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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

the dining room: details

Thank you all for your wonderful comments about the dining room! 

I designed the room to be very simple. I wanted the room to have a calm ambiance allowing the guests and the food to take center stage.  I loved how so many of you picked up on that.
  I've described each photo, and hopefully have answered all questions, but if not, please don't hesitate to ask.



 Close-up of the dining room chandelier- notice the beautiful details of the strings of hand-cut crystal that drape the chandelier. I replaced the faceted ball finial that was on the chandelier with an antique amethyst crystal found at the Paris Flea Market.





View of the dining room from the entry.




The wall color is Benjamin Moore's Halo OC-46 in eggshell. 
The trim and wainscoting is BM White Dove in Latex Satin Impervo.

We found the dining table on our first trip to the Paris Flea Market.   Several months later we found the two antique French arm-chairs at the Scott Show in Atlanta.  There were matching side chairs that went with the arm chairs, but they were very small in scale and weren't comfortable to sit in.   I talked the dealer into selling me just the two arm chairs.  I looked for almost a year for side chairs.  I was about to give up hope when we made a visit to our friends, Scott and Laura Mayborn's, shop in Dallas- Uncommon Market.  I spied two side chairs that had just arrived on a shipment from France.  I could have sworn that the chairs would match my arm chairs... but I needed four.  Come to find out, there were two more matching side chairs- they were packed in a different container and the containers had been separated in transit!  I took the two home that they had, and was astonished at how closely (considering they are hand carved) they match the arm chairs.   The side chairs have rush bottoms and the arm chairs are wood, and while it might not look like it, I can attest that they are some of the most comfortable chairs ever!  Hours upon hours have been spent dining and visiting with family and friends sitting at this table!





I found the vintage chandelier years ago in a small town in Texas.  It hung in our Dallas dining room and we brought it with us when we moved.   When I purchased the chandelier it had 197 drop crystals hanging all over it. It looked sad, dated and gloopy, but I could see the fabulous lines of the chandelier under all those crystals.  I took me, literally, two days to take them all off and let the gorgeous crystal roping shine on its own!  I now use the 197 crystals with small white lights on the Christmas tree- nothing else.




Antique oil paining, signed (initialled) and dated 1888 in its original frame. 
It's difficult to tell the scale of this room, but this painting is rather large at 4 feet wide.




Antique French dough bowl is filled with vintage Japanese fishing floats (a post on fishing floats to follow!) 
I describe my decorating style as gathered and my decorating process as organic-
meaning I buy things because I love them, not just to fill an empty space; I let rooms evolve organically.  I could only put together a story board after a room is designed!  In that organic process I have found it interesting to learn new things about myself...  I would not normally tell you that blues and greens are favorite colors of mine, yet if you look around my house you will notice a recurrence of a particular shade of blue/green in many places (in fact this very shade, in velvet, was just picked up from the upholsterer and is the ottoman at the foot of the bed in the master bedroom.)  So, apparently I do love those colors;  I gravitate to them because they are very soothing and restful to me..... I just didn't know to name them!  The same is true of marine oil paintings.  I have always loved "the mountains".... it is the place that grounds and comforts my soul....yet if you look around the house I obviously have a "thing" for the ocean, as I find these paintings with their beautiful blue/greens also captivating and soothing.   My love for the ocean is new to me (we didn't have the ocean close-by growing up in Texas;), it wasn't until moving to New England and discovering the Maine coast have I fallen in love with the sea!  So now,  all the seascapes make perfect sense to have in our home! 
The floats are the same beautiful blue/green that is also found in the oil paintings.
(I found it so interesting how some saw them as "blue" and some as "green"- that is exactly what I love about them that they are almost an indescribable/chameleon color that changes in different light.)




The antique oil painting above the original mantel was painted by Edwin Hayes, and is titled "In Full Sail," circa 19th century.  We found this painting along with another large antique oil at an estate sale in Dallas in a tiny, nondescript house about 18 years ago.  It was a "don't be fooled by the cover" kind of house as we were shocked at the quality of antiques this homeowner had amassed. 




The dining room mantel.





Small antique watercolor behind glass in its original frame found in Edmonds, Washington with vintage cobalt alabaster grapes and an antique gilt French finial, worm holes and all.





Pair of 17th century Italian wood and gesso gilt candlesticks found in France.





The built-in is original to the house.  The cabinet perfectly aligns with the built-in in the kitchen.  They are both very deep and we've been told that they originally were not divided, and used as a pass-through between the two rooms.   The opening to the right leads into the kitchen.  The black door goes out to the back porch.






The built-in holds the larger pieces of our vintage Hotel Silver collection, and antique English ironstone.





Pair of antique marble urns flanked by antique brass altersticks with linen shades from Home Goods (a favorite source for great, inexpensive shades.)





One marble urn is filled with a wasp nest that we found our first winter in New Hampshire.  I stalked it for months waiting for the snow to melt so that I could get to it!  The other has a small succulent- I love how the pattern of the leaves of the succulent mimics the honeycomb in the nest...






I fell for the simple antique French mirror because of its large size (it is over 5 feet), the aged mirror, and because I was smitten that there were two small iron hooks at the top of the frame.  I like to think about what would have originally hung on the mirror!   I used old chain to hang an antique oil painting that we found in Avignon. I love the painting because it reminds me of the region and of our trips there.  The 18th century flame-front mahogany chest of drawers with its original hardware (it is rare for such an old piece to have the original hardware) was found literally in pieces at the Scott Show in Atlanta- it's a great story that I will share in another post.





On top of the chest of drawers is a large marble urn found at Round Top, which Dan turned into a lamp using an old iron department-store display base for the cap.  The smocked and beaded silk lampshade was custom-made (originally for a different lamp.)  Antique mercury glass compote holds a small piece of white coral.   The story of the forestwood can be found here.




Looking forward to having you for dinner!!


69 comments:

  1. I love how everything in this room as a story and meaning. To me, this is what good design is all about! I had to smile when I ready your comment about the design board. I could never put together an entire room all at one time. This is probably the reason I prefer a collected over time look to a room which looks like it could be bought all at once at a funriture store!

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  2. Oh the chandelier, the fishing floats, and the candlesticks are all divine showstoppers. A gorgeous room!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  3. Serendipity on the chairs. Your photos and descriptions of your dining room are very much appreciated. And you named your French Antique Dough Bowl - I needed the 'name' because I photographed one yesterday and wanted to look up information about 'it'. Thank you.
    - Joy

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  4. Since seeing your dining room I have not been able to get it out of my mind - so beautiful - understated and calm. If you don't mind me asking what are the proportions of the room?

    I too love marine paintings, my great grandfather x 4 was a Commander in the Royal Navy at the time of the battle of Trafalger. I am sure he must have had some - sadly none have filtered down to us.

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  5. Wow! I'm only just discovering your dining room posts. What a wonderful job. And you are so very lucky to have such a wonderful room. Beautiful! Roxanne

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  6. Cool. I reckon you changed the hardware on the built-in. How interesting it is that that was originally open.

    I've always loved the Japanese net floats. The colors are right in that blue-green range that I love. The chandelier is really unique and would be something I would carry from house to house too. And I totally adore that mirror. So simple but simply wonderful.

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  7. I adore your blog! I love, love, LOVE your house and how you've truly made it your home. :) One can only dream of a home as lovely. You're truly blessed. Thanks again for sharing!

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  8. I really enjoyed reading this post. Very beautiful, thorough and interesting! Someday I'll have a French antique (I'll take anything!) that I got actually got over there...ahh.

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  9. Love, love, love it all except the wasps' nest! I can't look at that without thinking about the one I discovered the hard way.

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  10. Once again I want to say your home is beautiful. It is very calming and relaxing. I makes you want to grab a cup of coffee and sit for a nice visit. Wish you the best.

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  11. So gorgeous, and like a dream to read where you found all your amazing treasures!

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  12. Thank you so much for your comments!

    Susan T.- the room measure 14' x 14' and the ceilings are 9'

    Steve- Well then you would 'reckon' wrong;)!! The pulls and knobs are original and while they read darker in the photos they are actually just aged brass. The hardware on the kitchen built-in (iron pulls) is original too. The real shocker is that (per my plaster guy) there was no evidence of the house ever having been wallpapered (plaster was original) and you know how rare that is in a NE house?!!!

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  13. Absolutely stunning. You have fantastic taste and I really love the thought that has gone into your decor. You inspire me to think much more carefully about what I purchase...

    P.S. Where are you in NH? I in in MA, about 20 minutes outside Portsmouth. :)

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  14. It is absolutely beautiful. Can't wait for the dinner party - we're all coming - including the pup! -Wendy

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  15. Gorgeous! I love the alterstick lamps! And the wasps nest. My mom had one for years but I think it finally fell apart. As always, everything is beautiful and inspiring!

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  16. I just can't get enough of your blog. It's quite a feat for this post to be just as interesting as the original one. I love how you look at a piece and instead of just living with it the way it is, you take something away or add something new to make it fit you. I have to say that I have had a love of sea foam green lately as well and plan to paint my front door like this soon: http://petiteinsanities.blogspot.com/2011/03/few-of-my-favorite-things.html

    Oh, and I love the ocean too: http://petiteinsanities.blogspot.com/2011/04/cooper-and-carpools.html

    <3

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  17. I feel even more at home in your dining room, knowing some of the stories! I absolutely LOVE that the built in was originally a pass-thru-- Of course!! Hope you get a chance to check out this post of mine about decorating with the things you love.
    http://www.fancylittlethings.com/2011/04/decor-its-personal-special-guest-post/#comment-445

    be blessed, Joan!

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  18. Simply beautiful, Joan! Love learning about the details that make up the gorgeous room :)

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  19. Beautiful! You definitely have an eye for style and grace. I LOVE the story behind each item; these items are truly what makes your house a home.

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  20. I love every bit of your room, but the chandelier is my favorite. The amethyst crystal is just beautiful!

    XO,
    Jane

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  21. Your home continues to awe me. It is lovely, and I mean that in the best sense of the word - not just "lovely" as in I can't think of another nice word to describe it - I mean LOVELY. It is so YOU, Joan, and your description of putting it together organically finally gives me words for what I have felt for years. Can't wait to see you this summer!

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  22. A lovely room. Restful, inviting.
    I imagine that it would be a good place to spend an hour or two after a good meal.

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  23. Joan, you are my favorite decorator! I know that it is just an avocation of yours, but you are the best. I love everything that you do. So much thought goes into each detail of your home and it really shows.

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  24. lovely... the room and the stories. I fell for the chandelier right away!

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  25. It's always so much fun to read your stories. When you spend all the energy you have to go to antique shops, or shows and locate items in the U.S. or abroad it sure makes for a wonderful collection! By the way I love Lemon Meringue Pie! That would go nice with dinner!

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  26. Joan,
    I just finished catching up on the last few posts...WOW!!! The dining room is just wonderful and I love how you thought to put alls those fishing floats in that big wooden bowl(the name of these escapes at the moment!)it's amazing what a little color and texture can do! And, the barn progress...wish I could be there to see and hear all the action...the dust...pain in the A** I know!
    xo,
    ~R

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  27. Hi Joan- I can't stop thinking about your Christmas tree with 197 crystals and white lights.

    Please, please don't make us wait until December to see it. Have you ever thought about Christmas in July??

    Hugs to all of you!
    Carolyn

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  28. The stories make the room even more stunning !!!
    Is that a second wasp nest resting beside the urns?

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  29. Gorgeous room. I love all of your vintage pieces, especially your 17th century candlesticks. Would love to feature your room on my site, you did a fabulous job!

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  30. Simply stunning. You are officially my guru.
    Carin from Pennsylvania.

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  31. I am left speechless. This is simply so beautiful and elegant. What love in the crafting of that room.

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  32. Wow!! I could linger after a meal in your dining room forever! Thanks again for opening your home to us!

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  33. I love the dining room! I would love to have a fireplace in our dining room! Beautiful!

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  34. Gorgeous and stunning don't do this room justice... I love it!!

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  35. You know I have to comment on yout gorgeous fishing floats, but the entire dining room just sings!! I too love that blue/green color and find it creeping in everywhere - it is color and neutral at the same time and goes with everything. But my favorite thing about this post is your writing on gathering a space over time - to me that is what it is all about!

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  36. exquisite, my dear,but of course I have come expect no less...have to say I enjoy the commentary equally to viewing the space itself. Love the way each piece has a story. The two of you seem to have led an enchanted life regardless it is "my gift to myself" to peruse this site and feast upon each morsel. It is always delicious.

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  37. Have you ever taken a group to Europe on a buying, learning trip? I would follow and buy anything that you chose. I love your home, the decor, the constuction decisions, the fact that you gather what you love and use it wisely...

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  38. Hi Joan,
    I love the stories surrounding your beautiful antiques.Your dining room is so elegant.Thanks for your help .I hope I actually posted this time.
    Barbara.

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  39. Hi Joan, Dan, and Ella: I like your statement:
    'allowing the guests and the food to take center stage' A dining room is the perfect place for a serene room as people tend to sit for hours after a meal and enjoy each others company. Your guests may never want to leave, though! Cindy

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  40. Wow! I say you deserve a job well done!!! I love the chandelier and the vintage floats!
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    xo,
    E&J

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  41. I have to say, I really like how you are revealing the rooms in your house. One post just with pictures and the next is filled with stories and details.

    Your dining room is absolutely gorgeous and what luck with those chairs!

    My mom and I scroll through these posts looking at the pictures, pointing things out, (talking about you like we are the best of friends, ha!..."Joan did this...look what they did here!") Its all so layered perfectly.

    Keep em' coming!
    Cali

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  42. I am going to have to go back and find the original dining room post too. This room is gorgeous, and I LOVE that every piece has a story! I, too, collect things and my rooms change and evolve all the time! MY treasures are family things that I have inherited. My FIL was a pilot and a SHOPPER! So, I have inherited some lovely things! XO, Pinky PS, will read about the forest wood: just today I posted about a tree in our woods that fell. Now I want to go get a piece of it for the house!!!!!:) Thanks for the inspiration! I also blogged about it if you want to stop over.

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  43. Um. I'm just hanging out in the sub Z. I can be over to the DR in a jiff. Just whistle!


    LOVE the stories and soul behing each jewel and gem!

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  44. I loved every minute of the tour. I am amazed at your memory for piece's story. I can't wait to test out how comfy the chairs are! I am coming for dinner soon!
    Lacy

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  45. Simple, yet fabulous. Your eye for detail is incredible. Your accessories are perfection. You can just tell that there is so much love in every square inch of your home. thanks for sharing that with us. Have a great weekend. Mona

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  46. thank you, thank you to each one of you for your dear comments! I can not tell you how much they mean....
    that you took the time to write and leave a comment is a gift to me... thank you!

    Mary- we're in Southern NH about an hour from Portsmouth.

    Dianne- good eye! yes, that is indeed another nest (forgot to mention that;)

    Anon 9:19-no, but now wouldn't that be fun?!! maybe a big bloggy trip!

    Cali- we "are" the best of friends;), aren't we?!!! I loved that story!!!

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  47. Thank you for the paint colors! they are perfectly lovely...smiles.

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  48. Joan
    Do you spend alot of time planning your rooms? Do you think about changing things around no sooner than you think every thing is perfect?I know I do By the way everything is perfect in that beautiful room.
    Kind Regards
    Karen

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  49. joan...and this morning... i had my coffee and joined you in your wonderful dining room and enjoyed the telling of the Paris Flea Market finds, and heard all the stories of all the pretty things your "heart went out to"... thank you for such a sweet visit with you. bouquets to you today. -xok.

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  50. Oh, Joan - I feel so fortunate that today opened up and I had time to spend here. Mmmm-mmmm-mmmmMMM! Crazy in love with your chandelier's roping; great call to remove the drops. As everyone has said, it's so nice to enjoy the stories behind each piece and the organic manner in which the entire look comes together. I like the clean simplicity; nothing cluttered. I can *see* the pieces and enjoy each of them so beautifully. The entire look invites people to sit and relax; very comfortable and not artificial or contrived in any way. Love that! Bravo, Joan!

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  51. Swooning over here. Your style leaves me speechless. In awe.

    I love how you describe your process as "organic". I'm the same way. I used to be embarrassed about my inability to picture-board a room beforehand. Now I'll just tell myself I'm being "organic"! Love it!

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  52. You have such a beautiful home, I love your hotel silver. I love your mix of textures. My dining room is a very similar color(Seagull Gray) but from Valspar. I will definitely be checking back in to see more.

    MJ
    Lucky 7 Design

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  53. Swoon...I adore your vignettes, they're so simple and impactful without being fussy. The paintings are unbelievable. They must be so much more amazing in real life with their crackled canvasses!

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  54. What a lovely tour of your dining room, and I also took a tour of your home, paying particular attention to your paint colors. They are so soft and subtle, just what I am looking for as we think about selling our home. The Japanese fishing floats have such beautiful tones, and they compliment your decor well. YOu have a lovely sense of style; thank you for sharing your home with us. (I am a recent follower.)
    Laurie

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  55. Wow - this is a really gorgeous room. I want to eat there every day! Your nautical prints are similar to mine which I also love. I'm hosting a dining room inspiration party this week and I would love for you to link up! http://houseography.blogspot.com/2011/04/house-tour-room-by-room-link-up-party.html

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  56. I love everything about this room. Had never heard of a tree conk so had to google it. Interesting and lovely. Thank you for sharing.

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  57. I also have a fireplace in my dining room. I have been struggling with what to do with it. Yours is great inspiration!

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  58. Just read this post and loved it! My approach to decorating is very much like yours. No design boards, no strategy...just collect what you love and over time, it all comes together beautifully. It feels authentic and personal this way...love that!

    xo,
    Linsey

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  59. I am inquiring about the see through fireplace insert in Kitchen and Dining Room as well as Master Bedroom. I see where they are Town and Country, but what style # for insert and logs? I don't see logs that look as real as yours or an insert that appears black? Thank You! LOVE everything!

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    Replies
    1. hi Tara, I had replied back several days ago to your original question in the comment section of the "living room" post which is where the comment came in. Here is was my reply:

      Tara, the fireplaces are both from Town and Country and the master is a TC30 with the Park Ave. Brick panels and Challet II burner kit. The dining room/kitchen fireplace is a TC36 See-Thru with the Park Ave. panels and the Lodgewood burner kit. (It appears they have changed the names of the panels and burner kits since we purchased ours, but the product looks to be the same as what we have.) Since both of these fireplaces are direct-vent, they do have glass on the front. The glass is a a non-glare ceramic glass that makes the glass disappear

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    2. I am so sorry! I didn't see the reply. Thank You so very much for the info! Again, I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE your beautiful home!

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  60. I'm curious what your dog thinks about the cowhide in your living room. I have a miniature schnauzer and wasn't sure what he (or my two cats) would think about this. My parents were from Portland, Oregon and I spent most of my life in Idaho, so I understand your love of the Pacific Northwest! Currently in Texas and can't wait to retire and move back to that part of the world.

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    Replies
    1. When I initially put them (I have cowhide rugs also in the master bedroom and the barn mud room) down she will give them a good sniff and then not pay any attention to them after that.

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    2. Thanks for letting me know. I was worried about spending money on one only to have the dog or cats chew it up! Love what you've done with your home!

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  61. I love everything about your dining room! I'm searching for colors to paint my dining and living rooms right now. I really love White Dove (for the trim) and something like Halo or Revere Pewter (for the walls).

    Question: Are the built-ins and fireplace also painted in White Dove?

    Thank you so much!

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    1. hi Laurissa, Yes, the built-ins and the fireplace(s) are also painted White Dove.

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  62. Thank you for listing your paint colors and describing them for each room. I am using Halo & Ashwood in the main hallway and living room of our farmhouse in Franklin, TN. I needed a match to the colors I used in kitchen and bonus, but could not find anything I liked until I found your website. Very helpful! Thank you.

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Welcome! Thank you for leaving a comment; you have no idea how much your comments inspire me to keep writing- I appreciate each and every one.

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