Putting Together Our Dining Room: Part 1


Even before we officially decided to move, I would fantasize about designing wherever we would end up -- floor planning, coordinating color schemes, wish listing -- doing all the things I would do for a client.

Fast forward, to when we started doing apartment tours and then to when ultimately chose a place, I was super excited about having a space to really flex my design muscle (not for lack of trying in our NYC studio).  

Dining Room Decorating With Albie Knows Part 1

We gave ourselves a pretty decent budget [for people starting from scratch] and I got to shopping.

With my palette in mind -- blue hues, with grey & gold accents -- I put together my design; however, knowing that this apartment would only be "temporary" (one, maybe two years) I decided to scale back some of my ideas (without sacrificing my original design plan of course). 

My style favors mid century modern with touches of glam & minimalism, while my husband is very minimalist with hints of mid century modern & industrialism, so combining our design styles was really easy. 

I decided on a short list of retailers and some go to favorites to keep it budget friendly, convenient, and immediate -- IKEA, Wayfair (and that whole family of stores) Target, World Market, Home Goods, and Amazon. 

The living room was the first area we tackled, followed by the bedroom, home office, and then lastly the dining room. Needless to say I was geeked & my husband graciously came along for the ride. 

Albie Knows Dining Room

Our main living area at the time was one big open concept that flowed from the kitchen, past the island, into the dining and living rooms.  Since we had the island, we agreed that the dining room wouldn't be an immediate need & left it for last -- right before Christmas to be exact, in case we had a holiday dinner. We'd never had a dining room before, so this was kind of a big deal for us (please read: kind of a big deal for me). Before even settling on a design, I knew two things about my table: 

  1. it had to be round
  2. it had to be a pedestal style
In a small space, round pedestal tables are a great way to minimize your footprint, without infringing on functionality.
— Albie Knows

I looked at DOZENS of tables, but I was committed to a very specific style. Every batch of tables I chose, I would show my husband & he would veto based on the size, price, or look. We visited our local HomeGoods, Target, IKEA and World Market to see some of the looks in person; but the ones we loved weren't in the budget, and the ones that fit the bill, we weren't in love with. This also contributed a lot to why the dining area was last -- we wanted the "right" table, because we knew it would be the statement piece for that area.

A few other things to note: we'd already purchased the rug & decided on our chairs; also, we knew, for the sake of our sanity with a toddler, we weren't getting a sideboard (and to be honest, it's not like we needed one). 

Albie Knows Dining Table

After browsing the Wayfair and Joss & Main sites, I came across one table that really caught my eye. I sent it to my husband & he immediately agreed that it was the one. It had the right look -- clean lines, simple design, but lots of personality -- but the price, was less than pleasant; so I did what I always do -- I threw it in all my carts because 9 times out of 10, if I find something on one retailer's site, I'm able to find it at another 2 to 3; and prayed for a price drop somewhere. Weeks went by, until I finally saw a drop the week of Black Friday! I checked all my carts to see if the same happened with my chairs & immediately ordered my "set". 

Not buying a matching dining set, and instead, getting your chairs and tables separate adds personality and visual interest.
— Albie Knows

With the larger pieces now in place, this once empty void started to take shape & being that it was in the center of everything, suddenly the entire apartment started to feel warmer & more like a home.

Next, we layered in the accents -- I'd already envisioned how I wanted everything to come together, so I purchased the placemats and artwork beforehand from World Market, HomeGoods, and Wayfair.

Albie Knows Dining Room

Six months after moving to WA (so 4 months after actually getting a dining room) we moved again, still in Washington, to our condo.

We upgraded the art piece for one that's larger to offset the high ceilings and the dining room now also features what was once my desk, but is now the perfect "bar cart" thanks to some gold spray paint & marble contact paper!

Had we rushed to get the first set of tables and chairs we landed on, there's a very strong possibility I'd (a) be unhappy with our dining room & therefore not want to use it and (b) be looking to replace things at every turn. 

Now a whole year later -- it's currently Black Friday all over again -- my dining room is getting what feels like a major overhaul because it's the first time we're TRULY decorating for the holiday season. 

Even though a lot of the decorating is hinged on the holidays, it's also made us way more cognizant of year round decorative opportunities  -- we've since rotated our artwork, gotten more tablescape decor, and moved our gallery wall from the hallway to the dining room. 

Over the next few weeks, on my YouTube channel I'll be taking you inside decorating for the holidays, starting with the dining room -- hello #vlogmas! Come hangout with me on my channel for tips, tricks, and holiday goodness. 

Alongside with this, I'll be hosting a holiday giveaway once I hit 100 subscribers -- so if you aren't subscribed, definitely do so to enter -- and all the deets will be announced on the channel. 

XO Albie Knows