Jul 15, 2008
The most family-friendly dining room
One of the best things about my job is seeing the ingenuity of my clients. Doug and Michelle Swain invited me into their home last week to help them pick paint colors for their entryway and master bedroom.
Michelle gave me directions to her home and told me to: "Look for the 'Blues Clues' mailbox". That was the first clue that I was in for a treat.
I thought I would enter a white box -- I was there to help pick paint color after all. Imagine my surprise when I saw their colorful and imaginative picnic dining room just off the entryway!
The Swains explained that they had searched and searched furniture stores for dining room furniture, but all the options seemed too formal, expensive and not at all kid-friendly.
Then Michelle had an idea.
She thought about the most kid-friendly table and a picnic table immediately came to mind. "It's fun, cheap and easy and there is nothing the kids can do to hurt it", said Michelle.
To protect the carpet Michelle continued the outdoors theme by installing AstroTurf.
She and Doug cut the fake grass to fit over the carpet and simply laid it on top. It looks professionally installed, you'd never know it is not tacked down.
Doug's mom painted the countryside mural.
A picnic basket tucked in a corner does the job for a china cabinet, storing all the necessary plates and utensils.
A whimsical wind chime hung from the chandelier reminds us that there is nothing too formal about this space. And red check fabric panel window treatments complete the look.
The whole project cost just $300. Can't beat that!
I asked Michelle if she sees herself eventually replacing the picnic table with traditional dining furniture when the children are older. She said, "maybe, maybe not, I'll have grandkids one day!"
I drool over sophisticated interior design spreads like those in Architectural Digest, but I don't think anything pleases me more than when I see the family reflected in design.
Way to go Swains! I hope this becomes a trend.