The new house has three things I’ve never had before: a dining room, a backyard, and a garage. Growing up in New York City, people just didn’t have these things. You had a 4-seat compact table off your kitchen (if you were lucky) or a breakfast bar in the cramped kitchen space, or, if you’re like us, you eat on the couch in the living room. It makes for kind of an awkward thanksgiving dinner.
Our last rental had a pretty big kitchen, with plenty of room for a small dining table (it gets cramped if we actually try to seat 4 people, but usually it’s just us two). I use the table as a kitchen island as well, since I always find myself needing a little bit of extra counter space. One of the weirdest things about planning this new house is that it has both a dine-in breakfast bar and a totally separate dining room. Craziness!! (pic below of seller’s set-up)
The idea of decorating a room like this is totally bizarre to me, but it’s a really fun space! Since you only ever spend an hour-ish a day in here, and the only function is to have a table and chairs, a lot of people are more creative than they would be in their bedroom or living room.
The one thing we’ve already had a disagreement on is the light fixture. I’m so fascinated by statement lights in the dining room– because it’s really the only place where you get to hang a light fixture at eye level. My brain associates that act with art, and therefore the fixture must be the statement of the room. Or something. Also I really just like urchins and dining rooms are the only place where you don’t end up with them stabbing you in the eye.
Before you say anything, yes, the pendant in the past owner’s space is nice. But it was not included in the sale… boo. So we actually do need to find a new fixture for in here. As far as seating, I hate to say, but I actually love IKEA’s Stockholm dining collection. And I’m thinking if we keep the table and chairs neutral, I can go a little crazier on colors and decorations. Right? Right?? Right.
Not only is there a 6-ish seat dining room (maybe 8 if needed), but there are french doors that open to… my first ever patio!
I see us dining out there a lot or just sitting out with a latte, so in my grandest imagination, I’ve started considering indoor-outdoor dining spaces.
The patio isn’t in great condition. It’s on the north side of the house and there’s a big tree that keeps the area in the shade, which has made a lot of the posts rot out. So it’ll need a little TLC, but I don’t want to put too much money into it just in case we decide to add an extension. I also definitely want to paint the lattice so it doesn’t look fresh off the truck from home depot. (sorry for the glare, better photos coming soon!)
I’d also love to add a retractable awning and a portable heater. Not to be used at the same time, of course. I’m thinking that little lip above the french doors would be a good spot to build in a Markilux awning, like this:
I never really thought about wanting an outdoor space while we were house hunting. It seemed kind of silly to buy a place for the yard in an area where it’s chilly most of the year. But I keep imagining different possibilities, and honestly it is nice enough most of the time to sit out with a cup of coffee and a chunky sweater.
Can you tell I’m getting excited?