After much searching, I’m closing in on the makeover plan for our living and dining rooms. As I mentioned in this earlier post, I just want to update the look and inject some fresh energy into the house. No major furniture purchases and no painting allowed.

So, here was my action plan:

– (Finally) buy a rug for the living room – we’ve been looking for one for almost three years, time for a decision, I think.

– Replace the ugly chandelier in our dining room that came with the house.

– Make a photo wall with the various family photos we have scattered around.

– Clear some of the surfaces and re-arrange some of the accessories.

– Introduce some plants.

I struggled to reconcile several different design aesthetics currently buzzing around my head. For example, I’m loving the apartment of sfgirlbybay blogger, Victoria Smith.

sfgirlbybay apartment

But I am also inspired by Remodelista blogger, Julie’s, house in Mill Valley (although obviously don’t have those stunning cathedral ceilings to work with!)

Remodelista house

Finally, I found my inspiration in this picture, originally from Domino magazine, but found via Room Lust blogger, Javi’s, Flickr photostream.


This look checks all the boxes for me: neutral colors, clean simple lines, organic shapes, with a bit of vintage.

I started with the rug. We’re almost settled on this design from Schumacher. It’s a very pale creamy-white looped wool carpet which we’ll have made into an area rug (I know, with a toddler I must be crazy but bear with me…) and it has a light blue-gray pattern. Because of the pattern, stains are going to show up less.


Then a bought this long lusted-after white bird bowl from Jonathan Adler.

bird bowl

I also have the vase I posted about here.

Then, for the dining room, we went all out and chose this pendant from Room & Board. It’s the Nelson Bubble Saucer Lamp. It’s pretty big (36″ in diameter!) so there will be no escaping its presence! But I love the organic shape. It wasn’t easy to get home though. I don’t think the sales associate appreciated the ten minutes spent trying to cram it into the back of my Ford Focus. That was after he allowed me 20 minutes in Room & Board’s stockroom hunting out different sizes so I could compare them. Being down there was like being in the world’s best flea market – every shelf had something cool to gawp at.

Nelson Bubble Lamp

I am still looking for the right mirror. It needs to be round, with a black frame and very simple. A front-runner is this one from Restoration Hardware, apparently made from a Polish train wheel (?!).

train wheel

Another option is the Channing Mirror from Pottery Barn.

Channing Mirror

I love this one seen in Domino but don’t know where it is from:

Round mirror

I’m not sure any of them are completely right. Any other suggestions?

I’ve also bought some frames ready to make our photo wall. We already have the photos so that will be a project for the next cloudy day…

Finally, the plants. We’ve chosen one: it’s called a Rhapis Palm. Now just got to source it at a reasonable price and get it home.

So, some progress made. I’ll post pictures once it’s all in place. I can’t wait to see it all come together.