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The Dining Nook Restyled – An Accidental Style Move Back To Being Eclectic

With almost zero desire/intention to change this dining nook corner for the living room reveal, it already has a whole new personality (don’t mind the secret family room in the background, we can’t show you til the magazine comes out!). In case you missed it, I revealed the first iteration of the dining nook a while back and we have loved it. Then two things happened: 1. My friend Max Humphrey needed his pillows back to use them for promoting his Sunbrella + Pindler line and 2. The blue stools that were intended for the piano (and looked SO CUTE) were left floating since we moved the piano upstairs (I loved them down here). So the weekend before the big shoot I put them here at the nook and despite loving the vintage chairs I had, it was a quick and solid, “OH MY GOODNESS, YESSSS!” by the entire family. Then the styling took off in a new direction…and well…I’ll show you 🙂

Dining Nook Version #1 – All Sunbrella And Vintage Chairs

Left Art (vintage) | Right Art | Pillow Fabrics | Cushion Fabric | Large Sconce (vintage) | Small Sconce | Swithplates | Table (custom) | Chairs (vintage) | Candlestick Holders | Vase (similar) | Plantstand (vintage)

I genuinely love this version – it’s the more tame version of me but still with a lot of interest and fun. We had zero complaints and it just worked so well for our family.

When we shot this I really checked a box – dining nook, DONE.

And Yet…My Eclectic Side Came To Play…

Left Art (vintage) | Right Art | Blush Velvet Pillow | Lumbar Pillow | Leather Pillow | Blue Velvet Pillow | Cushion Fabric | Large Sconce (vintage) | Small Sconce | Swithplates | Table (custom) | Stools | Hand Chair (vintage) | Black Vase (similar) | Coffee Cup | Plantstand (vintage)

OK, KIDS HERE WE GO. It’s just so fun. Here’s why I love it – The stools really open up the space more (not that it needed it, but it is nice to not have the backs visually) and more importantly it shows off the table base joinery which we LOVE. Then once I had the stools there we needed something on the end and who doesn’t want to put their rump in Emily HANDerson (bonus points for commenters who know the reference and who named it that). I bought that hand chair over 10 years ago at Round Top Texas for $200 and she has been with me in every home since.

Obviously, a few other things changed – The Japanese Boro Fabric panel obviously really becomes a focal point and I think looks so awesome with the modern stools and the antique Irish chain quilt. I ended up putting the other art over the mantel and because the Boro plaid was so strong, I put my quiet and large framed Cy Twombly lithograph here instead. These pillows weren’t super curated and I still want to tweak them but I love them a lot. I am a bit concerned about these velvet pillows there so I want to make a few Sunbrella pillows (I finally got some of my own yardage of Max’s line) and then buy a larger leather pillow for the corner (I love how that leather looks in there with the blue and white – classic EHD). And then I went back to my crazy plant that I LOVE (and won’t stop growing tall instead of out, help!).

Right now I’m loving this version, but I also loved the other!!!

How The Whole Room Works Together

So as you can see it’s back in that corner of the opened living room and works pretty darn well if you ask me.

Round One Or Round Two????

I honestly love them both. Here are some initial thoughts:

I like the kitchen art in round one more – we actually had to steal the seascape for our seascape wall so that’s why I restyled it. I put these two Marianne Puls pieces there in round two which I like, but don’t hold the space with the same impact.

I like the light on the table in round one more (obviously) which is blocked by the Boro fabric in round two. BTW we totally open those to the sides and it’s really easy. I also love where the wall lamp is in round one versus round two (but that’s just a styling thing, we didn’t move it).

Here it is just clear to me that they are both super me and I love them equally. Round one is simply more curated and more perfectly designed, whereas round two is more young, fun, and eclectic. Since I don’t have Max’s pillows anymore I can’t even go back to round one if I want (unless I make them:)), but I do want to protect those gorgeous Rejuvenation velvet pillows and not keep them near my children with marinara, so I’ll likely merge the two. I’m thinking the stools, HANDerson but with some Sunbrella pillows and a leather pillow.

Genuinely curious which you prefer. You can’t offend me (well you can, but not about this). Round One or Round Two????


Seat Cushion Fabric: Sunbrella (Back Cushion + Seat Cushion – similar)
Bench Seat: ARCIFORM
Upholstery: Raleigh Hills Upholstery
Table: Dinihanian Design Build
Lighting and Outlets: Rejuvenation
Wood Flooring: Oregon White Oak by Zena Flooring
Windows and Doors: White oak, Aspen Casement by Sierra Pacific Windows

Art Framing: Limitless Creations
Wall Color: Mantra by Sherwin-Williams
Paneling Color: Extra White by Sherwin-Williams

*Design by Emily Henderson and ARCIFORM
*Photos by Kaitlin Green


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127 thoughts on “The Dining Nook Restyled – An Accidental Style Move Back To Being Eclectic

  1. #1 cushions are prettier in that space, so definitely worth making some up! #1 also looks comfier and that little bit more grown-up – I’m not sure I’m a fan of the stools there, because it looks a bit makeshift and not as inviting. Perhaps the vintage chairs with the hand at the end? Or is that too much? Love the Cy Twombly art from version #2 though, and the other piece is perfect above the mantelpiece.
    PS: definitely agree on the seascapes in the kitchen. Can you pinch them back?

  2. Round Two because it’s more playful and you do art there, play board games n stuff there….so it’s a whole lot more cozy. I agree about the cushions, even though they look nice, marinara sauce and expensive cushions – nope!
    🌱 BTW, those type of plants naturally grow UP tree trunks, so don’t expect it to grow out. If you want that, you’ll need to choose another plant. I’m really impressed that you have so many house plants and they’re going so well, coz I remember the several in LA that died a sorry death.
    Huge transformation, Emily – gardening, cooking… what’s next?! (Steamy novel writing?!) 😉

    1. I agree – Round two. Love the stools and the art! I’m a big fan of eclectic. Would anyone know what the name of that crazy plant is – I love it quirkiness it adds to wherever it is placed. 😊

  3. I dearly prefer Round One. I love the little, old chairs (they remind me of pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms with their sweet, petite furnishings!) and I like the gentler tones of the scene. Even the soft bouquet adds a layer of femininity! The whole room reads (to me, so subjective!) as very intentional , elegant and powerful now. A bit of softness (which I think the Boro curtains could skew, with other softer elements around) is always my preference.

    What about a return to a subtle infusion of pink? Maybe … hot pink? I bet Orlando, namer of hand chair, would approve. 😉 As ever, thanks for inviting us into your process and home! 💕

  4. I like both!
    I agree about the velvet pillows and marina, though. This seems like a good place for something wipeable, but maybe more eclectic yet still wipeable? How does the leather cushion hold up?
    This is also confusing me about the quilt. It’s a beautiful quilt! But do you really eat with an antique quilt half folded on the end of the bench like that? Maybe it’s just a styling thing for the photo? In which case it is so pretty! But if it was in my dining room, I would be concerned that my kids would interpret that as a giant napkin.
    Also, I’m sure you have addressed this before, but does anyone sit in the HANDerson? Is it comfortable? I’m imagining you and your husband are on the bench and your kids are on the stools. If a neighbor drops by, does the neighbor have to sit in the hand chair or do you switch it out? I like the weird hand chair there, I’m just curious as to how this changes when you’re actually using it. I think the Before looked more usable.

  5. I prefer Round 2 as there’s less wood and it’s just that bit simpler as a result. As much as I love those vintage chairs they do add a lot of wooden legs. And for a pass-through space I prefer having low or no backs on seating just to keep it simple and one less thing to bump into (not that you have a shortage of space!). Agree that it also just looks more spontaneous and has more energy rather than the first picture-perfect look which is almost too matchy. The blue stools with the Boro add those touches of both industrial and craft (imho) which keeps it nicely eclectic but also beautifully curated. Of course both are stunning and we’d all kill to just have one corner of our homes be so gorgeous!

    1. We ended up switching our dining room and “sitting room” because the view was just too many chairs, too many legs all in one sight line!

  6. Round 2 for sure! Sooooooo much more interesting. The round 2 view sparks a lot of joy for me. I gravitate towards eclectic though 🙂

    1. Same here. Round 1 was lovely, but I love what the stools and Boro fabric add to Round 2. Round 3 with velvet cushions swapped for Sunbrella will be the best yet, I bet. I like how the leather and the rust velvet cushions call back to the colour of the vase on the coffee table, so I’m glad you’ll have a leather cushion too.

  7. Round one for me ….would select diff pillows tho. Prefer the art as well. The stools/chairs in round two add to the visual clutter of the space and I do not like the darker cafe curtain.

  8. Round one for me because chairs are more comfy than stools (and not sure how I feel about the hand chair) but maybe with the curtains added to round one.

  9. Round Two really is fun, yet still nicely tied together! I appreciate the reminder that moving pieces around can be quite satisfying. It’s kind of like seeing a friend in a new light – you already thought they were wonderful, and then you get to appreciate them in a new way!

  10. Hard choice. I love how the stools and Handerson chair look in that corner but I prefer the pillow game of round one. If I had to choose, I’d probably opt for round two.

    1. P. S. I think someone at EHD should do an expose on the scam that pillows are. I mean we all purchase all of these dang pillows but, really, EVERYONE who comes into my house MOVES THE PILLOWS when they sit down on a couch/chair/bench/etc. So how as the design industry scammed us into buying these pillows that just get in the way of life. I think your built in bench would look great without any pillows at all.

      1. My hubby is one to scoff at “too many pillows everywhere” but every night he uses 2 of the 4 on our sofa to support his back. And I use the other 2 to snuggle up on and fall asleep while “watching” Netflix, haha. So just a little counterpoint that some of us do actually use the pillows. 😉

  11. Round two looks more “Classic Emily” but I think round one fits the farmhouse better.

  12. Version Two! Primarily because the stools and Handerson are backless and add colour and warmth, which is less cluttered for the eye from the different open angles in the space.

  13. Round 2 is so fun! Definitely vote for that one. Round 1 is lovely too, but 2 is unexpected and gorgeous.

  14. I personally prefer 1 because I don’t find stools super comfy- I need a back to my chair!- and I love the layers of wood tones. Option 1 seems a little more EH in her 40s (don’t worry, I’m your age!) and option 2 is a little more EH in her 20s. Both are lovely, but it’s just my personal preference!

  15. I love both versions. My eye prefers the art in version 1 and those three chairs are absolutely gorgeous. However, it is so nice to see the hand chair in here – it is an iconic piece that I associate with the Emily Henderson style so it just has to be in this room some where! Blue is my favorite color so I like the stools and boro curtains as well. No matter which way you go with it, the nook is a magnificent moment in the room.

  16. I love the stools and I do like the your application of the Japanese Boro shade here vs. laundry room ( not practical.) Which goes to why I find styling the blanket a tad too much plus i would minimize the number of pillows. What is the saying about put on your jewelry, look at it and then remove one piece? Or, when you walk into a bedroom and they have a staggering number of pillows on the bed it makes the styling look like they’re trying to hard and you know you have to remove more than half to get comfortable. A bunch of pillows on the banquette bench is similar to the bed w/ the exception of sticky messy hands will be grabbing them to move them out of the way to get comfortable. The impracticality of styling defeats the design.

      • Yes, I am at an age and a stage where all I am interested in seeing is “real life,” and I will not move/fuss with pillows any more. We have four sofas, and I have moved all of our decorative pillows to the center of each sofa (nobody ever wants to sit in the middle, right?). Not something you ever see in any pics, but now we can flop on either end of every sofa and not mess around with pillows.
      • Are either of these versions how the dining nook is actually used? For example, one of the pillows fell on the floor when you barely touched it in the instagram video so I would guess neither look is “user friendly” if the pillows and/or quilt would fall on the floor if the bench is used for seating. So I vote for showing us a “third look” styled out for the way the nook is actually used on a daily basis with video of it being used.
  17. So glad for a post about this – I noticed it in the photos yesterday and forgot to comment. But now I’m glad I forgot because my perspective has changed! When I noticed the stools and hand chair, I felt that was the only thing I didn’t like about the finished space and wished for the first version. But now seeing them side by side I really like the new version! Most of all, I like feeling inspired to play with my spaces and embrace the quirkiness of pieces I love. Thank you for the empowerment!

  18. P.S. I am here for more pillow posts as you experiment with different combinations. Seems like and never ending soource of joy – falling in love with fabric and honoring it with a pillow!

  19. Ooooh! What a fun choice! You really cannot go wrong- they are both gorgeous but my preference is 2. It’s more interesting, quirky, and fun. It really feels like a merging of old school, ultra quirky Emily with new school refined Emily. Number 1 is more restrained and calmer. I think 2 fits the new living room vibe a bit better. And I really love the addition of the warm tones pillows with the boro fabric and table. Plus- as a longtime reader I was so happy to see the hand chair have a prime spot! Great job on both!

  20. Round two, hands down. (😊) The rust, the boro, the stools/stool color, the quieter art all win it for me.
    (I agree re: the kitchen art in round 1 too)
    It’s all so warm and cozy!

  21. Round 2 wins, hands down. Much more funky and fun. I noticed the change immediately in the last couple of days of living room reveals.
    Even though the vintage country style chairs are cute, and look comfortable, the stools work better visually, like you mentioned, and also add interest color-wise. So do the new pillows, especially the rust velvet and the cognac leather, which add some contrast, earthiness and just ground things. The hand chair always looks awesome, wherever it moves! The art in round 1 spoke to me much more than the pieces in round 2 (especially the 2 on the adjoining kitchen wall)…so maybe there’s still room for playing around with the different elements, like we see you do anyway. Love the fact that this is a living breathing space, meant for you and your family, and your changing needs. We get to learn so much from tagging along for the ride! Enjoy the beautiful space!

  22. For sure Round 2. It brings back eclectic Emily from her younger years that I miss sometimes in your most recent designs. I do wonder how comfortable those stools are to sit in but I’m sure your kids don’t mind.

  23. As much as I like both versions, I think version two reads more “busy” – if the chairs aren’t all matching, then I’d like the quilt to move out of frame. Bc now my eyes jump from quilt, to stools, to HANDerson, with no where for the eye to rest. I think the quilt is in stead of the gingham pillow in round 1, but that worked bc all the chairs were the same in round 1. Also, the white pillows in round 1 (bc the print was small) fade back and away into the white background, where as the colored pillows stand out as solid blocks of color. I want the Boro fabric to be the star, and the stools are the perfect blue match! Please keep the stools and HANDerson (I love that stool so much!), but maybe tone down the bench styling so ur curtain can be the star that it is!

    1. Agree 100%. For me when I see the #2 dining nook with the whole room, it is just too busy for my eye. I thought the #1 option was pretty much perfect, and I’m surprised by how many ppl prefer #2. I think some combo could be good. Keep the blue stools and handerson but maybe reign in the pillow color scheme. At least that’s what I would do, but you do you! It seems like you love version #2 and are feeling really energized by it, so that seems the way to go. And it’s so awesome that you have all the big decisions made in terms of furniture placement, so now you just get to play with styling!

      And I didn’t get to comment yesterday, but I wow wow WOW on the living room. It is beautiful and you just nailed it. The two sofas (and moving them closer together) was the perfect choice. Now that you’ve figured out this room so well, I wonder if it gives you ideas abt what might have helped the Los Felixes living room to work better.

  24. Hands down #2. The first one is fine – but looks like a boutique hotel. The second has way more interest and personality – and all the things that made us follow you in the first place.

  25. Version 2 for sure. Much weirder and OG EH!
    Now make the kitchen weirder! It’s beautiful and too safe. Put something ugly and strange in there!

    (I’m not sure “Sophie’s choice” is a very sensitive way to describe the struggle to decide which version of a privileged non-Jew’s dining nook looks prettier…)

  26. I really love them both in isolation – and it’s interesting to see them with these different elements and styling. That being said, in your living room right now, I think I’d like Round 1 better. I think the hand chair in particular clutters that corner behind the green couches.

  27. They both look great but I prefer Round 1. I would probably like Round 2 more with different pillows. I like the quilt in Round 2 but find it hard to believe that you’ll be keeping that there day after day so I’m going with Round 1. Love this comparison! So fun!

  28. Round 2! You had me at the hand, but you are right that the stools open things up space-wise. I like that there’s more variety in pillow colors now too.

  29. I prefer round two to round one. Much more interesting and less basic. I also imagine that its easier to get through the doorway with the smaller stools since you can push them in and under.

  30. Round one, definitely. The wood chairs are stunning and seem more comfortable/polished. On the other hand, definitely prefer the Cy Twombly print and the pillows in round two. I adore the hand chair anywhere but agree with the other commenter who wants to know if you’d sit in it for any extended period of time. I think it might be better elsewhere in the room.

  31. Oh, I really really like option 2. It slightly makes me wish that the light blue / grey upholstery on the back of the bench was in brown leather though, as I think then you wouldn’t necessarily need any other cushions on the bench at all.

  32. I think round 2 is infinitely more fun and interesting. Love it so much. I’m sure round 1 is more practical and comfortable but to me it falls flat. Chefs kiss on the update visually. Love this Emily style so much more.

  33. I really like them both! Such a lovely nook.

    The link to the living room reveal at the very top of the post is broken for me 🙁 Also I think there’s a typo in MaryAnn Puls‘ name (not Marianne, right?).

  34. I love both, but I think overall #2 is best! What cinched it is the view from the family room…the quiet art allows the lamp to shine, the stools allow for view of joinery, and that HANDerson chair!! Makes that space so interesting! As others mentioned though, I would worry about the comfort of those stools (no backs) and the number/material of pillows. I have a similar banquette bench and it functions so perfectly for a family with kids…it’s a casual place to gather for a daily meal in the midst of a busy day, not a place to linger for long periods of time. So in that case, maybe stools are sufficient. As for the pillows, why not put leather in corner with a second sunbrella fabric pillow and call it a day? Lovely space!

  35. Love version one quite a lot more!! I love eclectic but this borders on chaotic to me with everything else going on in the surrounding areas. Although I have missed Emily HANDerson!!

  36. Both are great! But I like #2 a little better. I like how the lamp pops more off of the light colored art and I adore the boro curtain. The stools pick up on the blue so well and you can’t go wrong with that hand chair!

  37. Normally I prefer stools with backs, but I love the blue ones here. The color breaks up the wood and they block the entrance to the family room less. Perfect for kids too.

    By the way, didn’t Handerson live with Orlando for a time? I think Emily stole him back…

  38. I liked round one but I LOVE round two. So fun and dynamic, so balanced. Perfectly beautiful

  39. Version 1 for me! LOVE the art next to the media room door in version 1 and overall it is very cohesive. #2 looks less practical (stools) and more busy, and the boro fabric doesn’t do it for me (though I’m glad you like it!).

    Regarding that plant – it’s a vining plant, so it’s gonna straight! If you want to make it more full and leafy you can try the “chop and prop” method, where you cut the top couple leaves off, root the cutting in water, and replant at the base to make it more full. Kind of like how if you buy a pothos plant the pot will be totally stuffed with plants rather than just one per pot.

  40. Round 1. Although the blue stools are fun, I like having a back on a chair. Maybe you can do a combination of the two?

  41. #2 definitely! I love the way the stools open up the area. With kids and just the wonderful whimsy of the hand chair it’s definitely a keeper. Don’t second guess yourself, give yourself a pat on the back. I love a room that has one element of fun or the unexpected (hand chair). These things make it a home.

  42. In and of itself? Round 1. But since you got the living room set up, and have those two, calm luxe sofas, and the elegant quirky chair, I think the Henderson adds the proverbial je ne said quo that ignites the spirit and soothes it at the same time.

  43. I love Round 2. First, seeing the photo of the entire room, I think it’s good to have a little more going on in that corner to balance this huge room. Second, the stools visible at the kitchen island are very eye catching and I think the backless stools in the nook are a good contrast and balance for them. But mainly, I think it’s great to showcase the Boro. I don’t think Boro was utilitarian items that simple folk prettied up with a little embroidery. Rather, it is fine art by artists driven to create and using the only materials available to them. Usefulness is an element of the aesthetic. Your curtain panels honor these great artists in a way that they would find very pleasing and authentic. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  44. Of course, both versions look great, but I wouldn’t want to sit on those round 2 seats for dinner!

  45. Round 2 for sure!!! It’s much more sophisticated and unique. So long as the people sitting on the stools don’t mind the lack of a back, I much prefer them to the antique chairs. The scale of those looked kind of dollhouse-like, and made the whole vignette look too dear. What a great improvement!

  46. As for the kitchen, I prefer something more moody and eclectic, like the seascape and portrait above. I’m sure you can find something with a similar vibe….old landscape perhaps? As for the dining nook, I prefer the three matching chairs. I do love the more eclectic set up as well, though!! Both look great, so follow your heart!! The window panels are amazing, btw!! Such gorgeous rooms!!

  47. I love the added quirk and personality of the new version! I’m not sure I’d be as comfortable sitting on stools, but I’m not sitting there personally anyway – and I’m guessing the kiddos don’t mind. Like the mix of natural brown tones in with the bluese that carry into the kitchen, and the hand chair.
    This is really the tiniest quibble with a fantastic space but the cord from the light still drives me absolutely BONKERS. If there was one thing I’d have changed about the space it would’ve been to hide that (or, since burying it would’ve been cost prohibitive, at least matching it to wall color and tucking it away in line with the window maybe).

  48. I love the stools! But… not sure how practical they are? In my experience, stools don’t encourage long hangs around the table. Not the most comfortable option. I do love the look with the stools the best though!

  49. You linked everything but the quilt! Is it vintage? Signed, Lover of Soft Cotton Quilts.

    p.s. I love them both – mostly, I admire your ability to move things around. Where did you use the other chairs?

  50. I prefer round two, it’s more “Emily” than round one. Having said that, I do prefer the pillows in round one. There are some sellers on Etsy who sell Japanese boro fabric by the yard. Not knowing enough about it, the fabric seems pretty much like round one in design. Look at IndigoUnion. Keep up the evolution!

  51. I like the window without the curtain (as much as I like that fabric). It feels more open and I miss seeing the greenery. But! I like how the table is more visible in the second styling, and stools are fun for an informal dining space.

  52. I vote round two, even though I’m personally not into the boro (I bed I’d feel different seeing it in person, but with the patches it reads as more shabby chic style to me and that’s not my vibe, and I also don’t love the darkness of it as a cafe curtain; I usually keep those pale). I just love Emily HANDerson and all she symbolises, haha. Harkens back to that ole LA apartment that had some hot pink going on – btw that’s a major accent colour in the living room we are working up right now with our impending move (to the Victorian row house in London, for anyone who has seen me talk about it in prior EH comments – finally moving this coming weekend!) I also love how the Cy Twombly works in that space. And I agree that somehow the backless stools look cleaner than the prior chairs, although that seems hard on the grownup body over time. Maybe you’ll find some of the MCM chairs that have a super low back but still provide some support (and often can have upholstered seats for more comfort too). Terrible thing, an excuse to shop for something else vintage, right? 😉

    Looks amazing and love seeing in the context of the whole big room too!

  53. I think it depends on the vantage point! The second design looks better in isolation, but the first is better when you look at it in the context of the whole room (the second feels a little chaotic in that context). That said, the second design does feel a lot more like a fun, cozy family home — and at the end of the day, that’s what this is! It’s your forever home, not a styling museum, so go ham.

  54. Round 2 – funkier and less legs as you have the barstools too in kitchen. I like it a lot.

  55. Number 2!! You’re bringing back the weird. It feels so good and so you!! Keep going. Keep layering in the unexpected, off beat and weird, please. You are a master at the uniquely beautiful.

  56. #2 gets my vote! I love the playfulness and , from experience with having backed stools + children, it’s much easier for the kiddos to get on and off stools with no backs IMO 🙂
    Versuon one is just a bit too tame for me. Also, HANDersoen YES!! All in all, i love your whole house!! 😍

  57. I’ll say it again – the dining nook is pure genius! And yet…I surprise myself thinking that I’d love to see it styled with the Cy Twombly lithograph, the Max Humphrey cushions, vintage chairs and the boro curtains. I guess there’s something about mid-40s me that loves a supportive chair (yeah, my arthritic back, says she)!

  58. I LOVE eclectic Emily!!! Bring her back! I mean I’ve really enjoyed all versions of Emily but, man, the eclectic side is what brought me to the BLOG 10+ years ago!

  59. Prefer Round 1. (I detest sitting on stools, but kids might not mind.) Also, lately I think you’re putting too many little items together. No need for a blanket/quilt — is it supposed to be a giant family napkin? I think with the living room too it’s like that fashion advice — take off a couple things.

  60. If you want the Boro fabric to last – line the other side! It will get bleached out and fade quickly in the window like that.

  61. Number two for me but only if you remove the quilt and push back the curtain (not a fan of the Boro…too shabby chic for me). Then it would be a bit calmer. I really had a tough time with this because #2 is much noisier visually than #1 but that Emily HANDerson is absolutely great in that space. Too bad it wouldn’t work with two of the chairs from #1!

  62. Definitely round 2 overall! I LOVE the way Emily Handerson visually extends the slightly small table. Also love the Boro fabric and the stools. Personally I’d remove a pillow or two (but keep all the the same colors) just to make the bench feel a little more inviting and less crowded, as well as look less busy. I’d probably remove the black ceramic piece too, because in the day-to-day it could easily get broken and so it just reads as impractical and superfluous, imho. But yeah, round one was beautiful but this is way more special and more EHD.

  63. I LOVED Version #1 when it came out and still do! Version #2 is still beautiful, but looks slightly too busy from some angles.

  64. I truly love the Boro fabric in the dining nook window, I think that is a wonderful touch. Personally I like the stools because there is a better view of the beautiful table and from the photo it appears to be more spacious. I would actually have a hard time voting for a fav but #2 really catches my eye.

  65. I like round 2 with round 1 art. I think that art would look great with your curtain! Wonderful designs either way!

  66. I like both equally! As a chronic re-arranger, I am all for not keeping living spaces static. I find changing things around renews the energy in the room …and in me. It’s a fresh outlook. Both iterations of your dining nook are fantastic.

  67. How are the pillows attached to the wall?? What is the batting?? Can we get a tutorial on the pillow creation?? I have a 13ft bench I just installed and I need to made part of it a banquette and have no idea where to start when it comes to the pillows…
    help a sister out pls!!!! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

  68. Round two for sure ! First round is very pretty but round two made my heart skip a beat – just like when I first discovered your designs years ago. It is this kind of fun, vintage, soulful and gorgeous spaces that I love so much about you and your team ! I am so happy with your choices for your new home !

  69. Overall I prefer #2. But I hate seating with no back –i.e. those stools. I love the color, though!

  70. #1 is nice, but too traditional imo. You guys are cooler than that and #2 shows it.

  71. I love them both. Round 1 looks classic and magazine worthy. Round 2 looks like a place I’d like to visit and play board games.

  72. I find it VERY hard to choose a favorite since they both have such great appeal when each is seen distinctly on its own and there are so many elements to love in both. For me, it would come down to mood and I think both offer options to continue to shake up the variables (showing my Libra-ness, maybe?). As for the plant, Rusty has commented on the natural growth habit, but often pruning the top will cause plants to branch out at the sides. Can be scary to do, but that works for many plant varieties.

    The nook is just a wonderful spot, for family, for a solo moment, for a duo moment, for any moment!

  73. I would be using both like summer (1) and winter (2) version. This dining nook is so amazing and looks practical and cozy. Personally I prefer round two, it is more original.

  74. So intriguing! What I haven’t understood is how you USE this nook. Do you actually eat here? (I guess so, worrying about marinara.) Set up with a laptop or homework? Settle in for a cup of coffee? Play board games? I see the kitchen island has tall stools (with the needed backs IMHO!) so imagine some/most meals are there? So without knowing function, I can’t really say which version is “better” except visually in which case, I’d definitely go with #1, primarily because I just don’t understand covering up the view to the outside no matter how pretty the curtain/boro might be. Handerson is very cool but could fit into many spots. Many years ago, I came home from visiting friends at their farm in southern Sweden and two things remain memorable, all these years later. First was how “white space” was given such a priority. Not every vignette opportunity had to be filled (that’s my language today, not sure I could have articulated it then). Second was the deep-deep window sills filled with plants in very plain but classy glossy-white ceramic pots. I came home and found some — and happily use the same pots to this day. I do keep hoping you’ll edit, the space/light is so lovely, to my mind it needs less not more. I’d start with the $$$ new lamp, the vintage blankets, the boro, the wood trip-thingie on the floor, the “just stuff” on the coffee table, the stacks of books under a sofa table. PS Those green sofas? Gorgeous.

  75. I’m more of a fan of the eclectic Round 2. Love the boro curtain; the emily HAND chair (mine is very comfy). However, the blue in the stools is great although the comfort of the chairs is a consideration if they’re used for longer meals. I find the look overly busy with too many legs. You could possibly dip the chair legs in the blue if you were keeping them.

  76. #1 for me IMHO. First I have to say that all of your furnishings and decor (throughout your home) are simply amazing! I prefer the look of the vintage chairs and I think having a seat back is much more comfortable, esp for adults. Would it work to use just one (or two) chairs on a day-to-day basis for your family of four – and if more people were over then you could pull up one (or two) more chairs? It is quite a small space and my eye sees it as a bit overcrowded – and the individual pieces get kind of lost because there is so much to look at. My vote is to keep the pillows minimal in number and also shorter than the back (like lumbars) – so that there is a clean visual line along the top back of the banquette. I would not place a chair at the end of the table – so that your beautiful custom table is more in the spotlight. A top down/bottom up roman shade would be practical yet polished and would let you control the amount of light and privacy coming through. The Boro fabric might be framed in an acrylic archival shadow box that will highlight its beauty/history and it will be protected from UV rays and other possible damage. Lastly, these are only my humble thoughts and the only “right” answer is the one that you like best!

  77. Aesthetically I prefer #2- it feels like a Creative’s space and I’m a sucker for a contrasting color that you get with the red-orange-brown pillows and the vibrant blue stools. The contrast is there in #1 but in a much more subtle way with the red tones of the chairs vs navy accents. But I love a bold contrast. Practically I’ll always choose to sit in a chair with a back- as much as I LOVE the look of the stools and I appreciate how they frame up the table joinery, it’s not the best to have to choose between going backless or having to scootch into the corner of the booth. But if backless and scootching aren’t concerns, #2 gives more lively/playful energy to the room- more character.

  78. #2 with few edits: remove all pillows and the blanket. Use the hand as a plant holder positioned against the wall to the right of the window or without the plant

    1. oh my gosh I agree! So many people love the hand, but I’m recent (pandemic reader) and it absolutely creeps me out to think of a weird big hand either holding my bottom or pulling me down onto it. A plant on it would prevent that creepy feeling and still let it shine.

      1. So interesting how you see the chair as pulling you down. To me it looks like it would be propping me up, and it actually looks quite comfortable. I find it charming and whimsical. But as my my grandfather used to say, that’s what makes horse races!

  79. Love the pillows in round 1. Such a sweet vibe. The r2 pillows give it a heartier feel and the added eclecticism gives more energy to the room. Maybe r1 is your summer look and r2 is your fall/winter look? Interested to see if the r1 pillows work with rest of r2 (if you are able to borrow a bit of Max’s fabric and try draping over the existing pillows before deciding).

  80. Round 1 for me- it’s cleaner looking. and looks better with the rest of the space. Round 2 is very cluttered- too much going on for my eyes. I do not like the quilt, and II don’t understand it’s purpose in a dining area. ‘m also not a fan of the plaid cafe curtains. I do love the Cy Twombly art from Round 2 and like the pillows but agree that velvet is not practical. The room has a lot going on before it’s styled, so I feel that the nook does not need to be overdone.

  81. I like the first one best and it’s mainly because of that window. In the first version it is so pretty and light and I love the plant and books propped on the little ledge. It feels natural and a bit Scandi. I have a real aversion to that curtain. It seems too dark and takes away from that lovely window and the light and view it provides.

  82. Round two! But without the curtain, which to me adds a busy and fussy element. (I am anti-curtain in general and anti-plaid 100% of the time so I understand this is a possibly controversial position.) But if this is a special piece of fabric, why not frame it and showcase it as a piece of art? Or hang it as a tapestry? I think it would be really dynamic hung vertically. Also, as someone with kids who are super-grubby, I find velvet a very forgiving fabric to wipe marinara sauce off and more affordable than Sunbrella.

  83. Number two all the way, although I also like the first. I might like the first better if the chairs were lower like in the second version, although I also love those first chairs. What I really want to know is where the checkered quilt in the second version is from!! I don’t see the source anywhere. Anyone know?

  84. I love version 1 – I feel like the lighting, the open feel, the artwork and yes the pillows all work so well together!

  85. Round one. The chairs are beautiful and it goes so well with the rest of the house. Stools are uncomfortable and I don’t think they make sense for the space. Neither does the hand chair. I’m sorry to say that I really do not care for the curtain. I could see that fabric for a quilt, but on the windows it’s just not for me. Bring back round one!

  86. Round 2 all the way! 1 is beautiful but love the unique, fun & eclectic Emily which won me over years ago 😉

  87. I like both but I prefer #1! Those vintage chairs are SO beautiful !!! But I also love the pillows in #2! And I also love the japanese fabric on the Window! So I’d like to try a mix of both!😉

  88. round 2 all the way!! but i agree with other comments that the pillows + blanket feel like too much, especially with the beautiful japanese boro drawing the eye. i love the kitchen styling in round 1 though! that black vase with the thistles and the seascape, gorgeous!

    i’m going to put on my crazy plant lady hat for a second and say that i love that plant you have that’s growing up and not out, and it’s doing that (and putting out smaller leaves) because it’s not getting nearly enough light. but if you want to keep it there, you could put a grow bulb in the sconce above it and keep that on for 12-ish hours a day! these days they have grow bulbs that aren’t the red or purple colors but just regular light, and i’ve been slowly replacing the bulbs throughout my house with grow bulbs so my plant babies can thrive. gotta live up to the crazy plant lady moniker!

  89. I 100% prefer Round One (maybe with the exception of the large piece of art) – I really don’t think stools are the right choice for anything more than about 5 minutes and I may be an outlier, but I HATE the hand chair! (wouldn’t it be dull if we all liked the same thing?!).

  90. Love seeing both versions and they really are so great. I guess though I cant help but thinking with all the extra decor in the dining nook and living room, it kinda steals the beauty from the kitchen. The kitchen seems too serene now to compete with the living/dining/papa bear chair corner. I love all the bones of the spaces, just would prefer a little less is more approach to the styling. Keep just the absolute must haves. Love love love the green couches! Love the vintage wood chairs at the 1st version of the dining nook. Maybe a mix of the pillows? Not a huge fan of the fabric in the windows or on the back of the couch (though I know it is special to you). I like the art piece above the fireplace a lot but feel like its a bit overshadowed by the vignette next to it (the standing lamp and boxes on top of the hutch). Just a few ideas. But I tend towards a more minimalist approach (which is why I loooove your mountain house). But since its your actual living space, do what makes you all happy!!!

  91. I think #1 gives a fall/winter vibe and
    #2 spring/ summer with those fun blue stools. Either way a comfy corner.

  92. It is one thing to assess each look from a design standpoint. It’s quite another to do so if I think about which one would I want to sit at for a meal and then linger in conversation afterwards. While this may not be what matters most to you, it would immediately rule out #2 for me from a functionality standpoint. Backless stools just are not going to be as inviting. Both are visually attractive in their own way though.
    I don’t mean to be harsh, but the banquette structure comes off as pretty basic when compared to the more interesting, organic, and refined design you now have in the living room. The living room all feels custom and specific. For me , the banquette shape and form reads a bit generic.

  93. #2!! but without the curtain as much as i like it. having the light and the ability to style that wide window molding makes my eyes happier. but so so beautiful either way! and agree with those who prefer the seascapes in the kitchen.

  94. Love both! Would pull the table out further and use the wegner chairs plus the great stools for a dinner party

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