Grace’s Kitchen Dining Room Update

by Grace Bonney

If there is one part of our home that we use the most, it’s our kitchen dining area. It’s right next to the open kitchen (where Julia is always cooking something that smells great) and it’s without a doubt the sunniest spot in our house— with a view of the whole backyard. Sitting there reminds us why we decided to move to the country and why were are so lucky and grateful to have this special place.

Aside from putting in a banquette, we haven’t done much to the space over the past five years. The pets have made the banquette their space, so it was in desperate need of an update and reupholstery. But more than that, our chairs had to go. We got our table and chairs from the home’s previous owner for a small price, and we have made the most out of them. But they’ve been the creakiest, squeakiest chairs ever. Despite reinforcing them multiple times on our own (thanks, DIY Youtubers!), we knew that it was time to say goodbye and upgrade to some safer and more stable chairs.

So with seating in mind, we decided to change out both the banquette cushion fabric and the chairs around the table. For the bench cushions I decided to invest in some fabric I’ve been eyeing for a long time — Jenny Pennywood‘s Triangles Fabric in Indigo. Our kitchen is mainly blue and white colors, so that deep indigo hue (which I know will eventually fade in the sunlight to a lovely, soft denim blue) goes with everything so nicely. Jen Garrido (aka, Jenny Pennywood) is such a talented artist and someone that I’ve followed since the beginning of Design*Sponge. This deer painting of hers was one of the first “grown-up” purchases I made, and to invest in her fabric work all these years later feels so meaningful.

With our bench cushions in progress (thanks to our favorite upholsterer in town, Darlene Tice), it was time to look at chairs. Julia and I knew we wanted something light and airy, so we decided to hunt for something made of rattan or cane, so it would have a beachy feel. After weeks of looking (you can see some of the others we considered here), we decided that these gorgeous Balboa chairs from Serena & Lily were the ones. They have the breezy beachy vibes we wanted, but feel sturdy and sophisticated enough to last for years to come. Serena & Lily kindly gifted us three of the side chairs and the armchair version for the head of the table, so with those in place, we were ready to dress up the space and settle in for a summer meal.

The end result is a fresh look for our favorite room in the house. I love how sunny this space feels and it’s been the perfect home for not just friends and many special meals, but it’s also the room where our late friend Georgine’s cactus lives. If you followed our friendship with her through our volunteer shift (or watched my Creative Mornings talk about our friendship), you’ll know how much this plant means to us. So sitting here with coffee every morning in our new chairs and thinking about our time with her (and learning to tend cacti thanks to her expertise) is the best feeling ever. xo, Grace

Photographs by Kelly Merchant 

Want to see the space before? Here’s a peek below!

Hope investigated the kitchen dining room while we visited for the home inspection.

The house as we moved in, with the original table and chairs (pre-banquette building).

After the first month, we had this banquette put in and added some striped cushions. This became the pets’ favorite spot to watch all sorts of wildlife go by outside.

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  • I feel like I am leaving too many comments! however, your dining room is beautiful. If I had the money, I would go for those chairs in a nanosecond, and I love the fabric you chose for your window seat. Thanks for sharing.

  • I love everything about this space so much. The light, the warmth of the cane chairs, the gentle rumple of pink table cloth–gorgeous! And that bench fabric is so strong! But my favourite thing has to be that light fixture. Would you possibly consider sharing a source for that?

  • Dear Grace,
    Each time I check in with your postings and you have shared your home I always smile. Your and Julia’s home is so uplifting and cheerful. I am a person who enjoys not seeing a matchie matchie décor and I love how you don’t decorate symmetrical but what feels like good balance. Thank you for enjoying and respecting nature. My best to you as you move forward. Hugs and smiles, Reva

  • How is it sitting on the banquette? I was thinking of building something similar, but I was worried that we would end up leaning back and going through a window.

    • We’ve also considered something really similar (banquette around a corner) but I always worry about people feeling stuck in the corner–has this been an issue for you at all, Grace and Julia? (I know corners can also be *lovely* places to sit!)

      • Hi!

        I always sit on that part of the banquette so people don’t have to crawl out. But yes, people do end up standing up and shuffling off ;)


  • Lovely! Would have liked to see a pic showing more of the banquet seat fabric though. From what I could see it looks amazing!

  • Hoping you and Julia create cherished moments & memories in new space. It looks just like you warm, welcoming & comfy. Best wishes to you in the future. I’m sure the that space will fill you up with plenty of ideas, inspiration & quite time. Enjoy!

  • Definitely a kitchen dining room to envy. The floor to ceiling windows are divine! I also love how much lighter it looks with the new chairs, and I 100% adore the fabric chosen for the new upholstery. So much more bohemian and cheery!

  • I just love some of the variances in design here. and nothing beats those rattan chairs. As a furniture designer I am constantly looking for inspiration and I found that here.