What am I doing?

My self-confidence has taken quite a hit this weekend. I never thought I was AMAZING at decorating. I like to think I do okay, and it is something that I have a huge passion for and think about quite a bit. After this weekend, I am sadly thinking maybe I am not good enough.
I bought these shelves for my dining room, and I absolutely love them! What I pictured in my head turned out a lot different once they were put in the room.
Maybe you can help a girl out?!

So originally, I wanted them flanking the window.


I still kind of like this layout, but didn't think about the drapes, and those will be behind the shelves and I think that will be little off. I could do a roman shade though. I posted these pictures on instagram, and was told these shelves looked too wide for this wall.

So, option #2.

I liked the idea of the shelves facing out as a focal piece, but put them on the left side to even things out. The only problem I have with this layout, is if I do drapes on the french doors, the drape on the right will go behind the buffet. Will that be wrong? I could do a roman shade on those, same fabric I choose for the window?
Or option #3, which I don't have a photo of but I could put buffet back on left wall where it was originally with mirror above it, and put the shelves flanking the french doors, but I would have to do roman shades on the french doors if I do that as well.
Here are my ideas for the rest of the room.

 Possibly, adding a smaller rug for a layered look about the natural fiber rug, I have in there now. To bring in color and pattern.

 Doing white linen curtains or oatmeal color.

Changing out the shades for these linen shades from Pottery Barn.

Bringing in blue/white ticking stripe slipcovers for either all 6 chairs or just four, with 2 of woven chairs like these for the end of the tables, to break up all the black and dark colors.
And adding white serving dishes/platters/bowls to the shelving, maybe my cookbook collection and other little knick knacks.
I know it will look better when all the elements are brought into the room, but right now I am freaking out a little. Please tell me that I am not the only one that has done something like this. I just imagine that all interior decorators know exactly the right thing to do at every moment, and they never get stuck on ideas. Please tell me even the more experienced of them still have moments like this, where they questions what they are doing!
What would you do?


  1. I like the shelves opposite the door. It's like they mirror the door, and it keeps the room feeling open (or at least that's how the photos appear) What if you did drapes all to one side of the doors. Do they need to be functional or just for show? You could always use a tie back on the left side or just let them hang freely. I can't wait to see what you decide! Your inspirational images are beautiful.

  2. I like the shelves on the sides of the window more. I would still hang drapes all the way to the top and all throughout that back wall (for drama). I think the shelves will still look fantastic with fabric behind it.

    Another idea I have is for your to put the buffet in between the 2 shelves on that huge wall! That is, if it fits. I love your inspiration too and I think you achieve the feel easily with those gorgeous cabinets! good luck!

  3. If it makes you feel any better, I once purchased an antique roll-top desk at an Estate Sale that was a terrible beast to get home… and once I did, it didn’t fit through the door of my study. So it lived out in the garage until I could find a new owner. :(

    My vote is with option 3. Having the buffet behind the dining table is a classic… Also, just a thought, but would you consider/are you able to return one of the book cases? If you only put one book case to the right of the French doors, you should have room for your drapes.

    I love your inspiration pics, your dining room is going to look fabulous!!

    The Glam Pad

  4. Don't doubt yourself! The shelves are great and once they're styled they'll add a ton of charm and interest. For what it's worth, I'd keep them on either side of the window and do a roman shade. For the slider I'd buy panels in the same fabric. That main wall is calling for the buffet and a great mirror or piece of art above. Hope that helps a little? Can't wait to see the finished product! Love your blog!!


  5. Like any profession, we all have doubts at times. I prefer the option #2 and fill that back corner next to the slider with a large palm or fiddle leaf plant. I would forego drapes and put woven wood shades on the window and sliders with a valance above if necessary, this will compliment your new shades and add texture. It will look so much better when you get some color on the chair seats and all of your accessories. Even the most experienced designer has to make adjustments at times so never doubt yourself...this is an easy fix!

  6. I agree with you that it looks too crowded with the shelving on both sides of the window. I would go with option #2 but move the buffet to another room because it looks to crammed in next to the slider. I'm a big believer in having drapes in a dining room - not just shades - and you want to allow a good bit of room on the sides of your window and slider for them to hang. Just my two cents for what it's worth (which is very little :-) If it makes you feel better, when I redecorated our dining room, the first purchase I made was the dining table and I bought and returned three (yes, three!!!) dining tables before I found one that felt right in the room. Sometimes, you just have to get things in your house before you know if it's right! I love your inspiration pics for the room and think it will look awesome- can't wait to see how it comes along!!

  7. I think it happens to all of us, but all of the elements are lovely! My vote is still having the shelves flanking the windows with a natural shade, buffet and wall decor to the left, drapes on the slider, and somehow rotating the table. I really wonder how that would change the look! Have fun with it Stacey! :-D

  8. I think option two looks great! I have something similar in my kitchen where I have the shelves flanking our French doors...but the room runs the opposite of yours and the doors are bigger. In option two, it balances the French doors...which will be pretty with the drapes you are considering (sure you can move the buffet down a little to make room for them?). The shelves will look great when you style them...and useful too...we keep all our white plates and platters and bowls on them. Don't doubt yourself...you're great. And the good thing is, you can always move things around when you want.

  9. You are being way too hard on yourself. You are doing a great job, and your options are all reasonable solutions to your problem. Everyone makes mistakes and if they say they don't, they are lying. I like option 2 for the balance. It looks like you could slide that console down a bit more? Having some of the window covered by the panels would not be the end of the world. Keep going, it's going to be great.

  10. Girl, that is my life and why it takes me FOREVER to get things like I want them! And now you are going to be even more confused with everyone's varied comments here. :) My vote is for number 3...buffet and mirror on the long wall opposite the doors..lamps on each end. A mirror would reflect the light more. Put the shelves flanking the french doors. Use shades on the door in a fabric that you use for drapes on the window and hang the drapes so that they cover a wide section on each side of the window. You have great elements chosen! Use stripe slips on the end chairs and woven chairs on the 4 sides. But I will say...before you abandon your first idea, try some of your dishes and decorative things in it to see how you like it. That makes SUCH a big difference.

  11. Hi, Stacey -
    My first time visiting. Just found you via Instagram - thanks for following along my pics! Let me jump right in, hope you don't mind :) I like option #2, and would skip hanging anything over the French doors. Just curtain panels on each side of the window - make those a bit fuller / wider to give the illusion of a bigger window behind. You won't even mind the bare French doors. Or how about splitting the bookcases up and only using one in your dining room. If you can, take the eye up with tall curtains, a vertical mirror over the sideboard, and tall accessories on the top shelf of the bookcase. Looks like you have a beautiful lush green view outside the window :)
    Tone on Tone

  12. Stacey, I'm late to the party but love a good design dilemma!
    First up I love the design you have planned, and the style of your shelves. And your natural rug, your black French doors, and the wicker chairs you're considering using! Were we separated at birth perhaps???? :)
    I would hang drapes on either side of both the window and the doors - hung high and wide - I'm a big fan of floor to ceiling drapes in a dining room. And then perhaps one or both bookcases where the buffet is currently pictures, with the buffet on the long wall opposite the French doors with a mirror over.
    Let us know how it comes together!!

  13. I love the shelves on either side of the window! Looks clean and symmetrical!


Your comments mean so much to me!

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