We very recently made a small update that made a huge difference in our dining area. And although I still have more plans for this hot spot, I am just too excited about our recent addition not to share.
In fact, the art just went on the wall a couple of days ago, and as I was setting up for a little holiday happy hour, it all was just too pretty not to whip out my camera and snap some photos.
But before I start gushing about the beautiful new artwork, let’s take a step back for a minute.
When we installed our kitchen cabinets, we decided to also add cabinets to our dining area to match. We loved having a hutch in our previous layout, so we wanted to do something similar, but also wanted to do something that was more space saving and offered a better flow around our dining table. My eyes were bigger than our space, and I selected some glass door beauties to pair with a combo of lower doors and drawers. As soon as they were up, I started second guessing the install. We did in fact double the storage of the hutch while taking up less floor space, but because we did full height upper cabinets, they were very visually heavy. Beautiful, but overwhelming at the same time. I shared some of those thoughts in this post last year.
Although I wasn’t sold on the setup, I didn’t want to make any impulsive decisions. Heck, that is what tends to get me into these binds in the first place. So, I decided to wait. I waited a year! I thought about every option… how could I make them work? Tile? Find a way to attach the uppers to the lowers? Bring the lowers further out into the dining room to make a heavier bottom to balance the top? What I did know is that I was madly in love with those glass door cabinets, so losing them was a hard pill to swallow.
For the last year, I didn’t use those upper cabinets for much other than holding overflow glassware and a few entertaining pieces. They sat 80% empty, so I knew I would be OK removing them from a storage aspect. Knowing that, I decided as long as I could find a way to reuse one or both of those glass doored cabinets, I would be OK removing them from this space. You may have noticed that one of those cabinets now lives in our laundry room.
The solution? We decided to remove the cabinets and replace them with an oversized piece of art flanked with sconces. Not only would it visually open up the entire space, it would also provide a blank slate for some needed personality and color.
The minute those cabinets came down, the dining area felt twice as big. And the nice thing about IKEA cabinets is that they are installed on a simple rail system, leaving only a couple of really small holes to patch.
I haven’t picked out the sconces yet, and I just hung the art a few days ago. I don’t even know how the entire space will come together or how we will accessorize this area after the holidays. So today it is all about that art!
Picking art can be a tricky thing; everything from figuring out scale to colors and style to the right frame. For me, picking the art for this space was actually pretty easy. I have been a long time fan of Parima Studio, I have some of her art in our main bathroom, in my dressing room and also download her desktop wallpapers to my computer each month. I just love her style and the colors she paints with, so I knew it would be a good place to start my art search. After some scrolling and looking, I was sold on her art for our dining room, and continued to go back and forth between a couple of different options that had all of the colors I was hoping to incorporate. I knew I really couldn’t go wrong with any of the final few I had narrowed down to, and finally landed on Ruthie.
I selected a large 36″ x 36″ size to really fill the wall and make a statement. The size had to be big enough for impact and scale, but also needed to leave room for sconce lighting on either side. The colors are incredible! Right up our color-loving alley, and I am head-over-heals happy with every last detail and brushstroke. I really love that it is a combo of softer colors and some boldness through the navy and black shades. It really is just so freakin’ good.
When it came to the frame, I searched high and low. This was not as easy as selecting the art. I was certain I would be able to find a decently priced frame, but that proved to be much more challenging than I anticipated. After talking to quite a few local framing companies, I was told that because of the size of the art, that the frame would have to be at least a few inches thick to hold the weight of the glass, matting and the art itself. I didn’t want a large frame, I wanted a very simple frame so the art would be the star of the show. I also didn’t want to spend $500-$1000, which is was I was being quoted time and time again.
Even searching online, most framing websites wouldn’t accommodate the oversized art size. I finally stumbled across Level Frames and their site not only allowed me to input my art measurements without receiving a size error (yay!), it also offered simple framing and matting options. They don’t have a plethora of styles to select from, but I was going for basic after all. The best part is that I was able to order the frame with a non-glare UV protected plexi, keeping it light enough to work with the thinner frame, while also reducing any glare we would have on the art from the windows in our living room and dining room. The cost was about half of what I had been quoted locally, so I decided to pull the trigger.
The frame arrived in just over a week, and came ready to hang. The quality is great, and I really can’t recommend the option of a non-glare plexi enough. I think that is my favorite part! And nope, they are not sponsoring this project/post, I just wanted to share the experience since it is definitely an investment. The overall size of the frame is 41.25″ x 41.25″, I went with a 1″ natural frame with a 2″ matting in off-white. Mission accomplished of getting the art up on the wall, and letting it remain the star of the show!
For now, the sideboard will be used for holiday entertaining, which is how you see it pictured above. Removing the upper cabinets also made the serving area much more accessible and open, which has been really wonderful.
To prep for this tiny gathering, I kept things really simple (which is how I plan to approach all of our holiday decorating this year). A few ornaments sprinkled throughout and some pine greens added to basic grocery store flowers.
I set out a temporary frame with a foil print that says, “Eat, Drink and Be Merry”, and used a vase filled with ice as a wine bucket (a tip from a super smart gal pal).
I can’t wait to pick out some sconces to really finish off this wall. We don’t have too many more things to do in this space before we reveal it, the art really is the shining moment!
Cheers to having a lively place to eat, drink and be merry!