Evolution of the dining area

Our outdoor dining table in the dining space, trying out the round space @bijoukaleidoscope

To recap, I bought the first coat of paint for the living room almost 2 days after signing the contract on this house. A year on…

After makeover, the living room @bijoukaleidoscope

Pic from this post @bijoukaleidoscope

After makeover, the living room @bijoukaleidoscope

Pic from this post @bijoukaleidoscope

After makeover, the living room @bijoukaleidoscope

Pic from this post @bijoukaleidoscope

Next, the dining area

The house is a fairly open-planned area. While there are clear delineations of separate spaces, it’s very visible from each other. A long wall separates the living area from the kitchen which opens into a small dining area. This photo shows how it flows from one space to another… (and the ugly colour it was before.)

Living room flowing into dining room, pre-paint @bijou kaleidoscope

Living room flowing into dining room, pre-paint @bijou kaleidoscope, via this post

When someone like me loves pops of colours against a normally-all-white scheme with the use of furnishings, books and my display items, it’s not a good idea to introduce too many different swaths of colour on the wall.

Before painting:

This next photo is taken from the blog post where I’d painted the insides of my off-white china cabinet to a brilliant (and favourite) yellow. At this stage we were still renting the house. From that post, it is almost exactly a year before we were able to purchase the home.

The dining area before painting the walls

Pic from this post

The colour on the walls was hum-drum (the whole house was Hum-drum Central): oatmeal-coloured paint, circa early-2000s. It was bland. The area needed a fresh look as well as a theme to tie in with the living space. The living room was apricot… flowing into a dining area and kitchen which was oatmeal. Not a fantastic combination.

At the end of 2014 (we purchased October 2014), I was done with the living room and immediately started painting the dining area.

I chose to paint the far wall the same shade of dark blue teal as the living room, Haymes Paint’s Viking. Oftentimes, we tend to think that painting a small, dark space white or off-white is the best thing to bring in light. But when the room is small AND has little to no natural lighting, the best thing can be to select a warm paint for one wall, and contrast it with white furniture, lighting or paintwork. I have found that painting a warm/dark colour on all four walls in a small space/room works best only when you do get good natural light flooding in. So since our dining area is smallish and has very little natural light, I knew the solution for my room was to introduce *some* warm paint/colour into the space. My intention was to keep the dark teal, white, yellow and gold theme flowing from living room.

The other walls are Haymes Modesty White, again taken from the living room. The trim is a gloss version of that same paint. (Which is coincidentally the same paint as the ceiling…)

The far wall, painted dark blue teal @bijou kaleidoscope

The far wall, painted dark blue teal @bijoukaleidoscope

The white china cabinet with yellow interior looks so much better against the deep wall now. The yellow pops and the contents pop even more. But now the deep teal expanse flanking either side of my china cabinet needed something. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve known what you’ve wanted as soon as you stood back? Almost as soon as the paint was dry, the cabinet placed insitu, I knew exactly what I wanted.

Finding the ones with the right size, right frames and right feel was very difficult. I bought a couple that I knew I wasn’t 100% happy with, but they were available for purchase… and they ended up being so wrong. So I remained dogged about what I was looking for.

MrHusband liked my choices straight away, but thought I was too fussy about what I was after. Well, if you have to stare at it every day, three times a day while wolfing down food, why couldn’t I be particular?

Ships, I chose. Seafaring adventure ships. In gold frames. Large enough not to need anything else, small enough not to dominate. Every night I’d look on Gumtree and eBay… Every chance I get, I’d pop into antique and vintage and thrift stores. No such luck. For 8 months.

I considered vintage duck prints/art, rabbits… but MrHusband did not like those ideas. He was stuck on the same ships. (Hence, him indulging my persnickety decisions about the art.) I finally found them on Gumtree, from someone in Tasmania (Australia Post is very expensive, so it cost quite a bit to post them over!). They weren’t the oil paintings themselves, like I preferred, just prints. But they suited in every other way.

The now

I love the look. Deep teal, white and yellow china cabinet, white Johnson Bros popping in the cabinet, ship prints in gold frames…

The dining room, 70% done @bijou kaleidoscope

The dining room, 70% done @bijoukaleidoscope

I’m really happy with it… (For all those beady eyed, sharp readers, I had intentions of painting the dining table a high gloss navy; so my little mishap with nail polish… will be covered; re: splodge on dining table.)

The vintage Australian ceramic butterfly is the latest addition. I am looking for another one for the other space. I feel it keeps it from being too… mature a taste for our family.

The future

Except I’ve always always wanted a round dining table. Like since I was a teen. So MrHusband dragged in our round outdoor table to try out for size and looks. Now, I adore my current dining table and chair, but the table isn’t round.

Our outdoor dining table in the dining space, trying out the round space @bijoukaleidoscope

Our outdoor dining table in the dining space, trying out the round space @bijoukaleidoscope

I like the round table action in this space. As a family, we like having it. So the hunt has started for one to replace this outdoor one.

I kinda like the gold glitter round balls hanging from the ceiling. Wonder how they’d look as pendant lighting.

What next?

So this year… In this dining area, I have these things to do:

  • Replace with round dining table
  • Install four downights
  • Hang four copper pendant lighting in the middle
  • Reupholster the dining chairs – we are not giving those up!
  • Find the opposite partner to the vintage butterfly on the wall
  • Considering installing one of our favourite quotes in giant gold calligraphy on the adjacent white wall…

Yes, I’m going to tackle upholstery. These chairs were an early 1990s purchase by the previous owner. I’d always wanted new fabric for them since buying them in 2011, but held out till I knew what the dining room would look like. I went to Spotlight last week and after an hour of hunting for possible options, I came back with four.

The upholstery choices for my dining table courtesy of Spotlight @bijoukaleidoscope

The upholstery choices for my dining table courtesy of Spotlight @bijoukaleidoscope

Which one do you prefer?
I like the one with the brilliant orange splotches of colour.. but that’s me. That’s Audrey for you. Nobody else seems to go for it!
Fun times!


1 February 2016
7 February 2016



The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

Hearing from you

Write me at paperbean(AT)gmail(DOT)com