Home Decor, The Buffalo BurrowDining Room Function & Storage September 8, 2020 This is a sponsored post by Lowe’s Home Improvement. All opinions are 100% my own. All photos are by Emily Bolt Photography. Thanks for all of the love on our Old-house Inspired Dining Room Reveal! The goal of this dining room was to have several functions for our family. First of all, I wanted a beautiful dining room to house all the special occasions, but also our daily dinners. But, I also knew we’d use this space for some of our daily homeschool activities. You may have seen on Instagram that we’re working on a homeschool/playroom combo upstairs. So much of our homeschool is play-based, so I knew we needed a hub for those activities vs. setting up toy shelves and play kitchens here in our dining space. But there are still activities that work best here around the dining table and on our main level. The beautiful part was easy: the floral wallpaper, that board and batten and mantel in that creamy Agreeable Gray, the classic-lined chandelier. But the function piece can be a bit harder. When it came to styling these shelves and planning out the cabinet storage, I had two areas in mind. I knew I needed a place for some homeschool materials as well as the things we’d need for dining. Just like with styling our kitchen shelves, I wanted these shelves to be beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, so that meant mixing materials around. For example, I didn’t necessarily want a homeschool side with all books, art supplies, etc. and a dining room side with all of our glassware and serving pieces. And I didn’t need it that way to function well. I also used the rule that anything that went on these shelves is something we use or it doesn’t warrant a spot. Here’s how I used our storage and shelves for both of these different areas: There are three main parts of our homeschool that take place here in the dining room. 1.) Morning Basket The first is our morning basket over breakfast. I will be changing out the books in that based off of what we’re studying at the time. 2.) Afternoon Tea & Read Aloud One of my favorite things we’ve started doing is coming together after rest time each day for a snack, tea, and a read-aloud. During this time, I pull down my favorite tea set my mama gave me. It’s a one-of-a-kind pottery set she found at an antique store when we were building this house and realized how well it matched our color palette. It’s so special to me. I pull out a chapter book that we’re reading and read a chapter while the kids eat and enjoy before they head out to play for the rest of the afternoon. This has become one of our favorite parts of the day! All of our books that we read together are on this side of the shelves. 3.) Art Time Art is a big part of our homeschool. It’s something we do daily in different ways, some days longer and more detailed than others. I knew the best spot to haul out the watercolor paints and really spread out was here on the dining table. We have our art caddy, watercolor paints, and paper roll easily accessible. The books and magazines you see here are all of my homeschooling resources for myself. I love that I have books on each side visually because I just love the texture they bring. But they are divided and organized by how we use them. I assigned this cabinet to homeschool, so it got additional paper and art supplies, as well as other assorted homeschool materials. I love that it is handy here on our main level. This is a spot the kids come to often to grab craft and coloring supplies. Now, let’s talk about what we use for the dining function of this space. For dining, there are a handful of things I knew I wanted handy. This set of amber glasses and pitcher, I want to pull down for our dinners. There are also serving pieces, cake stands, and pitchers and amber vases to use for flowers. One of my favorite little moments are my collection of blue and white Willow tea cups over on this side. Our other storage cabinet is a little more organized and pretty than our homeschool side (not that it matters – it’s closed storage!). Here, we have our table cloths, dishtowels that we use as napkins, and some additional amber glassware and dishes that needed a home. One of my big goals for this fall is to involve the kids in setting the table each night. Choosing a tablecloth, setting out folded napkins (a.k.a dishtowels), glasses for each person, silverware, and even choosing something for the center. They get so excited about it and I love that it teaches them something responsible, but also gives them an opportunity to create a little beauty for their family each day. I streamlined my collection of dishes and glasses quite a bit when we moved, but it feels so good. We have what we need, what we use, and don’t have a ton of extra. I’ve always stored and found spots for extra sets of dishes and glasses that never get used and have found this simple living mantra to be so true for me: what takes up physical space takes up mental space. And extra mental space means more energy to focus on the things that matter most to you. For me, that’s these two right here. So far, this dining room is functioning exactly as I’d hoped for us! It’s a great blend of the two ways we use this space and it’s working so hard for our family. Anybody notice the splotches of paint on the table? Yep, it works hard! I love these chairs for our space too because they’re sturdy and easily cleanable, but they still look beautiful. For me, this space is evident that beauty and function can co-exist. Whoever said books, art supplies, and fine china can’t go together? One quick note on the cabinets, I am now obsessed with painted knobs. I love how they feel like an old house and blend in so they don’t add another visual element to the space. We got these wood knobs from Lowe’s and painted them to match the Agreeable Gray cabinets. Thank y’all so much for checking out our new dining room! It’s been so fun to share it with you. I am absolutely loving this space. A huge thanks to Lowe’s Home Improvement for helping to make it a reality!