Sunday, December 29, 2013

Collecting vintage plates: The Twirling Room

    When we purchased our home four years ago (built circa 1874) it came with something that we Foster's were unaccustomed to: a formal dining room. Of course we had dining rooms in previous homes but those rooms were inadvertently transformed into home office, playroom or home school classroom, depending on which life stage we were in at the time.  
   While waiting to move into our home, I must confess that I had every intention of reverting back to my old ways. With two teenagers in the house I imagined an exciting game room complete with a pinball machine and maybe an air hockey, ping pong or pool table - which made a whole lot more sense than a dining room that probably wouldn't be used at all. 
   I proposed the game room idea to my husband who looked at me like I was out of my mind. "No way," he exclaimed, "We're finally going to have a dining room and actually use it this time!" His reaction surprised me but I quickly recovered and was happy to begin the quest for dining room furniture (little did I know how long the quest would actually take). 
   The dining room remained empty for well over a year as we focused on furnishing and decorating the rooms we used most. In the mean time the room received a fresh coat of Martha Stewart's "Vintage Map" paint and bright white trim.
    One day my daughter and I were playing around in the empty dining room and began to twirl and dance. Influenced by our love for Jane Austen novels and period films, we filled the room with echoes of our best British accents and unbridled laughter. From that day forward we dubbed the room "The Twirling Room" and made a proclamation (to the men of the house) that whenever someone came through the room they had to twirl. Needless to say, our son never stepped foot in the room, but my husband, however playfully went along and twirled about with great animation when his favorite girl was around to watch.  
    Eventually the dining room acquired a table which my mom and I found while antiquing in the darling little town of Buchanan, Virginia. The table, over one hundred years old, can be extended from a small table about the size of a card table into a large banquet size table that seats up to sixteen when all leaves are in place. 
   Since buying the table I've slowly been filling up the room with an eclectic mix of period pieces that compliment the room, including enough chairs to fit around the table since the table didn't include chairs (I have ten so far). Besides filling the room with furniture, I've also been busy finding antique china plates, platters and vintage glassware. I'm still trying to get enough plates to decorate the walls, and once I do I'll begin hunting for plates to use at the table.
    I'm not a professional decorator by any means, but I do envision my formal dining room as a whimsical and unpredictable surprise for my guests. I'm still not sure how to pull it off (oh, how I wish that HGTV would find me), but I'm fairly certain that it will include painting some furniture pieces and covering the chairs with upholstery fabrics in lots of delicious color.
   I feel so incredibly blessed to have such a beautiful room to share with others and I must confess that we Foster's thoroughly enjoy entertaining friends and family in our very first formal dining room ever!
   Stay tuned for photos of the room as the decorating progresses (but don't hold your breath, it could take a while as my budget and energy allows). I will update as projects are done but until then you might just catch me twirling when the mood hits me!




  1. Beautiful Story! Beautiful Room!

  2. Why thank you Juju! I'm so glad that you've stopped by for a visit...I'll go make us some tea! (insert smiley face here)


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