May 24, 2013

Dining Room Updates

I've been reimagining our dining room for a couple of months now, and finally feel like it's done enough to share here. (I do still want to add a big ol' jute area rug at some point.)


The first thing I did was sell this Pier 1 table that we'd had since right after we got married. We wanted something a little longer because we like to have dinner parties, and lower to the ground because we want the girls to be able to sit at it comfortably. Plus, I've had my eye on farm-style tables. I sold our table and chairs to a friend after I found a guy on Craiglist who made these farm tables pretty inexpensively. I bought one off of him, and he kindly delivered it. Nekos rewired our chandy (which we also bought at Pier 1 long ago and still really love) and repositioned it over our new table. Then we outfitted it with Edison-style bulbs that we found at Home Depot.

This whole dining room redo started, funnily enough, when my friend Simone gave me a pair of chairs (one is pictured below) because she was doing a purge of her house. I loved the chairs and gratefully accepted them but had no place to put them because our existing dining room table was bar height. That set in motion my entire dining room switcharoo.


I painted these two chairs with some of the front porch ceiling paint I had leftover, and recovered them with a stained tablecloth I had and loved. Then I lightly distressed them with sandpaper.  

We needed a little bit more seating but we didn't have any money to devote to this project so I pulled in one chair from our office (the white one) and my friend Faith gave me another chair that once belonged to her grandmother. I painted it with Annie Sloan's "Paris Gray."


Then we pulled a coffee table up from the basement that my aunt gave me a long time ago but that has always been too formal for our house. To repurpose it as a bench, Nekos unscrewed the top of the table and removed it because it would have made the "bench" too long to fit under the table. I used the "Paris Gray" to paint the legs of the table and then had some red oak boards cut at Home Depot to fit the top of our new bench. We screwed them in and I painted them a creamy white. I plan on making a cushion for this bench at some point.

We also moved our bar to a different wall of the dining room, against the upholstery fabric wall I created a long time ago.


And Nekos made a cool art collage on the main wall, using a couple of prints we love and some of our favorite vacation photos.


Nekos isn't a big fan of our starburst mirror, which I think we also bought at Pier 1 a real, real long time ago, but I still love it and I like the way it brings light into a room. It got hung on a different wall opposite our table. 

And that's it! Other than our little living room, this is the first room you see when you walk into our bungalow and we are pretty thrilled about the way it looks now. It's very us. This wall color (Behr's "Plum Blossom") is the only paint color we haven't changed in the six years we've lived here. It's unconventional, but it brings so much personality and punch to our place.

Thankfully, we spent only about $250 on this project. Our only expenses were buying the new table and the boards for the top of the new bench plus some supplies to rewire and rehang the chandelier, but selling our existing table and chairs helped diminish those costs. I'm trying to use more restraint when it comes to spending on our house. I used to love to buy clothes (and, gosh, I definitely still do), but in recent years I have spent more of our hard-earned money on feathering our nest. But I love what can happen when I'm forced to work with what we have; the results are usually even better.