My Kitchen Tour: the dining room sprawl

My kitchen has inevitably sprawled into the dining room over the years, which is why our main eating area is part of the kitchen tour.

And it only seems natural to walk you through the space where we gather as a family to eat once all that cooking has transpired. I should warn you, though, I don’t pretend in the least bit to have a sense of style when it comes to home decor. It’s a chore for me, the way cooking is to others – I totally get that.

However, I know what makes a space feel distinctly ours: a mix of vintage and modern furniture and accessories, a pop of color, and a touch of nature. Let’s begin around our battered dining room table and mismatched chairs.

Simple Bites Kitchen Tour: dining room

I think the table is actually a desk, but it seats eight comfortable and it was free, so I’m happy. The buffet behind is a converted antique dresser (another freebee) that houses a ton of food photography props. The artwork is by my talented Aunt Jenny.

The overhead lights are my biggest beef. They were here when we moved in and I am perpetually on the lookout for something else that fits our country style. Any ideas? Please share them in the comments – and thank you!

Simple Bites dining room tour: buffet

Here’s a closer look at the hutch, on a particular day when I was feeling blue, or something. The quilted table runner is from Etsy. My mum shipped me two of her blue vintage jars when she heard my upcoming book titles was ‘Brown Eggs and Jam Jars’. She is the best.

breakfast tray of oatmeal toppings

I keep a tray of toppings handy for our near-daily oatmeal breakfast: currants, chia seeds, pepitas, ground flax and maple flakes. Danny’s mother made the soft quilted table runner for us. I love how it already looks warm and vintage, although it was handmade this past summer.

Simple Bites Kitchen Tour: dining room

Clara, simultaneously messing up my clean floors and charming me with her wide grin.

Beyond the table is the playroom, but the area is semi divided by a sideboard and pot rack. The sideboard doubles as an outdoor bar in the summer, as the table top separates and slides out to reveal a handy metal tub for storing ice and drinks. (See it in full action here)

Simple Bites Kitchen Tour: dining room

Again, more storage for awkward-shaped platters, cutting boards and baskets. The boys often set up a chess game here after school and pull up chairs.

Simple Bites Kitchen Tour: dining room

It works well as a good place to stash bulky items, and amazingly, Clara leaves everything well alone (for the most part).

Simple Bites Kitchen Tour: dining room

My pot rack hosts a collection of items that represent most everything I love about homesteading. A wire egg basket, canning rings, garlic and dried herbs from the garden…

Simple Bites Kitchen Tour: linen cabinet

This small wooden cabinet was a wedding present, handmade by my brother, Josh. It stores the bulk of my linens, both for food styling and for everyday use at the table.

Simple Bites Kitchen Tour: dining room

My collection of vintage silverware and utensils is slowly growing, thanks to flea market and garage sale finds. I use these all the time, so I keep them handy in an old wooden box.

Simple Bites Kitchen Tour: dining room

From the table, we look back into the kitchen…And that concludes the dining room sprawl.

Tune in tomorrow, where you get to check out what I have in my fridge and freezer…

In case you missed them:

Is your dining room a work in progress? What is your favorite thing about it?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. I love the idea of having a tray full of oatmeal toppings out on the table. So handy and it’s a cool way of decorating.

  2. Jan @ Family Bites says

    A matchy-matchy living space is so overrated! I love your collection of meaningful and rustic pieces… it’s all lovely.

  3. Christi Busack says

    In the antique world we would call your table a ‘primitive drop-leaf breakfast table’. Very cool and please don’t refinish it! I immediately thought of these cool pendant lights from Lowes. They are readily available and won’t break the bank.

  4. I love it when bloggers share corners of their home! It is so fun to take a peek at where all the behind the scenes action happens. And you have such a lovely home. As for lighting recommendations, I am always drooling over the lights here: One of these days I’m going to own one of those fantastic porcelain pendant lights – they would look perfect above that pretty table of yours!

  5. Clara looks just like you! I love your dining room. My family’s style has always been rather “country,” and I love love love mismatched things. It makes a place feel like you can live and relax in it rather than look at it and not touch anything.

  6. I’ve been lusting over mason jar chandeliers to go with our country theme. They’re kind of pricey on Etsy, but I’ve found many a tutorial online. Seems like a fun project! 🙂 And LOVE your dining room!

    • I know, they would be a perfect fit…

    • This is what I was going to suggest!

      • Mason jar lights!!! I made a single one for over my reading chair with an old blue jar, a $4 (US) light kit from the local hardware store, and about 15 minutes of time. So easy to make, although there are some really cool configurations on etsy that look pretty awesome.

        Love the feel of your home, I see all kinds of charm and style that you must have missed 🙂

  7. Absolutely beautiful!

  8. love love LOOOOVE that teal wall!!! your house/kitchen is gorgeous!

  9. I LOVE your style! It feels real and inviting, like a place where I would feel instantly at home! I love the idea of keeping a box filled with oatmeal fixings on hand. I’ve been looking at lighting too recently, and found these simple lights, that would easily replace what you have:

  10. Alice Epstein says
  11. So Beautiful, very inspired and very much you 🙂

  12. Hi Aimee!
    I wait in anticipation everyday to see the next step in your kitchen/dining room renovation! I love the wall color of the dining room but what caught my eye are the curtains in the dining room. Could you tell me about them?

  13. I like the lights, I actually think they are a really cool contrast to the country feel you have going on. But that’s just me.

  14. Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity says

    I love your dining room! It feels so cozy and inviting. I almost laughed out loud when you said you don’t have a sense of style because I always love your style and your dining room is much, much more stylish then mine. 😉 It looks like a welcoming home and it makes me so wish I could stop by for a cup of tea and a chat. 🙂

  15. I’m loving this series! It’s so fun to peek into your space. I really like all the blue and brown. And Clara is getting so big! Shouldn’t surprise me too much though since she’s the same age as my little guy.

    My favorite thing in our dining room is the rustic table that my father-in-law built us this year. It’s beautiful and seats a crowd!

  16. It’s beautiful, Aimee. Love all the mis-matched, wooden and full of character furniture in your home.
    And Clara’s grin is priceless!

  17. It is simply perfect and beautiful!! I love all the wood and that teal wall! Oh and Clara is so CUTE!! I loved seeing her picture! My favorite photo for sure!

  18. thanks for sharing all these tours! I love your table, I wish we had room for something bigger ourselves. I am currently most inspired by the handmade table runner! I have wanted a runner and have saved some odds and ends of fabric in appropriate colors, that looks like a great way to put some of them together.

  19. Wow! You got a collection of vintage silverware and utensils. I am also collecting those items. Anyways, I really love your dining room.

  20. Such a lovely space, Aimee! I adore your idea of a tray of toppings for oatmeal! Such a great idea.

  21. Oh goodness, I love it! So much personality in the perfect way 🙂

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