Dining Room + Lessons in Contrast

A few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and finally ordered some dining room chairs.  I think this puts the dining room at about 90% completion, so I figured it was time to share.  If you're a Facebook friend of mine (or if you were over here this weekend!), you've already seen this.  Still, no harm in reliving the fun, right? Here's the before:

When we started, there were some stains under that floral rug.  An outdated light fixture and (beautifully made) antiquated curtains rounded out this room.

Then this happened.  First of all, we had all the floors in the house refinished and stained with a dark Jacobean stain.  Then, after several months of living with the old decor and my 4-seater college table, we revamped the room by painting the walls Sherwin William's Unusual Gray, the trim SW's Pure White, and adding a modern chrysanthemum stencil in a slightly lighter shade of gray.  I found a larger rustic style table and bench on CraigsList (for a steal!) and switched out the old chandelier for this modern one from CB2.  Add to that sleek, modern white shelves from Ikea and white grommet curtain panels and sheers, and it was already looking much better.

We paused this room for awhile while I hunted for chairs to repurpose in antique stores and on CraigsList for several months.  In the meantime, we stuck my old college chairs in there for our guests.

Note our old kitchen cabinets through the door.

The rest of the room came together relatively smoothly.  I styled these Ikea shelves with my glassware and bar-related items.  I love them as storage in lieu of a bulky hutch, especially since the dining room is on the smaller side.

A storage unit that was part of my childhood bedroom set serves as a buffet (with linen storage) in this room as well.  I may end up painting this piece (maybe black?) down the road.

Our wedding photos (which I arranged in these frames for our first apartment) add a personal touch to the space.

Then the space transitioned to this for about 4 months while we renovated our kitchen.  Good times.

Now, it's finally nearly complete with the addition of these imitation Eames chairs from Overstock.com (my CraigsList and antique store hunting proved fruitless).

What I love most about this space is the contrast of rustic and modern.  The table in particular has a ton of traditional, rustic character and texture, but maintains a modern feel with the simplicity of its shape.  When paired with the modern, sleek, white polypropylene chairs, the contrast of textures creates enormous visual interest.  The key is to make sure that the architectural language of the pieces speak to one another (clean lines), to use contrast in color and texture to create visual interest, and to make sure that the room is functional and balanced in color and texture.  As I've mentioned before, the house overall combines both mid-century modern and traditional elements.  I try to mirror that theme throughout the home.  In this room, I feel that the texture of the table, softness of the chrysanthemum stencil, curtains and sheers, and layered styling of the shelves cultivate a more traditional feeling.  The modern shelves, chairs, chandelier, buffet, and artwork both complement and contrast the other elements in the room.  Altogether, I'm pretty pleased.  Now, all we need is a rug...