Re-arranging the Dining Room

You know those pictures where it starts out looking like one thing but the longer you look at it, you are able to see another image appear?

Well, I’m really horrible at those.

Everyone around me will see that what looks like the solar system is in actuality a big bowl of apples.

Squint your eyes, they say. Tilt your head, jump up and down, close one eye and stare at it for 10 minutes with the other eye, spit on the ground and then spin around twice. THEN you’ll see it.

But, I never do. So, I fake it.

“Ohhhhhh! There it is! Yes, I totally see it. I totally don’t see the solar system any more but instead I see a bowl of apples!”

dining room

I really think the key to the success in seeing the picture within the picture is changing your perspective.

And I think sometimes that’s the key to success in decorating too.

Case in point…my dining room.

When we first moved in I was absolutely positive that there was only one way to position our table. And that’s where it stayed for 5 years. You can see it here.

Then I fell in love…chair love.

These weren’t just any chairs. These were dining room chairs on casters, slipcovered in creamy perfection with sassy little pleats.

I wanted them. But, even though they were already at a discount store, I still didn’t want to pay their price. So, I waited and waited and waited and waited. Going back again and again and watching that price drop lower and lower and lower and lower.

Until, that one magical day when I went to visit them and the price was so low that I just couldn’t hold off any longer.

And now, they’re mine…ALL MINE! (cue maniacal laugh)

upholstered dining room chairs

As I wheeled these chairs through the store (they wouldn’t quite fit in the cart!) my mind was racing with thoughts about how I was going to make them work with the current layout in the dining room. In the process of stalking these chairs and willing their price to drop I somehow lost sight of the fact that there really wasn’t room for them.

I got home and stood in the doorway from the kitchen to the dining room for a long time just staring at the space like I stare at those paintings withing paintings. I squinted my eyes, tilted my head and just when I was getting ready to spit on the floor and spin around twice (okay I wasn’t actually going to do that!) my perspective changed!

traditional formal dining room

I realized that by turning the table the other way that it would give me enough room to use my new chairs AND it even gave me enough room to add an extra leaf.

Seriously! Why on earth did I not do this sooner?

Suddenly there was all of this extra space and the room felt sooooooo much bigger!

dining room living room combo

You know, it’s  funny how a simple change of perspective can make such a big impact.

This is true of pictures within pictures, decorating and…well…life.

Sometimes we all just need to look at things differently, right?

Maybe it’s something as simple as a room or maybe it’s something as complicated as a relationship or a difficult circumstance you suddenly find yourself in.

formal dining room set

I’m the first to admit that changing one’s perspective is easier said than done.

You see, the thing is, I’d been feeling like I needed to start from scratch with my dining room. I looked at those images on Pinterest and felt like this space was just all wrong. Like my matching table and china cabinet were just not ‘in’ anymore. That I should just wipe the slate clean and start all over.

My perspective of this room was that it was just not measuring up.

But simply by turning the table around and adding two discounted chairs, suddenly I saw my dining room in an entirely new light.

Nothing dramatic happened. It just felt ‘right’…like how it was always supposed to look.

hydrangea centerpiece

Changing my perspective about the room also changed my attitude about it.

Maya Angelou said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude about it.”

I’m fairly certain she wasn’t referring to dining rooms.

But, who am I to question it when decorating leads to profound life lessons?! 😉

Vanessa signature


  1. says

    Pretty photos. Have you thought about lining the interior back wall of your china cabinet? Chevron would be pretty or a watermarked silk fabric would lighten up the darkness of the wood. Just a thought from my perspective.

  2. June says

    LOVE THE CHAIRS VANESSA! Worth the wait. Love the change to the dining room as well.

    I recently had a wall taken down between our kitchen and dining room. It allowed me to play around with the space a little more since like you I had one vision to begin with and kept it that way for 25 years. What I did and love is move my big china hutch to a living room wall and I absolutely love it! Ironically my sister came over and commented she had been thinking of doing the same thing.

    It’s a long room and I haven’t totally completed the project. You can still see the hutch from the dining room table and I just love how it is all coming together.

    Thanks for the great inspiring posts.

  3. says

    Hi Vanessa,
    Love love love your new chairs, and they do look wonderful with your table…..and other chairs. You are so right about perspective, it is everything really.
    Sometimes we all need a change…….or need to change ourselves.
    Your dining room looks lovely and love your tablescape as well.
    I love white anything……..
    it just makes me hap hap happy………

    Have a great day,
    Nellie recently posted..Welcome to Thankful Thursday – July 31, 2014 and summer dining room scenesMy Profile

  4. says

    That’s right … all in the perspective! And, it IS fun to change it sometimes! Having said that, I LOVE your new dining chairs … I have a crush on them, and, if I spotted them at a fantastic price, they’d hop in my cart, too! They look beautiful in your dining room and the new arrangement is fantabulous! Great job, friend. xoxoxoxo

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