Dinner in Casablanca. Or something.

Dinner in Casablanca. Or something.

I like to think that my dining room is Rick’s Cafe Americain on a small scale. It’s not an overtly Moroccan style decor, but while decorating, I kept thinking of Casablanca. The film, that is, because I am not well traveled enough to have visited the city at this point in my life. It’s probably just because of the arch, but I’m still claiming a Casablanca themed room.

When this project began, I was working with an arch decal (after becoming obsessed with painted arches on Pinterest), a dining room table and chairs, and a bar cart. The image I had in mind was clean and simple, and when I put the items all together, it was that. It was also impersonal and had that dollhouse feel of merely adding furniture to a box, which is probably a common problem in rooms that lack windows.

This is the first lesson I learned in decorating my home: Keep layering details until it feels warm and homey. 

And then stop. (I have a suspicion that this is actually the most important and intuitive step.)

I moved the faux banana leaf plant from the living room to the dining room, which introduced some cool tones. However, it didn’t really start to come together until I found this capiz shell art from World Market. When I first saw this artwork on the World Market website, my reaction was, “Wow, that’s tacky.” But then I kept coming back to the “tacky” piece until I decided I had to have it. I kept scrolling the reviews and noticing that it looked amazing in (minimalist) peoples’ rooms.

Second lesson learned in decorating: Each room needs one eye-catching item. It’s okay if it is bordering on bad taste.

And I absolutely love it. Given the lack of windows in the dining room, I love how it reflects light from the chandelier. Isn’t it in the spirit of Madeleine Lebeau’s shimmering top from the movie? 

My absolute last item was the area rug because the room needed one more textured element. I was on the fence on whether I should get a green or blue rug (or a combo). Green is my favorite color, and I love how it looks with the terracotta color of the arch. Blue, on the other hand, is an accent color in my living room, and given the lack of separation between the two rooms, it made sense to link the color schemes. The question was settled when I found a blue rug I loved at a price I couldn’t say no to at Home Goods. And no regrets. I love the way my rug brings things together, and my little room is complete.

So come on over. I will pour you a drink, and it will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

  • Table and chairs: Pier 1 circa 2009. Similar. Similar.
  • Arch decal: Amazon (Strongly recommend)
  • Bar cart: Amazon (Half-heartedly recommend)
  • Capiz shell art: World Market (Strongly recommend)
  • Faux plant: Target (Recommend, even if I don’t remember spending quite this much on it last year)
  • Area rug: Home Goods. Brand: Safavieh. (I think this is the same rug at Amazon.)
  • Macrame runner: Target (I recommend this product, but I also recommend measuring your table before deciding which size to purchase as I didn’t expect this to dust the ground. The ground-dusting runner has grown on me, even if it wasn’t my original intention.)
  • Faux Pampas grass: Kirklands (Very pretty for an average sized vase. They also have tall Pampas grass for larger vases that are meant to rest on the floor.)

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