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Joy's House

Oh Joy! Builds a House: the (Garden Glam) Dining Room!

Oh Joy! Builds A House / Garden Glam Dining Room
Oh Joy! Builds A House / Garden Glam Dining Room

I’m back with a house update! Gah…this will eventually be the dining room at my house! The dining room is such a special place to me as so many memories of the best conversations happen in the dining room…my little family’s daily ritual of Favorite, Least Favorite, Tomorrow…as well as deep conversations with friends involving both lots of laugher (and sometimes tears). It’s the place we bond over our favorite meals, catch up on the day, and chat long into the night after our kids have gone to bed…

Oh Joy! Builds A House / Garden Glam Dining Room

Since the dining room is a space that’s meant to be filled with friends and family and tons of great conversation, I love the idea of a statement wall in the dining room. Why not have the wall be a conversation piece, too? I’m a huge fan of the work of SheShe, a female duo based in Minneapolis known for hand-painted murals and wallpaper. I don’t know exactly (yet) what we’re doing for this wall, but one of their past murals definitely feels right in line of the look I’m going for! And, because the wall will have a few different colors, we kept the rest of the furniture neutral with brass, cognac leather, white, and shades of grey!

1. Mural by SheShe, 2. Pendant lamp from Lamps Plus, 3. Dining table from Wayfair (coming soon!), 4. Mohawk wood floors in Beachwood Oak, 5. Dining chairs from Wayfair, 6. rug from Wayfair, 7. Emtek knob for cabinets,

While we’ll use this room for entertaining with friends, we also need it for daily meals with our kids. I don’t want anything to feel too precious and need it to be durable as well.

Oh Joy! Builds A House / Garden Glam Dining Room

Here are a few things I kept in mind when designing a chic dining room to use (with kids):

Wipeable surfaces. As much as I love textured wood tables and upholstered chairs, this is the one of the areas in my house that there are no restrictions on food or drink. So, we chose a table where the surface was smooth and easily wipeable and chairs that could also be wiped down. While I love velvety upholstered chairs, they didn’t make as much sense in this room.

Size of dining table. We have a 6-person dining table in our current apartment, and it’s fine for an average night. But it gets tight when we have friends over or when we host Thanksgiving dinner. I would have loved a 10-person table here, but the room isn’t quite big enough so we compromised with an 8-person table which I’m VERY excited about.

To rug or not to rug? I’m always conflicted about rugs in a dining room. Rugs help to define a space, yet it feels odd to have something under a dining table that is harder to clean than the wood floor underneath. We have not finalized a rug here yet and curious to know what you guys think about rugs in dining rooms?

Stay tuned for more updates here and on Instagram…we are a few months away from being done so updates will keep coming as we get closer and closer!

{Photos by Lily Glass. Construction by Boswell Construction, Architecture by Project M+, Interiors in collaboration with Cleo Murnane at Project M+. All other layouts by Joy Cho. My dress is Mara Hoffman (past season), sweater is Misha and Puff, boots are Red Wing Heritage.} 


  1. Good question on the rug! I think it always depends on the look and feel as well as the scale and location of the room. For example: if the dining space is its own room, rather small or medium in size, and not open to the kitchen or the living room you may wanna forgo a rug, as you there’s no need to define the dining area like you would in an open space. And I think it’s also a question of wanting the space to be more formal or casual? I’d suggest go without one first, experience it for a while and see and share how you feel. If you do sense something is missing there’s always the option to choose and indoor/outdoor rug type, that’s easier to clean or you can get a washable rug.

  2. Thanks Susann!
    All great tips! It’s sort of open but also tucked away from the other spaces so I like your idea to live with it first and see!

  3. I feel like if you’re using it daily- maybe pass on the rug. In my mind I feel like spills and crumbs would be more of a chore on the daily than if it was just a once in a while space.
    Loving the design choices so far and can’t wait to see more progress!

  4. This is going to look so glam! Love the inspo.
    We had a rug in our dining room and in the end got rid of it. After a while practicality trumps aesthetics once you’re house is lived in for a bit.

  5. Thanks Suzanne!
    We have had one in our current apartment which has been OK, but we also have full carpet so in some way that made it easier to watch then if the food landed on carpet. In the new house, it will be wood flooring which is WAY easier!

  6. We opted to not go with a rug under our dining table because we have 4 messy kids. Lol It’s easier to just clean our wood floor than having to clean a rug every single time they eat. We also went with a concrete dining table because it’s super easy to clean.

  7. We had a jute rug under our dining table and after a year I trashed it (because it was trashed!) and I’ve never thought about putting one in the room again. Our table and chairs are also completely wipable. Spaces can be beautiful and functional!

  8. I love my under dining table rug. Go for flat indoor/outdoor. I have three kids and give it a quick vacuum with my cordless Dyson after dinner and it looks great. I hate how crumbs spread without a rug and the space looks so much warmer with it.

  9. Hey Joy-
    The other person beat me to it, but I would look at indoor/outdoor options. It’s not just AstroTurf anymore (but could be cool ?) also, for upholstery, look at Sunbrella. The options now are truly amazing, and this really goes for every room in your house, but Sunbrella at 100% acrylic is really indestructible. You can even bleach it! I think with these two options paired, you’ll have a chic and stain proof, noise reduced, entertaining room of your dreams!

  10. I never put a rug under my table until my current apartment, which we moved into last July. It really isn’t bad or hard to clean (and I have a 4yo, 2yo, and an infant). Just pick up anything that drops when you see it and vacuum periodically.

  11. Ditto to everyone else on indoor/outdoor! I am an interior designer, we’ve done this for so many of our clients and have yet to receive a complaint. From a design standpoint, I totally agree that a rug helps to define the space and makes the room feel more finished.

  12. I’m doing a whole house renovation and have pondered both the dining room table and a rug. I got a 60″ oval tulip table in white, because there is no real dining room – I’m creating one. Got white/light wood wishbone chairs to go with the table.
    I, too, wondered about rugs. Part of the reason that I chose an oval table, was I really don’t like round rugs! (not sure why) So, I cheated and looked on Pinterest. They showed oval tables with rectangular rugs. This seemed like it would suit the space and me.


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