One of my "must haves" in our new home was a formal dining room area. We had an area in our old one, but we didn't have a good table. This is the best picture I have of our old dining room with a buffet set for a Christmas party.
Here it is currently in our breakfast nook in our new home.
You can see how tiny it is! We have squeezed 8 people around this table, though, and had some really great times around it. When I hosted Christmas dinner last year, I got out my 6-foot card table, but it was still too thin to feel like a real table.
When we moved I wanted a lot of new furniture (although our living room is probably the best compilation of hand-me-down furniture), but my #1 want was a real dining room table! I found "the one" that I absolutely fell in love with a few years ago, but it was too expensive for us right now :-(
My mom, mother-in-law, and I went to so many stores looking for a dining room set. I finally found one that I could be happy with at Badcock.
We also planned to paint our dining room when we moved in. In the pictures it looked gray, but in reality it had a green tint. I wanted to paint it a neutral gray or beige so I could have more versatility with decorating, but when we were looking at paint colors, Hubby suggested red. It's not as versatile, but I thought it was a great idea.
Here is our dining room!
The last box I unpacked was the box with my stemware because I didn't have the cabinet space for it! I decided a buffet server would be a perfect place to store my barware and table linens! Plus, I like the way they look and wanted one anyway. I did not like the buffet that came with it, so then I had another mission: to find a coordinating buffet. I searched and searched, until finally I remembered Kirkland's (one of my favorite stores, but there actually isn't one where we live now). I looked online and found one that I loved, so I drove to the nearest town with one and picked up the last one!
My decorating tip: I like to find pieces that coordinate, but not matchy-matchy.
My organizing tip: Have a specific place for everything!
Finally, I needed to find some curtains and napkins. I eventually found my napkins at Homegoods, and the curtains at Sears. It's not what I had in mind, but the ones I wanted cost more than I wanted to pay. I really like what I ended up with, though.
If you notice in the first picture, the swag curtain is hanging down in the middle. I could not figure out how to get it to hang right! One day recently I had an "aha!" moment where I thought to put a binder clip to weigh it down in the middle on the back and drape it over the panel rod.
I love, love, love my new dining room, and I am so happy that I can finally have proper dinner parties without everyone squeezing around. I have fond memories of those days, but I am happy to have a real table!