Around this time last year, I was spiraling–shaking in my boots even–with the thought of revealing my very first makeover. I was and still am so proud of it, but sharing a creative project with the internet is bone-chilling. But what I didn’t know then, and what is perhaps even scarier now, is this lingering question “Does a room ever really feel finished?”
Recently, I ran into a friend who told me she saw my living and dining room all over Pinterest. She was so kind in her compliments about the design which I deeply appreciated. But being self-deprecating and unable to take a compliment, I had to tell her the photos she saw don’t exactly reflect our daily reality. The things that look good on camera are not always practical or even as good-looking in person. I guess I felt I needed to share this with her because photos on social media are deceiving and can make us feel bad about our own homes/lives. Uh oh, I think I just received my doctorate in Psychology?? My work here is done!! But in all seriousness, I look at my design every single day and I know that it’s not perfect. The baseboards have paint drips, a tangled mess of cords is clearly visible under the TV, and a gross lack of storage becomes a never-ending clutter issue. And that is honestly more than okay and it is normal (AKA inevitable) for a home to be imperfect. But does that stop me from thinking about new ideas for my “already-supposed-to-be-done” living and dining room? Not a chance (someone take away my doctorate quick!). And since I am not ready to get past the “pinning for inspiration” phase for my bedroom, I am seriously considering a few slight improvements for my beloved living and dining room.
So if you’ll be so kind and indulge me, here is what’s still on my mind about this design one year later:
SHOULD I PAINT THE CEILING?
In my reveal post, I wrote about when Sara came to shoot she asked if I ever considered painting the ceiling. I didn’t at first but once she mentioned it it was like she unlocked a part of my brain that can’t let it go. I do love the way it looks now but wouldn’t a painted ceiling look even better??
Guys. Even with my subpar photoshop skills, it looks so cozy. I think I just want to feel like I am being swallowed by this moody green color because I love it that much. It’s super exciting to think about but I remember some commenters said that the white ceiling actually pulls in the white accents like the baseboards, the bedroom door, and the white lampshade. I suppose I could paint the baseboards too so I wonder if that would help. Suggestions welcome!
Quick aside: people are always asking where the coffee table is from. I sourced it from Wayfair and it was sold out for a while but it looks like it’s finally back! It is a great coffee table and I highly recommend it if you are a magazine hoarder like me.
DO I WALLPAPER THIS NOOK?
I’ve talked about adding more pattern here by putting wallpaper in this nook since the very beginning. It still haunts me that I didn’t do it for the reveal. Is it necessary?? No. Does it excite me to even think about it? Absolutely. And I think if I am still thinking about it a year later that might be a sign to give it a try. Here are some wallpapers I am thinking about:
Option #1 | Option #2 | Option #3
I love how colorful and playful #1 is. It would add a lot of movement and would complement the Victorian style we already have going on. My only worry is it might be a little too busy, which leads me to #2. This one is calmer but still has the pattern and movement that I crave. #3 is sort of the in-between because it has the dark red which would really pop but the pattern is simple and classic. I am drawn to this one because it is the same color as our armchair but with a different pattern which I think could be really interesting.
My last caveat is that this might be more money/stress/labor than it is actually worth. Has anyone wallpapered a shelf like this before? It looks hard to do, but it would probably just require more planning and attention to detail than I am used to. Any tips?
DIY WALLPAPER IDEAS
Another avenue I am considering is making my own “wallpaper” from vintage postcards or vintage drawings. I wrote about this idea here and almost forgot about it until this house tour. That DIY wallpaper by Pierce and Ward is unreal and it reminded me that I can totally find a vintage collection of something and make my own wallpaper. For some reason, it feels less scary than using real wallpaper. I would probably use double-sided tape or putty so it would be easily removable. Has anyone tried this??
IS IT TIME FOR NEW DINING CHAIRS? (The Answer is Yes…)
The dining area is the part of my design that I am most proud of. The gallery wall was so tough but what we ended up with makes me so happy every single day. The table is so dreamy and is like it was plucked from my vintage dreams and I love it paired with my vintage bentwood dining chairs. But the chairs…ahhh the chairs. They are beautiful but not practical and about a month after getting them this happened:
They are clearly not meant to be sat on by adult humans every day. I am sure the cane could be fixed but the wood is also very weak. They weigh less than 3 pounds each and are around 100 years old. We host our Sunday dinners here almost every weekend and it’s pretty humiliating having to pull out folding chairs because I am terrified a guest will sit on one and snap it in half. These chairs have become purely decorative which is not ideal for a dining experience. So one thing I really actually NEED to do for our safety and peace of mind is to find some new chairs. Here are some I am considering:
1. Brix Dining Chair (Set of 2) | 2. Westan Dining Chair | 3. Wynn Ladderback Dining Chair
I love how #1 has a similar look and feel to our current ones. #2 would bring in a more modern flair which I am not opposed to and I really like how wide the seat is (AKA I imagine it would feel like a chair fit for an adult). #3 is sort of a wild card but I find the really tall back intriguing and the shape is cool but maybe it’s too farmhouse-y? I don’t know why I feel like farmhouse isn’t far off from our current design even though farmhouse has never been a term I’ve used to describe this space…
My heart wants to consider vintage chairs but buying vintage chairs over the internet was what got us in this position in the first place. So unless I find some in person and can test their durability, I am going to do the responsible thing and buy new (in hopes they’ll last for a 100+ years).
SHOULD I REPLACE THE TAPESTRY OVER THE SOFA?
I love love love how the colors of this tapestry (read: rug I nailed to the wall) complement the color palette perfectly. We needed something that would tie in in the sofa, rug, and our red and tan plaid armchair which was a CHALLENGE but somehow I scored this from Chairish for like, $100. The problem is my husband thinks this tapestry reads too bohemian and thinks it confuses the overall style of the living room. I agree but it doesn’t bother me as much as it does him. I finally relented and said “fine, let’s replace it” but art that size costs double our rent. So I started researching DIY art ideas despite knowing DIY has never been my strong suit. For a hot second, I considered doing what Malcolm did in his dining room (wallpapering a large piece of plywood and hanging it like art) but truthfully I think that would fall flat in this space. SO NOW WHAT? Well, I reverted back to my go-to which is printing digital art and that’s when I saw this article. I’ll read anything that starts with the title “Free Art”. It is of course not free art but it does detail how you can download hi-res images from the New York Public Library digital collection. There are over 900,000 images from photography collections to cyanotype impressions. This intrigued me greatly and even though getting one of these printed in the size I would require would cost at least $150 and framing it would be another $150, that’s still cheaper than most art. So I of course took the bait and am eyeing quite a few including these:
1. Running Horse | 2. Aerial View of Los Angeles Harbor | 3. Horseback Riders On Beach
For the sake of your time and mine, I am only including these 3 picks but there are about 100 I have already saved and could potentially choose from. And I believe art is highly personal so it’s a long process to select the right piece that speaks to me and my husband (and fits our style). To be continued!
So that is where I am at with this space that I still love to pieces and never ever want to leave. Does one ever get over their first makeover published on stylebyemilyhendersondesign.com? I am guessing not 🙂 I hope this little jaunt down memory lane wasn’t entirely self-serving and as always I would love to hear your thoughts down below. xx
**After Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp
Love these rooms! Okay, here’s my take on the updates you’re considering: Paint the ceiling to match the walls: YES. The photoshopped images look GREAT. Paint the base boards and trim to match the walls: YES. Or maybe paint them one shade darker than the walls and of course in a semi-gloss finish. Paint the door (next to your sofa) to match the walls: YES. You didn’t mention this, but I think it would look great. That moody green is beautiful. I say, go for it. Wallpaper the nook: YES. I like option #2. The print brings movement into the room, but the subtle pattern keeps it from being too busy. And I really like that the background color of the wallpaper blends with the color of the walls. New dining chairs: YES. Love option #3, the ladderback chairs. For me, they work best with the styles of your other furniture. Replace the tapestry over the sofa: YES. Love option #2, the arial view of LA Harbor. It’s such a visually interesting image and the graphic details work really well with the room. I also like that its color blends with the wall (instead of contrasting to it). These rooms… Read more »
Amy is singing my song. Agree agree agree! with one tweak…. re: Wallpaper. I love option #2 but it is such a small space, I think the idea of making your own custom wallpaper is a great idea! So many fun options! Maybe a gorgeous marbled paper?? Or old sheet music?
Tara, love your old sheet music suggestion, the marbled paper too!
Those were my exact choices. My suggestion for the wall paper is maps. I found a vintage atlas and used them to paper our guest bathroom. It looks so fun and you learn while in there.
Paint the ceiling. I remember my cousin painting her ceiling same as her walls about 10 years ago, guess she was ahead of the game. Have you thought of framing the rug. I love it and think it would look great framed.
Yes, frame the tapestry!
whoops just realized we’re on the same wave 🙂
It is a beautiful room.
Yes, you should paint the ceiling and the other white trim.
Yes, you should wallpaper the nook. I like the first one best but the last one is also good.
Of the chair options you posted, I like the third best. But really I would go to the flea market and you will probably find something both lovely and sturdy in person. I don’t think they’d have to match, personally, and it’s much easier to find chairs that look good together rather than a whole set secondhand. Sell those fragile chairs to someone who can fix them and never sit on them.
Of the art options, I like that horse best. But I also really like that rug up there and I don’t think it’s too bohemian.
For art, another idea is to go on some art dates with that husband of yours. Look around for shows off the beaten path- student shows, assisted living shows, etc. Look for art while you are traveling. Leave the rug up to give yourselves time to find something you both love.
I still love your colors!
Someone else suggested framing the tapestry/rug — good idea.
Or wrap it around a large, thick canvas for more structure. I think it may look too bohemian now because of how it’s hung — too saggy. I’ve put thick textiles on canvases before (the kind that are at least 1.5-2 inches thick) and it really elevates them as long as they can withstand some staples.
Yes – wallpaper the nook, Option 2.
Yes – paint ceiling.
Yes – new chairs, Option 1 or 2.
If you go this route I’ve found an easy/cheaper way to do it is to wait for a coupon for a large sturdy art canvas on good wooden frames (you know, the unpainted canvas wrapped and stapled ready for painting on a sturdy wood structure in the back) and wrap and staple the rug/vintage bus sign/great piece of fabric to it. If you can wrap to the back and staple there without much bulk, great (but really, check so that the frame isn’t hanging wonky). If you need to wrap to the sides and staple there, then you can glue/hand sew on a great ribbon around the edge to cover the staples (that is, if the weave of the rug doesn’t stick up and cover the staples from view). I’ve even done this with velvet and then screwed in L brackets to the back and hooked it over the ugliest ever fireplace folding glass doors and their terrible metal frame. Looked great and gave me lots of time to try to save to replace them.
Your design is gorgeous!!
1) paint ceiling!!!
2) #1 option horse art (there’s the white you’ll be losing from the white ceiling)
3) ohh yes yes yes wallpaper that book! All the choices would work but #3 the red stripes will really completely the green wall paint.
4) chairs, hmm, I’m undecided there!
Paint the ceiling! I think you could paint the trim and doors too, but I actually like the bit of contrast the white brings.
Eh on wallpapering the nook. I think it would look great and my vote would be #1. But I also think it’s not worth the energy or money. Maybe paint it a bold color instead if you want it to pop?
Yes on new chairs! I don’t care for #3 but both #1 or #2 would look great. I’d recommend trying out the Pottery Barn chairs in person if possible before buying. I bought a similar chair from Pottery Barn (that looks like it’s the same finish as the chair you’ve picked) and the wood had a bit of a texture to it that would snag leggings. Worth checking out to see if it would bother you.
Keep the tapestry! I don’t think it’s too bohemian and I love the warmth and texture it brings in.
Yes, paint the ceiling. Would give a cozy vibe, and that seems to be what you’re going for. The white ceiling makes it a little bit airier.
Yes, wallpaper the nook. Option one is my favorite. As far as the chairs, I love the look of cane seat chairs, but whenever I see them I think that they look very impractical because I imagine the cane breaking. Option one is good if you wanna stick with the same look you had before but I love the Pottery Barn ones myself.
Someone else mentioned framing that tapestry and I think that’s a great idea. Or I love large scale art, and I like the LA Harbor or the horses on the beach.
I lived in the Middle East for years and know a LOT of rug collectors (we’ve only got three, so we don’t count). They all use textile hangers to display their rugs instead of framing them. The reason is that you might actually want to use it as a rug someday! Plus you may move, and it’ll fit floor space somewhere in your new space better.
I LOVE the rug where it is! But this is coming from someone who’s got Indian pillowcases, Chinese scrolls, Portuguese tiles, and a Uighur prayer mat on her walls. If you do decide to do a framed photo, could you use the rug on the floor elsewhere in your home?
I love this idea of using a textile hanger! That’s a great solution!
I second the idea of a textile hanger. Using a bar style one would add enough straight lines and form to the rug to counter the bohemian look at it pulls the colors together so well!
Oh, “textile hanger” I didn’t know what that was, so Googled it and that is a great idea Deb! I saw lots of great options on Etsy etc. Good to know, thanks!
Cane chair seats don’t really break dye to bums, moreso stanfjng kn them or sitting in feet crossed under bums.
I have to disagree about bums not breaking cane seats. I have four DWR Era chairs with cane seats that I purchased around eight years ago brand new for $500ish each. Two of the seats are busted. No one has stood on the seats or even sat cross-legged on them. My husband and I are not large humans. Just normal wear and tear from regular usage has broken them. I won’t ever buy cane seats again. Although I do love the look of them.
cane seats always break. so not worth the money unless you learn how to re-cane them yourself. how hard could that be?
Briefly: paint the ceiling and baseboards. Wallpaper the nook with #1. Why go to the trouble if you aren’t making a splash. Plus the others are snooze. I like both pottery barn chairs #2 & 3. The tapestry is so much nicer than the art. I think it’d look much better if you used canvas stretcher bars from the art supply store and mounted it so it doesn’t sag.
I love your design and especially the wall color and warm wood/leather tones AND the rug/wallhanging! Have you considered having your rug framed? It would elevate it out of bohemia without having to give it up. Framing is not inexpensive, however. Another option is to mount it on a strip of wood so it hangs more straight/flat? Hopefully you will find another place for it if you do decide to remove it from the living room.
Tacking the top of your tapestry to a dowel and then hanging that will solve your Bohemian problem – that sag right now does revive memories of 70s flats in the Haight. Which is a vibe, but not your vibe. A more structured hang will fix you right up!
Such a lovely room. In answer to your questions:
I’m team frame the rug, or at least hang it using a rod to take out the sag!
the space is LOVELY though! Don’t be too hard on yourself that reality doesn’t match instagram / online. It never could / should and that’s ok! as long as it brings YOU joy – that’s what matters most!
No to the ceiling. Pick one of your favorite colors from the three choices of wallpaper and paint the nook for now, I see rust repeated.. Live with that a while. Thirdly I like the horses. You’ve done a beautiful job. Trust yourself.
If you’re not sure which wallpaper you want to try, install the wallpaper to foam board that is snug to the back of the opening. That way you can always change the wallpaper easily and it doesn’t show that it is on different backer.
I was just coming here to say this! Way easier to cover it while working on a flat surface too, and renter-friendly.
Also you can use fabric with starch instead of wallpaper which you could change whenever you wanted. It would be fairly economical and easy to remove.
All of this is cherries on the sundae. Love the room!
I’m going to speak specifically to the chairs: I have seven bentwood chairs similar to yours (well, mine are different models but all are by Thonet), and I love them, so I’d hate to see the repair option dismissed altogether. The wood does seem a little fragile but ime any good carpenter can fix them if they break, and if yours are the same age as mine then they’ve already survived 80+ years. The cane seat is a different problem; I’ve just had mine recaned but I live somewhere where labour is cheap. It is possible to recane them yourself, but depending on how yours are assembled it may be more or less labour-intensive. Basically, there are models where the caning is attached to a wooden hoop (like an embroidery hoop), which is in turn attached to the inside of the seat. In other models, every individual cane is threaded through the seat frame. If you have the former model (and from the pictures, it looks like you might) you can buy cane sheets online and cut and attach them, like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi0Gt9RU0Ro If it’s the latter model, it will be quite difficult and time-consuming to learn to thread and… Read more »
Another option for consideration, I have some vintage thonet chairs that had cane hidden underneath. Someone had wrapped the seats with vinyl at some point. I swapped that out for leather, which I think is a pretty easy DIY. As much as I love cane, a solid seat is more comfortable and more durable.
Individual threading is not what generally happens … its a pre-woven piece you buy, trim to size ad push/poke/hammer into the indented part by fixing with a thicker, damp piece of cane, which may be secured in places with pin-tacs/nails.
It depends if it is hand-woven or machine-woven. Here’s a link with photos of each type of caning: https://furniturerenewal.com/reweave/cane/standardweaves.html
It’s not the most beautiful framing, but it works, isn’t noticeable unless close up, and is cheap. I have done a couple of different poster sized framed pictures I’ve taken and they’ve been less than $100. You upload your picture to the website and pick the size you want and they send it to you already framed: https://www.frameiteasy.com/
Either way you go, to paint or not, I think you need crown moulding! Yes to the wallpaper in the niche and I love your vintage chairs. Can you have them refurbished (re-glued, screws tightened, etc.) and re-caned? They look way better than any of the new options.
It looks like (almost) everyone is on team paint the ceiling! I think something to remember is just that you won’t have the same reflections that you do currently. In your photoshop, you still see bright(er) reflections at the top of the walls, but that’s off the white ceiling. But you say you want to be swallowed by cozy moodiness, so I say go for it! As far as the rug, err– tapestry, I think it adds great texture to the room. I’m afraid if you frame it in and glass the front, you’ll lose that softness. But I’m really here to say GO FOR THE WALLPAPERED NOOK. But just stick it on some cardboard cut to size and stick it in the back of the nook. Then you can get a feel for it without the whole process of wallpapering. At least to start? Also, as someone who has also gone the vintage chair route, and someone who also loves to host folks every Friday for dinner, you want something everybody can sit in and you not worry about. I love the look of the first one (that caning does always catch my eye), maybe since it’s the most… Read more »
Glad you mentioned the ceiling reflections. The room will be much darker than the photoshopped version without the white ceiling reflecting light onto the walls.
I was also thinking if the ceiling got painted it would require daytime lamps/sconces
I LOVE THE TAPESTRY IT IS PPPPPPPERFERCT!!!!! Phew okay now that I got that out: yes to painting the ceiling if you’re willing to put in the labour, I think it would look fabulous! Of the wallpapers I like #3 the best and of the chairs #1 I love how they bring in a rich wood colour, I think the all black would be a little too much for me but you do you. The Wallpaper will probably be a little fiddly to install but probably more of the “it’s annoying and takes time and patience”-kind and less of the “its physically hard”-kind so you decide if that is worth it to you, but just for the aethetics I think it could look really fun! Good luck, Ryann and enjoy the process if you can! I think slowly fixing and changing up spaces is one of the greatest joys of letting your home evolve with you!
Short answer – Yes, 2, 2, Yes but maybe something with a bit… more? in terms of the art? Long answer – what a great, personal, warm room. If you don’t think paint on the ceiling would be overwhelming, and your landlord lets you, then go for it. I love both the first and second wallpaper, but I think the second one suits the space best. The third looks peak late 80s/early 90s to my old eye. Definitely get new chairs – we had a vintage set for far too long and my father finally broke the back of one of them standing up (this is the same man that caused a gut reno of our only bathroom in the last house by putting his arm through the shower wall – can’t tell if it is inadvertent or if he targets things he thinks should be replaced?). We rehomed the old chairs and got a modern second hand set from FM – best of both worlds that way. And yep, the rug has always been ‘fine’ for me but a bit out of place – if you loved loved it, then I’d say keep it, but if it’s meh to… Read more »
Your place has so much soul!!
Yes, paint the ceiling, the baseboards, the door, the switchplates and outlets!
Paint the nook, shelves included, and then if you want, wallpaper just the back and sides leaving the trim and shelves painted. Personalized wallpaper is a great idea, but instead of pasting up individual pieces, make a collage of sorts to fit the space above each shelf, then photocopy and put up the photocopy in one piece (for each area above shelf) No worries about using or ruining personal mementos this way, and just 3 pieces to paste to the wall.
If you decide on wallpaper, I love #3.
Ditto the suggestion to go on art dates. We did that, and now there is a story and memory behind each piece of art in our home. And ditto the suggestion to find vintage chairs that don’t necessarily match. Maybe some mid-century, they tend to be sturdier.
Can’t wait to see what you do!
My votes are 1) paint the ceiling (!!!), 2) wallpaper nook with #1, 3) #2 or #3 chairs, and 4) picture #3. Looking forward to seeing what you do!
What is this color please? I’m in love with the option 2 wallpaper!
The paint color is linked under the first photo in her reveal post: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/moody-multi-functional-living-and-dining-room
My fave bookcase/nook trick it to get a gorgeous marbled paper from a stationery store and double-sided tape it up. Or… literally scotch tape. I used scotch tape in my bedroom two years ago and ya can’t tell!!! It’s about a $30 investment, SUPER easy to DIY, zero commitment, and the papers are so gorgeous and individual. I love marbled patterns for bookcases because it looks like the end papers of fancy novels. And if you screw up with your cutting, hot tip: stick a spare scrap behind the gap in the main paper and you can rarely tell. Very forgiving.
I papered the inside of the ‘walls’ of a bookshelf snd used…..blu-tac!!!
I love the look and feel of your rooms! They look cozy and comfortable, but stylish. And I love the look of the ceiling, walls, and trim all being the same color but if you’ve ever painted a ceiling (I have, never again) it’s a lot of work and if it has to be repainted at some point, it’s probably going to involve primer and a couple of coats of paint. If that doesn’t bother you, then it would be great. I think I would like it either way.
Absolutely paint the ceiling at 20% of color of wall because it will read darker than the wall. The current contrast between white and dark green is too harsh. Josef Hoffman chair (on DWR) is more authentic and comes in an option to just have cane on the back, and you can customize the fabric on seat part (maybe to match or complement your wallpaper?)
Love the suggestion to paint the ceiling a lighter color.
I agree with painting the ceiling. The color is beautiful.
I say chair #2. This is a fresh modern pop, because so much in the room is traditional. Would look fabulous next to the vintage table!
All of the wallpapers will work, but I’d say do a unique, collected moment. Vintage postcards? Vintage advertisements? Honestly, you could even paper the back with something cool from Paper Source (hello beautiful wrapping papers). Make it an unexpected moment, not another muted version of what you already have.
And speaking of muted, I’d suggest something more colorful above the couch. I love your room, but everything is almost TOO cohesive, muted, almost drab. You need a little zing! Go for some yellow/pink/black/blue etc up on that wall. If you love it, it will work. 🙂
The answer from me is yes to everything.
Do the wallpaper and chairs! Ceiling and tapestry I can go either way on. Our first ever wallpapering project was inside a built-in bookshelf nook like this and, well, we didn’t know then that it was all the hardest things you can do in wallpapering so that helped, but it was definitely a project. I LOVE it though! I would go with the bold one (#1) because the items on the shelf tone it down. Ours was bold and blue (my least favorite color) and it was awesome.
I’m a pro decorator: Keep the tapestry!! It’s so much more visually and texturally interesting, warm and unique than a generic piece of art. Truly. It’s beautiful.
I agree, but have it stretched not saggy
Beware the tall-back dining chairs. I have beautiful chairs with tall backs, they bring me joy whenever I look at them. But I’d never get them again b/c when I have more than 4 people at the table, and need to remove dishes, or serve stuff? The back of the chair means I can’t stand behind seated guests and lean over their shoulder to access the tabletop. I’ve had those chairs for 20+ years, and every. single. time. they get in the way of easy serving. PS I like your room a lot!
Chairs? Facebook marketplace, for sure! Try the tapestry on a frame, wrapped and stapled–I think you will love it.
My 2 cents:
👀 Paint the ceiling- it actually makes the ceilings look higher (much to my surprise!).
👀 Wallpaper the walls of the bookshelf with Option 1.
👀 Leave the tapestry as is – gorgeous and impetfect as it drapes a bit = fab!
👀 Please don’t buy new chairs. You can replace the wovrn wicker reasonably well as a FIY project. In fact, it’d be a great tutorial for the blog.
BTW, you could also fix a piece of wood/MDF underneath the wicker so it doesn’t happen again, anytime soon. I did this with an antique bentwood chair.
It still looks great, Ryann!!! 😊💗
Yay! for painted ceilings (my ‘hallway’ ceiling is painted the same color as the walls and I love it so much I’m pretty sure all the rooms in my home will eventually have painted ceilings)!
#1 for wallpaper 100% -the nook is likely too small to achieve ‘busy’ status BUT you could order multiple samples and pin them in place to be certain. Also, rather than wallpapering the shelves, you could paint the them in a corresponding color so they disappear into the pattern.
#1 chairs look to me as though they were made for your space and needs (plus, they’re cushioned for comfort!).
How interesting -the ‘bohemian’ tapestry reads to me as ‘old world’ (and like, perfect for all the reasons you mentioned) BUT, if your husband isn’t feeling it, that’s truly all that matters. You did such a good job finding something special in the first iteration, I am confident you’ll be successful now.
And lastly, I feel deep in my bones design is an ‘alive’ process and thus, is constantly evolving -no apology required!
1. I’m claustrophobic so no to the painted ceiling.
2. Yes to wallpapers the back of the shelves. Choice #1 would be my choice.
3. No to wallpapers with vintage postcards, etc. I think the work would not be worth the payoff and the labor on the backend to remove it really doesn’t sound like it’s worth the effort.
4. Yes to new chair. My choice would be #2 of the options offered by you.
5. I love the options offered for the art over the sofa but as you say it’s highly personal. I am into urban planning and architecture so my choice would be #2 but that’s just me. That said perhaps changing the orientation of the wall hanging and hanging it a different way might solve your issues. Have you tried a curtain rod and curtain clips and hanging it vertically instead of horizontally? The colors are perfect in the current wall hanging for the space as designed.
Or a textile hanger like this one:
There are different sizes and other textiles that might fit your space as well here. Plus I like their mission.
Wallpaper the nook, option 2 goes with the wall color. Paint the trim a little darker.
If you have clutter then invest in floor to ceiling storage. That will give you more room on the floor and less visual clutter. We all deal with clutter, but having space to catch things helps keep surfaces clean. This is also a good solution to kids’ clutter if your plans include them. Cute tables with displays or numerous chests of drawers contribute to lack of space. I love what you did with your home and only you can decide what you need and like.
For giant art, don’t sleep on Juniper Print Studio!! Jenny specifically makes prints for the giant Ikea frame.
I also replaced my antique bentwood Thonet dining chairs for the same exact reason. They are beautiful but in no way practical. Definitely paint your ceiling! I’ve been doing this in every room and it feels so much better. My bathroom specifically is the same color all around, trim, walls, wainscoting, ceiling, and it feels so calming. Highly recommend.
Have you considered having a large piece of fabric framed to replace the tapestry? It can look great and pull in some of those same colors that you’re looking for.
I’d try using removeable wallpaper on the shelves to see if you like it enough to invest in the expense of buying / hiring somebody to hang real wallpaper. You can find some similar patterns to the ones you chose fairly inexpensively and live with it for a bit to see what works for you. I’m planning on doing something similar in small spaces around my house and decided to go the temporary route (for now) to see if I love it for awhile before committing.
What is your green paint color?
It is linked under the first photo in her reveal post: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/moody-multi-functional-living-and-dining-room
dining chairs are a hard YES because i need a sturdy wide seat to really enjoy my meal and after-meal conversation lol
I love the rug/tapestry & I think that the colors, texture, vibe that it brings & how it complements the other items in the room are part of why this room is so popular! I also think that with lots of framed items on the gallery wall, this rug/tapestry provides a nice textural contrast. I particularly love the colors & pattern on it. However, I think it’s even more important for both you & your husband to be happy in the room so I support you in whatever you do! You’ve got a great eye so I know whatever you end up with will be fabulous! (I loved your unexpected furniture & decor combos post–so helpful, instructive, & inspiring!)
I also prefer the Brix dining chairs with the caning because the caning on your current chairs really complements the other caramel colors in the room & provides an interesting texture. If you go with the other solid black chairs, you’d lose the caning’s color, texture, & interest that really pop against the green wall color. However, I know you’ll end up with something stunning whatever you choose as you’re a wonderful designer!
I love your color scheme and a moody wall like yours sets off art nicely. One large piece would work in your space or you might consider a gallery wall with a few larger pieces. I suggest a landscape or cloudscape with visual texture that will feel almost like a view out a window. A map, chart, or historic photo could work too. Sticking with bright creamy colors helps push the light around the room. We have a large navigation chart on one wall in our living room and it is very effective in lightening our space and has a flowing structure.
Here’s my two cents:
1) Paint the ceiling. It will look gorgeous and cozy. I like the idea of keeping the white trim and door for contrast.
2) I’m a sucker for wallpaper. Go bold with #1. It’s lovely.
3) I am currently looking at chairs with cane detailing so I”m partial to choice #1, but #3 would also be a great fit for your dining room.
4) Well, you gravitated toward horses and water. #3 has both. Love a good beach scene. Gives your room a Cali vibe.
LOVE your style and bravery! YES paint the ceiling! but I prefer the trim and doors to stay white so there is a bit of a break in the color. YES but #2 wallpaper otherwise I think it will be too busy. NO Keep the tapestry because it gives a nice punch of the colors in the room on the dark wall. I love it. Perhaps you could frame it as another commenter has suggested. I don’t like that it’s a bit saggy but love the colors. Please don’t get rid of it as it blends so nicely in this room! YES option 3 ladder back chairs unless you find some other cool ones in flea market. Ok, when you’re done will you make suggestions for my house? I’m such a fan.
Love this post!
Yes, paint the ceiling, BUT…install crown moulding as well for texture. and paint it the same, but in semi-gloss.
Wallpaper #2. William Morris is perfect for the concept.
Tapestry: drape on the couch and the running horse is a MUST.
Dining Chair: #2 AND…add a cushion for comfort with a tailored (pleat) skirt that is about 6-8″ in length.
I am in the process of hanging a textile wall hanging and I bought a brass curtain rod with finials and loops. I’ll sew the loops on the hanging and then feed the rod through. To hang the rod I am using deortive cord and hang it from a hook.
Yes, yes, yes, pain that ceiling! It’s night here so I can’t get a truly decent shot of my own living room but it’s a very similar colour and painting the ceiling (despite my husband’s loud objections) is the best thing we did. I’ve attached the vew from the sofa I’m currently reclining on – just a corner of the room, but you get the picture. It’s a big yes from me!