dining room

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Our home is uncommonly tiny, just over 1000 square feet. It is a prefab, probably by Clayton or a similar manufacturer. It is not a mobile home, the distinction with prefab is that it was partially built in a warehouse, then transported to site and put together here, but it is not intended to be moved off site. There are benefits to the prefabricated process, for instance the innards of the house weren’t exposed to the elements, and could possibly have an extended life because of this and the overall building process is far more efficient.   However, the long and the short of it is, that this home was built for affordability, efficiency and utility, not so much for aesthetics or beauty. The affordability factor has its benefits for a family such as ours that is just starting out, and living on one modest income.

When we decorated our home we started from scratch. No couch, no kitchen table, only some baby furniture, our bed and a bookcase. With such limited space it was imperative that we took a mindful approach.

So each week for the duration of Thinking of Home’s startup period I want to give you a tour of our home, room by room. If there is a room I want to do work in, maybe I’ll talk a bit about what and why I want to change.

This week we will start where most guests enter, The Dining Room. (Disclaimer: I like the idea of the photos of our home not being too staged, so forgive the mess… or enjoy it)

In a small space I think it is important to think cozy, not small. Books, upholstered chairs and benches where you share with your friends and relatives contribute to this mindset.

Ryan and I decided the colors together, I wanted a warm color and Ryan loves the Denver Broncos so we settled on orange. The color is Sherwin Williams Kumquat in a semi-gloss. Having such a warm, refreshing color around can really cheer us up during the day.

We went literal with the decorations, and chose the primary motif to be reprints of Florida orange crates labels. When I was a girl, I loved the orange crate exhibit at the Florida Natural History museum in Tallahassee and in the midst of deciding how to decorate a tiny orange dining room, the memory of these crates hit me and we went with it.

I knew that rooms would have to have multiple functions in our home and many of these functions were built into the house (for instance, one bathroom is also a laundry room, which I think is a pretty smart feature). With a dining room this small, having an additional function aside from eating may seem daunting, however I knew I wanted some bench seating and a bookcase, so the additional function would be to have the room double as a sort of study or mini-library. I have a small collection of nature, home, gardening and cookbooks so I thought this would be a great place to put them. I love having my books organized by subject, so this is perfect.

All of the furniture is from Ikea. Sadly the Ingolf bench has been discontinued. It is my belief that kitchen benches are essential for small dining rooms such as ours. The upholstered chairs also add to the cozy feeling. If I were feeling really feisty I may get around to adding some pillows to the bench too.

Our home is missing a landing strip and I’d like one below or to replace the bird tray area on the left. What do you think?

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