Reader SOS: Your Design Problems Solved

We are back with another “DIY Playbook, Save our Space!”. You guys have been emailing us about your Reader SOS and we’ve been able to get a little glimpse into some of the design problems you’re having when it comes to decorating. Our plan for #DIYPlaybookSOS is to take a reader’s space and (virtually) offer tips & tricks on how to improve it.

Here are some old design problems we’ve solved during this series…

Tackling your Design Problems

Today’s post is a little different from ones we have done in the past because instead of tackling one large design problem…we’re tackling multiple (smaller) questions that readers have had for us over the past few months.

So let’s get right to it!

How Many Dining Room Chairs?

I came across your blog from a couple years ago on your dining room makeover (Bridget’s dining room here) and absolutely LOVED the finished product!  It actually gave me the inspiration to use the same wishbone white chairs. I’ve decided to definitely purchase the same white wishbone chairs but just not sure if I should do 6 or 8.  Do you think 3 across the sides would look too crowded?
We still absolutely love the white wishbone chairs from Bridget’s dining room. They magically go with just about every table (as evidenced by the fact that they’re currently working with her new light wood table!), and we think they will look perfect with the reader’s dark wood table. 
So back to the reader’s question…6 or 8 chairs for this table? Her table is definitely bigger than Bridget’s and is designed to seat 8 people. But instead of going right for 8 chairs right away, we suggest buying 6 to start. That way you can try it out with 2 on each side and 1 on each end and see if that feels too empty. And also try out the 3 on each side to see if it feels too crowded.
Sometimes it can be too difficult to really visualize how something will look in the space, so you’ve gotta get the actual pieces in there to see how they feel. We told her to go for the 6 and then she can always order 2 more of the same wishbone chairs, or even try out 2 different chairs for the heads of the table (like this slipcovered one).

What Kind of Rug?

I was wondering if you could give me some advice on how to match my living room rug since it’s so bright. I want to put a rug underneath my dining table, but not sure what color I could do?
First of all, how about that rug?! Oh my goodness…it is gorgeous. That magenta is fantastic. But we see what she means by not knowing how to pair another rug with that one since it’s so vibrant. Because it’s so colorful, we would suggest going with something a bit more toned down for the dining room rug.

Rugs are amazing in open spaces like this because they help to define each area of the large room and separate each seating area. However, we don’t think a rug underneath a dining room table is always a must. Casey doesn’t have one in her open space because it was just going to feel way too busy in this large room. While Bridget does have a rug underneath her dining room table. Honestly, it’s all personal preference and what works well with your space.

If the reader does decide on a rug, we highly suggest going with a neutral once so it doesn’t compete with the pink one. Natural fiber rugs are amazing for dining room spaces because they are incredibly durable and would hide stains from food and spills. Jute, sisal, or seagrass are all amazing options (you can read more about them here) and they’d add some nice texture to the space. Or if the reader wants some color we would suggest a gray or blue rug to pull out some of the less dominant colors in the magenta living room rug. No matter what, make sure you always buy the right sized rug for your space using our tips and tricks.

Gallery Wall Over Couch

I’ve been dreaming of creating a bold gallery wall (like the one in your recent post) on a wall behind the couch in our family room, but have a question. Do you think it would work over a couch? Possibly I could just do two horizontal rows of three frames instead of three since there’s less vertical space?

Photos by Tessa Neustadt, Courtesy Homepolish, Post by Orlando Soria

 You guys absolutely loved the symmetrical gallery wall that we recently showcased on the blog, and we can see why! It really is a stunning way to make a statement on a blank wall. Decorating over the couch is tough, and we love the idea of adding a symmetrical gallery wall over one in your family room.

Photo via Inspired By Charm

As for how many frames…we always love an odd number when it comes to decorating. 3 rows of 3 frames (like in Michael’s family room above) is a gorgeous look! However, if you don’t have the vertical space for that many, we think 2 rows of 3 frames would work well too.

Our biggest advice though? Go with BIG frames! Anything less than 8×10 will look puny, so go as big as you can. And be sure to hang them 2-3 inches apart, so they’re not too spread out and instead make a big impact altogether.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

your home playbook sidebar