Holding On & Moving On: Rustic Modern Dining Room

Our move last year gave me the motivation and inspiration to go for a more rustic modern look in our home. My excitement to start anew is evidenced by the fact that the living room in the new house looks nothing like my previous living room. It's a completely new space. However, upon reflection, the dining room is a different story.


To my surprise, my new dining room is like the rustic modern sister of the old one. When I took a step back, I realized this familial resemblance is because I both held on and moved on when it came to the dining room. Specifically, I held on to core elements and moved on with the rest.

Old Dining Room

Old Dining Room

New Dining Room

New Dining Room

Things I Held On To

Table/Chairs: My father-in-law Chris built our dining table out of reclaimed heart pine with his own two hands so that baby's staying with us 'til death do us part. If my daughter Caroline has any taste, it will be in her home when she grows up. The table is truly an heirloom that we love and tend to. I enjoy waxing it every couple months, slowly restoring its grain and color. 

I paired the table with vintage 40/4 chairs. I love their modern look and stacking practicality. I'm satisfied with these guys for now, but could switch things up in the future if the right set of chairs came along. Or if Chris decided to get into chair building (Chris, if you're reading this, we'd love six heirloom chairs).

Rug: The rug is from Loloi. It is plain and pretty and the shade of blue I have used throughout the new house. And mostly, I think the bold blue pairs nicely with the warm heart pine and joinery of our home. Why change up a good thing?

Lighting: The lights are an interesting story. I kept the same look, but refined it. In my last home, I was flirting with the enamel warehouse lights, but hadn't fully committed. I'd replaced the boring shades on our Lowe's light fixture with the green enamel ones, but it wasn't quite right.

In our new home, I committed. I had a pair of industrial shades sandblasted, powder coated, and installed into the ceiling by a legit electrician. 

Things I Moved On To

Neutral Paint: White, instead of red walls. Oh, how I loved our red walls in our bungalow, but alas, it was time for a change. In our new home, we've definitely gone for a neutral backdrop in the living/dining area. Maybe it's because we just wanted to try something different or maybe it's because the natural light in our new home just begged for light, bright walls. Either way, I think it showcases the dining table nicely.

Simple decor: I kept the dining decor minimal. The wall art is pretty plain - a pottery plate made by a friend and a woven basket from the shop. I've kept (and plan to keep) the built-in decor simple too. A vase or two in the shadow boxes, maybe a candle or flower arrangement on the counter or a wreath on the mirror when the mood calls for it. I see the built-in as a canvas for rotating styling whims, not a place to stash and store knick knacks. This gives the space a sense of calm and order and provides an outlet for my constant (obsessive?) need to rearrange.

So yeah. Holding on and moving on has been good to me and my dining room. It's really satisfying to see our tried and true pieces in a new rustic modern light.

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