21 Mar 2012

My Perfect Dining Room…as dainty as a Lauduree Macaron!

During my time away from ‘blogland’, and in between the more mundane stresses of life, I did still manage to feed my e-bay/auction habit from time to time. One of my primary focuses was the pursuit of my ‘Perfect Dining Room’. You know, the one where one magically starts to host weekly intimate, yet glamorous, supper parties, – the sort of suppers where the conversation is sparkling, the food is fabulous and the decor is immaculate and tasteful. Like the dinner parties that I see in magazines. Not the real life ones, where I am to be found running to the kitchen every 5 minutes in a attempt to get the timings right, i.e. Get the courses to the table without everything going cold or worse – being burnt to a crisp – at least one can eat cold food! Not that even badly timed dinner parties tend to happen with much frequency these days (any that involve people over the age of 11 and a cake without number candles anyway) – but a girl can still dream!

Anyway, I was fortunate enough to be the winning bidder on a couple of perfect dining room additions – a French armoire with chicken wire doors. (see image on left) I have ALWAYS wanted one of these!
…and a painted sideboard with more than a few chips and bits missing, but the shape and carvings were so pretty that the imperfections seemed beautiful to me.

I also found an 8 seater circular dining table (not shown), that suits the square proportions of the room, and 6 dining chairs that desperately need recovering, but are a great shape – you can just see the edge of one chair and it’s yucky stripy fabric in the corner.

I love all of these things – especially the fact that with the exception of the armoire, everything was bargain basement cheap – and I mean seriously cheap (although even the armoire was less than half the price of most I saw). They all needed cleaning up and of course the chairs will need to be re-covered (which regrettably will bump up the price of less then £10 each) however, that to me is part of the joy of finding things at auction or in dusty old curiosity shops. Finding a ‘one of a kind’ gem and re-covering, painting or polishing it up to reveal it’s true beauty is a feeling like no other. Far more satisfying and enriching than buying a clone from a large department store – although obviously not so convenient or straightforward. I admit, there have been many times when, having just lost out on a ‘perfect’ bargain and feeling that my heart would surely break, I have sworn off ever bidding again at auction and headed straight for IKEA!

Anyway, I digress – back to the ‘Perfect Dining Room’. My predecessors at Hill House decorated the house in an immaculate but rather austere and serious fashion. The dark green paper of the walls, and heavily patterned curtains which they left in the dining room, harp back to a grand and rather Victorian style of dining, which is not my thing at all. I prefer light and airy colours in a French or Swedish, shabby chic style – with a bit of English country house thrown in. The following images (and the first image from Veranda) share the sort of vibe that inspires me, and that someday soon I hope to achieve.

Aren’t they beautiful?

Like sherbet drops, sugared almonds or Love Heart sweets all rolled into one.

SO romantic!

Not quite sure why one needs a romantic dining room with three kids from 8-10 and a cheeky Jack Russell, but suffice to say that they usually have their meals in the family room/kitchen diner anyway (picture on right – sorry it’s so dark), and have absolutely no desire to engage in sparkling dinner conversation beyond asking what’s for pudding!

But what if I never get to have those charming and delightful dinner parties full of interesting guests & sparkling conversation? Is it a waste of a room? Surely Mr. Sutton & I can enjoy eating fish and chips by candlelight in a dainty jewellery box of a room with only each other for company? What do you think – are separate dining rooms an outdated indulgence?

Images from: Veranda, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Morgan Harrison Home

The Diaries

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