dining room with built-in display shelves after
Jessica Davis/www.dearemmeline.blogspot.com Photo:
After: The storage-rich window seat helps balance out the long room by shortening its footprint by 2 feet, while plate racks above artfully corral dishes.

What You'll Learn

  1. Introduction
  2. The Project Tally
The cure for a home's tired style can be as simple as bringing it back to its roots. When Jessica and Joshua Davis moved into their 1910 house, in Frederick, Maryland, they found it overrun with dated 1970s additions. The couple wanted to reintroduce some of the farmhouse elements the original home may have had, so they designed a set of built-ins for their dining room that included plate racks and a window-seat assembly.

They built the bench using 1×6s, making sure to add a hinged seat for access to the ductwork, which Joshua rerouted to the front of the bench. Extra space hides off-season decor and spare dishware. Above, they flanked the window with two shallow shelving units, which are backed with beadboard, and removed the window's existing shutters to allow for more natural light. A fresh coat of bright-white paint ties the beadboard in with the rest of the room, while light gray on the shelves helps add visual depth.

The new built-ins look as if they were born with the house. "It felt right to bring back some of the cottage character the house may have had when it was first built," says Jessica. "And it's the first thing guests comment on!"
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