How to Casualize a Formal Dining Room Very Fast

When my parents came up a couple of weeks ago, they brought us the fruits of some of their own auctioning endeavors. Among these finds, a piece of what I like to call Furniture for Grown Ups. It’s a real china cabinet, only if you look closely you will see that we’re only a one shelf-worth of fancy kind of people:

Grown Up Furniture

I like it though. I don’t have enough fancy stuff to fill a whole piece of Furniture for Grown Ups. Instead I put books and pictures and other things I like on the other shelf. There are games in the drawers. And our formal dining room with museum-like window treatments? It’s still there, but here’s our amazing secret to de-formalizing a formal room in lickety-split time:

Our Casual Formal Dining Room

You add a coat cubbie to one side, a couple of book shelves full of school books, a few wall maps and presto: instant casualizing of the formal dining room. And that table stacked with piles and such? That’s not there because we just moved. It’s there because now, and only now, does this room feel like home. *grin*


10 thoughts on “How to Casualize a Formal Dining Room Very Fast

  1. Kristy says:

    Looks familiar… my dining room (my school room, my computer room, my gathering place…) has two bookshelves, and a lot of stacks. Sometimes, usually on Fridays, I tell my kids, ok- lets make this look like a dining room again! 🙂
    I’m rejoicing that, little by little, you are feeling more “at home” in your home!


  2. Katie says:

    I’ll have to say…in the midst of the “home-y-ness”…that is ONE FABULOUS CHANDELIER!! LOL 🙂
    SO excited to be able to keep in touch through the wonderful world wide web.
    Love to you and your beautiful family!


  3. Keri says:

    I think the coat cubbies and homeschool-in-action table does a lot to balance the drapes and chandelier! LOL
    I’m drooling over your coat cubbies, btw. I’ve always wanted some of those. Where did you get them? Only place I’ve found ones I like is Pottery Barn or someplace where you have to sign over your firstborn to afford it…


  4. Jamie says:

    Those coat cubbies are great!
    We have a hutch similar to your newly acquired grown-up furniture, and it is similarly used for very practical purposes.


  5. Megan says:

    I actually do like the chandelier, thanks for pointing that out! And another thing you can’t see is that the ceiling where the chandelier is hanging is recessed and has a neat filigree thing around it. I’m sure there’s a more technical way of saying that, but there you go.
    As for the coat cubbie, my dad built that for me for Christmas last year. I showed him this photo and asked him if he was feeling crafty.
    He was. 🙂


  6. Jen says:

    Holy cow! Look at all those books! I think it looks welcoming and family-friendly. And the china cabinet is beautiful! Congrats again on your new home. Now we need MORE pictures! 😉


  7. rob says:

    you have to meet our friends the Gibsons who are now in the apartment across from where we were, the Storks old place, you guys must have the same decorator


  8. Lindsey Kate says:

    Ah, nothing says “Home, sweet home” like a dining table loaded down with stuff!
    Congrats on your new digs and on getting settled in before school starts!


  9. Kerry says:

    I love your “casualed” dining room. 🙂
    Off the topic here…sorry.
    Wanted to invite you to participate in a “Farmer’s Market Report” tomorrow (or any day next week) at my new blog If you visit a farmer’s market and would like to share with others the yummy things you’ve found, tips, or a funny story, stop by and leave your post’s URL in the Mr. Linky!


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