Know When To Walk Away

There’s a blog that I read where the blogger starts every post with some sort of inspirational quote. It’s nice. It’s uplifting. It’s heart warming. So I thought I’d try that today. Here’s the inspirational quote that came to mind for today’s post.

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run…” –Kenny Rogers, The Gambler

😀 Do you feel inspired? No?! Okay, neither do I.

Unfortunately, no better song or quote fits my dining room right now. I’ve tried several things, and nothing seems to work.

I tried the green table…

diy farmhouse dining table - stained top with dark green apron and legs - 1

I tried the black table with the green chairs…

dining table and chairs progress - black farmhouse table with green cane back chairs - 2

Then I tried the coral fabric on the windows.

dining room fail - green chairs with striped fabric, floral watercolor fabric, and coral geometric fabric on window

Then I painted the chairs black, and tried the coral fabric on the side chair.

dining room fail - black chair with coral geometric fabric, floral watercolor fabric

Then I tried the green fabric.

dining room fail - black chair with green and white fabric, floral watercolor fabric

Then I tried the black and white Greek key fabric.

dining room fail - black chair with greek key fabric, floral waercolor fabric

Then I decided the best place for the watercolor fabric was on the side chairs.

dining chair makeover - after

Just…no. No to all of that. It’s not what I envisioned, and it’s not what I want. It’s certainly not what I want in the very front room of my house — the first impression that people will have when they walk into my house.

So it’s time for me to fold ’em, and to walk (nay…RUN) away. It’s time for a completely new plan.



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  1. I feel your pain. It can be frustrating. Though I kind of like the furniture in black with the green geometric fabric. The water print fabric though is just too chaotic for the elegance of this room. I see it as more an accent fabric for throw pillows or place mats. It’s too bold for large amounts of it.

    1. I agree with Laurie’s assessment. The upholstered chair could be a little more subdued and classy.

    2. I love the watercolor fabric. I have it myself. I used it to wrap a large frame and used it as art above my bed. Maybe that’s a thought you can use. Still have the fabric in the room just let it be a centerpiece as art?

  2. Agreed, Laurie, but she said “completely new plan,” not “new fabric” so we had better buckle our seat belts! 😉

    1. True, anything is possible. I think the coral buffet is throwing me off too. Maybe leave the table and chairs black and repaint the buffet I the green. Then do the green geometric fabric on the chairs and a solid drape with some kind of trim. Too many colors and too many fabric designs is too discordant.

      And yes, thanks Kristi for that earworm.

      Maybe working on decorating music room instead will lead to an epiphany for the dining room design.

  3. You must be frustrated! But for what it’s worth I like the black chairs and the coral fabric. Why not get the table and chairs done for now so you can use the room and admire all the beautiful parts of it like the windows, the trim, the light coming in. It’s really fresh and summery looking to me. Then move on to another area of your house while the right inspiration comes to you for this room. And maybe some of those fabrics will work somewhere else – striped curtains or window seat in your breakfast room or watercolour curtains in your bedroom- who knows? They are all lovely but maybe not meant for this room. Anyway, happy Easter!

  4. I like the table and chairs painted black. I also like the Greek Key Fabric. And I honestly don’t mmind the watercolor fabric. Maybe paint your buffet black and see how that changes the room???

    1. I think if you get your floors done and add a rug, you may then have inspiration you need to find the perfect curtain and chair fabrics.

    2. I agree with Erin on the Key Fabric and the black buffet. Since it is the dining room, maybe let the water color fab be the accent fabric, like someone else commented about a piece of art on the wall, placemats and or napkins? The fabrics are all beautiful! I have the same trouble in my tiny kitchen/dining area. My table is dark, chairs black and cream. The cream was a bad choice, but I got 3 for $1.00 at a salvage sale, so I’m in a pickle on the chair seat covers too. Good luck with the project!

  5. You need a break! I love your table and chairs black. I think you just have to find a more low key fabric for your cushions. The watercolor fabric is gorgeous for your other chairs. Have you thought of a black on black pattern for your seats and then pipe your watercolor chairs in black? It will all come together, it always does!! 💚

  6. I think the person who said the watercolor fabric is too chaotic, nailed it. I love the black chairs, and I loved all the fabrics you put on them. Probably liked the black the best, but then I love really simple, clean looks. The table and chairs are simply lovely. Don’t abandon them. You’ll get it, but time to walk away for a few days. Do something else, it will come to you. We are remodeling right now and my brain was in a rut about having two fireplaces, which is what we have now. But we are taking out the brick and chimney and putting in electric. It just dawned on me while driving yesterday, that with the complete removal, I don’t have to have fireplaces in two rooms (as they are now). DUH. But I had to be doing something completely different and away from the space to get it.

  7. The black chairs with the gold is so awesome it made my heart skip a beat. The green and black selections are beautiful for the seats. The coral seems so harsh to me.

  8. I like the coral fabric on the chairs. It gives it color without being too busy like the watercolor fabric. I like the black on the furniture over the green. Sometimes we can get so much going on that it just looks confusing. Clean and simple with the furniture and then you can add color and punch with pictures and decorating.

  9. Thank you for being Honest, Real & Genuine with your thoughts and projects! Many times I feel
    frustrated after reading blogs, magazines and looking at Houzz, but in reality even the professionals
    have days where they need to walk away, clear their mind and start fresh the next day or week.
    Whatever you choose I know will be amazing. Keep up the good work, but allow yourself to take a break, rest and breathe………cause your readers care about you! 🙂

  10. Oh Kristie I feel your pain! Though I usually decide after I’m done that it’s not really what I want…ughhh…my suggestion (for what its worth)…the Watercolor fabric becomes roman shades for all the windows piped or trimmed in black…use the Greek key fabric on all the dining chairs…and do the large upholstery chairs in a white fabric piped in black …maybe with 2 lumbar pillows in the
    watercolor …keep the table and chairs in the black paint…with your colorful painting over the coral side board…for what its worth

  11. I really liked the color green on your table…I thought it was quite elegant especially with the black added to it…is there a way of toning the black down on the chairs? Paint the credenza black allowing that one piece to be the only black piece in the room. I’m not sure what color the chairs should be. I do love the water color fabric. Is there another color in it to draw from for the chairs? Here is a saying for you “A little bit of blue in everything you do”!

  12. I think there are too many cooks trying to stir the pot. Trust your instincts! They are the only ones that count.

  13. I’m just throwing an idea out, but maybe your all-white walls are throwing you off? You clearly are VERY into color (which I absolutely sympathize with! 🙂 ) and it seems like you’re trying to fit all of it into the table assembly and curtains. Perhaps adding some color to the walls, and take some out of the table/chairs?

    1. That is what I have been thinking too!!!
      It is just a completely different way to decorate..with white walls(which I love!!!) But everything pops out so much, that bright colors seem to smack you too boldly?

    2. I totally agree here about the white walls. Every fabric you try is just so stark and jarring next to them. I think at one point you had picked out a gorgeous light green color for the walls, what about doing that on the upper part of the walls and only on the outsides of your molding boxes? You would still have tons of white with the bottom of the walls, trim, ceiling and the interior of the boxes white. I also think some of these colors need to be accents only, especially coral. It is great on your buffet and it would be great brought in to the other side of the room in smaller doses but a visual wall of coral curtains is just too much! Maybe bring it in with an accessory for the table or as a trim fabric.

      I also loved the black chairs with the green fabric you had. I think you need to stop being afraid to put green wherever you want! I’ve read several times how you are afraid it will be too much green with a green kitchen but you clearly love it and I think you need to go with what you love! So what if you have the green kitchen and dining room? I also think that touches of green similar to the kitchen green will help blend the rooms together, again as an additional accent color.

      Maybe take a step back and make an inspiration board on some good old poster board and see what will stick. Seeing all of your favorites together out of the room and simply placed on a board may make it easier to tell what goes well, what you really like and what you are forcing because you feel like you have to do it that way.

      These are just my thoughts and I know when it is all said and done you will have something beautiful!

    3. I agree. I remember when you first did your piano grey and I thought, “that’s is pretty, but not Kirsti.” When you did you walls all white my first thought was “oh my goodness that’s gorgeous, but that is going to throw her for a complete loop!” You have literally 100s of comments from people saying what they like and don’t like, but we are all here because we value what YOU like. Looking back at your old post those walls have been the thing you haven’t nailed down in your mind eyes and in the end you felt like you had to just jump in and make a decision to move ahead even though your brain hadn’t worked it out yet. Looking at it from a “what would Kirsti want from this” point of view I want to throw this out there…. You have wanted teal grass cloth on these walls since day one. The price is expensive and you have made it clear that you find it hard to swallow the price, but maybe this needs to be one of those good splurges. How about doing the grass clothe only inside (or outside?) the square picture moulding and toning down the white with a SLIGHTLY more cream but leaving the trim all bright white. That way you are working with a layered look that is bright but still has that Kirsti warmth to it and it brings the price point down a little because it’s sections of wallpapers. Also I don’t think you would have the problem of the colour reflecting and creating funny colour cast with wall paper like you would with paint….

      Those are my thoughts, I can’t wait to see what you decide. You will get there in the end.

  14. I like the black table and chairs with the coral fabrics. Refinish the floor, make the side chairs but don’t add the fabric….live with it a while. Decide what you want as your focal point. The variety of fabrics are all competing for attention. Depending on your choice for side chair fabric, you could use the watercolor fabric for lumbar pillows for them. I love your blog. You are amazing!!!

  15. When your projects are done they simply blow everybody else’s. Out if the water. Your style and taste are phenomenal. I liked the green as it is a vibrant color and matches your kitchen. How much and where we will look on here for the future choices. You are so talented.

  16. I would take the watercolor fabric away and that leaves you with more coordinating fabrics. The black Greek key on the side chairs, the black and white stripes on the end chairs, the coral or green on the windows, maybe? I’m also thinking on the fireplace, the tiles could be changed out to something a little darker as it is getting washed out with all the beautiful fabrics. It’s a beautiful day! The sun is shining, high of 73 in Waco, not as windy. Go outside and enjoy doing something out there!

  17. I love the black chairs and table too!! Also love the black and white Greek Key fabric! What about using the watercolor fabric as the welt around the chairs and a border around a solid color curtain? Perhaps the light green color that’s in the watercolor fabric, since you already have the coral buffet.

  18. I love the coral fabric. Black is just way too harsh, stripes even harsher. The room looks very English to me – why not look there for inspiration? The English still do floral fabrics and they don’t have to be little girl florals. There are some beautiful, clean looking florals (or toiles) with simple designs. Every room needs a touch of red (or coral). Any way you go, the walls, ceiling and fireplace are just beautiful.

  19. I think whoever said the watercolor fabric should be used sparingly as pillows/runners/placemats was spot on. I love that fabric and was so happy to see it used, but yea, its overpowering. For what it’s worth, I thought the coral window panel looked gorgeous against the white walls.

  20. So head to a different project for awhile….I bet your mind and your direction will then clear! Despite how frequently you change your mind (don’t most of us? I sure do!) you always come up with something beautiful and I am sure you will this time. They are all beautiful choices, its just getting down to the one you love the most. BTW, I REALLY liked the coral curtains with the black and white chair seats!

  21. I was just thinking back to your kitchen, when you added the gilt edges. It completely transformed the cabinets and the whole room. I wondered where the little touches of glitz would be in your dining room? Maybe a basic fabric with some sheen to it? Or some accent on the fireplace? Looking at your room, the patterns seem distracting, instead of lush and don’t add to a cohesive design. They seem separate. They are lovely of course, but as you said, just not working here. I can’t wait to see what comes next! I hope the weekend brings great inspiration!

  22. I understand your frustration and at the same time eagerly a wait for your knew plan. I happen to love the watercolor fabric and I was just wondering if you tried it to drape the windows?

    1. I am back!!! I personally love the watercolor fabric. I am in now way telling you what to do, but I think its an anchor fabric for the room like window treatments. Then you can draw all the colors from it. You could even go back to the green table and chairs if you wanted to. To me its a tie it all together fabric.

      1. It me but again. I just got caught up with your other posts And I see you did consider it.
        Enjoy your break from the dining room. I love your blog and truly enjoy your creativity and sharing everything with us.

  23. Black table (wood top), black chairs, simple fabric for chair seats, coral fabric for curtains…..

    Turn the table going long ways toward your kitchen! Then let your wall decor and accessories be your pops of color. Everything is much too beautiful to overshadow with the busy-ness of fabric patterns!

    1. That is exactly what I was going to say. Honestly? The whole thing looked better before you started. Not saying you should have left it as it was. Of course it all needed to be refinished. Just that visually it presented better. It’s much too busy and chaotic. And I thought when you turned the table in that direction it looked all wrong. When you walk into the front door and see the dining room you want to see that table lengthwise not the end of the table.

      Also I think changing out the legs to those farm table legs may have been a mistake. I love a beautiful farm table and you did a wonderful job on them but the combination of those painted legs and stained top looks very country and more suitable for a breakfast room.

      Maybe try the original legs painted black. But not a shiny black. More of a matte finish in a dark charcoal. Same with the chairs. And I know you said you that staining the cane on the back of the chairs didn’t work. But why not paint the cane in a rich brown to contrast with the black chairs? It would mimic that same look.

      Or maybe paint the table and chairs in a white chalk paint. Again with the cane painted in a contrasting color. I guess what I’m saying is it needs to be more subtle then let your fabric and accessories provide the pattern and color.

      I know you’ll figure this out. Give yourself time to rethink. Some simple readjustments might be all that is needed to make this truly stunning.

      1. I had to smile because I don’t think Krist would ever use chalk paint! She had an entire blog on paint which has made an indelible mark on my mind!
        But I also doubted the use of the farm house style legs. There were so many of those inexpensive kitchen type tables out there from the ’90’s on with the white turned legs and tile tops with wood trim…it reminded me of that. Thinking about Changing the legs, different paint…poor Kristi! I suppose that’s half the fun-but boy what a lot of work!
        When in doubt it’s helpful to me to remember the KISS method. Most often less is more.

  24. Totally feel your design pain. Walking away for a while may just be the thing to do right now. Something fun for the weekend instead?

  25. Personally I think it’s the water color fabric that is throwing you off. I think it’s too much. The big chairs may also be too much for your room & table space. I would do all your chairs, even the ones you won’t have daily but they would be ready for your dinner parties. Use the arm chairs but make the backs solid. Have it coordinate. Do your floors & draperis. Move to your accessories. Then as you’re looking at the room make your chances. It will come to you. You’re thinking too hard. Getting the room livable. Even if you go on to another room if a idea you love comes to you do it. The room doesn’t have to be perfect as you will be here a long time. You’re bound to make changes along the way. Everybody does. You do something & decide to change it be it new curtains or art work. The water color fabric would limit your changes. Can’t wait to see what you decide.

  26. Run to my house in northwest AR. Right on the lake outside of Springdale. I’ll feed you and wait on you hand and foot while you sit on the deck, gazing at the lake, watching the deer and foxes romp around, listening to the birds sing….for a few hours….then you can tell me what to do in my living room!! I found you because I wanted a blue green scheme before it was so readily available 5 years ago. And now, before its done, I’m tired of it!!!! Remember–a break from your dining room, deck, birds, hand and foot service for you!!!!

  27. For once I actually anticipated one of your posts! I was thinking the same thing…too many choices, too much too much! Glad you’re taking a break! My only advice is to do something else for a bit, and then see what you think. I do love the black chairs and table though. I am sure it will all sort itself out when you give yourself a rest!

  28. Don’t run. Just slow down. LOVE the gold accent and even loved the green chairs. For sure love the black base.
    Why not have table with blk base, green chairs with gold accent and a calming linen. For the first impression upon entering.

  29. Perhaps the wood tabletop with painted base is too casual a look for the elegance of the rest of the design.

  30. I like the table & chairs black with the green & white fabric in the chair bottoms. If you add some additional gold accents (band on chair legs & band on table), I think that would tie into your gorgeous kitchen. I like the coral fabric also. The kitchen and music room seem colorful but restful. When I see these rooms, I just sigh…gorgeous. I love your blog.

  31. I’m so glad you’re stepping back. I’ll say it again, the only design idea you’ve had for this room that felt “on fire” was the horizontal black and white stripe curtain. Reconsider those.

    Also – for what’s it’s worth – to me, the room feels like it has no focus, or rather too many. This is how I self edit when decorating. I find the focus on the wall or in the room and work out from there. All the design ideas supporting that focal point. My eye is everywhere in your dining room with your current ideas. They all fight for attention. Find your focal point and everything will flow from there.

    Sometimes it helps to take a picture in black and white. Don’t let the colors distract. Where does the eye go?

    You’ll figure this out. Don’t get too frustrated. Solving the problem is always the best part of the process for me! The fun stuff!

    1. Maybe Shelby’s on to something? Perhaps revisit the black and white curtain idea and see if that sparks something. I think the curtains in this dining room are beautiful:

      It’s the first dining room in that portfolio. Maybe curtains like those, green seat cushions on black chairs, and coral in some artwork to tie the buffet in? I think the watercolor fabric is beautiful but it does not seem to play well with others 😉

      1. Curtains aside, there is sooooo much wrong with that room! Is that table a temporary set up so they need to put the sofa and wing chairs into service? The next dining room shown has some similarities to Kristi’s that could be helpful–wood top table with black base, black chairs, black host chairs with pattern. Not enough color in the room for Kristi (or for me!) but seeing the table and chairs could be helpful.

        1. Haha, I wasn’t really looking into the dining rooms as inspiration, just the curtains. They’re super dramatic and voluminous. I don’t know that I could ever pull them off, as I prefer curtains to be a quiet supporting presence in a room rather than a focus, but I think they’re attractive nonetheless.

  32. I think you have all medium designs in your fabrics. You need solid, mini, medium and large. If you truly love the watercolor fabric, pick solid coral curtains, watercolor print on chairs, mini green print on side chairs. You have the black you want in the paint. Leave the buffet the coral color. Just my opinion. I love what you do but would throw my hands up and quit if I had to redo as much as you do. You are the bomb!

    1. I think there ‘s something to be said for introducing a solid into the mix instead of all the patterns.

      The watercolour fabric is a huge pattern and very punchy. Maybe it needs to be the primary pattern in the room, with solids for the side chairs and the curtains and maybe a secondary pattern as an accent on the curtains.

      If I remember correctly you had talked about a solid on the outside of the upholstered end chairs with the watercolour on the inside. Combine that with the same solid on the seats of the side chairs and a different solid drawn from it for the curtains (the coral?).

  33. You may hate this but, the legs on your table are steering all the looks towards a country feel and compete with the straight lines of those chairs and their legs. Is there a way to recreate the table base to something more along the lines of that industrial style table you first envisioned? Maybe more of an “X” base?

    The watercolor fabric still would look fantastic but on white chairs.

  34. Do you think it might be the shape of your table that’s throwing you off? It’s a great table but maybe the shape is not right for your space?

    1. I’ve thought the same thing all along. A round table, with four or 5 chairs would be more in balance with the size of this room. Of course, extra leaves could be stored until needed for those special occasions. As you have said, Kristi, you and Matt don’t entertain friends and family often. The “scale” of the round table might allow you to open up your mind to new possibilities. I also think the first impression from your entry way would look less cluttered. Oh, and PLEASE don’t re-paint your dining room, ok? :). Your existing table can always be used in your breakfast room. Enjoy some time away..or just be outside.

      1. I don’t generally like round tables – but this is a good point. Perhaps the rectangular table is wrong for this space. A round table would create more “air” – although it nixes the opportunity for end and side chairs.

  35. Wow…you’re going to have like 90 layers of paint on that set by the time you’re done. 😉 I like the black with the gold finials, though. I think that’s probably the most flexible and then you can play with the fabrics all you want.

    I’ve been hesitant to say this because I know you love it so much, but I think the watercolor fabric just doesn’t go with any of it. Your dining room (the base of it) is so elegant and formal-looking with the paneling, hardwoods, and now a black-and-wood table and that fabric, for me, just gives off an 80’s bed-in-a-bag vibe (or maybe a “Florida with Pickled Wood” vibe). It just seems out of sync on anything you put it on.

    That said, the coral key fabric on the black chair really drew my eye. I think it’s because it looks red in the picture and I just really like red, especially contrasted with white or black. You probably don’t want red next to a green kitchen though, or it’ll look like Christmas. And it also won’t go with the coral dresser (which I wouldn’t’s just a really awesome piece).

    Maybe go back to basics a bit? Use some (I know…) neutral solid-color fabrics on the chairs (linens, whites, blacks, browns…whatever fancies you) and then bring in color with nice solid colored drapes, pillows for the end chairs, wall hangings, small furniture pieces, and whatnot? If nothing else, you could live with it for awhile and get used to the room fully decorated and then maybe know what you’d like to change and then do some re-upholstering or slip-covering down the road. Maybe just getting it “done enough” and walking away to work on something else and living with it for a bit will re-iginite the creativity?

    Or maybe you need an inspiration piece? Do a little shopping therapy…go find some wall hanging, decorative item, or piece of furniture and borrow inspiration from that to choose your fabrics.

    1. I agree about the watercolor fabric completely. It just sticks out like a sore thumb, in my opinion, and overwhelms and clashes with all the other patterns. Just way too busy all around. I do like the green fabric on the black chairs, though. . . . Walking away for a bit sounds like a good plan. 🙂

  36. Clearly you have too many ideas floating around in your head! How about using that watercolor fabric by stretching a couple pieces over canvas stretchers and hanging them in a repeat in the panels over your coral buffet. Then cut some sample size swatches from the other fabric and put everything away and out of sight. Go on to something else, or just take a break for a few days. It will all become clear in its own time. Have a nice Easter break.

    1. Yes! I was thinking of the watercolor fabric on panels also, although maybe above the fireplace?

      On a side note, Kristi, you said you wanted to work outside while the weather is nice, so maybe this is the perfect time for that? Not sure what the weather is doing in Waco but in DC it’s getting beautiful!

  37. Kristi, I just wonder if you need to leave the watercolor fabric right out of the mix. Black chairs, green print fabric on chairs and coral drapes.

    1. But you would need a fabric to tie green + coral together, which goes Christmas real fast on its own. Put that next to a green kitchen and … no. Step away from the coral, Kristi! It was a random suggestion this week that you grabbed onto out of frustration.

  38. I think you’re right – new plan. The table is great – for a kitchen. It doesn’t feel dining room and it doesn’t jive with the extremely formal panel molding. Can you embrace a great, more colorful version of “Texas French Country”? I see a lot of that when I’m shopping in Dallas – do they do that in Waco? That would certainly play better with walls and formality of a fireplace.

    I also think that assembled dining sets are great if there are enough unifying elements – I know you want it to look “curated” but its not quite there. If the shapes are different then color or texture might need to be more united. If the lines are similar then you might be able to get away with more color variation. You might be able to pull off (& I think you’re brave enough) to do a truly rustic table with very elegant chairs.

    BUT – whatever you do don’t ditch the idea of Coral Drapes – A strong coral drape would be awesome on your windows. Love that punch of drama – or maybe neutral drapes with dramatic Coral lining?

  39. I think your thinking too much about it….leave that room for now. …go off and do something completely different and let your subconscious do the work for you…
    Happy Easter from the land down under….

  40. For what it’s worth, I LOVE the coral fabric with the crisp white walls! I feel your frustration, and maybe walking away from the room for a few weeks will be good for the soul and creative juices! Until then I’ll be walking anxiously for the new plan!!

  41. I see the dining room set in black with the black key fabric on the seats so the set is cohesive. The watercolor fabric has your three colors – black, coral and green. That is enough green to coordinate with the view of the kitchen cabinets. That fabric is on accent chairs to pull everything together. It will not be so bold in upolstery compared to yard goods. The coral curtains satisfy your love of color and pull in the coral buffet. To me, this room would be colorful but tasteful with your beautiful and somewhat formal walls. I would see tasteful but not stuffy or chaotic.

  42. Imo, I think everything in the room doesn’t have to have a bold matchy matchy fabric. The black table and chairs are a great anchor against the black and white walls. I would go back to your black and white striped fabric curtains (your original idea) but maybe make the stripes not even. Wider black and narrower white or vice versa. I think this makes it a little less modern and more traditional. Then for the chair covers pick a muted coral a hue of the original color. The captains chairs go bolder maybe a solid front and sides and do an unexpected bold back. You have great ideas and an awesome design sense. There are many ways you can go and I’m sure you will make it great!

    1. In my opinion, this is the whole problem. All of the fabrics are bold, colored, and printed. There are no supporting characters in this cast. They are all trying to vie for the starring role and it ends up looking a mess. The drapes are going to be challenging because it’s EIGHTEEN yards of fabric. Anything in that quantity that doesn’t recede will look overwhelming. I am rooting for a solid muted color with a contrasting trim somewhere… If the drapes are going bold, everything else must recede. I think the table is best black and the chairs black also. I am over-greened at the moment. Maybe the end chairs being in the green but the kitchen is soooo much green. It’s good but it needs to not start oozing out everywhere or it will start to seem look kitschy and not special.

  43. I so feel your pain. You must feel frustrated and defeated right now. But, remember we are all rooting for you! Personally I like the black table with the green fabric – but it is not my house. I agree with the others – work on something else and forget this completely. It will come to you when you are not forcing it. Also, once you start making decisions just to make a decision, you will not be happy in the long run. I have been wanting to redo my bedroom and master bath for a couple of years but could never find the right mix. So, I just let it sit. (I know, years, ugh) But, one day Pottery Barn came out with a duvet that I fell in LOVE with and suddenly everything fell into place. Now we have repainted, gotten the new duvet and matching shower curtain, new flooring, new towels, new blinds and new curtains. All from one bit of inspiration that came to me when I least expected it. So step back, work on something else and come back to this later!

  44. Looove the little gold tops on your chairs! Maybe finish your entryway and then take one project at a time of what you KNOW you want, and let it develop. Don’t try to make the whole picture happen at once.

  45. I love the watercolor fabric, but I’m not sure it’s suited for the upholstered chairs. Your inspiration pics from yesterday all had the upholstered chars in a large print with a repeat, not a smaller design that’s more random. The black and white striped fabric is also throwing me off, but I love the black chairs with the gold accents!

    I think you should go thru your room like you did back when you decided the pony walls needed to go to figure out what is and isn’t working.

  46. My five cents ….. I really think with all those white walls, you can afford to go a bit crazy with color on the windows. How about trying the watercolor fabric on the windows and the coral fabric on the chairs? It could give you the wow factor you are looking for. It will tie all the corals together (buffet, chairs and windows), therefore spreading it evenly throughout the room.

  47. Thanks for being so honest. I’ve been in this dilemma too so many times and doubt my creativity because of it. I could jump in here and give my two cents about how the floral fabric just is not happy in this room and the wood table top and alll the wood flooring is domineering right now. I love the black chair with the greek key or stripe. The curtain would work fine but something tells me you want more for all the trouble this room is giving you so I agree, great idea to walk away and then it will come to you. Like when you go upstairs to get something only to get to the top and forget what you came up for and so go back downstairs only to get the very bottom step and ‘bang’ you remember. So maybe that’s it. Walk away and wait for the ‘bang’ moment.
    On another note have you heard of this blog … Worth a look. It took me a while to remember where it was I saw green and black and white stripes put together beautifully but I found her blog and think you might find it helpful as she has put some non traditional patterns together and they look fab.
    Can’t wait to see what you do come up with ‘cos it will be fab. Just take that break from it and wait for the bang..

  48. Try another table. Antique. Clean lines, maybe Queen Anne style legs? You could even use slipper style chairs whith that…. Just another idea for you to ponder on. Love your blogs!!!!

  49. I think what you really want is to use the wide black and white stripes in there, and you won’t be satisfied until you find a way to do that.

    So, maybe an all black and white room with either coral or green accents? (Or both)

    1. “I think what you really want is to use the wide black and white stripes in there, and you won’t be satisfied until you find a way to do that.”

      ^^^ She has a point. 🙂

  50. The coral curtains are gorgeous!! I know you’ll prob switch to a solid, but the color idea is perfect. I would go to World Market or Pier 1 and get a couple of upholstered chairs that you like and sit them at ends of table. (easily returnable, if you choose, and not too big of $$ invest for 2).

  51. I believe that you are frustrated because every step is taking you away from your initial vision.

    I prefer the chairs in black (and quite like the gold finials) just as I prefer the table in black. The truth is, though, that I really don’t care for the chairs. There’s something I don’t like about their proportions and/or shape. I don’t think the strongly rectangular details on the legs are the best compliment for the beautifully turned legs on the table. I think a simpler side chair, maybe even without upholstery, would be better. I’d be tempted to paint all those chairs black, put something neutral on the seats and sell them and put the money towards different ones.

    You’ve created a very formal space with the mouldings on the walls and the new mantle breast over the fireplace – and now you have two similar and large casual pieces in the space. The two are casual in exactly the same way. The table and buffet/sideboard both have the wooden top and painted base. I would consider painting the top of the buffet and take way the casual look from it. Some serious plated hardware would help.

    I think you should aim to move back towards your original vision – and as much as I love the table as it is I would consider painting the top of it black as well. I just don’t think the combination of painted base and exposed wood grain top works in the space you’ve created. And looking at the way your bathroom, music room and kitchen ended up I don’t think you really care for that kind of casual overall.

    As for the dining area – your original vision was to have a black table, colourful upholstered end chairs and the side chairs complimentary but more subdued. Oh, and the black and white curtains. I agree that the horizontal black and white curtains are probably too much when it comes to the three window areas in your space but I thought the black draperies with the black and white Greek key border was a good compromise and one that would satisfy your desire for punch. A solid coral with the same border would also work but might be more problematic if you decide to paint the upper part of your walls.

    I don’t know if I’m being much help here – just throwing things out. The truth is I’ve created a dilemma of my own in my living room by painting the walls a very soft grey and I’m just as stumped as you when it comes to nailing down where I really want to go to get it finished. I need to do the things I’m sure about (painting my French door black for a start and getting new flooring down) and hope that will make other things become clearer.

  52. I suffer with the same affliction – too many ideas, too many diverse interests, inspired by so many things. It gets completely overwhelming!

    I, like many, have questioned the watercolor fabric since you introduced it to us. It seems like such a departure from the sophisticated and architectual elements in your home. It is a gorgeous print, don’t get me wrong! But it seems like it’s been fighting you the entire time.

    I have to agree with the majority on the table and chairs as well – the black table and black chairs but with the gold finials is so charming! It’s neutral but has character so I think it can take you anywhere you want to go in terms of decorating and finding supporting fabrics.

    I have a feeling that “it” will come to you during a breather. Enjoy your break!

    1. I also wanted to add that a curtain with sheen would really pop, and, in my opinion, be a reflection of the beautiful metalic accents you’ve added throughout your spaces.

      1. That’s a good point. I think the reason that pic with the viral drapes was so appealing was in part because they looked like dupioni silk. The combination of shine with the irregular slab is very attractive.

  53. Check out this residence:
    Toggle through the pictures and check out the dining room. These pictures remind me of your home design direction and even the colors you are working with for the room currently. I think the use of white walls keeps a light traditional feel for the room like your dining room. White curtains with blue greek key trim against the white walls and the use of white paint on two of the chairs along with the color formula: dominate use of blues (curtain trim and chairs plus rug in kitchen) along with red (second heaviest used color in room) and green (lightest use of color in room) allows for the room to read both bright and cheery. I think the use of white in the room grounds the brighter colors. For me at this point in the process I would analyze whole pictures of rooms and not just parts and make notes. You may start to see patterns of what appeals to you cohesively as you look these pictures of rooms (possibly with similar furniture as yours if you decide to keep what you have) and then translate that to your dining room. Just my two cents. I love your work.

  54. I love the coral fabric with the black chairs. I’d also have all six chairs around the table in the same fabric. The watercolor floral would be pretty on the windows, and since the curtains would be open most of the time, they wouldn’t overpower the room. Just my two cents.

  55. Kristi,
    This is one of my favorite blogs!! I love how real it is! I LOVE that floral fabric and the idea of tying your dining room in with your green kitchen. In my opinion, trying to make that green and coral happen is what is throwing everything off. I think if you got rid of the coral idea you would come to a solution. I think you are almost there, don’t scrap all your ideas now! Again, I would be sad to see the water color fabric go!! Its gorgeous! And I am also a fan of the stripes…even on curtains.

  56. I think taking a break from it will help.
    That said, I was thinking the watercolor fabric was throwing it off. I liked all the different fabrics on the chairs, when I blocked the watercolor from the picture. For whatever reason I keep seeing the watercolor as throw pillows, table skirt, lamp shade- small piece(s) in a different room. I like the black table and chairs, by the way. They are crisp with any of the colors.

  57. Truth? I’m so glad you’ve walked away for a bit (at least a day!). The last couple of posts gave me a feeling of chaos with all the different patterns/colors going on. I figured it was me since I’m the admitted colorphobe! And, yes, it is me for the most part no doubt lol.

    I love the classic black table base and chairs. I find that the black has a nice grounding/centering effect in that room. I love the coral fabric & black Greek key fabric on the chairs. The watercolor floral and the black stripe are throwing me off completely!

    Maybe the watercolor could be used to make a lumbar pillow for each side chair. Or cover the wicker in the backs only with it. Or create a piece of art with some of it framed over the fireplace or another wall. Maybe the black Greek key to do the host chairs (with colorful lumbar pillows).

    White curtains with black edge or black Greek key edge or with piping from the floral.

    Just some random thoughts!

  58. Everybody is making suggestions so I’ll add my two cents. I think you have headed in the right direction. The black and white fabric really suits the black chairs (I’m so pleased that you painted them black). Also that the curtains would look fabulous in a plain coral fabric (similar coral to your buffet or a shade lighter), and then maybe the end chairs could be covered in a different fabric that incorporates the black, white, coral and green (from your kitchen) to tie all the colors in. Maybe do the chairs in the black and white fabric and make your curtains in the coral and then live with them for a while before you choose the fabric for your end chairs.

  59. Your blog was the first I read this morning and how I laughed at your inspirational quote. Take that quote have it framed and keep it for when the need arises to use it again.You are so talented and the answers will come as they always have. I agree the table and buffet maybe too casual for the vision you have for that room, but you will get there.

  60. I think there are just too many patterns in this mix. The watercolor fabric is just too much color and too busy. It’s not elegant like the walls in this room. How about starting off keeping the black table and chairs as an anchor, with black and white fabric for the chairs. Black and white . . . a classic base for the room with white walls. Then bring in the coral on the windows to bring that color across the room from the buffet. Then work off the coral and black to bring in green to tie into the kitchen in your accent pieces. A beautiful centerpiece for the table, artwork above the fireplace, accessories on the buffet. I just thing keeping it more simple with the main pieces keeps the room more calm, but still gives you splashes of color against the white walls and gives you the “pop” you seem to desire. I’ve been a long time follower and know whatever your mind settles on, will be awesome! Give your brain and body a rest for the weekend and spend time with Matt and your family. It will all come together. It always does. Take care!

  61. Oh Kristi, I’m so sorry. You must be so frustrated! I imagine your head is spinning in many directions. Maybe it’s time to step away for a minute, breathe, and then resume your quest. It’ll come to you, I’m sure.

    For what it’s worth, I think it’s the gorgeous multi-colored fabric that’s throwing you off. Both the green and coral fabrics look great on the side chairs. How about you upholster the outside of the armchairs in a solid color but use the colorful fabric on just the inside? I think it would be so pretty without it being in your face.

    Whatever you decide I am sure will be great. Take your time.

  62. I think the only thing you need to take a break from is the blog! Not your selections up to this point, which I feel if you put the time into ordering fabrics and painting furniture, it was because you were excited about the choice, and it had a connection to the visual you have for the room in your head.
    I don’t think you are swinging wildly here, even though everyone thinks you are because you are very generously trying out all of their ideas (I’m amazed you went to the trouble to paint all the chairs black when I think you knew, as an experienced decorator, that the best way to make a dated piece of furniture look good is with color, and you went with green because it breathed life into the chairs. They looked darling with your kitchen; now {ducking for cover} I think the furniture looks generic….)
    After reading your blog for awhile, I think you are really inspired by Sarah Richardson, as am I, and I think you want a Sarah dining room: glamorous, sophisticated, elegant … and daring with color, in order to challenge yourself with this house. I would not give up on the things you love for this room and the entry: kelly green, a punchy fabric, black + white. I would not be surprised if you are inspired by the Sarah 101 episode for Geeta’s dining room and the Sarah’s House 4 dining room and the West Coast Classic dining room. I say you CAN do it and should go for it!
    Sarah uses wing chairs as host chairs all the time in her designs and I don’t think you should give up on rebuilding yours. She sells the Robert wing chair that I think you could replicate with the legs Osborne Wood has. The curves of a wing chair are a terrific contrast to the straight lines on the cane chairs and {ducking for cover again} I think the new chair you featured in 1st photo yesterday has that cheap look that all the readily available furniture made by Skyline has. Is it out of the question to have an upholsterer strip the chairs for you (my experience is that it is ALL about having the right tools when stripping chairs) and redo the arms/legs, and you upholster it yourself?
    Lastly, in line with this thinking to follow your instincts, I just want to make the case again for the green “music room door” print on the leading edge of white curtains, and that’s because that was from a post all the way back in June. It was about having a vision come to you all at once in your head overnight because you spotted a fabric that grabbed hold of you. That means something, Kristi, and the only thing you need to do amidst this chorus of many voices is to TRUST YOURSELF.

    1. Yes! Yes! Yes! I completely, 100% agree with Lauren. Go back to Sarah Richardson designs. Each element you have selected is OK on its own but when you put it all together, it just isn’t working- as you’ve stated yourself. I love color myself and have had anywhere from yellow to orange to blue to teal walls BUT if you want sophistication, elegance, and a bit of class you need to tone everything down or at least cut back. If you have furniture that is so vibrant then you don’t need such vibrant fabrics and patterns- and vice versa. I think the room has become too chaotic, too jewel toned, and there’s too much movement in the patterns. (I love, love, love that watercolor fabric but, since day one, it has reminded me of a duvet cover I used to have). Walk away for now. Work outside in the beautiful Spring weather. Look to nature for inspiration. You will figure it out!

  63. I know how you love it, but I think that watercolor fabric is what’s throwing off the whole vibe of your room. The black and white with another bold color seems to be the right way to go . Now you just need another colored fabric to fall in love with. Good idea to walk away for now.

  64. Big breath, let it out, turn your attention to another project. I’ll bet that everyone who reads this blog has had the same experience. It’s Spring, enjoy an outside project before the heat sets in.

  65. Maybe go with the table and chairs black with the gold (love that!). Two side chairs in a solid green with maybe the water color as piping.Upholster the seats in the watercolor on the other chairs and use the same green as the side chairs as piping for those. Maybe some soft light grey or even cream drapes with a band of the Greek key Or just a solid green band to match the side chairs or maybe even a simple black band. You could go bold and do the striped side chairs and use a solid green for the other chairs seats with some black piping… I am just Just dreaming of all the possibilitys! Just some food for thought, can’t wait to see what you come up with! So many options 😄

  66. The main problem with your fabrics is that they are all dominant. You need to mix large, medium and small. One can be the star but the rest must support the star. Right now you have too many clowns in the room.

  67. Kristi, I feel your pain! Stepping back and and letting your brain work for you as you work on something else works wonders for me when I am stuck designwise.

    Next I go back and review color basics by reading about the different types of color schemes. Being a designer myself this helps me look at the color(s) I am working with from different angles. What type of color scheme am I really after. Am I going for a complimentary or an Analogous color scheme? Should the 60/30/10 rule apply to this room? Do I have a good balance between light/medium/dark colors? How about textures and pattern, too much or too little.

    Once I have reminded myself about the options/rules for color and design I go work on something else and let my brain go to work on the problem. It is amazing what it can come up with. Oh, and tell it to think outside the box b

    You have the answer already, you just don’t know it.

  68. I would nix the idea for the end chairs all together, and keep all the chairs the same, a much more calming look, and the busy fabric is just to much chaos although I love the fabric. In the end you always get it right, give it a rest for now and it will come to you.

  69. Lovely chairs and table….watercolor fabric too busy and overwhelming. I prefer simple, simple, simple in that lovely room. Personally I would do white blinds on windows and no fabric…and if I did fabric it would be solid with possibly a boarder on the curtains if solid is too plain for you. I will be very curious with what you end up with when completed! But those chairs make my heart skip a beat!

  70. I am like so many others here….I think you have way too many different designs going on. I love the watercolor fabric, just not in that room. Only my two cents, because I know when you find it, it will be beautiful.

  71. what about painting the legs of the table and chairs a lacquer white and keeping the gold balls on the top of the chair with black and white stripes for the cushions and your head chairs with the other pattern you like. edge the chairs with gold accent on the edges. The white on the table legs and chairs would be less jarring with all the colors you would like to add with the curtains etc. have a white base on the table to bring all the colors together. Keeping the frames white would be less competitive for colors and your fabrics could shine. If you kept the table legs and chair frames a neutral white color, even black and white curtains could be fun. Or keep the table black and do the chairs white? They have enough detail in them that lacquering them would accent the frames too but in a less jarring way? have you looked into photos on chinoiserie chic website?

  72. How about the color cream in different textures, raw silk,satin, etc., with the black table and black chairs? Cream and black is sooo very elegant!

    In other words to forget about this room matching either the kitchen or any other room, and just be an elegant dining room unto itself.

    Take a break, cleanse your mind of preconceived ideas, look through all the looks you love again.

    I myself love elegant dining rooms. Makes the food taste better somehow 🙂 Good luck and best wishes for a success that I know you will achieve. Have a Happy Easter and know that we are with you Kristi!!! 😉

  73. The fireplace and windows are beautiful. I would miss seeing the fireplace as a focal point in that room and would consider switching back to the living room set-up. Just a thought, beautiful work!

  74. I think you might consider painting the chairs white like the walls so they can relate to each other.
    Then what ever fabric you put on the chairs will be a lower contrast in the room and possibly more ‘blending’ if that is even a concept. haha

    This might lower the contrast of stark black and white?

    But that moment will come to you and you will evolve the idea into perfecton.

    Good luck!

    PS I also think the ceiling should be a soft pale color of what you put somewhere in the room……my two cent.

  75. I hear you! My husband tears his hair out when I say it’s just not quite right. How brave of you to put all of this out there. Good luck!

  76. 96 comments. Wow! Kristi, I think you have the most engaged audience of any blogger I know. And here I am leaving a comment too. 😉

    You are so wise to walk (run) away. Actually I wish you and Matt could run away for a while. [hugs]

    When I have big projects looming ahead.. whether they are just for me or for something I’m leading up… I grab a pad of paper and pen and head to the soft sofa in my family room. There, fully reclined, I close my eyes, relax, and mediate for a bit. Yes… I have been known to even drift off for a few minutes. But, it’s there in that quiet that my mind is ordered and inspiration comes. Really, I think it’s a Divine appointment. Those ideas are always so much better than when I keep moving, striving, attempting to make things happen. Seriously, I have no idea why I don’t do this more.

    I know you’ve already gotten 96 different ideas for your dining room, so I’m not sure why I’m going to throw my two cents in… but here goes. 😉

    The white walls were a divergence from where you originally began. I think it sometimes just takes time to get used to things. You’re a great decorator… but when you’re working for someone else you have their schemes and boundaries to work within. For yourself… the boundaries are a lot wider… and that in itself makes this pause you’ve entered a really good thing. Allow yourself to become contented with the white… it IS gorgeous… every detail.

    I want to tell you that I really do like the coral fabric on the chair… it’s beautiful.

    Also, although the room is all white, you have created a LOT of visual detail. In some way all that beautiful detail comes into play and it pretty much is the star of the room. Every additional detail competes.

    Have you considered reinstalling your shades at the windows? They would replicate the color of your beautiful floor and wouldn’t be striving for attention like drapes (which I know you LOVE.)

    Instead of the beautiful bold fabric for your upholstered chairs, might you consider something more subtle… maybe a textural solid coral fabric? I know you love bold patterns… but I also know you are planning to make your own artwork for the wall and that will hold a starring role in the room too.

    Enough of my thoughts! Give yourself plenty of time to rest and restore yourself body and soul this weekend.

    Wishing you a blessed and joyous Easter.

  77. Out of curiosity, what artwork will you be using in this room? Would that help in deciding seat fabrics? I personally love the black chairs and table. The gold on the chairs was a great touch and pulled in the chandelier. I always struggle with colors and my hubby says ” it’s just a can of paint”. My dining table is totally made from barnwood from my hubbys grandparents barn so it’s all warm wood. It made it easy to have all black chairs with a black and gold printed fabric on the chairs. A barnwood bench is on one side. But your dining room is so elegant…..I have no idea what I’d do. I’m just loving your process and learning from you and becoming more brave in my ideas! Thank you.

  78. Oh, Kristi, I feel so bad! You are so close and I can empathize with your desire to get it all done. I am sure whatever you do is going to look awesome. Personally, I liked the table green and the chairs black. With your options, I think I would do the black and white stripe on the chairs, and white drapes with either a band of one of the other geometric patterns on the top or bottom or along the sides. With your bright dresser and some bright artwork and gold accents it will look elegant. You will figure it out! You have excellent taste. 🙂

  79. I love the water color printed fabric as you do Kristi. It would be hard to give up but it is proving to be overwhelming in large amounts. Have you considered a large watercolor painting above the fireplace perhaps. Lumbar pillows of the watercolor fabric on your end chairs could be enough so you wouldn’t have to give it up entirely.
    Keep the things you love and have finished. The coral furniture piece has been done for a long time and is your inspiration piece. The coral on black looks great. I’d make my curtain decision last. Personally, I think the green as a very small accent (as in the watercolor fabric) is enough to tie into your kitchen….but isn’t green a fabulous color!? Straight from nature-hard to go wrong with a little green in every room!
    After a break, it will all come together. Give it time and you will have a break-thru. “Patience is the greatest virtue”. Thanks for sharing your trial and tribulations!

  80. I personally am not a fan of the waterfall fabric. The room is elegant and so is the dining suite. I personally (again me, just mho) would lean towards elegant simple tones and less pattern For both chair seats and drapes. I like the black chairs and table base. Have you considered a keyhole pattern tone on tone in grey and white or taupe and white ? I agree that an area rug selection could help as well and either anchor the dining set and kick off a new choice for drapes or blinds or dictate a color for the seats of the chairs.

  81. IMHO, let only the kitchen own the beautiful green! I love the watercolor on the chair seats, the black chairs & the coral buffet, as well as the coral print. Other than that, I’m at a loss but do agree there are too many patterns competing for the spotlight. Clear your head, re-group & start anew. It’ll all fall into place then!

  82. Just one more small idea to throw out. If you keep the black chairs with the gold finial have you considered dry brushing a little bit of gold on the caning to tie it all in? Might be fun to try!

  83. I like the first photo but with the chairs painted black. I think the black and white stripe seats on the side chairs, the watercolor fabric on the end chairs and the coral fabric on the curtains is beautiful! I think the green chairs were throwing that one off. I do understand what others are saying about the watercolor fabric being a lot however, I think you need something in the room like that for a punch of other colors to tie all the other rooms in that are visible to this one. Maybe it’s just that the print is a larger scale and a smaller scale would work better.

    I maybe be speaking out of place here but this is what I think. Maybe right now your heart is not really on the dining room. I think you mind may be on the outside of your house and you are itching to get to work on it. Why don’t you take a break from the dining room and work on it instead? Maybe a break from the dining room is what you need right now. When you come back to the dining room, you might see it with fresh eyes and what needs to be done will be clearer to you at that time.

    As always, I’m sure whatever you do, it will turn out beautifully!

  84. Kristi you are an artist, your canvas will be beautiful, it’s taking a little time coming together. I absolutely love your posts! I look forward to reading them.


  85. Ok, for what its worth here is my two cents: first, you don’t seem inspired. I usually fall in love with some “thing” that I know is “me” (maybe it’s one of those fabrics for you) but you don’t seem to have landed on it yet. You don’t have too many fabrics or colors going on, ever see a Kelly Wearstler room?, hers are crazy with pattern and color but always feel inspired, I swear one of her rooms made me believe I could smell the cigarette smoke and Gucci cologne. Second, some natural elements in the room in their natural state, wood, metal, fibers, stone (not just table tops and floors) Last, some vintage item that hasn’t been “diy’d”, altered, or painted, etc. A beautiful armoire, chest, vintage dining set that looks like your home has been “collected” not just stuff you picked up at the thrift store and painted and hammered until it fit your style. Your room should be a reflection of you, and all I see is diy and paint…which you are awesome at, but I feel like there is more to you than that. Where are the things that are Kristi? Which goes back to my first point.

  86. Just remember, this is the fun part. This is the part you enjoy the most. Stepping away when it’s not coming together is a great idea. You need to enjoy completing these elements of the room. When the right idea comes to your head, you won’t even be asking for our opinions because you will know what you want to do. I look forward to the big reveal know matter how long it takes. You’ll figure the other elements out and I will anxiously await the finished product. It’s going to be a very pretty dining room.

  87. Oh, the little gold finial is superb. It’s a lovely metallic bling-y nicety – the same as in the kitchen. I think you need to think of other spots where a little shine would help. I also think that the blaze of coral at the window is still fab, in a voluminous drape with some sheen, like silk. that would feed your love of color. And that’s all I have to say about that. Drink a gallon of iced tea, take a walk, go to a movie, read a book, paint your house, look at area rugs, choose some art, go thrift-shopping. Do something that relaxes and calms you. The good thing about being creative is that the process of being creative fires up other creative ideas. The bad thing about being creative is that the process of being creative fires up (sometimes too many) creative ideas. More hugs.

  88. I am definitely in the minority here, but I loved the chairs in green and I like that they brought a bit of green over from the kitchen. I also still really like the water color fabric, but I don’t know if there is a way of making it work in that particular room. If you are using the watercolor, make it the star and stick with small scale patterns or even solids (gasp!) for the rest of the room. I don’t think you can have bold stripes and bold watercolor in the same room. Give one of them up.

  89. Hi Kristi,
    I read your last two posts several times and studied your dining room chair inspiration pictures and have come away with these impressions:

    1. Your painted panel mouldings give your dining room such an elegant feel–they’re lovely! Unfortunately, the farm house table legs look very out of place and the two tone paint/stain treatment is also too casual. I know they cost a lot of money so how about painting them and the table top a soft satin black to add a feel of elegance?

    2. To be honest with you, the watercolor fabric and the large scale black and white stripe, combined with the large apricot buffet makes me feel like I’m in a circus tent and I don’t think that’s what impression you want to give off. What about a very limited mixture of solids and small scale prints?

    3. If you study the dining chair inspiration pictures of the previous post, the one that you labeled as one of your favorites is a fairly neutral room. Even though the curtains sport a large print, the color is so soft that they enhance the design, not overwhelm it. I think the soft colors and little details such as the nailhead trim on the chairs make the room very appealing. What about a linen look with a nice embroidered trim on the leading edge? I know you like color, so use your fabrics in very small ways such as in piping, lumbar pillows, etc.

    4. The really good designers say to edit, edit, edit! In this case, I think it’s the many colors (including furniture) and the large scale that need to be edited down. I think this will also help the flow from room to room. Keep the room neutral and inject your color in small doses to give it your personality.

    Best wishes,

  90. OK, Love the green fabric on the black chairs and also b/w key fabric on chairs.
    Use watercolor for Art to tie in buffet. I still think end chairs fabric should match side chairs.

    I love the color of your buffet and love the chairs black, but never liked coral and black together. If they are separated enough, it will look okay, but maybe pick another, (lighter shade of green from the water color fabric and repaint buffet the yellowish green) Maybe.

    What I love about you is that you get a picture in your head, try it and realize it isn’t quite right. I always thought that as a designer, I had to have the perfect picture in my mind from the beginning, and wondered why I am always revising my picture. Thanks for letting me lighten up.

  91. I’ll be brief, if you’ve read this many comments already I’m sure you are overwhelmed! Love what you do, I am learning so much from you and am very inspired!

    1. Floral pattern is too much, as is the mix of all the patterns
    2. You need more texture, to add depth. You have it in the walls but everything else is two dimensional despite the patterns. Texture will add some warmth too
    3. Love the black table and chairs but they are dominant and adding all the color and pattern competes with them. I would be tempted to do black, white and more gold with color in the accents or a bit in the drapes
    4. Agree with others that the table legs feel too casual and country for a dining room
    5. If you want to keep the floral pattern, consider white table and chairs then solid colours with texture to complement
    6. The room needs more bling/metals to balance the chandelier

  92. Firstly, I feel your pain and frustration Kristi, when you put so much work, ideas and planning into it all. I know it will come to you and by stepping away and doing something completely else, I know you’ll get your vision back for this room. Secondly, I absolutely love the chairs painted black with the gold finials, they look so stunning. Well done!!! I personally like the green and coral fabrics on the chairs the best and I think my favorite is the green fabric. And strangely now, for some reason, I’m not getting the watercolor fabric. That’s the fabric that’s seems to be throwing a curve ball with all the others. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but the other fabrics IMHO, look so classic and classy and not overwhelming, but now the watercolor fabric alongside them, makes the watercolor fabric look kinda cheap-ish. I know you’ll create an amazing look, you always do, so take a big breath, enjoy the weekend and we can’t wait to see your vision come to light. I really enjoy your blog and that you keep everything so real and that you face the same challenges as we all do. We love it that you keep inspiring us Kristi.

  93. I love the all-white walls and would hate to see those go. I like the pops of color in your fabric, but I’m seeing too much pattern, no matter if I like the pattern or not. What if you focused more on textural solids instead of so much geometric? Like a subtle ticking stripe instead of bold wide stripes, solid coral silk panels, and maybe an elegant velvet for the head chair upholstery?

  94. Love the black table and chairs!!!! I say coral drapery to tie with buffet. Greek key fabric on chairs and make the upholstered chairs white with coral piping !!!! Perfection! Ties into music room and everything will work together. You could add small pillow to the upholstered chairs with the multi colored fabric for a pop without being in your face! It will all look elegant and crisp.

  95. I am sooo entertained by how different all of our tastes are! 🙂

    Kristi – you’re doing SO awesome, try not to let yourself get frustrated. I think you’re doing the smart thing by taking break for a second.

    I adore the watercolor fabric but I think it’s throwing you off. It’s like the green and the coral are both dominant colors and it’s impossible for one or the other to be an accent. They keep fighting and trying to take control. Full disclosure; I don’t like coral on anything but..well, coral so I would ditch that color alltogether. 🙂

    Something feels off with the fireplace to me. It’s so beautiful but it doesn’t stand out at all. But it doesn’t blend in enough either. It’s like a halfway thing? I don’t even know if that makes sense! You have great fabrics and ideas to choose from so you’ll figure it out. Enjoy your weekend!!

  96. I think your “walk away” thought is right. If you completely let go of any ideas you had, you will stumble across something you love.
    My own thinking might be “I want people to feel my house as a cosy, welcoming space when they come in.”
    I wonder if there’s a bigger issue? Should the dining room be in another room altogether? What room do you want people to see first? What do you want them to FEEL first?
    For me, that first room would probably be the living room. I want people to want to sit down and get ready for a good chat in a cosy, peaceful, neutral-tones-y decorated space (so perhaps a good call with nixing the super colorful curtains). Can you tell by my description I’m a little obsessed with Pottery Barn images right now?
    Still, you’re a pro and you’re more creative than I am with decorating, so I’m sure something will come when you let it all go.
    Smart girl, you!

  97. Kristi,
    I think your all-white walls are throwing you off, Kristi! Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t all-white walls usually look their best when the white is repeated throughout the space (on furniture, curtains, accents, etc), in order for it to harmonize beautifully and look intentional — and not like “rental apartment” white walls? Perhaps you could either add more white throughout, (white curtains, chairs and/or table), OR paint the walls above the wainscot an actual color, which would also help highlight your gorgeous fireplace a bit more. Another “bonus” to painting the upper walls a different color is that the room would actually appear larger (as long as the color isn’t too dark, of course) because you would have “visually” changed the rooms proportions (because your mind interprets things that are smaller, such as the reduced height of the upper wall portion, as being farther away.) I have experienced this happy “illusion” first-hand myself in my own home!
    I know you will get it just how you want it in the end–you always do!! Your being honest with your own struggles is part of what makes your blog such interesting reading (and keeps me, at least, from being discouraged with my own design decision struggles!)It is nice to know that even very talented designers can have moments when they aren’t quite sure what to do!
    Best wishes and Happy Easter!

  98. Your turning your table into your artwork and making it the center of attention.

    Its conflicting with your walls and fireplace. It needs to be more foundational to support your art, fabric and changed you like to make.

  99. I love your white green and black color scheme. Your white walls really brighten up the room and your trim work adds some understated elegance to the space. I recommend turning your table so the long side runs parallel to the fireplace. And using a high-gloss black for the table and a brighter high-gloss green for the chairs. I’m thinking something between your current green and a kelly green. You can lighten up the table with a white linen table runner and gold/brass center peice. Have you thought of anchoring the table with a rug? Maybe play down the color of the curtains ( I see a neutral color but hefty/substantial curtains that flow with your elegant trim) maybe use art work as your pop of color on the walls.

  100. I wish I could get this kind of help with my fabric choices! ;0)
    I love, love the white palate of the room and I guess I’m thinking whatever you do you should ‘honor’ that. Big wide black and white striped horizontal drapes would be amazing. And why couldn’t your chairs match the piano? Or, what about adding some gold gilding to the table legs to make it look less country since that seems to be a common theme? Color could also go on a table runner – oh, I know- black, white and yellow going down your table. Then black and white keyed fabric on your chairs? I’m not fitting in green I’m realizing – uh oh.
    The beauty of the fireplace is it’s simplicity and I’m a fan.

  101. I am not a designer by any stretch … but I love all the colors, how about the black table and chairs with the coral seats and black and white stripped appolstered end chairs and coral drapes with the water color fabric as trim on the drapes?

  102. I’m with the person who suggested that you decide what your focal point of the room is – or what is your inspiration piece. The rest will flow from there. For what it’s worth, I LOVE the black table and chairs. Whatever you do will be fabulous – can’t wait to see!!!!

  103. Such an array of opinions, and everyone has something valid to say. Here’s my take. The watercolor print may be too modern and ‘splashy’ for this wainscoted dining room. It jars, but not in a good way. And i do really like the print when I say it. The other problem imo is the black painted chairs and table. I don’t think they will ever look right in there. I would repaint the table an off white. Not too yellow and creamy, more toward taupe undertones. Please consider navy to work with the coral in this room. But try to find a coral based fabric for sure. Coral drapes would be so gorgeous. Or if you really want to feature green, go lighter in value than your kitchen green and use some light background print with green and coral or green and navy.

  104. Not to hurt anyone’s feelings at all, but to me, it has too much of everything going on. Too many patterns and too many colors the way it is now. If it were my home, now mind you I said mine, I would go with the black painted chairs and table legs, as that looks wonderful and elegant. I would leave the buffet the coral color. However, I would put the coral fabric on the chairs, use a solid coral on the biggers chairs with the floral fabric on the backs of the two chairs only.

    I would do the curtains in a soft green or even a coral (solid color) with the trim on the curtains at the very lowest bottom in the floral print.

    Then over the buffet, as someone else suggested, I would frame the floral fabric as wall art.

    Then you could bring out the green from the floral fabric into the accessories. Like greenery objects on the table, fireplace mantel and so on.

    To me, this makes everything more cohesive and elegant without being too overwhelming for the space.

    Regardless of your decision, I know you will make this a beautiful dining room. I really look forward to seeing how it turns out.

    The reason I am leaning more towards the coral color instead of the green is you mentioned several times you don’t want green to dominate like the kitchen cabinets. I think by using the color as the main color with green accents this would be a beautiful room.

  105. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this, but I loved all of your fabrics and could see them working together in any of the adjoining rooms as well as the dining/living room. What threw me for a loop and kind of cancelled the “colors” out for me was the day you painted the dining room white. I love white, but when I look at the room now it is all I see. Yes, I know you have nothing in it, but it’s like you whitewashed your plan away and now “nothing” fits. Maybe adding a bit of color back on the walls will help with blending all/some of the beautiful things you’ve already purchased. I do love everything you’ve done so far even the various changes in direction you took over the course of this makeover. But you now have a big white room and maybe that’s the problem…too much white!

  106. In my honest opinion, the table is too “heavy” for what appears to be a light and bright room. Even the light fixture is more on the delicate side. Maybe a color other than black.

  107. Kristi, I have no bright ideas, suggestions or solutions to offer. Wish I did! I feel like I can’t get the right perspective to make the kind of judgement call your room requires. And after all is said and done there is something you’re wanting, and waiting, to FEEL from this room. You’ve got a lot of good colors and shapes and patterns and… it sounds like it’s just not feeling right to you. And your feelings about the room matter… not just a lot, but completely and only.
    I was reading this older blog post and it made me think of your dilemmas here. It’s not the same, but there’s something in the way she lost faith in what she knew she wanted…

    You have an amazing eye for design. You are strong and bold, and smart, and I know you will find what makes you happy in your home. I hope that’s not too sappy…

  108. Try coral chair seats and watercolor fabric at the Windows. I think trying all the green and black is throwing it off. You have the coral buffet and the yellow piano in sight. Good luck!

  109. Check out blogger “”. I think you will find inspiration as it appears the 2 of you have similar taste.

  110. Maybe it’s a matter of balance. It seems like each of the colors & patterns have about the same amount of presence. I can’t remember the exact percentages but I think there’s a guideline of something like 70% of one color, 20% of another, and 10% of a third color. That would probably hold true for pattetns. Maybe it’s 65%, 25%, & 10% but hopefully you get what I’m trying to say. It’s so hard when there are so many pretty things and I like them all.

  111. There’s a phrase that applies perfectly to your situation…”paralysis by analysis.” Step away, take a deep breath, and let it go for awhile.

  112. Hi,
    I would paint the table legs and chairs white and keep the wood top. I think that would blend the table into the room. Then use colour as accents. Coral drapes, coral side table and coral and white stripe on your chairs. Or any other colour, black and white, green and white. Then add your gold touches like the balls on the top of the chairs, lamps, lighting, knobs. even adding a wood mantelpiece or even a dark grey to the fireplace so that becomes the feature with armless chairs in the colourful fabric flanking it. Right now there are to many elements imo. Keep it simple. White on white with colour added. Cheers

    1. I agree, Deb. There are often some great suggestions by commenters, but I think Kristi needs to decide what she wants, not what everyone else thinks should be done. Kristi has such fabulous taste and I love that she doesn’t have a cookie-cutter look as there is in so many homes seen on the internet.

      It really saddens me to read some comments that are mean-spirited; I don’t understand why some feel the need to behave that way. There’s enough meanness in the world, it doesn’t need to be extended to blog comments too. Helpful suggestions are one thing, meanness isn’t helpful. Those that respond that way must be deeply unhappy. I pray they find peace.

      Kristi will figure it out in her time and it needs to be done in a way that she and Matt will be comfortable and pleased.

  113. I like the black with gold finials. I wondered yesterday how stained finals and cane back would look against black. I’m not a fan of any of the fabrics, but I’ve been waiting to see what you’d do with them, as I’m always a fan of your results. I hope you can figure it out. At least they don’t resemble the memaw tacky mess they were when you got them.

  114. The watercolor fabric is just to demanding. I personally like the black on the table and chairs. I loved the coral curtains in the “inspiration” picture you posted the other day, but this coral fabric, not so much. The black and white greek key fabric was nice.

  115. I love the watercolor fabric but I think the only thing that can tame it is your yellow piano and black walls.

  116. I see you have a lot of opinions. I did not like any of the fabric that you chose. In my opinion they are like primary colors too bright and I think you will get tired of them in about six months.

    I looked at a lot of fabric from Calico Corners on the internet and was shocked at the expensive prices.

    I would have chosen a fabric with a design for the drapes.

    If you would like to send me your email address I will send you some that I would have picked.

  117. I love the coral buffet. Please don’t change it. I also happen to love the coral fabric for window treatments. The watercolor fabric is throwing me off a little. I haven’t read all the above comments, so maybe somebody already said this, but how about the watercolor in a much smaller dose? A runner for the table or in the folds of the skirt and welting for your arm chairs?

  118. Hello,

    My thought is just walk away from the color thing and spend a little time thinking about the placement of, the amount of furniture in the room. The furniture and drapes and the walls are the bones for your color. And the dinining space has to function for a large crowd eating and a husband in a wheelchair. Also surfaces to land serving bowls ect on.

    Once you see and walk around the space you may ” see” the color thing differntly. My guess is you are trying to fit too much furniture into that room. Your house is small, where will you farm out thoes chairs if they are not in the dining room?

    Hey maybe you have enough stuff and ideas for the dining roon and the breakfast room and they are all fighting with each hother- why not stage furniture in there too. If you have a very big crowd maybe there will be entertIning going on in bothe rooms. And i love that you add the door to the front room.

    Anyway push furniture around, then go outside before it get too hot!

    Oh, another thought is I have seem some cool benches made from several chairs; a mix of chairs and benches my look less cluttered, even extra wide benches at the ends of the table.

    Read you all the time and enjoy following your adventures.


  119. OMG! Reading (trying to read) all these comments is making my head hurt. My advice……….inhale……….exhale…………….inhale……………..exhale. Turn off your computer, fill a glass with something cold/hot, your preference, and enjoy the weekend. Get out of the house, do something fun, visit with family and friends, and whatever you do, do not discuss/think/dream about your dining room. Even if you don’t come back on Monday with a new plan, you will at least feel refreshed. I just realized, I only added another comment for you to read! LOL, as we say in the south, “Bless your heart!”

  120. I think the main problem here is too many completely different fabrics (and perhaps ideas?) And I personally don’t like the black table, while I loved the green (that colour you managed to mix was great!)

    Maybe it could work with: Green table, watercolour host chairs with same green on arms (so they are “parts of the same set” with the table), black chairs with striped fabric (so you have your “not part of the same set” chairs), and black and white striped curtains on the fireplace curtains only (not introducing a new pattern, since these match the chairs, even though the stripes would be much wider). And then some completely neutral window treatment on the other windows, maybe white with some black border or something.

    I did a mock-up in photoshop and it doesn’t look bad, but since I didn’t have good photos I can’t be sure it looks good either (too little window area). I need a way to send it to you though, don’t want to post it on your feed in facebook and get a notification sent to everyone…

    If you have already moved on to completely new ideas and this is creating more confusion I apologise…

  121. I feel like it’s all competing; the side chairs, the head chairs, and the the drapes. I know you don’t care for beige as a neutral, but I think getting head chairs whose design speaks more than their pattern would help. I am thinking something like these: – Quite a few color options, including your pale green “neutral”. – I don’t know why, but the yellow is speaking to me! But that, the pale green, or the beige and white stripe would all work with the watercolor fabric. – This silhouette would be beautiful in your room, and you could pick any fabric for the side chairs. – This silhouette is similar to the previous one, but it’s skirted.

    As for drapes, something like this would keep it airy while accenting another color in the room –

    Or these –

  122. I think stepping away and rethinking is a wise move. I do believe that sometimes it takes a bit of time to let things visually speak to us, and that rapid decision-making can lead us down the wrong pathway at times. And I do agree with someone above that the direction the table (and hence, the room) has taken is more country than perhaps you’d initially envisioned. I do like it, though. Could it be used in your breakfast room? All the other elements (the stripes, which I adore; those sumptuous coral silk drapes in an inspiration photo; the watercolor chairs) are a bit more worldly. I know you’ll get there – take courage!

  123. Your quote seems spot on for you right now. I would say to take some time to relax, maybe do something else for a while, then go BACK to revisit your original ideas and see what forms in that creative mind of yours. You sound a bit burned out and when that happens, you need a break and I’m sure the prefect plan will come to you when you least expect it.

  124. I have not bothered to read any of these post from today. I know what they will say, go with your gut, or I never really did like that colorful paintbrush fabric, or the big black stirips. I just did no want to hurt your feels. You ask for our honest opinions. That is what you get from me. Like it or not. I do not cure like you friend who posted STFU and GTFA on GOOD FRIDAY. She should have been sitting in a church praying for forgivness. In my humble opinion, your fabrics stink. Find a nice Coral floral, does not have to have a big bright coral, loose the chairs which you have wrecked, or remove the caneing and replace with same or coordinatated fabric. two nice gold mirrors to reflect the light, nothing cutsely and a nice fake Persian rug under the table

    1. 180 people have shared their “honest” opinions with Kristi but out of all of those persons your comment is the only comment that jumps out and slaps her in the face. There are kind ways of being honest but I would bet you wouldn’t have any idea how to handle that. And, since we are being honest your decorating suggestions are totally not Kristi and better suited to June Cleaver.

    2. OK, first of all, not Kristi’s friend, don’t know her aside from reading her blog at all. Second of all, you’re totally allowed to speak your honest opinion while being a Good Christian Woman but I can’t? Oh please, get over yourself. I’m not going to pray for forgiveness for calling someone out on their EXTREMELY TRANSPARENT bullshit. 😛 Shouldn’t you have to spend the next 10 years in confession if that was the case? Or does your worship of cane backed chairs make you exempt from that?
      You’re so obviously just trying to change Kristi’s style to your own for… what purpose? You aren’t living there. WHO is holding a gun to your head and making you read every day? Your “””””””””bold”””””””” suggestions don’t even matter because they aren’t accustomed to her tastes at all, so you just sound like a little kid going “well THAT’S stupid, I don’t like it, YOU shouldn’t like it, THIS is what you should do” to try and get attention.

  125. Drapes-i still love the extremely wide horizontal black and white stripes for these.
    Table. Looks great.
    Chairs- semigloss poly or shellac on the black paint (so the light bounces back instead of being absorbed) but lightly sand the cane to bring back its dimensional texture and have the lightly exposed browns in the cane tie it to the tabletop.
    Chair fabric-hold off until table and drapes are decided upon.
    Find a spectacular large graphic rug for color.
    keep the gorgeous coral buffet.
    water color fabric is luscious but I would use in surprising ways to accent the three rooms-dining, music and entryway and use them to create seamless flow from room to room.

  126. Hi Kristi, I have been thinking about your dining room!! I love your coral buffet, your table and chairs black, your white walls and fireplace. Your watercolor fabric is beautiful but I think too overpowering as chair covers. This room would be gorgeous if kept blackwhitegreen. I think you can incorporate the coral and watercolors with a painting or accessories on your mantel if you choose to do so. You wanted those blackwhite striped drapes for so long, so go for it and do your chair cushions andor head chairs in a blackwhitegreen fabric. I’m anxious to see what avenue you are headed towards!!

  127. Hi Kristi! I am a long, long-time reader of yours — since early condo days. First time to comment though, I think. I love reading about your home, this one and the last, and following your process.
    I like to flatter myself that I know your decorating habits so well now that I can predict what you will change before you do it. Off the top of my head, I knew the striped kitchen floors, pony walls, your last living room drapes and the green table base would go. And I knew the table base would be black. My mom and I call each other to talk over your latest posts, so she can attest to this for me. 🙂 Joking aside, I admire your perfectionism and attention to detail. I lack these, so when I see someone else willing to put in the extra work until everything is perfect I give a cheer and lots off goodwill.

    I haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if any sort of consensus or theme is emerging, but here are my 2cents:
    1. Black table and black chairs are the best option. They just go together instead of competing against each other, which is important in this small, detailed room. After your first chair post I was rooting for black chairs with stained cane, but I think solid black works best.
    2. When I look at the pictures in this post, all the hard elements harmonize beautifully — white walls, wainscoting, chandelier, that gorgeous coral sideboard, black table and chairs. What does jump out as being discordant with those elements (not even talking about the other fabrics here) is the watercolor fabric. I was assuming that the watercolor looks good with the sideboard and the sideboard is what ties that fabric in, but in that picture they don’t look well together at all. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it might be that the watercolor is too casual and loud for the clean symmetry of that room.
    3. I have wondered in the past if one of your sticking points is your love of floor-to-ceiling drapes. It is a lot for that size of room. Any fabric you choose is going to completely boss the place around. Neutrals will be boring and colors or prints will be overbearing, all because of sheer mass.
    Anyway, more advice to add to the pile. 🙂 I hope you have been able to enjoy this gorgeous weather and rest yourself.

  128. First, I know you’ll choose an amazing combo in the end! For my 2 cents, I think it may be the cane backed portion of the chairs that is visually competing with everything. I think it would look better to have white cane against the black chairs, or even the cane portion covered in batting and fabric.  I still love the water color fabric for the end chairs.

  129. The coral sideboard, as gorgeous as it is, may need new paint color. I think the coral color is throwing things off.

    What about navy? Wood stained table top, white base, white chairs, navy and white striped chair seats. Add navy and white print draperies or solid navy draperies with white band on leading edge and across hem (maybe greek key). Bring in the green with plants: english ivy, fiddle leaf. Do you have any blue and white ginger jars? Also, add some brass accessories to tie in the light fixture (hardware on sideboard).

    Or, wood stained table top, white base, white chairs, black and white striped chair seats. Do a navy, black and white print for the host chairs (could do frames in black for the host chairs). Black draperies with white double band on leading edge and across bottom hem.

    What about brass drapery rods to tie in with the light fixture?

    Paint the sideboard white or navy or black.

    What about coral and navy?

    My two cents.

    Love your blog, it is so inspiring. I am doing small things to my own space because of your can-do spirit. Thanks so much!

  130. I haven’t had time to read all the other comments today, but I wanted to weigh in on the fabric. I have LOVED all the fabric choices and pairings you’ve made with one single exception: the watercolor fabric. I don’t mind it on its own, but i just don’t think it works for that room or with the other fabrics. Maybe since all the fabrics are all so strong–either in pattern, color, or volume–it just seems overwhelming. I’m sure you’ll find the right combination for your tastes, so I look forward to seeing what you decide to do. As always, thank you for your honest, funny, and always inspirational depiction of life in the decorating trenches 🙂

  131. My two cents worth. I love the white walls! They are clean, classic, and the perfect backdrop for color. I like the coral fabric as curtains. It looks crisp and clean against the white. Not feeling the painted table and chairs. A rich, dark wood would be beautiful in this room. The coral buffet is fun and brings the room a more casual feel. My thoughts for what they are worth. Happy decorating, Kristi, I know you will figure out what makes YOU happy!

    1. Also, a contemporary table and chairs would be great. Look back at your inspiration table…it is grand and has presence. I think you are compromising too much by changing the style of your table and chairs. The farmhouse look doesn’t fit with the rest of your home. Think elegant, modern, stained wood for your dining set.

  132. Maybe this is the problem: It appears you want to mix fabrics, stripes, florals and/ or geometric prints. I read once that the rule of thumb on that is that the fabrics should have two colors as a common denominator. For example, red, white, green floral and red and white checks or tattersol. Your black and white stripes need a black and white (plus third color) companion fabric. The Country Curtains catalogue I got in the mail has some good examples. Your fabrics are beautiful, but they seem to lack that common denominator for mixing. Seeing your fabrics only in pictures, my assessment could be wrong.

  133. I love that you are willing to let the public in on your process – your design thought process and the physical building process. You really inspire me to try to do stuff myself. My impression is that you decorate toward contemporary elegance, but you sort of yearn for a playful elegance. Am I on the right track in understanding that you want your dining room to be elegant, but not take itself too seriously. Please don’t “fold-em.” I believe a few simple edits will get you to your goal. Sit back. Take a deep breath. Get a handle on your “big picture.” I can’t wait to see the result.

  134. Well, I’ve thought and thought about your dining room as if it were my own! lol! At least you know that there are lots of people pulling for you! 🙂 Here are my only thoughts…
    1. The wide stripe, black and white drapes would look great if you only have them on the outside of the windows, (I don’t know how to write this), i.e. one drape each, closest to the corners on the fireplace wall. And, one drape on each side of the front window. However…make the drapes ONLY for show. (so that you don’t have SOOOO much fabric bunched up when open. Not to mention that they would be OVERWHELMING when closed – too much of a good thing!
    2. Then, use some kind of blind to actually keep the sun/gawkers out of your dining room. I’m envisioning little black pull down shades with a white trim.
    3. That way you can have your awesome drapes and they won’t be overwhelming at all!
    4. I LOVE your white walls. Love Them. But, I think the top half painted, that soft green that you mentioned, would look splendid with the black and white drapes.
    5. I’d leave the buffet painted the color it is. EVEN IF you don’t want to incorporate any other coral in your design. It’s fun and an unexpected pop of color!
    6. I have NO inspiration about your table and chairs AT ALL. But, I know you will!
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with! 🙂

  135. I liked the coral fabric on the black chair best. A warm-tone fabric against the black seemed to play better than the cold-toned green or blue. The small print seemed sophisticated.

    I loved the COLORS of the watercolor fabric but thought the design was too big and splotchy for the application (like a very petite woman wearing a dress with a huge, bright print…overwhelming). I never cared for the green paint on the furniture. The black seems so much more sophisticated. Honestly though, if I were a client I’d probably be happy with any of your rejects!

  136. Do it your way, of course….the green is lovely…Im still crazy about that green table and black chairs…and vice versa….but I cant wait to see what you come up with for those pale green walls…

  137. I like the black chairs. I couldn’t read all the comments today…sorry if it’s already been said…but I think a dark rich real teal velvet that leans towards very dark. the chairs would pop some when pulled out and would be comfortable. I have almost the same table and we painted the entire table very dark teal with a lot of gray in it and it looks great. With that I have natural wood chairs of varying styles. Probably not for everyone and I wouldn’t do it with the chairs and table that color. When I want to tart it up a bit I add any one of several tablecloths which really add the PUNCH you might be looking for. Plus you are not tied into one pattern that dominates the scene or tire of.