Renovations, The Buffalo BurrowThe Burrow Dining Room Inspiration December 4, 2019 This is a sponsored post by Lowe’s Home Improvement. All opinions are 100% my own. Since I started designing the house I would one day build (it’s been yeeeaaarrrrssss, friends), I always think about it at Christmastime. Seriously, I think about room layouts to allow optimal Christmas tree placement, how many surfaces I can create to string garlands and twinkle lights on, and how it will feel when we’re hosting and nestling in as a family during our favorite season. So, you better believe that now that it’s ACTUALLY Christmas, I’ve turned into a little elf running giddy and crazy thinking about all of our future Christmases in our new home, the Burrow. And yes, I did take coffee in this Santa mug over to tour some new house progress and I’m not even sorry. It was magical. But this post isn’t just about Christmas…it’s about some exciting progress at the new house! I love that y’all are so excited about our kitchen design plans! Like I said in that post, I designed that room first and the basics just came to me in a sudden rush of inspiration. I’ve used the kitchen now to inspire the rest of the rooms in the house, one in particular. Today, I’m so excited to start talking about the dining room. I designed the kitchen and dining room to coordinate and I’m thrilled that Lowe’s caught our vision for these spaces and wanted to be a part of the process! We’ll be working with Lowe’s to take this big, new, empty box and turn it into a character-filled dining room that would be at home in any 100-year-old house. Since we started designing houses, I knew that one day, I wanted to build a new house that felt old. And the one thing I knew without question that house would have was a dining room with a cased opening off the foyer and a pass-through butlers’ pantry to the kitchen. That was the first “must” that I wrote down when we started planning out our floor plans and it’s so exciting to see it taking shape! I’ve dreamed of creating a beautiful, separate space for gathering that’s anything but formal…one that is ready for everyday dinners as well as the holidays. And yes, as I’ve been designing it, I always check to see if it passes the Christmas test. I picture us there enjoying our Christmas dinner and that tells me if it’s right. Y’all didn’t even know how deep this Christmas magic obsession ran with me! Today, we’re going to take a look at how the room looks today and talk about my inspiration for finishing out the space. Here in the foyer, you have this wide cased opening looking into the dining room. And here inside the room, you have that pass through butler’s pantry to the kitchen I’ve been dreaming of. The one thing to note right now in this space is the big triple window. It takes up almost the entire wall and I love the light that it lets in. Right now, we have a big, new, empty box. But y’all know I’ve been dreaming of finishes for that “new build that feels old,” character-filled dining room forever. So, how are we going to get there? What elements are we going to bring into this sheetrock box to make it have the layers and age and character I’ve longed for? First, let’s talk about my inspiration. Let’s be honest, I always get my best design and homemaking inspiration from movies. I love design accounts and watching how other people live in their home. But something about seeing a story play out in a space makes it come alive to me. My favorite movies (and a show or two) always have an old house in them. The character and detail of them just floors me. There are many on-screen dining rooms that have stood out in my mind, but two in particular. Parenthood Dining Room | Witches of East End Dining Room Now, as you can see both of these are really dark and rich in furnishings. They’re cozy and layered, which I love, but they’re darker than my usual tastes. I’m talking more about the design elements here. The fireplaces, the wallpaper, the woodwork….all of the details that so many new houses today just don’t have make these spaces absolutely come alive to me. I’ve had a vision for this “old house” dining room in my mind for awhile. While the exact colors and finishes have been vague, I’ve known the design elements I wanted to use to make this dream of mine come to life. Can y’all picture those elements in this space?? We’ve learned that you can absolutely bring in character and style to a new-build. It just takes some creativity! We’re so excited to pull wallpaper, all the trim and construction materials, primitive-feeling lighting, and cabinets from Lowe’s to make this dream a reality. I’m planning to create a focal point on that main wall you see from the door. That bump-out is for….yep, you guys guessed it on Instagram, a MANTEL! I wish so badly there was budget to do a real-working fireplace in here, but an extra 20K isn’t there for that (the brick would have to go basement to second floor). BUT, I’m such a believer that there are a lot of different ways to get what you want! The first key is nailing down exactly what it is you’re after. While I’d love to have Christmas dinner in here by firelight, what I really want is the focal point of a fireplace and a mantel to decorate. I want the aesthetics of it more than the function. There are ways to get that! I’ve always loved the vintage fireplaces I come across at salvage spots. The character they have is incredible. Several years ago, I stumbled across a vintage double mantel and fell in love. I’ve seen them in houses and I love the unique character they bring. As soon as we started brainstorming this space, I knew I wanted to try and find one, but the only salvaged one I’d seen before was $1,000. NOT IN THE BUDGET. But I didn’t give up hope and started the search. I came across this beauty at the second place I looked and we got it for $175. I still can’t believe we found it. (It’s currently living in our new basement, so that’s the beautiful backdrop you see.) These double mantels always have a mirror in that upper square. The one I saw before had the vintage mantel intact. This one didn’t, but we’re excited to get one at Lowe’s to work here! And I have one thing in mind for this mantel: Christmas garlands! It’s comical how much of this house I’ve designed with that thought, “Where else can I hang a Christmas garland??” I’m head over heels for the character of this. We debated on what to do with the opening since we won’t have a working fireplace in here and decided to lay brick tile in it. We’ve lived in three old houses now and every single one has had at least one old fireplace that was bricked over. I’ve gotten so used to them I forget they were once open and working! I enjoy decorating the mantel and the focal point of it and the fact that they aren’t open doesn’t bother me at all. So this will feel exactly like the old fireplaces we’ve had before. Can you picture it here in the center? I am in love with it! I mentioned I’ve always pictured built-in buffets or china cabinets. I absolutely love how old dining rooms always have those lovely built-ins. We’re going to build our own version of that in a really cost effective way on each side of the fireplace. We’re starting with stock cabinets, but when we’re done, they’ll look just like the beautiful built-in china cabinets I’ve always admired! We’ll have closed storage on the bottom and shelves on top for display and then there’ll be a counter top in between for serving. The rest of the room will be wrapped in board and batten and floral wallpaper… It’s going to be so, so lovely, y’all. I’ve mentioned that one of my favorite things about this house are all the views. I put SO much thought into the views when designing the floor plan. I love the view of the stairs and railings you’ll see through this opening. And I really love that you’ll see that mantel wall first thing when you descend the stairs. Last shot for today, but I wanted to give you guys a glimpse from the living room so you could get a better feel for the layout of the space. Here you can see what I talked about above that from a lot of the main areas in the house, you’ll see the dining room and the kitchen in the same view. So, they have to coordinate well! I don’t want them to match, but they need to go together in some way. Y’all know I like for my houses to flow well and each room feel like it belongs in the same house. It can be jarring to walk from one room to the next and it feel completely different style or color-wise. I love having consistent elements throughout all my spaces even if they show up in different ways. But in this case, especially, I needed to work in some coordinating elements. In the next post, I am SO excited to break down the design plan for this space and show you how it ties in with the kitchen! There was so much to say about the layout and bones of the space that I decided to break them up. But any guesses on what you’re going to see in this space with the kitchen design in mind?