Casual Dining Room

casual dining in the morning room

It’s been a while since I’ve shared part of our home with you guys, and today I’m showing you how I turned our morning room into a casual dining room. Since I use the formal living room as my studio, we use the morning room for all of our family meals and entertaining. It’s conveniently adjacent to the kitchen and it’s got windows on two sides so there’s plenty of light coming through during the day.

The reason it’s taken me so long to share this space is that it took me 18 months to find the perfect farm-style table. The specs were simple {so I thought}: rustic dark wood, extensions for more seating, and a base that doesn’t get in the way of guests’ legs while they sit. You’d be amazed at how difficult that was to find! I finally came across this Arcadia extension table at World Market and it fit the bill. I love it every day!

As with the rest of our house this room is a play on light and dark neutrals, with color coming from decorative accessories. You can see more of how I added color to the dining table here. There’s also a mix of rustic, vintage, and modern items for the eclectic look I’m drawn to.

dining tabledining room buffetbuffet with vintage decanters buffet with silver dishes and wine accessories bar cart in dining room bar cart bar cart bar cart bar cartdining room wall decorrustic bar stoolscasual dining room tour

Casual Dining Room Tips

  • I don’t like “matchy-matchy” decorating so I put chairs on one side of the dining table and a bench on the other. When I need to use the two end extensions on the table I pull up 2 more upholstered parsons chairs so there are three different looks happening.
  • I chose the open globe light fixture from Lowe’s and realized we needed to hang it higher than normal dining height because of the exposed bulbs. It works fine in here because it’s a casual space but something to keep in mind if you’re searching for formal dining room lighting, which is normally about 33-36 inches above the table.
  • I painted my old buffet from black to white to help visually lighten the weight of it. It anchors one side of the room and is a storage & serving workhorse.
  • The buffet is topped with some of my vintage decanters as well as silver bowls filled with wine corks and accessories. A modern abstract piece of art leans casually against the wall and brings a hit of color.
  • I finally caved and bought the gold bar cart from Target. I figured since I kept thinking about it for a year I may as well just go for it already! It’s a great addition to the space and I’ve styled it with a mix of entertaining pieces, wine, and books. My vintage bar cart is still in my studio and acts more like a traditional bar.
  • Since the room is open on three sides there’s not much wall space to work with, but I do like to fill narrow walls with a decorative touch. On one side of the large windows I stacked a black and white print with small gold mirror, while the other side gets a gold sconce. I’ve had that sconce for so long {since my house was very traditional} and nearly sold it a few times, but I’m so glad I held on to it!
  • Another recent find were these rustic bar stools from HomeGoods. I’ve been wanting to update the old ones I had and I like the mix of wood and metal here. They’re more comfortable to sit on and the kids actually sit at the bar more now.

That’s it for now. To see more of our home check out the family room and guest room {other rooms linked in post above}.

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  1. What a lovely room! I love a bench at a casual table, too. I find that I always wish my light fixture was hung higher when I want to stage my table with an extra tall centerpiece, that shouldn’t be an issue with yours hung higher. I am sure your buffet looked beautiful in black, but it really caught my eye in the stark white. I love that piece, it is so beautiful and classic, and provides all that storage space, too!

    1. Chloe, I use a heavy duty “S” hook to loop the chain up and lift the light higher when I need the fixture out of the way.
      Also, that buffet was originally an oak stain so this is the third look for it! LOL

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