The Dining Room – Part 4 After!

Life is all about choices. Should I eat a Mr. Big chocolate bar or a Big Turk chocolate bar? Should I watch 50 Shades Darker at 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm on Friday Night? Should I contact Beyoncé’s publicist again? Should I read this long post or swipe through the photographs? The choice is yours…

Did you miss the “Sneak Peek” of our progress on the Dining Room? If so – you can catch up HERE!

The Dining Room ceiling was the design focal point in this space – lighting needed to have presence.

Everyone knows how I feel about lighting – the perfect combination of form and function.

Vintage Aesthetic.

So of course I had to have three crystal chandeliers from Canadian Tire over our Dining Room table. Repetition makes an impressive statement and groupings of odd numbers are pleasing to the eye.

A decorating trick I pulled out of my tote bag was aligning the three fixtures with three Dining Room chairs – (repetition creates an impression) This means when a group of six people are dining each pair share a chandelier. When it’s the two of us, one could sit on the Dining Sofa, the other in one of the chairs – the chandelier between us providing a sense of intimacy – creating a table for two.

Visually delineating the space was important – not only a Dining Room but also a walkway by which other rooms are connected. I selected a fresh anaglypta wallpaper along the wall defining the space as a Hallway separate from the Dining Area. The inset ceiling detail, the painted walls and the area rug assist.

From the Martha Stewart Collection at The Home Depot, guests run their hands over the paper – which is fine, it is washable. Paintable as well – but I’ve chosen to leave it white.

We replaced the doorway into the Den with a sliding barn door that makes more sense for clearance issues while adding architectural detail to the room. This antique Eastlake, was in the back of a pickup truck after being removed from a Victorian house and headed for the landfill. My dad asked “How much for the door?” The answer was $20.00 and it was ours! We restored it and added a barn door track – details on the blog sometime!

My dad has a special talent – he should be on the television program Storage Wars.

Similar doors retail for much more at shops such as Artefacts – which is a fabulous shop and we have purchased many items for High Hopes from there, but it’s always a nice to catch a break!

With gorgeous detail – we are very glad we could save this piece of history!

Contemplating the Design and Decorating Plan for the space, it needed to be extra welcoming since guests (and ourselves!) would enter this room straight from the foyer, rather then a living room for example.

I though a lot about some of our favourite restaurants – we walk into the Dining Area and feel immediately at home. This in mind – I decided to create a lounge feeling. Inspiration can come from so many places! Removal of the Double French Doors between the Living Room and the Dining Room created a more open floor plan.

Furnished with durable and comfortable chairs with button tufting and bronze nail nead trim – purchased from Cornerstone Home – with locations in Toronto, Ontario and Cambridge, Ontario.

Paired with an ultra luxurious high back, down filled dining sofa with button tufting, bronze nail head trim and beautiful legs with a stretcher – this is a key soft furnishing that gives our Dining Room the lounge feeling – also purchased from Cornerstone Home. It makes for long, relaxing and cozy dinners under the exposed beam ceiling. Sonny and I really enjoy playing board games with our friends in the Dining Room – this ensures that everyone is relaxed and happy to spend their evening at High Hopes! A benefit to using a Dining Room – no kitchen mess to distract.

Our search for a Dining Room table was looong! Unable to find the desired size, style and quality – we ended up going custom and could not be happier with our decision. An investment piece and traditional in style, the table will be part of our home and our families homes for years to come.

Made with pine by husband and wife team – Calder’s Antiques in Norland, Ontario. Handcrafted after their own 1700’s Harvest Table we can be sure of it’s authentic reproduction construction – we even got to see the original – which they were still using!

Being custom made meant that we were able to specify the exact measurements, thickness, style of leg, custom stain and any additional decorative trim pieces.

I even received a consultation call as the table was being distressed to talk about just how far I wanted to go – all the way baby!

I’d like to think that our Dining Room table is famous, being made by the same small family company that made Dining Room tables for Kurt Browning and a certain CBC personality that I am not at liberty to name. I don’t know why this always happens to me. People trust me with names. I am a very trustworthy person.

Hey! Did you want me to fill you in on a secret? They also created tables for Alice Fazooli’s!

Sadly, last I heard – the business was no longer in operation – they were even in the midst of filming a reality television pilot – I could have been on it. With Beyoncé. Okay – not really.

Did you notice the area rug – full of texture. Reminiscent of a sisal rug, it is cotton chenille – special order from The Home Depot. Abner and Maybelline love lounging here!

Want a conversation piece in your home? Create a “focused” gallery wall in your gathering space.

We are big travellers and photographs of our best moments together bring back the feelings we had – extending the adventures beyond the plane ticket home. Because so many our family members and friends are travelers also, our gallery wall has been a way to spark conversation, everyone sharing stories.

The barn wood shelving was stained in Dark Walnut #2716 from Minwax with a satin polyurethane. The shelving adds emphasis to the wall and grounds the photograph frames. Also great for displaying little travel trinkets!

A fun story about the paper airplane below – Sonny won First Place in the Expedia Paper Airplane Contest at the BCE Place in Toronto. It was amazing – it just kept going and going – almost the entire length of BCE Place – then disappeared behind the rafters and came out the other end! Anyhow – the First Place Prize was a trip for two to an all inclusive in Acapulco! Dos cervezas por favor 🙂

I wish I could tell you that it was very difficult and time consuming building the gallery wall – but it was so easy and super fun! We went to Mecca. We grabbed two carts and filled them with Ribba frames – all in white to keep everything visually calming. Making sure to start in the center we worked our way out – always keeping balance.

Giving a true gallery effect to the composition – Sonny used his much nicer printing (Good Job Sonny!) and wrote a description on the mat of each photograph. Gallery Lighting is included on the ceiling above the shelving – used primarily in the evenings.

In the background is our buffet from The Art of Home in Cambridge, Ontario with our Planter Pot Candles – which you’ve read about before. Decorated with spring accessories from HomeSense in a blue colour palette – it is simple to change seasonally. Board games in the closed portion. Yep! That’s our fireplace hanging on the wall!

Deserving of a video demo when the weather is cooler.

This is our answer to the question:

What do I do when I don’t have a fireplace, but I really want one and I’m not investing in a real one anytime soon?

You get a space saving wall mounted gel flame fireplace from Amazon!!!

You guys! This fireplace is AMAZING!!! The gel fuel is eco friendly, actually warms a space and glows and crackles like a real fireplace!!!

Once our power went out and it actually kept the room warm. Some family members have been known to warm their hands by it! Adding great ambience to the space, we use flameless candles in the warmer months.

Lighting – on, off or dimmed – creates different feelings – depending on the effect you desire.

Care was taken when restoring the solid strip oak flooring. Original to High Hopes – we gave it a lot of love not limited to but including a light poll sanding using fine grit sandpaper. Coated in the same stain as the shelving with polyurethane – it is cared for yet full of it’s inherent 125 year old character. Missing much of it’s baseboard trim – nothing original – we added consistency to the room by replacing and adding MDF baseboards and shoe molding from The Home Depot.

Some Future Plans Include:

  • Add a Few More Frames and Photographs to Gallery Wall (More Travel!!!)
  • Source and Distress Strip for Small Flooring Patch
  • Spray Paint Heat Register Black
  • Crown Molding
  • Custom Window Treatment – Design Dilemma to Fill You In On!

Here are the full Design and Decorating Notes for this space:

Design Challenges:

  • Room Includes 5 Door Ways (Doors to Living Room, Foyer, Powder Room, Den and Kitchen!)
  • Room is the Major Thoroughfare To All Other Rooms in the House
  • Awkward to Walk Straight into a Dining Room When You First Enter a Home (This challenge we created all on our own!)
  • Popcorn Ceiling

Design Solutions:

  • Minimize Number of Doorways – Seal Power Room Entrance (relocation) Replace Den Door with a Feature Door, Remove Living Room French Doors
  • Visually Create a Hallway and Dining Area with Detailed Ceiling, Wallpaper and Colour, Area Rug
  • Create a Lounge Feeling
  • Flat Ceiling with Inset Beamed Ceiling

High Hopes Style Components:

  • The Rustic Wood Table Combined with the Elegant Crystal Chandelier Creates Juxtaposition – Visual Interest
  • Statement Wall to Welcome You into Room
  • Personal Feeling with Gallery Wall and Colour Photographs
  • Using Furniture Items From Home – Make a Feeling of Home
  • Bronze Nail Head Detail Relates to Metallic Detail in Powder Room
  • Industrial Element with Armoured Cable and Barn Track Slider








Ta- Da! We are extremely pleased with the space!

So here we are. I will celebrate the end of the Dining Room Diaries with a Big Turk while I watch 50 Shades Darker at 9:00 pm Friday Night. This works better because it will leave me time to contact Beyoncé’s publicist again.

Yours in Décor,



1 Comment

  • Diane

    Absolutely fabulous, what great ideas . The space has changed so much , out with the old and in with the updated modern look. My fav part is the shelving with your travel pictures, what a conversation starter. Can hardly wait till see what’s next.

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