My Discouraging Dining Dilemma

Well, I’m not all that discouraged yet…I was just trying to come up with a cool title!

But I AM frustrated. Here’s why:

I haven’t done much with the decor in the dining room since we moved into the house in April. Reason being: 1. It’s not a large room, so it doesn’t need much, because I don’t want to overwhelm it with stuff, I just want it to be a few very perfect-for-the-room things that currently I can’t find and 2. Since I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for, I can’t find it!

Case in point – here’s the dining room:

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Please excuse the cell phone pic – when will I ever learn?!

We keep it like this when it’s just us at home, but the table actually has the potential to seat 8-10 comfortably (when we put the leaves in), and we could fit a few more in there if we squeezed. You can see the hutch which holds my grandmother’s china and a few other special pieces, but can you see above the hutch? Let’s do a closer shot…

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Right now I have seated atop the hutch an over-sized glass vase full of decorative balls, a picture and my glass cake display.

Over-sized glass vase of decorative balls = because I put it up there for the last party we had, and I haven’t taken it down yet. It normally is the centerpiece on the table, and I like it because I can change out what decorative pieces are inside of it.

Picture = because the first week we moved it I put it up there to see if it was too big or too small, and what would something similar look like up there? Because it has a print on the picture, and, unless you are well over 7 feet tall, you can’t read it at such a distance.

Glass cake display = because I really wanted it to fit IN the hutch, but it wouldn’t so I set it up there to give a little balance to the TOP of the hutch.

It’s all just wrong, because I don’t really want any of that on top of the hutch, but I can’t figure out what to do up there! And can you see where the ceiling is? It slopes upwards, so it’s pretty high and I could put any number of things up there…just so long as none of them hinder the air conditioning vent…or do I want that covered up? (Not covered as in obstructed, just covered as in camouflaged.) But that might be going too high for the size of the hutch?! Grrr…

Can you see my dilemma?

So here it is with its centerpiece in the proper spot. But the top of the hutch just looks sad now.

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(I am working on window treatments, no worries. That in itself will brighten things up a bit…)

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I DO like the centerpiece, and the flexibility it provides, but I’m not set on it completely, if re-arranging needs to be done.

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Whatcha think? Any ideas?

42 thoughts on “My Discouraging Dining Dilemma

  1. I like Andrea’s idea because it would fill in the space but my first idea was a fun wall color! I love paint. In fact we are moving into a brand new house next week and my husband is hounding me to paint then!! Talk about pressure!! :)

  2. Yikes! We are definitely in the same boat. My dining room is pretty much exactly the same except I don’t have a hutch. Our dining room isn’t big by any means but I need some form of storage for my kitchen that is filling up WAY too fast. My problem, like you, is that I can’t find a hutch I like! I am definitely looking for something on a budget – like garage sale, thrift store budget – and I just can’t find the style I want for the room. So literally my dining room has a table and then some misc. things off to the side that shouldn’t be there… I don’t want to get a hutch just to get one because I need it, but not having one is also driving me crazy. GR!
    Anyway, I love the centerpiece and the idea that you can easily change out the decorations on the inside. I think for the top of your hutch you should do some medium/tall vases filled with tall flowers or maybe even battery operated light up vines of some sort? I really like the idea of art up there too but maybe something bigger and something more pictorial rather than with print on it (unless the print is actually big enough to read). You COULD even get a cute decorative box/basket and store stuff out of the way that you don’t need very often. Don’t forget that you could also hang prints (readable things) and other artwork on the sides of the hutch on the walls. Maybe something draping across the top of the hutch and hanging down if that’s your style? Possibilities are definitely endless! I guess it’s about finding something you like right? That’s the tough part!

  3. Wow it is small but I m just jealous you have a dinning room =0/ I love the ideas your others readers left! Along with those Ideas I would throw up some curtains with some unique patterns in them. Can’t wait to see what you decide ;0)

  4. My first thought it to toss out (out of the room that is) the large hutch, it’s just too much, and go with a buffet/sideboard piece. Then you could put a nice large mirror above it and make the room seem larger =) Though that probably doesn’t help you much lol! Pull out some magazines, flip on HGTV or go online and find some spaces (any room) that you like, then try to figure out what those pictures have in common (colors, furniture, mirrors, lighting, etc and go from there!

  5. I have similar vases that I use all the time for decorating. I have put thick candle in them with those valentine’s candy hearts, sand and sea shells, Christmas tree greens, or any number of other things surrounding the candle. They really are fun and versatile. :)

    ~Lorelai

  6. I just rearranged my dining room after the flood we had. I removed the large hutch because it made the room too narrow and thus difficult to move around in when everyone was over for dinner. I’ll have to do a post on my blog about it…

  7. I think it would look cute if you got two more vases that match the one you already have and more balls to fill them with . . . Get some balls that will match your new curtains when you get them (maybe one with burgundy balls, one with green, one with brown, etc.! Then, put all three of them up on the hutch in a row. Then your hutch would match your curtains. 😀 Good luck! Can’t wait to see some “after” pictures!

  8. Since I think you are committed to the hutch, how about a set of decorative plates hung over the hutch. If you are so inclined, you could find a set of plates and stencil your words on it large enough to be read.

  9. I was thinking you could take everything off the hutch and put from decorative wall stencils or a Bible verse or wording that goes with eating, like “eat, pray, love” or something like that.

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  13. I’m months late to the party, so to speak, but I’ve got some suggestions if you’re still trying to figure out what to do. Part of your problem is the color……or lack of it. Everything is beige/tan/cream. This would be great if you added lots of texture, but what you have is all very “flat”. Pick a great wall color, add some drapery panels (make them start higher than your actual windows to add more drama. Right now your hutch and windows top are the same height. If you’re going to add something on top of the hutch, make it stand out and make it textural. Your rug under the table is a bit small. It should be large enough that when you slide out your chair, it’s still on the rug. Maybe you could add some pattern down there, too. I think you’ll be much happier with the just the addition of a pop of color and pattern! And make sure what you add to the walls (paintings, photos, etc) is of a large enough size that it doesn’t look lost.

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