I have actually been super nervous to put this post up.
This dining room, as small of a space as it is, has been a thorn in my thumb for so long. It seems no matter what I try, it just doesn’t seem to come together like I want or envision. I just decided to go ahead and share it with all of you lovely readers – in hopes to get some encouragement, advice or any constructive criticism you might have to offer. Or maybe it is actually working and I am just being weird. Either way – feel free to share your thoughts with me!
It all started with this massive farmhouse table my husband built out of older-than-the-hills wood buried in my grandpa’s junkyard. He shaved layers off and we were amazed at it’s beauty. It is truly a treasure. The size is great for gatherings – but I find it hard to do anything around it in this small space. So I tried to make the space low in clutter, but still add some interest.
Here is where it is today.
The brick wall is usually what people comment on first when they walk in the house. I’m never sure if they actually like it or are just taken off guard and don’t know what to say 😉 So they say nice things. This wall has been many things. Bead-board, planking, lined with shelves for pictures . . . and empty – wondering what it wants to be.
When Kevin and I had the idea to add faux brick, we were pretty excited about it. Super cheap and easy to install – and we were certain we would like it. After he put it up (which took about 1/2 hour to stick up large sheets of faux brick from Home Depot), I gave it some white paint treatment and then we scuffed it up with sandpaper to hopefully give a time worn feel.
The thing is . . . I like it . . . and then I don’t. I am fighting the urge to just give it a solid paint job (no sanding) in a brownish/gray tone. That would still give it the dimension of brick, but not be so . . . busy. Any way – that’s the wall. Please share your thoughts, if you have any – I would love some input. If people actually do like it and want to know how to make their own faux brick wall, I have pictures and could do a tutorial.
Before we go on any further, let me show you the before pictures.
Here is the room while my husband was taking things apart after our move in – and I quick grabbed my camera to get an “almost before” picture.
The wood on the table was bead-board he was removing. We could have just painted that to match our style, but the board was very knot-y with large holes that would stand out with paint. Behind one wall, it appears the previous owners had painted it red at some point. The walls were pretty damaged so we knew they would have to be simply covered with something. That’s when we just planked them and painted them white like the rest of the kitchen would later be. We eventually came to the brick idea because we felt that wall needed a little more interest/contrast.
There were a lot of doors in this small space, between closets and bedrooms and front door. So I had the idea to have my husband plank over the closet doors (something I saw on pinterest) and sort of disguise the 2 closet doors so they would blend in a bit better.
Here is a view from the living room.
And a view from the kitchen.
Now I’ll address some of the DIY details found in this space.
The window mirror is my favorite part. We had a handed down mirror sitting in our garage for quite some time. We attempted some mirror antiquing methods until it felt right, and Kevin used scrap pieces of wood trim from his stash to make it look like a window. I painted it up, and that was that. I printed some botanical prints (found HERE) and hung them in a banner. I can’t wait to throw a wreath on this mirror come holiday season.
The chairs were a mix of thrift store finds and already-have’s. We unified them by giving them some white spray paint.
My rotating centerpieces are usually simple. Currently I have some dried lavender from our garden in a thrift store vase, and a cutting board Kevin made from old wood, on top of a vintage lace table runner.
Just says summer to me, and it is easy to move and place for dinner time.
The rug is a jute rug purchase HERE. We did have it in our living room for awhile, and I adore the look of the natural chunky fibers. However, it leaves fibers and dog like hairs on anybody who sits on it (my kids) and if walked on a lot, the fibers get drug around the whole house. After moving it under the dining table, I fell in love with it again. Since it is not a play area, it works great. Hides crumbs for days too. (shhhh)
The entry way blends easily with the dining room, so I thought I would show some updated pictures here as well.
I have a post with all the DIY details of the entry way, found HERE.
Strangely enough, this is one of my favorite spots to decorate in the house. I can keep it sweet and simple and rotate often.
The hanging mason jar light fixture is always an instant eye catcher for guests at the door.
Lastly, I’ll mention the grandfather clock.
We found it sitting outside of an antique store, with a sign that said $275.00 crossed out and a $15.00 price in it’s place. We asked to see if it was a mistake, and apparently it was not. While moving locations, it was dropped and the clock guts were no longer functional. I didn’t mind. I had other plans any way.
So we took our $15 dollar clock home on top of our car, removed the guts completely, and added some homemade chalk paint in a subtle blue. Kevin added some shelves to the inside for me, and I threw in some thrift store vases. The he cut the shape I needed for behind the top window, I painted it with actual chalk paint and added clock hardware from hobby lobby. The numbers are simply drawn on, and can be changed any “time”. Kind of fun.
That is our dining room in a nut shell! The view while sitting at the table is really my favorite part. If you missed our kitchen remodel, you’ll want to click HERE to read all about it.
Some of you have asked what is next on the list. After giving our yard some much needed tender love and care, we are on to our master bedroom, which is also in need of some serious help. The brainstorming has begun!
Thanks for coming by!
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Diane Price says
I love the brick wall. Wish we can do some upgrades on our dining room as well. Thanks for sharing this with us!
Karen Martinez says
I have the home depot paneling too. Here is what I think….your bricks are too white. I used your picture printed out because I think you did a great job on the bricks but when I replicated what you did I realized….too much white. I don’t think your problem is the bricks or the floor or the table…….your kitchen is beautiful but was a bit sterile until you put the wooden shelves up. I think I would take the white “down” a bit and put something large and black on the wall. Perhaps old brick coffee advertising stenciled on, It will add a bit of balance with the bar stool legs…. But be careful not to get too picky with your house (that’s me)…….I live in Las Vegas where we have rows and rows of stucco…nothing like your house, I can only dream!!!
Also, I think the white pitcher on the table should be much larger, at least four times the size. It’s a delicate little pitcher that would look better on a side table, although a very large white pitcher would be perfect.
Are you still wanting suggestions? The table is beautiful as is the clock, but while the table is over sized the clock seems to be a smaller than usual more dainty clock. While amazing apart they don’t work together. I’d take away the clock and not put anything in place of it.
The wall is a lot of rectangles. The bricks, the mirror the pendants on the banner. It’s too many lines. I’d hang a big green boxwood wreath over the mirror year round. Green for life and large because of the scale of the table.
I think those changes alone will help a lot but if I am honest the brick does look a little oerfect, a little fake and new. The red colour is all the same. Paint or wash some of the bricks shade of taupe and gray and then white wash over them again, I don’t know what it’s made of but can some of the bricks be chipped at the edges?
Adore your kitchen
Nora Francis says
Your house is lovely! The makeover turned to be really great! I am amazed how beautiful everything looks! I am in love with this table! We have just move to our new home and I am planning a major makeover and I am looking for ideas still! The faux brick wall is really cool… the jars also…everything! The design is really clean, but at the same time really stylish and original! Really great! Thank you for sharing! Greetings!
I think I would leave the brick, it adds a lot to the space. I agree about adding more color, maybe painting the clock the same color as the island would do it. Your approach to less color is probably better in the space, just a little maybe. And that mirror is not right somehow. Maybe try painting the frame black to tie in with the black in the kitchen and the black door. It needs some element of black I think. You did not ask but I would like to add that while viewing pictures of your kitchen. That corner to the left of your sink, needs some black to tie into the rest of the room. The brackets perhaps? You have put so much into the space and it shows, great before and after comparison. You have done a great job. Very nice indeed. Oh the power of paint! ha
Jamie | anderson + grant says
Lovely room and a lovely table! I’m always in awe of your amazing photography.
Jamie | anderson + grant recently posted…Vintage Paper Rolls to Fill a Bowl
Awe, shucks Jamie. Your photography drops my jaw every time! Thank you!
Julie N says
I love your sense of adventure in decorating. I too feel that it isn’t finished yet. The brick wall is ok, but there isn’t enough color there. I wish there was another bench with matching chairs at the ends of the table. Maybe a large picture where the mirror is with a centerpiece that picks up the colors in it. More color on the floor also. Your kitchen is very striking and calming, but your dining room doesn’t follow exactly. Punch it up and show us again!
Yes! I completely agree with your suggestions and I am relieved that others feel the same. I’ve been given so much help and my mind is going like crazy. Can’t wait for the time to try some new things. It would be nice to have another bench on the other side, but we are not sure we have enough of the wood. Not something you can just buy! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to offer such wonderful help.
Oh my goodness! This may be the answer! I can’t thank you enough for sending this my way and thinking about me. I didn’t even consider in my mind painting each brick differently and in lighter tones. It does seem like an overwhelming job (though nothing compared to starting from scratch like she did) but I can always just paint over completely if it doesn’t work out. You are a gem!
I certainly appreciate your confidence it me, and I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m still waiting for that ah-ha moment or the vision in my sleep 😉 to tell me what is missing. Hope it comes soon! Thanks for stopping by and commenting for me. Feels so good to know others are seeing it as well, and it is so very helpful.
Haha! The brick is making it super hard to decide. Still just sitting on it because I am terrified of regrets. But I am so glad you like it! Thanks a bunch for taking the time to comment.
Liv! Thank you for always being so sweet. You know, I love the bench for kids. They can just scoot their little bums right on, and I don’t have to push chairs in all day. Big fan of that, because this table is a main hub for the kids.
Just to show you how much I love your work, I have never followed a blogger.. ever. You’re my first! I love your house, your style, your talent, your husbands work, you guys have created an amazing house with every room you’ve decorated. If you left the dining room alone, it would be fine.
If you aren’t happy with it, I personally would try painting the brick white and add colors to other items in the dining room. For example, I loved the yellow inside the TV cabinet in your living room and the color of your kitchen island. Maybe paint the interior shelves of the clock light yellow, have a couple chairs painted the color of the island and another chair light yellow? The window piece either painted a color that pops or stained wood against the white brick? Just some thoughts I had looking at your dining room.. you’re the creative one, you’ll figure it out, Cami!! 🙂
Missy Yanchuck says
Love your home! Before you paint the brick… 1. Swap out the chairs and bench,meaning switch sides, 2. Swap out the mirrored window with something non linear, maybe a book page wreath which is round, 3. Throw in some color pops such as a turquoise at least as intense as your kitchen island. 4. Lastly, add a live plant to your tabletop, maybe in a colorful container? Your space is so cool, and is almost there! I would not jump right to painting the brick…
You are so good at what you do when you do it…go with your gut isn’t that all that matters, right? I love everything you do and please don’t let anyone keep you from achiving what you are after!!
Oh BTW I love the brick wall 🙂
Mary Haugen says
First of all I love love love your kitchen and I really like your Dinning room but I agree with who ever it was that said it doesn’t look complete….I think it needs more pops of color and maybe something bigger on the table…..you have a great eye for decorating and will figure it out to your liking……=]
vanessa vandusen says
OMGOSH SOOOOO AWESOME. LOve everything! I love the brick wall and the table please!!! does your husband have a brother?? LOL
Hi…OK…this is what I see. The wall is just a wall…what I think you need to do it paint SOME of the bricks like a few here and there on the whole wall with the brownish/grey tones.Also maybe a dark red here and there or black here and there. It just needs to be broke up. I would also take the window mirror and turn it sideways. I think it would make your ceiling look taller and give more of a warmer feeling to the room. It is a very nice room…just seems to be missing something on that wall. Let us know what you decide to do! Oh and love the table and all your decor! Good Luck!
I love the spaces in your home…you have worked so hard! But I agree with Doreen and Dale…the wall is too busy and almost looks contrived. The other white accessories in the space (mirror, chairs, clock) are kind of lost against the distracting background. Too much of the same color. I would encourage you to paint the whole wall…I love painted brick! (I also love cream city brick.) Might I suggest even doing something a little deeper in color to give some contrast to the warm tones in the table? Something of a medium gray…not too cool, but more of a stone gray (neutral.) I think the medium-dark color would feature your great table sooo much better and make the accessories pop! You will make the right decision no matter which way you go. =)
I am so so glad you took the time to share your thoughts on my dining room! I am certainly leaning towards painting it, but felt a little lost on whether to go with a cool/warm neutral, more blue, more gray . . . but yes. I think your suggestions of a stone gray is right on. I appreciate your confidence in me . . . but only wish I could take you to the paint store 😉
I think your brick wall is bothering you for the same reason the original dark baskets up over the cabinets did – the dark color is a bit jarring in the space. You have done such a beautiful job creating a french ciuntry kitchen with lovely soft blue and whites. The brown and white is not tieing in the space, nor is it providing a backdrop for that magnifucant table. Imagine if the table was yellow or red against the wall-how it would pop. The worn brick look is great, think about using a texured roller to paint the entire wall the lovely blue you used on the peninsula and then going back and ragging on lots of white from very solid to letting all or some blue peak thru – like antiqueing a table top. Huge kudus to you and your husband …. and thank yiu for sharing this lovely “work of art” with all of us!
Oh my heavens! I am in love with your suggestions! They are so very helpful and have my brain just going. I have a sample piece of brick left and I can’t wait to try your suggestions. It is so comforting to know someone is seeing exactly what I am. I do feel like the brick is competing with the table too much, but it took your thoughts to actually realize it. I could just hug you!
Love the room though would paint out the clock a darker colour, maybe a deep tourqoise and throw splashes of red and tourqoise pillows throughout, maybe paint a couple of the chairs in a lighter turqoise and add some lace/ burlap on window and table.
I love your suggestions for adding color and texture! I think you definitely have a beautiful vision in mind and it has been so helpful. I think some color pops is really going to help. I would love to add pillows, but with 4 kids I think the reality of that may be silly. Maybe just for picture sake though 🙂
Doreen @ Hymns and Verses says
Ok, I’m gonna chime in as well. I think you should trust your instincts with the wall. My feeling is that it’s too busy with the paint treatment and almost darkens the room? I really like the treatment – just maybe not in this small space. I think it would be great painted a light gray or taupe/tan and accented with white. And, let me add that I am over the moon with what you did with those closet doors! I will be keeping that trick in mind for my home!
Thank you for chiming in! It is so very appreciated. I most definitely agree with you. Perhaps brick is better left in large spaces, so it’s a good thing it didn’t cost too much. I’m glad you like the closet door idea. We have really enjoyed how it helped the space feel less cluttered.
I love what you have done! But if you want other thoughts, I’ll offer mine. I think the wall that has the window on it needs more “weight”. Everything is so white and neutral in that area, I think you could add a large piece with color or shelves that you could put dishes and colored glass on or a group of objects on the wall. Those are just a few ideas for you to think about. Like I said before, I love what you have done.
Thank you so much for your suggestions! They are certainly things I never would have even thought of. I just love hearing what others have in mind for this space and it has been so helpful.
…or maybe a light apple green. Maybe two of each color? I saw a table with mismatched chairs that were all different colors. Could be fun- the chairs blend into the wall being white.
Great suggestions and thank you very much for chiming it! I don’t typically gravitate to yellow or green things, but you may be onto something!!
I see that you are white, blue and neutral – why not paint the chairs a light blue to pop the color in this room too! flow!
Perhaps add a burlap runner with blue mason jars and daisies or other flowers – that always looks gorgeous!
And the frame blue too.
Just my thoughts!
I do truly love your thoughts! Thanks for sharing them with me and they sure have my head churning! I have so many ideas to sort through and then I need to find the guts to make the changes. Love my readers!
Love it! The table is beautiful and I like the mix of chairs. I really like the brick wall just the way it is. I think it needs just a little color. I think the chairs being painted a pale or mustard yellow would do it.
I would like the brick if it were natural but that’s me and I am oldish lol. Don’t like the mix of chairs but again that’s just me maybe a wooden bench to match but with a curved railed back then 2 Farmhouse style chairs for the ends. Otherwise love the paneled doors very farm houseish and one last thing I don’t like is the pictures on the window mirror I don’t think you need them at all.
I love the brick. Check out The Pioneer Woman’s website re; the redo of the building they purchased in Pawhuska. They went to great pains to leave the brick which your wall reminds me of without the advertising they found in places. Your table is gorgeous and I am sure you will make lots of happy memories with your family and friends gathered around it!
I had to check out what you were talking about! Yes, that brick wall is a dream in Pioneer Woman’s building. That is certainly what I had imagined, but the faux brick just won’t get that authentic, naturally. And thank you for complimenting our table. It is a table full of kids art, board games, food and mess . . . and I love it.
Cindra Eardley says
I really like the way the brick is painted. It adds texture and interest to the space. I LOVE the Table and faux window also. You have a VERY nice touch. ENJOY! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you very much! What sweet comments. We went through a painstaking process and lots of mess to get the brick where it is. My husband about walked out on me when I said I might just paint over it. Ha! Still trying to decide, but your input is so greatly appreciated!
Love everything, especially the farm table! Definitely paint the brick. You won’t regret it. I painted a red brick fireplace once into a soft grey tone and I could just stare at it for hours & drink it in.
It’s so good to know someone else has had success with painted brick. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It does seem if the brick were more neutral the farmhouse table would shine even more. Considering the paint job very seriously. Thank you!
First time here and I am so excited to dive into your blog! You have a really lovely space in your home. That table is so beautiful! Your husband is very talented. What a blessing for you and your family. You asked for comments on your brick wall. First thing I would try is breaking up the wall a bit. My initial thoughts is that the wall is too griddy with the mirror. It needs seething solid on it. I would also place the clock in the wall instead of the corner. Keeping the clock towards the planked wall, it would look lovely to have a sliver of brick wall showing on the left side of the clock. (Make sense?) I’m not sure about the space limitations, but maybe the table comes out a tiny bit more to accommodate it? Another thought is maybe the different tones of the brick against the oranginess of the wood floors and the warmth of the table is throwing you off? I say, work with the brick trying to give your eye a resting point with the busyness of the brick. The shot of it from the family room is really quite lovely. And in the end, it’s still not gelling, then it won’t take long to give it a quick coat of paint.
Now off to your kitchen because that’s what caught my eye on Instagram. Pretty, pretty!
Oh my! Your comments and suggestions were so very helpful! You had me thinking of things I had never considered before. I have to tell you, the orange hardwood floors have been a struggle for me. Certainly not my ideal, but we have so much of them we couldn’t even consider the cost of replacing at this time. They often throw my visions off, which is why I stuck the lighter rug under the table. It helps, but yes, I think you are right about saying the tones seem to be conflicting. The view from the living room is my favorite and when I am in there I often think it is fine. But in the kitchen, I just don’t seem to love it as much. I am most certainly going to play around with your suggestions. I can’t thank you enough for chiming it!!