My dining room is difficult. It’s always been difficult. Like, one of my very first blog posts was about these lamps I painted for the dining room. And pretty much everyone in the world was like, “Gretchen, those are not good lamps,” even Dave, who has few opinions on such things. And I stuck with the lamps for awhile, probably mostly out of stubbornness, but then finally I had to admit that everyone was right and the lamps were no good, and I think those lamps are STILL in my basement. Because no one likes them, so I can’t even GIVE them away.
Behold! Ugly lamp and bad photography from early days:
Okay, so, things haven’t gotten much better. Generally I’m a fairly confident decorator. I know what I like. Except in my dining room, I guess.
Let me explain.
So when I moved the Sad Pilgrim picture into the den awhile back (Sad Pilgrims visible up there next to ugly lamp), I was left with a big, empty space over the buffet. Here’s what I’ve done in an attempt to fill said big empty space:
I picked up an old book of “French Impressionist Masterpieces” (affiliate link) from the National Gallery of Art at the thrift store (that link will take you to Amazon, where you can pick up a copy for $5). That’s what it’s called, although they’re not all actually French. Maybe French modifies impressionist and not masterpieces? Like the French invented impressionism, so it’s THEIR impressionism even if the artist is American or whatever? I don’t know. Anyway. It said “suitable for framing” right there on the cover, so I knew it was okay to rip all the pages out of the book.
But I didn’t frame them; I hung them up with black masking tape.
Now. Here is the thing.
I have no idea if I like this thing I’ve done or not.
First Dave, my usually not at all harsh critic, expressed doubts, which always gives me pause. “I wanted it to look more casual,” I said. “It definitely looks casual,” he agreed.
Then Gus, my 10 year old who is generally adorably enthusiastic about all my decorating decisions, said, when I asked him about it, “uhh…that looks….nice.”
I had pretty much decided it must just be terrible, except then I keep walking by and sort of liking it. NO. IDEA. I feel very out of sorts about the whole thing, and I blame this vexing dining room.
I do think the black masking tape looks like cartoon villain eyebrows, which is not what i was going for.
But, yeah, I think I might need a hipster city apartment and white walls and a green velvet sofa to pull this off. Not sure.
So really what I need is to come up with a plan for this dining room. Instead of just putting random things in here and seeing if they work. Which is why I’m not so much worried about my French Impressionist wall at the moment. It’s a place holder, and it only cost me a thrift store book and a roll of masking tape, so no big deal.
I have many dining room thoughts, which I’ll save for another post. But I will say that my mother just told me she’s getting rid of this picture that used to be above her mantel and asked me if I wanted it, and of course I said yes, and now I wonder if it’s the inspiration piece I need to get things rolling finally in this dining room:
Dog pictures in every room!