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A Modern Traditional Dining Room, In Progress

by - Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I could have waited until this entire room was finished... but that's not real life these days. Real life involves putting up wallpaper on rare weekends when Sean isn't travelling for work. Real life is covering nail holes at 10pm at night. And real life means taking over six months to get to this point on #ProjectTradDining. So let's celebrate this traditional dining room, as perfectly imperfect as she may be.




This room... it makes my heart sing every time I walk by it. It is exactly how I hoped it would be.

Here's a reminder of what the room looked like Before:


Oh. So. Yellow.

So what have we done so far?
- Had recessed lights installed
- Removed all the existing mouldings
- Removed window coverings
- Added hardboard onto the bottom half of the wall to hide all the old glue residue and moulding holes
- Applied new crown moulding, panel moulding, door and window trims, and baseboard
- Painted the ceiling and walls
- Installed the wallpaper




The dining room isn't huge, only 11'x10' but it already looks and feels bigger. Surprising - you'd think all that wallpaper would make it feel much smaller, wouldn't you? But instead it gives it a grand feeling.

The wallpaper is Flora, White from the Jubileum collection by Borastapeter. I considered dozens of different wallpapers but this one had everything I loved: all-over pattern, lots of white space, and crisp colours. It feels both modern and traditional to me, which is exactly how I wanted this room to feel. And it's a wallpaper pattern I hadn't seen anywhere else. I find that social media can cause good design to become trendy and over exposed. I wanted something that felt uniquely mine.

Side note: I used my money-saving trick and ordered the wallpaper from the WallpaperDirect.com US website, and had it shipped to my mail forwarder Crossborderpickups (read about how to do that here) to save on duties, taxes, and shipping ;)



No doubt, the moulding contributed as well to that grand feeling. I was lucky to work once again with my long-time brand partner Metrie on this project. Metrie makes the most wonderful interior finishings. There's no better way to "complete" a room than by using Metrie mouldings.



We used the same moulding here that we used in our living room, mostly from Metrie's Very Square Scene II collection. It is substantial and beefy but painted white (Benjamin Moore Simply White), it doesn't overwhelm the space.




I was happy to get my dining set back into this room. I've had it for 15 years and decided to have the chairs recovered by Lindsay rather than replace them. Here's what they looked like before. Three of the chairs are still being recovered. The table also a leaf for expansion but for everyday use by just the three of us, I keep it as a round table.

Never underestimate the power of fabric. The fabric provided by Fabricut has brought these old and tired chairs back to life. The mix of the solid Zuma Delft fabric on the seat and the striped Boule Lake fabric on the back add a touch of playfulness to this very traditional set. I love how it picks up the blues in the wallpaper. Once I saw the blues, I had to bring my ginger jars in here too :) Don't they look perfect for this room?


There's still quite a bit left to do in this room. I need to order window coverings and select a light fixture. We need to get a new rug (this one belongs in the basement), a sideboard, and some art. And we need to paint the original pocket doors as well. This room is far from finished but it's oh so good as it is.

I know too that dining rooms have fallen out of favour. But while others love a white-walled, open concept space, I say give me formal rooms for entertaining, doors I can close to hide the mess or to create ambience, and bring on alllll the granny wallpaper.



And here's the view of the dining room from the front door. When I designed this room, this is the view I saw in my mind. I always keep sight lines in mind when designing... what do you see when you first look at a space? What are the traffic patterns in your home and from which angle do you encounter the room most?

I believe you should fall in love with a room before you even set foot in it.


I love how this very patterned view is surrounded by the white hallway. It grabs your attention. It draws you inside. And, once we finish this room off, undoubtedly it will be the setting for many happy family meals.

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Room Sources:

Moulding (all from Metrie):
Very Square Scene II   7 1/4" MDF Baseboard
Very Square Scene II   3 1/2" MDF Casing - 8' (around doors and window)
Very Square Scene II   6 1/2" MDF Architrave - 8' (above doors and window)
Very Square Scene II   3 1/2" MDF Chair Rail
Very Square Scene II   6 1/4" MDF Crown
Pretty Simple Scene I   1 1/2" MDF Panel Mould

Paint: Simply White by Benjamin Moore
Wallpaper: Flora, White from Jubileum collection by Borastapeter
Chair Fabric: Zuma Delft and Boule Lake by Fabricut
Rug: Jute Chenille from West Elm
Ginger Jars: Blue and White Swallowtail ginger jar, others are thrifted

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Disclosure: Materials for this project were provided by Metrie and Fabricut. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! Affiliate links have been used in this post.

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