To help unify the space we used the same rug and curtains in both rooms. And I don't know why, but the paint color in this picture looks really weird. It's not that blue. It's more of a smoky color. I'd say the pic of the china cabinet with the easel (a Christmas present from Alan) is the most true to life of all these pics. At least, that's the way I see it when I look at it.
Likely a temporary vignette. I'm not really feeling it. The books on the left are made up of coffee table books and photo albums from recent vacations.
In this photo you can see the large National Geographic map we hung above Alan's desk. It's from when his mom was a teacher, so it's at least 10 years old. We didn't do anything fancy at all - it's just thumbtack'd into the wall.
In this picture you can see the various colors of wood we have going on in the room which might give you a better idea of why I'm thinking about painting them all white (except the dining room table & chairs).
Here you can see how the two rooms tie together more seamlessly now. We still need to flip the lights between the living room and dining room since they were originally opposite rooms and the lighting is set up to reflect how the space is "supposed" to be used.
I know this is supposed to be about our dining room, but here's the "new" lamp we got from Target on the side table next to my spot on the couch. You can also see that we've hung up white frames with black & white images from when we were in Paris in February 2008.
And here's an updated mantle pic with some fresh pink waxflowers and another frame in the collage.