The Evolution of the Breakfast Area

I was reminded the other day how much my style has evolved since I first moved to this little cottage on the island. I look back at pictures over the years and while some of them make me cringe they also make me proud I was willing to keep trying until I found a style I loved.

I think sometimes we get “stuck” when our decorating choices don’t work out in real life like we think they should in our head. While working on Loblolly Manor over the summer, I met with a design client. She desperately wants to fix up her master bedroom. The bedroom right now looks completely fine but it doesn’t match with the decorative vision she has in her head. Most of the things she wants to work on are totally cosmetic and definitely doable. But there is one thing that is stopping her…she needs to address a small flooring issue. The floor needs to be patched in some areas and leveled in others. Then she needs to decide if she wants planked flooring or to stencil something on the concrete floors. Maybe tile should be an option or should she just consider carpet.

These are the kinds of details that can cause us to feel so overwhelmed that we don’t do anything because we don’t want to make a design decision we’ll regret. While I certainly don’t take the amount of resources it takes to make a house a home lightly, I also want to encourage you to take a chance on the potential you have right in front of you.

The best example I can give from my own home is the breakfast area. When I first moved to the island, we used this glass table for everyday dining. We eventually moved it out to the front porch and for a while, it met our needs.


Meanwhile inside, my bestie S built the new breakfast table and I painted it white.


We bought a new rug from Pier 1 and a light from Ballard Designs both of which we still use today.


I painted a set of chairs I found at a local thrift store in what I thought was my coastal chic style.


It doesn’t look like much but this was the beginning of a change that would ripple throughout the house.


In 2014, the breakfast space evolved even further when I added drop cloth curtains, wicker chairs to the ends of the table and painted the chairs from green tea to white. This is also the time I really started to appreciate my heart spoke in neutrals and wasn’t really coastal at all.


By 2015, the shell of the space stayed mostly the same so I knew I was feeling more settled with the color choices. I traded out the old wicker chairs for new chairs from IKEA and brought in different dining chairs for the table. These are really subtle changes but layering different textures made a huge difference.

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Over a late night dinner while we were on vacation in December, we talked about our home goals for 2016. The one theme that we kept repeating was creating a home that was “warm, welcoming, calm, clean, comfortable, uncluttered and relaxing.” When I decided to change a few things in the breakfast area a couple of weeks ago, I kept replaying that conversation in my mind.

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I switched out the framed flour sack towels for this sign that reminds me of my grandparents.

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I painted two chairs that were taking up space in the garage Valspar’s Fired Earth and snuggled them up to the table.

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I moved the weathered cabinet from the entry to the breakfast area so we could see one of our favorite projects filled with treasured thrifted finds as soon as we walked through the front door.

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I took down the EAT letters and replaced them with this metal piece I picked up at Kirkland’s using a gift card they were sweet to send me for Christmas.

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Finally, I made pillows from fabric I found on sale and dishtowels I found I couldn’t live without. Nevermind, I had to use muslin to back them because the pillows I chose were bigger than the towels would cover.

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As we grow and change so do our decorating choices. Sometimes they’re bold and sometimes they’re much more subtle. But the end goal is always the same…creating a home that welcomes you with open arms as soon as you walk through the doors.

021116-15 - Decorating the Breakfast Area with Neutrals

See you guys back here tomorrow. I’m sharing my favorite sweet treats to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Many blessings,



  1. says

    Thank you for sharing this post! It helps to remind us that our homes don’t have to be perfect right from the start & that over time we will find perfection in each little change. I think I put too much pressure on myself to get it right the first time! The trouble is that I really love decorating, so need to have more fun in the process! Thank you for reminding me of that 🙂

    • says

      You are so speaking to my heart, Blake! I used to feel that way too. I would pick the wrong paint color or buy the wrong accessories and it would end up a hot mess. I would be too embarrassed to invite people over. It was crazy pants. Thankfully, I’ve relaxed a bit and over the years have come to understand my style better. You have a fun, relatable, girly style that I love! Hello, do we even need to talk about those gold animal diy drink stirrers – total genius. Keep at it lady. I know it’s going to be amazing. Hugs for a happy day, CoCo

  2. says

    What a transformation your space has gone through! I can see how much it has evolved and it looks very welcoming and filled with layers of texture. Bravo! I really love the mix of seating around your table now. Everyone can pick the seat that suits them. Hope you have a happy weekend.


    • says

      Thanks so much, Nancy! Figuring out the seating has definitely been a fun part of the equation. I think once I fell in love with those chairs from IKEA and the headboard turned bench that used to belong to my mom – it was all over 🙂 Hope you have an happy weekend as well, CoCo

  3. says

    Hey CoCo – We love the evolution of your space and your style! Vicki’s grandpa used to say “what does your heart tell you” ? You have clearly listened to your heart and your room sings in glory! The breakfast area is so warm and inviting. Hopefully one day we can all sit around your table sipping coffee, eating fresh baked brownies and laughing to our hearts delight! Well done!

    • says

      You guys are the sweetest, thanks so much! It would definitely be a dream come to sit at this table and enjoy coffee and sweet treats with you. Hugs for a happy day, CoCo

  4. says

    CoCo, I love how you’ve layered in so many textures and cozy neutral shades in your breakfast area. I looks like the perfect space to linger over a cup of coffee. And how great that those chairs were already in your garage! I love using things that are already on hand.

    • says

      Thank you, Jamie! Can we just talk about how many times things in the garage have help save a look ha ha. We’re desperately trying to clear that whole space out. Luckily, I have plenty of projects ready to meet the challenge ha ha! Hope your day is a fun one, CoCo

  5. says

    Hi CoCo – I love seeing the transformation of this room and how much your chairs have changed 🙂 I am in this phase currently where I keep evolving as far as my style goes. It has changed so much in the last year, but I am still not in love with it. Happy to know other people go through similar situations. Hope you have a great weekend!


    • says

      The good news is situations like this gives us an opportunity to find out how we really want our homes to look and feel. Just keep adding things you truly love and take away/edit things you only like or have settled for…you’ll get there…promise 🙂 Can’t wait to see how it all comes together. Sending you hugs, Coco

  6. says

    Oh I love it! Can you come to my place and do the same? I just live in Australia LOL:) not too far away! Thanks for sharing this beautiful transformation with us at #OvertheMoon and I hope you enjoy many scrumptious breakfasts there.

  7. says

    Hi Coco, Congratulations! Your post was in my top two picks for this week’s Over the Moon link up. I loved what you did with the Breakfast area and you inspired me to take a look at my home. Thanks for linking up and hope to see more of your creations next week.

    • says

      That’s so sweet of you, Sue, thank you so much! I appreciate your kind comments about the breakfast area. It’s exciting when it feels like things are finally coming together 🙂 Hope your day has been fantastic, CoCo

  8. says

    You have shared something very wise with us today.
    Things change, we grow, we like different things- it is all good.

    Thank you for joining our 2nd Thoughts of Home on Thursday party!

    *pinning to our TOHOT board.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Tianna, I really appreciate it. As you can see from the first pictures (hello, scary) it has definitely been a fun journey to finding my true style 🙂 Hope your day is awesome, CoCo

    • says

      I really appreciate it, Crystal, thank you so much. That weathered cabinet is one of my favorites too. It was the first piece we learned to hang door on 🙂 Hope your day is a fun one, CoCo