Elsie’s Dining Room Tour (Before & After)

Elsie's Dining Room Tour ©AlyssaRosenheckToday I am so excited to share our dining room with you! It's one of my personal favorite rooms in the whole house. It's where we love to host parties and dinners and where Laura and I have ABM meetings about interesting topics like soap recipes and jello shot ideas. 

What's interesting about this room is that it's visually bold, but to me it's the most minimalist room in our home. We hardly did any decorating because the wallpaper is so bold. When we have parties, we don't really decorate this room, because no matter what you put in here, the wallpaper is all you see. It makes it pretty easy if I'm being honest, and I can see why a lot of hotels and restaurants go this route with their decor. It kind of simplifies this whole process. 

I have a bunch of photos to share with you from my shoot with Alyssa Rosenheck for domino. I decided to share these photos as my tour because they really got all the angles. But if you notice a few things moving around, just know it's because that's what you do during magazine shoots. It's the magazine way! Haha! 

But FIRST, a walk down memory lane is in order, don't you think? 

AR5A4787Elsie's Dining Room Tour©AlyssaRosenheck     Before vs. After. Always a good moment to look back and see how far we've come! 

We fell in love with this house for 100 different reasons. The formal dining room with doors that walk out into the sunroom was a big one for us. We love the flow of this house. It's very open and natural, but not so open that it feels like just one big room. In the layout, this room sits between the kitchen/breakfast nook and the living room. 

The visual change is pretty dramatic, but the steps we took to get from point A to point B were a lot less intense than a lot of the other rooms. We removed the heavy drapes and repaired the trim so that it was flush with the rest of the trim. That's the biggest reason why it's so much brighter now. We refinished the floors with a light whitewash color. We removed the chair rails and added some bold wallpaper. BOLD wallpaper. After that, we kept the decor pretty simple. The most exciting moment in this renovation for me was putting up this dream light fixture. I got it from Shop Candelabra. It looks like it's no longer on their site, but there are a lot of similar options and really dreamy sputniks on there. 

Elsie's Dining Room Tour©AlyssaRosenheck  The Jane Birkin poster really pops with the wallpaper. It's a blueprint copy of a photo I found online. The frame is DIY

Elsie's dining room The wine shelf is a custom piece that Josh Rhodes made when we still lived in Missouri. I loved it in that space, but I love it even more now! It was a beast to move, but since we're never moving ever again, it's all good. 

Elsie's Dining Room Tour©AlyssaRosenheck      Let's talk about the white rug. Yeah, I saw your judgy looks. 

Haha—I'm just kidding! But seriously, read this whole paragraph before you judge. 

We chose a Marrakesh Shag Rug for a couple reasons—
1. It's GORGEOUS. I'm not going to lie to you and say I didn't choose it because it's so beautiful. I am not above being vain about my rug choices. I realize a dark rug would've been more practical and potentially lasted longer, BUT I didn't want a dark rug, and it didn't fit this space. I mean—can you even visualize a dark rug here. 
2. I've had a rug like this before, and I'm OK with spot cleaning it. I'm also OK with the wear and tear that is going to happen over time. I'm happy to say that almost a year in, it's still looking almost brand new! But there are a few spots here and there from parties, and I can live with that because in the BIG PICTURE, the room looks and feels how I want it to. That's more worth it to me than a rug that promises to "never age" because we all know that rugs don't last forever. If you want to hear me over-explain my choice some more, look no further

OK, now you can judge me if you still want to! 

Elsie's Dining Room Tour ©AlyssaRosenheck    Elsie's Dining Room Tour ©AlyssaRosenheck    Our wallpaper is Redoute Rose-Hot Pink by Peacoquette Designs via Spoonflower

I have so many feelings about this wallpaper. It was love at first sight for sure. It's not really compatible with much other decor, which is a love and hate thing for me. Mostly love! I like that the room always looks complete and pulled together (as long as the table is cleared—haha). And it's visually stunning in a way that truly makes my heart skip a beat when I walk into the room, even after all these months! BUTTERFLIES. 

But I will admit the downside to having such bold wallpaper is that the room is not very versatile. You want to throw a halloween party or a themed party or a themed birthday party? Well if it doesn't match pink floral… forget about it. As with most extreme choices, there's an up and a down. For that reason I like to think of this room as the diva of our home. Every person who comes over wants to take a photo by the wallpaper, so I told her she's Instagram famous. 🙂

Elsie's dining room  Well I hope you enjoyed my little tour! We are so happy here. 

Elsie's Dining Room Tour ©AlyssaRosenheck         I'm so grateful for the natural light. It's by far the best thing about our home and the reason why I sometimes jokingly and sometimes very seriously say I will never move.  

Fun fact! The cabinet you see to your right holding glassware is actually this cabinet repurposed! 

Thank you so much for reading! If you have any questions at all, I'll be popping in to answer them even though I'm on vacation this week because THAT'S how much I love you guys!! xx -Elsie 

Other sources: Mirror/Rejuvenation, White Chairs/Amazon, Teak Wood Chair/Lulu & Georgia.

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Alyssa Rosenheck and (photos of me) Laura Gummerman. 

  • Love this room so much! It seriously looks straight out of a magazine (which is good because it was in one! 😉 ). I’m glad you talked through all the pros and cons, but I think you made such good decisions keeping the rest of the room minimalist. That keeps it feeling bright and airy and not too crowded. Just so lovely.

    -Molly
    http://www.modcircus.com

  • Beautiful room! Though what are the odds! I have been looking at that rug online for a while for either our living or bedroom, but have yet to order it. If you don’t mind me asking. What is the texture of the rug like? Is it cratchy or soft? We do not wear shoes inside of our home so I’ve been on the fence about whether to purchase it or not based on the texture.

  • This room is SPECTACULAR!! I love all these peeks inside your gorgeous home. Keep ’em coming please!!

  • Wow, beautiful room! I love that this doesn’t look like any of the other dining rooms I’ve looked at lately. Sometimes I feel like all of the designs I see begin to look the same. Your style is definitely unique and it looks amazing! Congrats on such a fabulous and fun space.

  • Hi Annet,
    Actually my husband chose this wallpaper. I had it narrowed down to make 5 or 7 and he picked this one. He has an aversion to crafty looking things (like illustrated designs or basically anything that could go in a kids room) but he doesn’t have any aversion to pink or floral. His appreciation for design is one of the many things I love about him!
    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Martha!
    I’ve seen these rugs in a variety of textures. My friend has almost the exact same rug (from a different store) and hers sheds but mine doesn’t. VERY lucky since this isn’t a low traffic room. The texture is soft like soft yarn.
    xx- Elsie

  • LOVE this room. It has such a bright and positive vibe! I have to ask – what your method of spot cleaning the rug?

  • I LOVE it so much!!! Your taste is my favorite and totally inspiring. Can’t wait to see the rest of your house! That is such a creepy statement to make to a stranger, but I think this is a safe place. Lol!

  • You are so lucky your hubby lets you fly with that bold wallpaper!!! It looks amazing. Well done Elsie.
    Ana

  • I second the request on how you clean the rug. But not spot clean– generally clean. I had a similar one in my living room (the one from west elm that is popular) and after a year I finally gave up on it. We would shake it out quarterly and I would vacuum it weekly. But it always had dirt and dog hair caught in it that wouldn’t come out unless I would hand pick it out. Which I did regularly. High pile wool rugs that are white don’t mix for me in high traffic areas. Maybe a dining room is different than living room bc you don’t ever sit on the floor. Planning to move it to the guest bedroom next

  • Hey Elsie~
    I would be happy to adapt anything from my Halloween or Christmas collections to feature the pink and green I used in the wallpaper! I already have some hot pink Halloween prints and I could match them perfectly. A hot pink and green Christmas would be so much fun!
    ~Sarah

  • I think it is such a happy and stunning room. When you do blueprint copies you can use a photo that was online? I always thought it had to be something of your own. I have vintage magazine covers (pictures online) that I am in love with and would like to use. How do you bring something from online to print? That is one of my favorite photos of Jane Birkin.

  • How you’ve transformed this room is just amazing! You must have the best parties in it! It’s so clever to have such a statement wallpaper, and yet the room still feels to light and airy. Somehow it looks much bigger than in the ‘before’ shot too. And I love love love the Birkin poster! xxx

  • The floral wallpaper does look really bold, but I’m still so in love with how you decorated the whole room, especially the framed picture! It adds a beautiful touch. It looks bright and vibrant, really nice! Life in Blue Skies | A Lifestyle Blog

  • Looking great! Did you white wash the floors yourselves or have them professionally done? If you did it yourself, any advice?

  • Okay, I have a very real, practical question:

    How do you keep your dishes and glasses clean with open shelving? Is it more of a hassle for you? I am thinking of doing open shelving in the kitchen and maybe dining room but my husband says he’d rather not because of all the dust that would build up (even if we dust frequently). What are your thoughts? Thanks!! 🙂

  • Hi Suzanne,
    This is one of the most asked questions, so I might do a whole post about it soon!

    First I will say that open shelves are not for everyone. It’s a little bit more work to keep the kitchen from looking cluttered, although it doesn’t bother me if my kitchen is perfect (it basically never is unless I am taking photos). And some homes are more dusty than others.

    For us it’s really not a hassle. We keep the things we use regularly on the lower shelves (glasses, plates, salad bowls, popcorn bowls etc) and they never sit long enough to collect dust. On the higher shelves it’s more server ware that we use for parties. So it sits longer without use. When I take that stuff down I either wipe it clean or wash it before using.

    Other that that we dust the shelves maybe once a season and the other shelves that have glassware.

    I will also say that it’s important to have good ventilation in the kitchen. We don’t deep fry basically ever, but oil from cooking can get into the air (and leave a sticky film) on things as well. It happened in our last house on this very top shelf we had that never got touched. So if you cook with oils always use your vent!

    A year in, I love our open shelving and would do it again!

    Hope that is helpful! xx- Elsie

  • This room is medium traffic. So I know it will get worn over time, but a year in it’s still doing ok. I’ve only done a little spot cleaning with carper cleaner, I think when we had pasta one time. :))

    I will say I had a flokati in our tv living room one time and it got gross much faster. I would use these rugs in low or medium traffic rooms. Yes- the guest bedroom would be perfect!!
    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Amy!
    We got the 9×12, I believe. It was a size bigger than our table needed, but you can sort of see in the before pic that our floor has line between the herringbone and the inner straight pattern so we had to size up to cover those lines completely.
    xx- Elsie

  • Hello Elsie,

    Such a cool room! It’s definitely your style, which is really neat.

    Seems like you were anticipating some flack about the rug choice, but honestly what struck me as odd the most was the picture of Jane Birkin. It reminded me of the print of David Lynch in the studio space, which works well for cohesion, but I suppose what strikes me as odd is that if you are going to print large photos out for display, why not people in your life? ABM is always showing ways to use all those pictures we have on our phones and old pictures tucked away in boxes and bring them back out into the light to be enjoyed. Seems like it would be nice to see an old timey b&w of your mom or a more recent b&w of your dog perhaps than random celebrities. At least to me, it’s those pieces of loved ones scattered about the house that really makes it feel like a place people really live, and not some show house for a magazine.

    Just my two cents, though! Obviously you guys have a beautiful home and your own tastes that differ from mine. 🙂

  • Hi! Love love love this room. Did you fabricate the dining room table? I love the look and would love to try to create a similar one for our home. Thanx!