Elsie’s Dining Room Progress

We moved in late August and it’s now … *looks at watch* … December. Wow. Four months?! It feels like four years. But it also feels like four weeks. Time has no meaning anymore … that’s my real takeaway.

Unlike other homes we’ve lived in, in the past, we moved into this home immediately as soon as we got the keys. Typically, we would do some renovations first, but not this time. It was a functional choice as was our decision to move—it was one big Covid pivot. The house has some wonderful features that we were able to enjoy immediately, but I knew going in that it was going to take a long time to personalize this home and give it our style—or any style really. It was very much a blank slate, which I’m so grateful for!

So today, I’m going to share with you our first phase of a dining room and also chat about future plans!

The first thing we did when we moved into this house was measure for a table. Our previous home didn’t have space for a long table and I was so excited to get something long. After spending an unreasonably long time looking at different options, I came full circle and ordered the first table and chairs I had originally wanted. We chose the Seno extendable dining room table, which seats eight. For chairs, we picked the Rus dining chairs in light oak. They have a Scandinavian style that I really love. I actually almost ordered them at our last home and then for some reason I didn’t—but I couldn’t get them out of my head.

They are comfortable, easy to clean (!!!) and beautiful!

I kind of want to start collecting tablecloths. Where do you shop for them and do you have any tips? I feel like it would be special to have some for special occasions and family dinners. What do you think? Are tablecloths granny in a good way or a bad way?

Let’s talk about the room and future plans!

I’m hoping to bring some color into the space, likely with wallpaper or possibly paint. Where the stone ledge is (in the carved out nook) I would like to build a full built-in. I like how it can be used to serve food for a big dinner, though, so I want it to still function for that, just maybe with some cabinets below and maybe some open or glass shelves above.

I am taking some time to decide whether or not we will go wood for the floors or keep the tile. My husband really wants to keep the tile and it’s fully heated which is awesome. It feels very cozy to walk on when it’s heated, but it doesn’t feel cozy to me visually and so far I think I would prefer wood. But I am giving it time to see if it will possibly grow on me.

I would LOVE to add detail to the ceilings. Some kind of paneling or white beams. They are very high, but they don’t have much charm or personality.

The biggest design challenge in this part of our home is that it’s very open. From the entry area (where the piano is) you can see into four different rooms. A part of me wants to go crazy with multiple wallpapers. I definitely feel over my all-white-everything phase, but I am still exploring what feels right for this home and this new phase of our lives.

For now, the white is pretty! I’m really glad the house came with all white walls so I could take some time mulling it over.

Let me know if want to hear all the details and thought process behind my rooms or if it’s more fun for you to just see it all at once. Like–Bam! Reveal! I can go either way and I’m always curious which one you enjoy more.

So far, I have scheduled myself to tackle the next phase of this room in February, so it’s coming up soon. So if you need me I’ll be over here obsessing on Pinterest over wallpaper and light fixtures.

Thanks so much for following along! And thank you Article for gifting us this table and chairs.

xx. Elsie

Credits // Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Kelly. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • April Cornell for tablecloths!! And table linens in general — she’s a watercolour artist and an epic gardener and hand-paints most of her designs. My mum collected them over the years from her Canadian store La Cache (now closed — the store based in Burlington, VT now) and is slowly passing them down to me. I LOVE THEM they make me so happy

  • i love the process! give me all the insights into your mind! 😀

    my house is similar – downstairs living, dining, kitchen, and main hall are all visible to each other, s i’m keeping them all white and doing fun colors in in all the rooms with doors. most of the rooms have beadboard walls (1930s farmhouse), so i can’t do wallpaper, but i’m having fun with paint so far!

  • Where did you get the chandelier? I am looking for one for my entryway. Thanks. John

  • How do you possibly keep a rug, especially a white one, clean beneath a dining room table with toddlers?! I would love for you to do a podcast on cleaning with toddlers!

    • Hi! We actually had a white rug in our previous dining room as well (for five years) and it was never a big regret for me.

      They do get stains. I spot clean it as I go. I typically have more issues with my dogs than with my kids. My kids eat a lot of their meals in out kitchen at our island, so this table isn’t use for every single meal. When we had our high chair at our main table (with a white rug) at our last home we just put a gathre mat under the high chair and that solved it.

      For me, it’s worth it to use white rugs (just because I like them more) as long as they are natural fibers so I can spot clean them! :)) If it gets really bad I can always take it outside and give it a shampoo with a hose.

      xx

  • I agree about Home Goods. I have found great looking ones there, especially during a sale. Look for the ones which don’t need ironing; just tumble dry, grab out and fold well. Easy Presy. On my larger table I shop at fabric warehouse stores. For the proper number of yards, measure the width of your table plus 24 inches. That will tell you what width fabric you need. A standard “drop” (length from edge of table) is 12 inches. A 30” wide table plus 24 inches = 54 inches, a standard width for decorator fabrics. For the length of the cloth, take the length of the table plus 24” and divide by 3. This will tell you how many yards are needed. I usually round up to the next yard. Trim off the printed selvage with sharp scissors, turn up a 1/2 inch hem and press it well. Turn up a 1” hem and use
    heming tape to iron in a hem.

  • Love the table and chairs! I would love to hear more about your thoughts and process for designing the space. Thanks!!

  • As a side note- depending on what stone the floors are possibly there is a professional that can sand or use a chemical to strip the glossy texture so they are honed (with a matt finish) and more your style?

  • Great post! One of my favorite things is being taken around a house for reno by a friend or family member to hear their thoughts and ideas and get to dream it with them- and this post had just that vibe. Thank you for taking us along for the ride. Just seeing your stories walk through. This is probably too much but I would keep the floors (I know I can’t believe I am saying that myself) and focus on the 5th wall. I would love to see your version of complete wood amber interiors style ceiling throughout the whole first floor. You could even switch up the pattern and when you transition into a new room allow the ceiling to transition (imaging a very understated coffer ceiling w wallpaper accents). For me this would make the greatest change to your house with a single unionized feature (and bonus could hide all your can light holes).

  • My mom (60) has tablecloths for every occasion/color scheme, plus coordinating cloth napkins. I don’t think it is bad/granny at all! When I have more disposable income I feel like I will buy them, it adds something to the whole vibe of the occasion for sure.

  • Lovely progress on the dining room! This might sound backwards to some people, but I am pro-tablecloth for every day. We have a large formal dining room and we use it for every meal, now that we are home all the time. I put a clean cloth on it Friday afternoon, and usually switch it out around Tuesday or so—two per week. Pre Covid, I liked a covered table for family meals with little kids, and preferred a bare table for entertaining, to highlight my pretty burl table and settings.

  • Cute furniture! I’d LOVE to see a floor plan of how those rooms intersect if you are comfortable sharing.

  • We built our big round dining room table – seats 12, 13 in a pinch. We stained it black and it was wonderful for years, I then (foolishly) ironed on it, breaking the finish which I have had a terrible time time trying to repair so we’ve had tablecloths for the last few years. Ebay Spoonflower, Crate and Barrel, TJ Maxx have been good resources for tablecloths,
    but I would love to return to the clean sleek stained wood finish look

  • I do agree that you need some kind of color contrast in that room. Visually it’s kind of a white blob. This is exactly what our house was when we moved in. We kind of went crazy with paint and painted the ceilings black and now our dining room feels like a café. It is lovely. There are lots of wallpapers, as you know, that are very neutral looking and not necessarily huge patterns. I like the tile floors but maybe a different rug. That rug seems pretty versatile so maybe you can go somewhere else. we just finished having our home completely decorated by a truly gifted designer and we learned a lot from her even though we have worked with six other Interior Designer’s in our life. She pushed us out of our comfort zone and I couldn’t be happier. You are very talented though and I’m sure whatever you pick will be amazing.

  • There you go again, taking over another corner of the world and making it so cute. I didn’t previouslythink there could be any potential for beauty in a 1990’s macmansion, but you have proven me mistaken.

  • I got the same chairs and black and I agree that they are very practical with a lot of style. I if you’re looking to splurge I love Heather Taylor home table Linens but they also have some affordable ones at Zara home. I like the short updates!

  • Lately I’ve been OBSESSED with wallpaper from Borastapeter, I think almost all of their designs would look great in here too

  • I love a big dining room table! We have an old Victorian semi detached townhome so it is quite narrow but the dining room is one of the biggest in the house. My kids and I use the dining room table for everything. Right now it is a wrapping station and Christmas card prep area. I LOVE LOVE the Article chairs. In fact they are giving me just a teensy bit of buyer’s remorse. Last year we took the plunge on some from DWR that I love but yours are 😻. If I had known about them I might have reconsidered. And yes! I’m all ears about tablecloths. I like the *idea* of them but have had finding some that are long enough. Personally I’m on the hunt for linen.

  • Looks beautiful! And I agree with Jeremy on keeping the tile, it looks like it’s in great shape and the fact that they’re heated is awesome!

  • I love seeing this “first step” kind of post. Hopefully looking forward to more 🙂

  • I love shopping for table cloths (and other things) on simons.com. It’s a Canadian based company but ships to the U.S. Also like this shop on Etsy but haven’t purchased – a bit more expensive. spoonflowerhome..

  • I love to hear about both your plans and the finished product. I especially love the before and after photos. I always pin those. I love your reds, Elsie! I’d love a tab on the website that was just “Elsie”s Home Makeovers”. So inspiring!

  • I love seeing and reading progress posts like this. It’s a great reminder that not everything happens all at once and it’s cool to hear your thought process. Are you able to keep heated floors if you switch to wood? My brother had heated floors in his bedroom, but the flooring itself is laminate “wood”. I’m just curious if the heat would distort the wood somehow and I’m sure you’ve already looked into it.

  • Best tip for tablecloths, go for quality.
    The good damask ones can be washed at high temperature, so you can get all the stains out.
    I tend to go for Georg Jensen Damask (not the silver company, this is danish too, but older).

  • thank you for sharing… please continue letting us see all the steps you take.. so fun being part of it!

  • Yes to room updates and progress reports in the future. I eat up any and all types of design posts. It’s cool to see the progression and share / show the true nature of most renovations which is… slow progression and alterations along the way!

    • I love the process posts. Especially since I’m doing a lot of the same thinking right now around my own new house. I’ve even looked at the same article table.

      As a textile lover, I have always loved tablecloths and have never thought they were granny. It’s all in the styling. That said, I love granny tablecloths and they are one of the best things to shop vintage for. Also a good thing to keep an eye out for at thrift stores and estate sales. I especially keep an eye out for Vera Neumann prints, which I love.

  • I love tablecloths! They elevate the whole space and make even simple snacks seem special. It actually makes keeping the table clean easier with little kids. With a bare table I find that there’s always lingering sticky spots and crumbs no matter how much I think I wiped it. But it takes 30 seconds to change the tablecloth and voila, it’s perfectly clean.

    I’ve found pretty good luck at homegoods. Amazon has been hit and miss. Their sizing is not reliable. My goal is to have 3-4 per season and rotate them through the year, but I’m still working on that. I’d love to hear if you find a good source for them!

  • I think Jeremy is right on this one…you don’t have to replace the floors to make it feel visually cozy. Bring in more wood, leather, textiles, texture, warm colors, and antique pieces (which give it a space a sense of history). Layer it up! Right now there isn’t any contrast which makes the space seem flat. I like your idea to add to the ceiling, wood beams or paneling there would also help make it cozier without redoing the floors.

    I really like Kendall Jenner’s house as an example of a great warm white space (granted she has dark floors but lots of worn natural textures help it feel super cozy)

    https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/kendall-jenner-los-angeles-home

  • I love the table and chairs! Beautiful items.

    Regarding reveal or process posts- I like both, though I prefer a little more process. I will say, but sometimes it is hard to get an understanding of what the space really is because the shots are so close up. So maybe some wider angle shots. Hard to tel (other than reading) that it’s part of a larger space.

  • i love knowing all the details of thought processes in design! and i think it makes the final reveal more exciting, too. it’s so interesting to learn what considerations different people have for various design choices. and i love hearing where someone is inspired by a new trend or going with a tried-and-true favorite.

  • My mum has a big collection of beautiful table clothes, and I love them so much. Even for weekday meals, she brings them out with matching table linens and they look stunning. I’d like to build up a similar collection and have the same rituals around dining for my children to look back on but finding beautiful clothes is hard! My mum collected a lot of hers traveling, particularly in Europe. I think Etsy is a good place to start, and I saw recently on Instagram that Jordan Ferney was just making them from fabric she bought at a fabric supplier.

  • I like hearing the thought process behind choices better than just getting the reveal. Helps me see what goes into the fabulous result

  • I love hearing your ideas for next steps before seeing it all come together. Thanks for sharing! Where is your fiddle leaf tree from?

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