Tacky or tasteful?

rosyladyMay 7, 2013

I am redecorating my formal dining room and have a rather unusual question.

I am a cooking school graduate and have my diploma framed. It is in a mahogany frame, and the diploma itself is very decorative with gold leafing, etc.

Is it tacky to hang it in my dining room?

I could hang it in my kitchen, but I think it is too large and formal for that space. Or, should I just keep it in the closet:)

Be honest!

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You deserve to hang it where ever you please!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:19PM
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You deserve to hang it where ever you please!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Display it! You deserve it! Wow! Would love for you to come and cook for us! :-))


    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:28PM
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I think it is in the same category as family pictures where opinions vary greatly.
It is your home and up to you.
My opinion is you should hang it. It has meaning to you and I definitely think it would be tasteful and a meaningful conversation piece.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Because you asked: Honestly, in my opinion, it works if it's somehow done with a wink or a little self-deprecation, so maybe if you can make it part of a creative wall display or vignette. It's either a professional credential, and then it shouldn't be in a social space but your place of work or business, or it's a passion and then it needs to be contextualized as such.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:53PM
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Since this is big for you and your cooking will be a topic of conversation, displaying it in your dining room as a decorative feature sounds delightful, perhaps expanding it to fit an important place with a wide linen liner set into a handsome, good quality frame worthy of a work of art. Framing it elegantly, rather than standard professional style, would be a way of both offering it with a little twinkle and showing off an important personal possession.

Congrats, by the way.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:08PM
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I agree 100% with nosoccermom.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:09PM
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By all means, display it and congrats!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:17PM
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Hang it -- but make sure that the frame works in your room -- and add framed copies of your favorite hand-written recipes -- maybe family favs?

Perhaps add some wonderful artworks of food -- check out art.com -- there are SO many many classic ones AND more modern ones!

Here is just example by Chardin ...

Here is a link that might be useful: chardin -- food artwork

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:19PM
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Holly- Kay

I think a professional diploma, nicely framed, is tasteful. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to display it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:17PM
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Display it with pride! The cooking school and dining room have a connection. It's a conversation starter. It shares a little of your history.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:44PM
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While I wouldn't hesitate to display it, I would not put it in my dining room, Maybe in the kitchen or even a breakfast room, where socializing and dining are less formal. A formal dining room is generally for entertaining. Your hospitality should shine there and your skills should be self-evident on the plate. If not, the framed document works against you.

The other thing I would be concerned about would be how it would make my guests feel. Would they find it intimidating?. Would they think they couldn't tell me if they didn't like something or express their views about food or cooking? Would they think I hung it there to make sure I got compliments, etc.? It might be a topic of conversation, but do you want all the conversation aimed at you or to hear about your friends and their interests too?

I don't know that I would call it tacky, but if I had hesitations, I'd look for a better place.

This post was edited by lascatx on Tue, May 7, 13 at 20:50

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:45PM
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I might be weird, because I don't like public recognition for accomplishments. I don't like to show off awards/accomplishments. You said be honest, so I will dissent from the others: To me, it's tacky. If I saw that in someone's home (in a public space,) it would seem boastful or vain.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:53PM
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I have never seen a professional diploma displayed in a formal dining room.

But, it IS your house! You can do what you want!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:53PM
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I had some framed awards in my home office for a while...along with some of the kids'...until I saw that episode of Modern Family. Then I took mine down. I felt silly.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:57PM
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You are asking for our opinion, so "do what you want" doesn't seem like a real answer, kwim?

I would not.

What i might do it have someone make a tray out of it ... or a copy of it

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:09PM
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I think the dining room is an odd place to display a diploma of any kind, but maybe I'm the odd one.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:17PM
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I agree that it is strange! I felt a little weird about it, but I'm not sure which room to hang it in. Most people I know who choose to display their diploma do it at their place of business, such as an attorney or doctor. The thing is, my home is my place of business...I am a stay at home mom:)

My girlfriend suggested my breakfast room, but the diploma is so large and formal I don't think it would look right there.

Yes, I suppose hanging a diploma is somewhat boastful. One thing about chefs: they have big egos!

I don't consider a cooking school diploma in the same league as a university one. I just think it is fun and beautiful.

Thank you for being honest. This is exactly what I wanted to hear.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:13PM
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I agree that it does seem a little boastful, or potentially even intimidating for you if you're having a bad night. If your food is impressive, I'd probably ask about the recipe and segue into where you learned about the spices or technique. A natural conversation about the results of your training is the place to drop that you've been to culinary school.

If the frame is too formal for a more casual spot, then have it reframed less grandly.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:48PM
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I agree that somewhere more private is more appropriate. I would be more likely to hang such a thing in a hallway with other personal things, or in your home office.

Could it be that you asked because you are proud of it, but you really don't want to seem boastful, and you know it runs that risk? A dining room is a place of hospitality to family and friends, and so I'd hesitate to call attention to my own accomplishments there.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:54PM
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Displaying a diploma or degree (anywhere) is never "boastful", it's the acknowledgement of an accomplishment and it was earned, and it simply conveys the information that the program requirements were successfully met, not "I'm the best" or anything else that could be called bragging.

I think the dining room seems like a great place for a cooking diploma, you'll see it every day and I bet it will make you feel good and smile.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:17AM
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Oh no, I don't want to seem boastful at all! That is why I asked. I know hanging one's diploma in the dining room is not the norm, or really anywhere in the house except maybe a study.

I just think it's too formal for the kitchen.

I never really thought of this particular diploma as something to show off. If I had a degree form Harvard I would not hang it on my wall:) This is, to me, is more a cooking and food "curiosity".

I am VERY glad I asked. People's perceptions are different, and I would never want give the impression that I am boasting to anyone.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:22AM
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You should feel proud of your degree in cooking. Hang it in your kitchen, it will encourage and give confidence in you.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 5:43AM
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I think that you should show it off! It is your house and you can hang it wherever you like. It is like art, you cannot go wrong if you like it or want it somewhere special. I also think it probably does not look like the standard diploma we might be picturing, according to how you described it.

Do you have any other related art to place with it? I think the kitchen or dining is the appropriate place for it. It is in relation to cooking. As already said (for example), a doctor would hang their diploma in their office. Your office is the kitchen and dining.

Do you have a photo of it or any photos to share? I would LOVE to see it!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 5:54AM
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I agree. Your kitchen/dining area is your "office" so I would display it. I would do as others suggested and make a nice display around it with some other cooking-related art.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 7:05AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Congrats on your accomplishment!

While it is your home to do with as you please, I think if I were a guest in someone's home that had their diploma in the DR, I would think it odd. Putting that in a public space, to me, says it's something you need to have everyone know....sort of along the lines of name dropping. At one point in our old study, we had our diplomas and other awards hanging up, but it was an office environment and a private vs. a public space.

Perhaps there's someplace else in the house you could consider hanging it ...like a hallway a stairway, a den, a family room....

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:17AM
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Don't forget to carry your food safety permit and post "employees must wash hands" notices at the required locations too.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:31AM
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That's why I suggested reframing it. Get it out of the law degree frame and into something attractively decorative in the mood of the room. It'd be a shame not to hang it because some are imagining something like a license to practice medicine posted for patients to inspect.

One thing for perspective: Most of the people visiting would not choose your dining table, most would not choose the colors you did. You can count on it that none would have chosen both your table and your colors and that some will even dislike them, even if they can, mercifully, enjoy visiting anyway. In trying to impact everyone in a certain way, all decorating is doomed to "fail" miserably. As for your diploma, some will smile at your pleasure in your diploma and others briefly wonder that it's in the dining room, but not enough to remember after they turn away.

People who use their homes for business or fundraising of course need to decorate for just the right effect on visitors. If you don't have that limitation, it'd be a shame if you didn't use your freedom to decorate for your own pleasure, enjoying those can join in your feelings, and appreciating the rest for themselves. And, as I said, I personally see it as a charming conversation starter for the dining room of someone with an enthusiasm for food.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:23AM
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That's why I suggested to surround it with some other items that put it into context (ideally with a little irony).
So, I'd combine it with some snapshots of you frazzled in cooking class, some old recipes, a drawing by your kid "mom as a cook" or an early school report card with home economics. And even then, I'd probably put it in the breakfast area or kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:26AM
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I would hang it in the kitchen where you do your best work. If it is too big have a copy made and reduce the size to fit the area. You could hang the larger one in your office if you have one. I think it would be great in a very informal dining room (changing the frame) mixed among other related items but a bit odd in a formal dining room. I wouldn't go so far to say that it would be offensive. I also think it would depend on what else is going in the room as far as decor. Got pictures?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:30AM
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Absolutely hang it, with pride! I don't think it's silly, or boastful, or anything. You will be entertaining family and friends and it is YOUR HOME. Love the idea of also framing favorite handwritten family recipes nearby.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Haven't had time to read the whole thread, apologize if redundant.....

Is your alma mater a fancy cooking school that makes jaws drop and causes salivation? Are you big into cooking now, with family and friends who also cook with and for you? Is wonderful food a theme of your life, ala Julia Child? If so, I think it would be lovely to hang the diploma in a gorgeous frame. Teacat's ideas sounded very good to me.

But if cooking is just a long-ago and forgotten pastime, I am not sure why you want to hang the diploma?

And it's none of my business, of course. But be sure that your reason is supported by the way you choose to hang it. For example, if you want to stimulate dinner guest food talk or conversation about the school or the program or the time of life when you were taking courses, then the dining room is the perfect place for the diploma. I myself would be very interested in hearing about your cooking school experiences.

But if you really just need people to know you graduated and do not wish to discuss it, perhaps elsewhere would be better.

This post was edited by jamies on Wed, May 8, 13 at 13:25

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:20PM
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If it were me, I'd hang it in a home office. Depending on what it looks like, possibly in the kitchen. But in a formal DR, or in any DR? No, I wouldn't do it. To me, it's no different from a college diploma, law school diploma, whatever.

I don't consider it boastful in any way to hang a diploma, but neither do I consider it a piece of art.

nosoccermom, I don't agree that the diploma should be hung so as to convey irony.The diploma, and what it represents, presumably is meaningful. If it were me, I'd either hang it with pride and show it off - or not. But nothing in between, and certainly not in any way that might seem to devalue the accomplishment..

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:16PM
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I guess if someone is a braggart, hanging their diplomas in public areas might strike people that way. I doubt you are, though, since you are asking how it will be perceived!

The dining room isn't a place you usually see something like that, so it doesn't seem like a natural place for it to hang. In the kitchen would certainly make sense and be fun for you to enjoy. I don't think you have to hide it! lol

Unless you have a home catering business or something, in your office seems so serious.

Making a tray or something from a copy would be fun too. I think having it out is a good reminder that you have what it takes to make a fabulously tasty meal!

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, May 8, 13 at 16:35

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:24PM
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The question is also: Do you hang it for yourself to enjoy or for others to see?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Wow, such interesting thoughts on the subject. As I said before, I am so glad I asked.

jamies: your first paragraph described the situation to a T. I basically run an unofficial bed and breakfast at my house. I live in a vacation destination and have a constant stream of family, friends, friends of friends, my siblings' in-laws, and all manner of people either closely or loosely related to me staying here all year long, especially in the summer.

I live in a small town, and most people already know I went to cooking school. I would never bring it up in conversation or name drop, unless someone directly asks me. I want to hang the diploma for myself, because I love it. I love to look at it, and it reminds me of one of the best experiences in my life.

I will get it out of the closet and take a pic to post later. I think I am going to reframe it and hang it in a small hall that leads to the kitchen.

Again, thanks for the honesty. I am not a boastful person and don't want to be seen as such. That being said, I am generally very confident and outgoing, so I don't want to give the impression that I'm showing off.

I am a down to earth person (I hope) who loves cooking and feeding people. I'm not a snob or a highbrow foodie. Food is my life and has been since I was a child. When people come over, they expect to be fed, and fed well! It was the same way before I went to school. I am just better at it now:)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:16PM
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I think the kitchen would be the best place for it. If it's "too formal" for your kitchen space, reframing would be an option. Put something else in the mahogany frame for the dining room.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:51PM
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