right of the hutch was done by my husband's maternal grandmother.  She painted lots of pictures.  This one belonged to my mother-in-law and she knew I loved it so she gave it to me.  My mother-in-law grows the most beautiful geraniums, so this picture is a reminder not only of my husband's grandmother, but my mother-in-law too.  It makes me very happy.

A few years ago my husband, following his grandmother's example, took up painting himself:)  This is one of his earlier pieces.

These chiles (also by my husband) hang by the door to the patio.

My old dining table is temporarily serving as a buffet.  It's a little too large for the space, and I would love to have something with more storage, but until I find something better it will do.

Above it is a window from the my dad's house.  His grandfather built the house back in the 1930s or 40s.  It's just a small, regular house but so far it has stayed in the family.  When my dad updated it, my sister took all the discarded windows.  She did some stained-glass type painting and gave this one to me (she's nice that way :).

Below is our table.  It was built by my husband and a friend (who is a great woodworker) several years ago from black walnut wood.  It is in constant use.  I love it!  But it is in dire need of refinishing, which I keep procrastinating about because I'm not quite sure the best way to do it.  The chairs are a motley crew of various Windsors.  At some point I decided to embrace the unmatched look -- it goes along with the defensive decorating and my budget ;)

The next two signs -- good reminders for us all -- were given to me by my mother-in-law.

That's the end of my little tour!  I hope you enjoyed it:)


  1. Oh I very much enjoyed the tour. You display things so artfully and well. I really like the pottery displayed on your hutch along with the silver, etc. Another thing that is great are the many personal touches that are unique to your family. Just think of this: No one has a home that looks just as yours does. That has got to be satisfying. And, as for the dinged and mismatched look...perfect! I not only love it, I embraced it long ago. Thank you for the I think I saw something about Angel Biscuits.

  2. What lovely things and how lovely to see your dining room! I feel as though I am wandering round the room with you with you pointing things out as we go. I am a great believer in artistic genes travelling through the generations so I think you are onto something with the heritage you've got there. Go for it! I did quite a bit of pottery at school and tried an evening class a couple of years ago but it was rather intimidating and everyone was much more advanced than me so I felt rather out of my depth and gave up but I still hanker after getting my hands stuck into clay! I love your collection of chairs by the way - too much uniformity lacks artistry as far as I am concerned so if I were you I would revel in the variety! Artful artlessness or artless artfulness in action! Given the choice of mix and match or all matching I always pick the former! E x

  3. I do love a house tour!! Thanks for taking me on a tour of your dining room! I also love your philosophy of "defensive decorating". I have never named it such, but I do know exactly what you mean. That's what drew me to "country" style decorating in the first place. It could be done on a budget, and a few nicks and bumps from little kids did not destroy the look; instead it enhanced it! (Actually, when we first began decorating our house, we hardly HAD a budget. We prayed from paycheck to paycheck!)

    Anyway, your dining room is lovely...the table, your artwork, the pottery and trays...all lovely!

  4. The pottery is just great...the paintings just show what a heritage of creative people...which you are igniting for the next generation. Before long you all might how your own booth at the art shows! Original art work is the best....but note I don't have any, so that creative branch died in our house.

  5. I loved the tour! The pewter platters are magnificent. I have always loved pewter, but I don't think I have a single piece. The paintings by your loved ones are true treasures.


  6. Your dining table is just what I would order if someone were to build one for me -- so beautiful and practical at the same time, perfect for a family.


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