You may recall my recent post with regard the changes I wanted to make to the kitchen and the subsequent dilemma I was facing with related changes in the dining room. At that point, I genuinely had no clue which way I was going to go. I adored all the comments I received on the post with everyone weighing in with their thoughts and it was so fantastic that so many of you had an opinion – I genuinely love it when you guys pipe up about stuff because it always gives me things to think about and I had to laugh at all the comments that shared your own crazy thoughts when decorating! #thestruggleisreal

You can still catch up here on that dilemma.

There were loads of you who felt I should go with the deep emerald green although many others said the berry was more your jam (heh – jam/berry – GET IT) and still a few others who felt I should leave it as it was – in the deep blue I had originally painted it.

Emerald or Berry decision

Here’s one thing at that time I’d not yet considered – the opinion of the man I live with. Hmm. Oh yeah, that would probably help, right? And so I asked Wayne to read my post (yes, he tends to only look at the pictures, cheeky thing that he is) and give me his thoughts. And guess what he said? He didn’t like the emerald at all. He felt it would be way too much green and he would get tired of it. On the other hand, he actually quite liked the berry colour. Well, that does help sway things in a very certain direction, doesn’t it?

See, here’s the thing: If I really wanted it and I really pressed it, I know he probably would relent and let me go with emerald even if he didn’t really like it. He might have even learned to like it in time but I know from experience that going with something he REALLY doesn’t like in a room he spends a lot of time in is just a recipe for a lot of moaning in the future. He lives in this house too so I want to make him happy and I want him to feel like he has some say in the way I decorate our home.

So, that said, emerald is officially out and berry is in. Once this decision was made, I at least had a bit of a direction to go, although I wasn’t entirely certain what changes I wanted to make. Cut to us going to Edinburgh this past weekend (more about that on Friday)… The funny thing is, I forget at times that when I am away from the distractions of regular life, I become a lot more susceptible to creativity. I learn to pay attention to my surroundings, to let the sights and sounds of a new location influence and inspire me. Travel is always one thing that people say inspires them and I’m no different in saying the same. It really is such an amazing way to allow yourself to breathe mentally and emotionally and I think when it came to this room, I needed that.

I woke up in the very early hours of Sunday morning in our hotel room and suddenly I thought, ‘What if Kelly Wearstler designed a British pub?’

I know, my mind works in strange ways when it’s half asleep. But at that point, it all sort of came together. Inspiration really can come from anywhere.


Kelly Wearstler design via Oyster

Now if you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you’ll know I’m a big Kelly Wearstler fan. She’s bold and glam and isn’t afraid to take some chances. Loud patterns, black, gold, luxurious fabrics and dramatic finishes is her thing and well, I love that look. (She does use a lot of green but let’s ignore that fact just for now.)

Kelly Wearstler design via asid

Kelly Wearstler design via asid

At the same time, I wanted it to be a cosy space. One that we felt nestled in and secure and not ostentatiously grand, something that felt intimate on dark nights. Like the cosy pubs we’d visited when we were in Edinburgh with dark wall colours and flickering candle light that just made you want to sit around, sipping whisky cocktails and laughing all night.

Whiski Rooms Edinburgh

Whiski Rooms Edinburgh via my Instagram

Here’s the colour palette I came up with.

Swoon Worthy - Dining Room Colour Palette

Let’s talk about the fabric choice first. One thing I knew I wanted to do was to recover the side chairs on my dining table. They hadn’t been done since I’d first got the chairs over 3 years ago and the existing fabric is worn and looking rather sad now and it doesn’t really go very well with anything. Even before I decided to change the wall colour, I’ve been considering reupholstering them in Jamil fabric – the fabulous velvety leopard print that I love so much.

jamil fabric calico corners

I figured, while I was at it, I might as well do the end chairs as well to work better with the final design. Upholstering them all will probably cost me around £150-£175 (I know a guy in Stockport who is brilliant and really reasonably priced) and I know I can get the fabric for around £30/yard direct from the US so it won’t be cheap but won’t cost the earth either.

The rug will need replacing anyway (Quito has destroyed my blue one) and so I’m considering getting a hard-wearing seagrass or jute rug to add texture and then layer a black cowhide rug on top – I have two cowhides already and I know they are practically indestructible and the glossy sheen on top of that seagrass will be practical as well as give a bit of a luxury look.Sinnerlig rug ikea seagrass with black cowhide on top

I’m also considering swapping the mirror as well. I know I get a lot of love for my sunburst mirrors so I’m thinking about moving the sunburst elsewhere (or doing a straight swap) and moving the French Rococo-inspired gold mirror from my bedroom (seen below) above the fireplace. I’ll then be painting the fireplace mantle from white to black.


Speaking of the fireplace, I also would like to tile the inside with marble – giving that little bit of luxury to that spot in the room. That black and white will set off the white table and chairs nicely as well as bring in the black and gold console table that I already have. And if I end up using the marble tiles in the kitchen, it’ll pull in the marble look there as well.

Now you know how much I love wallpaper and I fell hard for House of Hackney’s new William Morris collaboration. The Hyacinth Wallpaper could be just the thing to add a touch of WOW in a floral pattern to the scheme on one of the walls. I’m considering papering the wall where the TV will move to (where the black console table is now) or I may do the wall where the TV is now or I might do the chimney breast. I’m not 100% sure yet but I do know that I would like a wallpaper somewhere and I like that this one has a bit of that ‘British pub’ vibe to it but a little more of a glam take on it.

hyacinth wallpaper house of hackney

(If I had a ‘no holds barred’ kind of budget, I’d opt for this instead – alas, my budget will not stretch that far but seriously, folks, this is crazy good.)

As for artwork, I’m undecided at this point. I would love something dramatic and eye catching and I ADORE Angel 4 by Zena Holloway but $775 (Canadian) plus shipping, it’ll likely be wayyyyy too much. But one can dream. This is the sort of look I’d like however so I included it in my moodboard anyway. Citizen Atelier, you are killing me for reals.

angel 4 print - citizen atelier

And finally, I would like to replace our sideboard with something antique, in wood, possibly curvy and possibly French. No decisions really made on that one yet so I’ve not included it on the moodboard below.

So anyway, this is basically what the very rough draft of the moodboard is looking like for now!

Swoon Worthy Dining Room Moodboard in berry, black and gold

I’m obviously going to try to work with what I have the best I can to keep costs down and all these changes will take some time to execute. I’m taking comfort in the fact that I was able to completely transform the look of the living room simply by making some incremental small changes and my hope is that I’ll be able to do something similar in here.

So that’s basically my take on if Kelly Wearstler designed a British pub (with a tiny budget)! Ha!

As for the plans for the kitchen, well, at least the dining room has a direction so that will help to make things a little easier but I’m only at the point right now of getting some pricing on different tile and worktop options that I’m considering so it’s all very early days at this point. I may now end up going with black lower cabinets instead of berry ones – no real decisions have been made yet! I’ll let you know what I come up with when I’ve got all that in order!

What do you think of the dining room plans so far? Are you disappointed I’m not using the emerald? Ever have your other half thwart your plans and have to take a different direction? Ever think about what a British pub would look like if Kelly Wearstler got her hands on it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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