Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Planning Ahead

Over the past week and a half, Cam and our brother-in-law (who happens to be, conveniently, an electrician) have worked long, hard, and even odd hours wiring our addition. My job? I got to point a lot and say where I wanted lights, how many, what kind, which should be on dimmers, how many switches, the position of outlets...whew!

Making these decisions required planning how each space will be used when finished. The master bedroom was the easiest, since we know the size and location of the bed. The dining room, on the other hand, took considerably more effort. In my head, I placed an imaginary dining room table and seating for 8-10. We enjoy entertaining, and we look forward to hosting gatherings of our extended family as well as friends without asking anyone to BYOC (bring your own chair). I began to envision the perfect fixture to hang above the elusive table, but quickly realized I also needed to factor in the flow of traffic from the kitchen into the dining room, through the french doors and out to the patio. Visualizing that flow, and deciding to act on our quest for a coffee/dessert bar and a buffet table resulted in an "aha!" moment. Instead of one fixture, we'll have two! What a great way to to double the impact of a classy chandelier.

Now, I'm on the hunt for a perfect pair. Here are a few that have caught my eye:

I'm also collecting ideas for seating at that imaginary table. Rest assured, I'll be bypassing the standard dining room set in an effort to remove the seriousness for which formal dining rooms are known. I'm aiming for personality and style, and not ever having to suggest to our guests, "Let's move to more comfortable chairs."

This just might be the perfect opportunity to sit on, rather than store, my the growing collection of miscellaneous chairs. It also might be the time to consider an upholstered piece, either a bench or settee, to stand in place of a few chairs. It would be fun to fight over who gets the cushy seats, and so long as a durable fabric is chosen and Scotchguarded (hmmm, where do you to put the TM symbol when making verb out of a brand name?), keeping it clean shouldn't be an issue.

Via Style at Home

Via Pheobe Howard

Via House and Home

Via Michael Partenio
Tell me, how do you dine?  Do you prefer the orderliness of matching table and chairs? If mixing things up is too bold for you, what about switching out just the seats at the end of the table with something different?
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