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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

How to make this dining room child friendly?

Lorene Frank FarriorDecember 26, 2012
I love this dining room from Christina Mullin Interiors on Pinterest. Any suggestions on how to make it child friendly?
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Ashley Halpern
you don't, eat with them in the kitchen lol
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
lol, thanks I needed that!
    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:47PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
Ashley, how about somewhere between the two?
    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Ashley Halpern
Somewhere between the two? Please explain? You like the second photo ??
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 10:29AM
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Gabberts Design Studio
Replacing chairs for a bench on one side is always a great way to make formal dining a little more fun.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 10:35AM
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You can have that room. Just paint the wall with a good washable paint and cover those chairs in Ultrasuede. There is no rug in that picture, so that's good. As long as your little chickens don't swing from the chandelier, I think you are good to go.

Seriously, I expected the kids to act well behaved at the table whether it was
the kitchen or the dining room. (Of course this was well past the baby food, burping stage) :>)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 10:55AM
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Try the paint that has been developed specifically for children's rooms if you can get a custom color. Chairs with leather upholstery. No drapes, especially silk, until they're teens and stop eating with you altogether!
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
Thanks you guys! I like the leather and ultrasuede idea. I also like the second table because of the inviting color scheme., but like the formality of the first. My children love dinner time because we are all together. I'd like to do some armchairs to make conversation more comfortable after we dine. I'll post some more pictures and you can tell me what you think....
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 1:21PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
I think you are on the right track Lory. It is a beautiful room. I was raised to be comfortable in formal spaces. As a young child we had good manners and my parents were always complimented on us. When you have 3 boys each 3 years apart strict training on manners was essential.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 1:30PM
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House of Holland - TX
I know you'll think this is nuts, but there are tons of new fabricated vinyls out there that look and feel like real leather. Lots of colors, (even the green in your second pic) embossing if you like - I used a dark brown reptile embossed in a kitchen table application and you'd never know the difference from looking at it. BUT the real upside is that it protects your furniture like grandma used to by covering her nice furniture with clear plastic. :) And about a third of the price of leather. When the kids grow up you can recover your pieces or move on to a whole new design scheme.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 1:35PM
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The Frugal Parisian
This is a fabulous room, I like the idea of leaving it as is but adding a bench in a very durable fabric for the young ones.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Maison Pompeii Antiques and Interiors
Beautiful room. I would change nothing except for the hard edges to make sure noone pokes their eye. Scotch guard the fabric and move on. I agree with the other posters that your children will be better for it to learn to live in a space like this. We never designed a room around the children and really made no changes except to put up a few expensive breakables. My brother and I also grew up in such a house as did my daughter. If you love the room use it with them. PS you did not state the ages of your children and that makes a difference. The good thing is that they do grow up.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:15AM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
These are the two armchairs I was thinking for the heads of the table. They can be moved into the living area if need be. I don't want to change out the white but maybe add some bright colored pillows.
I also have two black chairs that I can reupholster or leave black. and a third choice, two chocolate brown Asian armchairs (no photos yet)
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:21AM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
White armchairs. My children grew up around pretty furniture and they behave accordingly. I want this dining table to have a modern twist.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:29AM
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Alison Guerriere
When we were little we had plastic seat covers on the chairs. I had to search hard online to find some for our home. The seat covers can always be removed when guests come over so they don't have to sit on or see them. I would also recommend a multicolored rug underneath the table. They are more forgiving than mere floors when it comes to regular spills, drips and messes from dropped food. I agree with gentleman above. Teach your children how to behave in a formal dining setting. They won't be an embarrassment when you go out to nice restaurants. PS. Before we moved into our nice home I bought the nicest most suitable furniture for it. All three of the dining sets (dining room, sun room and porch) had upholstered chairs. Our boys were 2 and 4 when we moved in. As long as those plastic seat covers remained on the chairs, they remained in pretty good shape. Just make sure they wipe their hands before touching the top of the chair.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:44AM
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I had white upholstered chairs at the dining room table when my children were very little. I got white pillow covers (just covers, no inserts) and laid them flat over the chair seats. It was easy to toss them in the wash when needed. I also had a black cat, and never had to worry about him on my white seats!

When we had company over, I'd remove the covers (leaving them on kids chairs if the kids were part of the party)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 4:58AM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
Secret: the two white armchairs were originally blue. While I was home with the kids I ran "Not so Shabby Chic". The two white armchairs are from that collection. The fabric was painted with regular house paint and can be easily wiped clean or touched up if absolutely necessary. I'm excited! I found fabric yesterday for small pillows for each choice. Help me decide! I'll try to attach photo of Asian chairs soon....
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 12:40PM
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Lory, painted fabric? With house paint? I have never heard of such a thing, but what a great idea! Did you have to do anything special to the fabric prior to painting? I've been looking for upholstered dining chairs that will be easy for me to re-cover. But if I can paint them, I will have so many more choices. Thanks for sharing this secret.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 1:35PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
First of all, I used a satin finish that I use on my walls and furniture. For the chairs, I painted the whole area a creamy white and did some aging and color on the wood. The fabric looks like canvas or linen. The areas between the fabric and wood is tedious...a very small brush is needed. These chairs are by Lane and I found them by a dumpster at my doctors office. You also might want to give the entire project a coat of flat polyurethane if you expect to keep them a long time. When raising my children I needed an artistic outlet. While they played outside I painted, upholstered and repurposed furniture.
If upholstering yourself, use a designer heavy grade fabric. It will hold up better and it is a nice reward for your work.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:25PM
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Thank you so much, Lory. Can't wait to try this out.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 5:31PM
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I managed to find a fabric spraypaint at our local hardware store, which was really easy for instant change of old chairs.The original cover was gold so the black immediately changed the statement and has lasted years.Re-covering/re upholstering can get expensive so thats the next course of study I must do.
I think that original dining room photo you displayed was just beautiful and I completely agree-kids learn to eat politely (when the timing is right) when you include them in the experience.
I used to light candles at the table and if their behaviour became out of control, the candles went out.My kids love the specialness of candle light so this always worked to keep them sitting up and behaving well(well almost always).Now they are young adults and they usually light the candles and put out the napiery before a family meal.Its just our little family tradition.
These days Im much better looking by candlelight too!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:39PM
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Color carpet
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Aja Mazin
It's the attitude of the parents that make a dining room child friendly.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:07PM
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Make th chairs simpler and mabey add a bench on one the sides and make the light fixture not as Interket ants lighten up the drapery
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:26PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
Yes, attitude is important. That is why I choose to spend more on some things and less on others. That way I can relax and be totally in the moment. We' are still eating at the drafting table. I've been switching out fabrics for tablecloths to see how they look in the room. Tonights modern fabric did not suit the room.
I've decided on the oval table and fancy captain chairs. The other chairs will be modern.
I too love the long panels but have been advised against it because of the heating stove in the corner.
I'm considering beveled mirrors, old windows or framed fabric to flank each side.
Will it look unfinished if I leave the window bare?
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:10PM
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