One of my first Blue Willow posts focused on my dining room at our home located in the country. In that post, I talked about how I had made changes that were inspired by a magazine article and how I replaced my very traditional dining room table and chairs with a big, beautiful farm table and wicker chairs. I loved the look but it didn't take long to realize that the wicker chairs were not very practical or comfortable at the dining table. So the green wicker chairs were moved to the back porch to be enjoyed when the weather warms up in the spring, paving the way for the beginning of yet again another redo for the dining room.

Blue Willow Home & Farm

I tried several seating options but I didn’t “just love” any of them. Eventually I found what I think is the perfect set of chairs at Angel’s Flea Market in Opelika, AL. If you have never visited Angel’s, you really must go! The chairs were exactly what I had in mind and the price was incredible. They needed a little work but as usual, Mr. Blue came to the rescue by transforming the chairs into the perfect companion for the new farm table! They turned out to be my favorite Christmas gift. But I couldn’t stop there. As luck would have it, the chairs beautifully complimented an Eastlake settee I have had for several years. You may have seen it in other pictures I have shared of my dining room. It was in front of the dining room window just wanting to take its perfect place at the new farm table. I bought it many years ago at an estate sale and it had belonged to a dear neighbor that lived down the street from me at my previous home.

I also placed the top of an old Hoosier cabinet, I recently purchased, above a beautiful, green “chippy” base (it started life as a kitchen island) that Mr. Blue built for me. The match was perfect! So I moved a buffet out and the Hoosier piece in. The Hoosier piece was purchased at Farm House Finds in Fort Payne, AL. from my friend Moe. You will love her shop! I also moved my beautiful, old blue green potting bench out of my living room and into the dining room and filled it with old books and I love it there!

So one thing led to another and I decided it was a good time to replace the rug. I had a red oriental rug in there that didn’t really work with the room. It had too much red. I knew I wanted something that complemented both the living room rug and the dining room. After some searching with no luck, I came across a rug I loved at The colors were perfect for both rooms, lots of sage green with a little red and soft blue in it and it is very much an Arts and Crafts design to compliment the era of the house. I got it last week and I think it is perfect for the room!

My favorite change is a new piece of art that I added. It is a print of a watercolor titled The Red Boat. Wetumpka, Alabama artist Kelly Fitzpatrick created the original painting in the 1930s. We think it was painted on Lake Jordan at or near the Dixie Art Colony of which Kelly Fitzpatrick was the co-founder. Just a little reminder, if you have been following my blog ( you will remember that we bought and restored an old lake cabin a few years ago that turned out to be the site of the Dixie Art Colony. If you haven’t read the series of posts about it, take a minute to go back and read them. It is a fascinating story!

As usual, I shopped the house and found lots of wonderful things to use in the dining room to change out things that had been in there too long. I “looove” to do that! It is like getting new treasures without it costing anything and that makes Mr. Blue very happy! Some things I left alone, like the mantle and the green pie safe. I’m happy with them for now but there’s a good chance I will eventually change them too!

Making these changes to the dining room caused me to stop and think a little about why I can’t leave a room alone, why I am constantly working on a room. After thinking about this, I came to realize that with every new idea and change the room gets better and better. A room should evolve over time. It’s sort of like our lives; it will probably never be perfect. But with positive actions and an open mind for change, a room, just like our lives can evolve and become stronger and better. Changes, large and small can enhance our lives and our homes adding to our happiness and enjoyment of life.

By taking the time to step back, look at our lives and recognize when we need to make changes, adding things that are beneficial and taking away the things that are not, we can greatly improve the quality of our lives and our surroundings. As I have gotten older, I now realize that when I have done this in the past, the changes have ultimately brought great joy to my life. At times I have faced bumpy roads, but I am thankful every day for valuable lessons I learned and the insights I gained along the way. I plan to keep making changes to my rooms, literally and figuratively. I will continue to do my best to improve them!

I will end with one of my favorite quotes. “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” —Christopher McCandless