This is more a before and after than a styled interiors post but I just had to share our Nantucket dining room before another summer passed me by! If you’re new here, we did a bunch of work on my family’s Nantucket house before our wedding last summer, including painting the interior and exterior, staining the floors, and adding new furniture, rugs, and decor throughout. I’ve shared room reveals for our living room, sitting room, powder room, guest bedroom, upstairs bathroom, entryway, and kitchen and today it’s time for the dining room. This room winds up being a command station with everyone’s laptops and cameras during the day and big group dinners at night (or at least when we can’t eat outside). It’s super simple with just a dining table, chairs, and a rug, but it’s so much lighter and brighter (and less cluttered) than it used to be!
I got a bunch of questions about these dining chairs when I posted them here and while we do bring them outside when we’re entertaining a big group, we primarily use them as indoor dining chairs so I can’t speak to how well they hold up outdoors for months at a time. But they sure look pretty in both spots! I know the art prints are a little tiny for in here but my brother Grayson printed a Nantucket photo that my three siblings and I had taken and I guess we’ve yet to find anything we love more than our own work, haha.
The kitchen — and basically the entire rest of the house — used to be yellow, yellow, and more yellow. Yellow walls, yellow-ish floors, yellow curtains, so. much. freaking. yellow. We knew we wanted to give it a fresh coat of white paint as it’s connected to the living room that we’d already painted and the floors were stained dark early last summer when we did the floors throughout the rest of the house. Those two things made a huge difference right off the bat!
My mom and I did some research on replacing the countertops but ultimately didn’t fall in love with anything much different than the white Corian countertop we already had, so we decided to keep both the cabinets and the countertops and instead focus on a new subway tile backsplash and all new appliances. We actually rented a wet saw on the island and hung the subway tiles ourselves — we saved a small fortune on labor and were pretty impressed with ourselves and the end result!
For the appliances, we looked around a bunch and settled on matching stainless steel appliances by KitchenAid, which we ordered online and had installed by local companies. Swapping out the white appliances for a new dishwasher, new microwave, new stove, and new refrigerator made a huge difference both aesthetically and in terms of our desire to actually cook in this house!
I asked a couple weeks ago if you guys would be interested in more room reveals from my family’s home on Nantucket and I was happy to hear how many of you are interested in seeing more! If you’re new here be sure to check out our living room, sitting room, powder room, guest bedroom, and upstairs bathroom from last summer. I’m going to try to shoot our kitchen, dining room, and backyard before the end of the summer!
To be honest our entryway is usually a mess of car keys, flip flops, and pool passes, but my parents and I had fun giving it a refresh this week with a few pieces from Pottery Barn’s latest collaboration with designer Sarah Bartholomew (whose work I featured in this post). Sarah’s collection focuses on entryway essentials and all the rattan and wicker pieces she created feel right at home in our Nantucket entryway!
Today is the most exciting before and after so far: our living room! (If you’re catching up on our Nantucket decorating progress, check out the reveals of our guest bedroom, upstairs bathroom, sitting room, and downstairs bathroom.) This is one of my favorite rooms in the house, not only because we spend the most time here but because the difference between the room two months ago and the room today is just so drastic. I’ll let the before and after pictures speak for themselves…!
Before the living room had yellow walls, dated window treatments, a scratchy area rug, and a furniture configuration that blocked off the open floor plan into the dining room and made everything look squished.
Taking down the floral window treatments was a crucial first step in brightening up the room and bringing it into 2017. This room gets fantastic natural light and has a wall of hedges outside for privacy, so we opted not to replace the window treatments we took down (which weren’t super functional to begin with!). After my dad patched in the holes from the curtain rod, he and I painted two coats of white, which made the room feel even brighter.
There was so much furniture crammed into this space, including this random outdoor chair for additional seating. (There are six people — and two dogs who sit on furniture — in our family, plus a revolving door of visitors during the summer months!) We played around with the furniture layout a bunch and ultimately maximized seating by arranging the striped sofas opposite one another and replacing the one overstuffed armchair in the corner with two comfy armchairs we scored at Ikea. Now the room seats the same number of people as it did before, but in a configuration that feels more inviting and way less cramped.
I was really happy that we decided to save the striped sofas instead of replacing them with something new. They’re such a fun statement and they really make the room, especially now that they’re not competing with floral curtains or yellow paint. These were in the house when my parents bought it, but you can get a similar look with this or this. We did upgrade to this Dash & Albert Petit Diamond indoor/outdoor rug, which is so much softer than the previous rug and adds a little texture without competing with the sofas. I think I own five Dash & Albert rugs at this point but they just have the best patterns! We also considered this and this but I really think this subtle diamond weave is just right for the room.
Here’s a before picture of the striped sofas and the coffee table in their previous configuration. There was so little space to move around the coffee table and the sofa on the right totally blocked off the walkway into the dining room. We were a little worried that moving the loveseat size across from the full sofa would make the hallway feel crowded (you’ll see what I mean in more photos below), but it totally opened up the whole downstairs.
The coffee table was also an existing piece of furniture and it’s amazing how much less bulky it feels now that there’s room to walk around it. We moved the existing white side tables up to the master bedroom and replaced them with mismatched rattan end tables that add a little color and texture.
As an aside, I’m loving this new lens that Will gave me for my birthday. It enables me to capture the wide angle shots that you guys always ask to see on decorating projects and will be so great for our honeymoon! He totally surprised me after asking Ali for a recommendation… #swoon.
Anyway! You can also see what a huge difference staining the floors made. This was by far the most expensive project my parents took on this summer but we all keep marveling at how great they look! The dark stain runs all through the first floor, up the stairs, and into the bedrooms upstairs. We put down this affordable jute runner in the downstairs hallway to minimize scratching (particularly from the dogs) and I love the way it looks.
My mom found this fabulous white bird lamp at the Serena & Lily store in Westport and just had to have it. I thought it was a little out there at first, but I’ve come to love it! Mom always knows best. 🙂
We love gathering around the coffee table to play board games and, despite my mom’s insistence that she’s a “total floor gal,” we thought adding a couple floor pillows would provide a more welcoming seating option (though you can see from the close-up of the rug that it’s perfectly comfortable for lounging!). This summer we’ve been playing nightly rounds of Bananagrams, Boggle, and Scrabble instead of watching TV — it’s so much more social!
My mom sewed these throw pillows (inspired by these ones in our living room in Greenwich) and I love how they pick up the blue stripe in the sofas as well as the bright blue bistro chairs in the dining room. We used to have yellow-y/orange wood dining chairs (a similar shade to the old floors) and these bistro chairs were a major upgrade in both comfort and style.
This raffia tassel pillow was another Serena & Lily find that we just had to have (I have a wishlist a mile long of their goodies!).
This pierced white lamp was a lucky Home Goods find — I find that store so hit or miss but my mom would pop in every few weeks this summer and scored some seriously amazing deals. Makes me want to take a spin through when I’m finally home in September!
We donated a ton of paperback romance novels that had been in the bookshelves since we moved into the house — it’s nice to look at the shelves and see books you’d actually want to read! The painting at the bottom is a watercolor of the Chanticleer where we’ll have our rehearsal dinner next week (!).
Amy gave us these Ralph Lauren cocktail napkins as a hostess gift earlier this summer and they’re perfect in our entirely blue and white house. 🙂
One more brilliant Home Goods find was this raffia tray. My mom and I always drool over the Oomph raffia pieces available at 28 Centre Pointe on the island and this was a fun way to get the look without breaking the bank. I’ve looked all over and can’t seem to find anything similar that’s not wildly expensive. Let me know if you have better luck!
I hope you’ve been enjoying all our decorating progress in my family’s house on Nantucket! So far I’ve shared a guest bedroom, an upstairs bathroom, and the sitting room and today I’m excited to share pictures of the powder room downstairs. This is actually another full bathroom (not technically a powder room) but I honestly don’t think anyone has ever used this shower because we all use the outdoor shower, rain or shine! But since this will be the primary bathroom our guests use during the welcome party the night before our wedding, we wanted to give it a fresh look with new wallpaper, a fresh coat of paint on the mirror, new towels, and new artwork. And I don’t know if it’s weird to say a bathroom is my favorite room in the whole house, but I’m just obsessed with the way it turned out!
But first, the before picture. I don’t know where the previous homeowners’ obsession with yellow came from, but I swear it became our mission this summer to erase it from every room in the house. (Seriously, it was in the bathroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, and laundry room.) The wallpaper was dated and the nautical trim at the top certainly wasn’t helping matters. It’s crazy how much we transformed this little space!
Will and I stripped the wallpaper (only to find more yellow paint underneath…) and my mom and Aunt Jill hung this gorgeous blue and white wallpaper from Peter Fasano. You already saw one of his patterns in our upstairs bathroom and I’d be hard pressed to choose a favorite between the two. This Jaya wallpaper combines classic blue and white stripes (a forever favorite) with a more playful block print that I just can’t get enough of. It’s incredible how light and bright it makes this space feel!
Another thing you might have noticed in the before picture was the choice to pair the yellow walls with a silver mirror. Yuuuck. I gave it a fresh coat of white paint in our backyard and this quick fix was all it needed!