Thursday, January 22, 2015

Update: A Gallery Wall and Mirror in the Dining Room

Right now I'm chipping away at the most dull items on my 2015 to-do list. Hello, new lampshade! And goodbye, ceiling light fixture that looks like a tiny penis! Wait, what?! More about those things later, because I'm dreaming of more exciting and photogenic things, like new dining room chairs. 

Speaking of photogenic things, I *finally* got myself a proper tripod and remote for my camera so I can take better photos of the house. For months, I've been putting off blog posts because Mrs. Shaky Hands couldn't take great indoor photos. No longer!

I love this picture because you can see the subtle carved pattern on
the tabletop, and how it echoes the pattern on the front of the buffet. 
In the dining room, I decided against the Spanish Revival chairs I wanted to hunt down a few months back. Womp womp. Big, fancy, rustic Spanish pieces would have looked great with Aunt Judy's Spanish style cabinet in the corner, but they would have have clashed with everything else. For now, Aunt Judy's cabinet will be the lone Spanish piece that (hopefully) adds interest and keeps everything from being too matchy.

The cabinet is packed with board games, and we still have to stick a few
games on this floor underneath it. We have a board game addiction, I tell you.
While I was focused on chairs, Keith was focused on the walls. He actually asked me to hang some art, because the blankness was bothering him. So first, we hung a big honkin' mirror over the bar. If you're trying to hunt down a BIG mirror, this one will do the job. It's 43 inches wide! Yeah. This is the Junius Mirror by Uttermost. It has a lightly smoked finish, so it's a bit darker than the walls, but it still bounces light around the room. And the round, gold painted frame echoes the round gold frame on a piece of art just around the corner from it. I love the way it looks in here. Also, we never could have afforded it at retail price, and I want to thank the Uttermost dealer we know who kindly charged us the wholesale price. You know who you are, and I owe you a huge hug!

Much later, we hung a neat grid of gallery style frames on the other wall. I'd wanted to do this for months, but buying so many frames at once is expensive. Fast forward to two weeks ago. I was cleaning out a cabinet, and I found two Target gift cards. Where did they come from? I don't know! I felt like I hit the jackpot, and I went out and bought these frames from Target's Room Essentials line. Then I found pictures online of fancy trays by iBride, cropped the images, and printed them out. I love the way they look, but not paying for art makes  me feel shady. Is that shady?

This room is becoming exactly what I hoped it would be. The black trim and white walls look clean and modern, and the warm colored wood is so welcoming and... well... warm. But the chairs are so, so uncomfortable! Those spindly chair backs always press into the wrong place on my spine. If we sit there playing board games for a while, it actually starts to hurt. I'd like to get chairs that are shorter and less prominent. I feel like the chairs are the first thing you see when you look at the room! 

I've been ogling the Rustic Dining Chair from West Elm online, but I wondered if the chair looked cheap in person. So yesterday, I stopped by the local West Elm shop to examine it in person. It's beautiful! West Elm's photographer didn't do it justice, I tell you. And on top of that, it's comfortable. And the exact same color as our table. What's the catch? At $200 a pop, it's NOT a bargain. This table seats eight, so we'd have to plan and budget it out, and buy one or two chairs at a time. Which is absolutely not the end of the world.

What do you think of the progress we've made? 

Source List
Walls - White Dove by Benjamin Moore, color matched to Valspar paint
Trim and doors - Black Beauty by Benjamin Moore, color matched to Valspar paint
Chandelier - Helena by Cal Lighting
Rug - Nyla rug in beige by Loloi (Wait 'til Wayfair is offering it at half price!)
Mirror - Junius by Uttermost
Picture Frames - Target
Blinds - The cheap "cut while you wait" blinds at Lowe's. I can't remember the brand!
All furniture is family hand me downs or from thrift stores.


  1. I really like your diningroom. I would not replace the chairs. They provide beautiful contrast. Most of the furnishings have a masculine look (which I tend to prefer more and more as I get older). The chairs have very feminine lines which give the room the warmth you describe. They also compliment your china. The other chairs are too angular and industrial. They IMO would bring a coldness to the room and make your china seem out of place.
    But, trust your own instincts. You have an excellent sense of aesthetics.

  2. Did you always have a good design eye? All your choices are so considered, but if it were me, I know I'd just have some vague semblance of a theme (maybe) and throw in stuff that just makes me go, "ooh, pretty!"

    I love how it looks. That cabinet is a work of art. As for the art, I don't think it's shady, but if you do, perhaps embrace it as your own mischievous subversion of art. This coming from someone who knows nothing about art. (read: "ooh, pretty!")

  3. hi! found your blog while googling this mirror. what do you mean by smoky finish? does it not have a normal glass mirror? thanks!

    1. Hi! Nope, the mirror isn't normal glass. The online descriptions that call it an "antique style" mirror are more accurate. The Junius mirror has a very subtle, smoky finish that you can see up close. It's more subtle than a foxed mirror, but it's definitely not a typical clear glass mirror.

      I like that it's different, and I think it looks good in our dining room. But I understand why someone might not like it, especially for a bathroom or vanity. Hope this helps!

  4. I love this room!
    I want to purchase the same mirror for my bathroom, but I'm worried with the antique finish. Would you buy it for your own bathroom or is it too unclear/dark?


    1. Thanks for commenting! I'm glad you found me here. In my opinion, the smoky finish on the mirror makes it unsuitable to be a mirror in a primary bathroom, where you do your grooming and put on makeup. In a powder room, it might ne okay, but its large size would probably make it unsuitable. Based on the mirror's size, shape, and smoky finish, I think it would be best in an entry, formal living room, or dining room. Hope this helps!


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