My dining room has been a challenge since we purchased our ranch-style, circa 1970 home in South Baton Rouge nearly 18 years ago. Renovation plans were continually shelved over the years, and now that we're soon-to-be empty nesters, we're mulling a a new dilemma: renovate or relocate.
Cooking at home and sharing meals is my party line at Red Stick Spice. Gathering with family and friends is part of the happiness, health and longevity equation. Hence my desire for a dining room that is a comfortable, enjoyable, "let's linger" space.
This awkward, ill-lit room is small and closed (the 70's wasn't the era of the open floor plan.) With no sit-and-stay enticement, I struggled over the years with furnishings and style. I took it from French Country to Farmhouse to Transitional Something or the Other. Nothing worked. Large tables and tall chairs dwarfed the room and required that folks shimmy in and out. There was no lingering; it was more sit, eat, get out.
I decided to tackle the room once more with a plan to scale down the furniture and opt for a mid-century feel. And I didn't have to go far to accomplish my Mid Century, Mid City Makeover. (photo credit: Greg Milneck)
I started with a custom table from Mid City artisan Joseph Cataldie. I spotted his Ogden table on Facebook, and he customized it to my exact specifications. The table seats six comfortably with a more narrow width than standard dining tables. The look, the size the color--I'm smitten with this table. Joseph is a true craftsman, and it's worth the patience to grab a spot on his waiting list.
My large china cabinet found a new home in my son's bachelor pad and made way for a low-slung server. It makes the perfect resting place for this fun gold urchin sculpture I picked up at Mosaic Garden at the The Market at Circa 1857.
I nestled the gold urchin alongside my treasured Meadlowlark Artistry painting. Each piece artist Kimberly Meadowlark creates provides a little glimpse into her beautiful soul. You can find her work in The Market at Circa 1857 and throughout Mid City at art pop ups. Events like Ogden Park Prowl, White Light Night and Hot Art Cool Nights are a great way to get to know Mid City and score yourself a treasure or two.
With my big pieces in place, I set out to find accessories to complete the look. First stop was a visit with my two favorite guys in Mid City: Studio C.
I scored this cluster of amber glass grapes that looks perfect next to my Grandmother's watercolor. We also picked up a brass cocktail shaker and fun muddler from their excellent selection of barware. If you're a mixologist, you owe yourself a trip to Studio C for tools, glassware and guide books.
Our Jackel statue is one our favorite Studio C finds. He fills an awkward corner of the room and serves as a conversation starter. (Well played, Jackel.)
Armed with a French Truck iced coffee and my favorite shopping tote from Sweet Leather in the Circa 1857 complex, I was ready for my next stop: The Pink Elephant Antiques.
Pro tip: carve out at least an hour when visiting The Pink Elephant. Once you make your way around the store, start again. I promise you will see things you didn't see the first time.
I scored these perfect condition Cordalite casserole dishes, and was able to complete my bar setup with vintage roly poly cocktail glasses. Cue the Mad Men theme music.
Happy. That's how I feel when I walk in this room. And even happier when I see friends and family gathered, sharing a meal. I am so pleased with my little Mid Century space. I'll admit it: I loved the hunt. All the unique finds from Mid City merchants made it fun.