Jun 15, 2012

Dining Room: Move-In to Present

Ah, the dining room.  That place where we're supposed to eat our food.  Anyone else tend to find themselves forever eating at the breakfast bar or on the couch while watching TV, and occasionally dusting the dining room table?  It's kind of embarrassing how little we sit at my beloved craigslist table, since it's what kicked off our entire kitchen cabinet redo.  Oh well, I like it even if I don't use it.

Ooh, shiny.

Upgrading the dining room was a pretty easy transition for us.  We only really made three improvements in here, and one of them is *technically* in the kitchen.  Everything else was just decorating- and most of that with items we already had.

First improvement: paint.  Just like the rest of the main parts of the house, it is painted with Sherwin Williams' Kilim Beige up to the ceiling line.  I like to leave the ceiling unpainted in rooms where the ceiling's vaulted.  It's a visual trick- it makes the ceiling look even higher and the room brighter and more spacious.

Can't see the line, can you Russ?

The second improvement made a world of difference for me.  See the faux-cut crystal and brass oh-so-90s chandelier?  Both him and his little brother who was hanging in our entry got the heave ho.  Well technically not the heave ho.  They got the craigslist treatment.  It took me almost a month but I finally got someone to buy both of them for $50.  I'm still incredulous that someone would pay $50 for them, but to each his own, right?

Let's see how much our Beanie Babies are worth on ebay while we watch Friends.

So we got to switch them out with something a little less offensive.  Since I was still so in loooove with our distressed black bar-height craigslist table, it kind of set the tone for decorating.  My dishes are painted with Tuscan-themed fruits, so it only seemed natural to bring the Tuscan theme from our last house's kitchen to a whole new level.

Enter a 20% off coupon from Lowe's.  Soon enough, our lighting situation had been upgraded.

Gotta love a chandy.

The chain on this baby is still loose and untamed for one key reason- the chandelier isn't centered over our dining room table.  We figured at some point we'd swag it over, but until now we've been lazy. (Just keepin' it real.)

Third improvement: more paint.  In the kitchen, actually.  That breakfast bar comes out into the dining room, and we knew two of our bar-height chairs would be pushed right up against it, so it was super-important when we painted and stained the kitchen cabinets that we do a really good job on the breakfast bar to keep the look seamless.

Double the distressing.

Everything else was easy-peasy.  Not to say that it's "done" (to Steve's chagrin).  But here's where we're at now.

My absolute favorite thing about our dining room (aside from my aforementioned devotion to the craigslist table) is a hutch that Steve's mom made several years back.  It fits perfectly with the country-chic-meets-Tuscany vibe that's happening in there.


The distressed matte black and the ocher bead board make my heart sing.  Aside from our plates on the plate rack, we just keep some of our cute kitchen-y odds and ends on this hutch.  So not only do I love the hutch, but I love the stuff in the hutch.

A Partylite pillar candle holder from one of Steve's aunts, a ceramic bird that I got with my sister-in-law, a bottle of wine that was a Christmas gift, the gorgeous Fitz & Floyd serving platter that belongs to my mother-in-law.

The mandolin that one of Steve's grandpas made in his younger years.

Lemons (faux, but of course) in a pretty beverage dispenser.  I do love me some lemons.

The marble rolling pin that belonged to Steve's other grandfather.

The gorgeous Crate & Barrel wine glasses we got for Christmas, silk artichokes, our inherited set of chopsticks.

Even with cramming that hutch full of kitsch, we still had more things that needed to be stored or displayed.  Enter stage left, my old friend craigslist.  I have long had a small set of crystal (a wedding present from dear friends of the family) and nowhere to display it.  I also had more casseroles and cake pans than kitchen cabinet space.  As usual, I prowled craigslist until something wonderful popped up.  A small natural hutch from Ikea in like new condition for $40.  Yes please.

It's knotty.

And of course, there's always something unfinished, right?  Oh look, random box of stuff on the floor, perhaps?

Ten months after move in?  You bet.

How about a bookshelf that didn't fit anywhere else in the house?  Sure, why not.

Fire trucks on a ladder shelf.  Get it??

Eventually there will be a sideboard on the wall where the bookshelf lives- Steve agreed to make me one for the additional small appliances we've managed to accumulate since moving in here.  I found this guy at Pier 1.  Pretty sure we could make something similar for WAY less than $599.

Too sexy for its price tag.

Pretty much everything else in our dining room, we already owned before moving in.   Aside from the cheapie display cabinet, the curtains were our only real expense.  After a couple of months of having our neighbors stare into our windows while I was indecisive, I settled on 96" drapes from Lowes that we modified to create a header for a more formal look and hemmed to skim the floor (thanks to my mom's patience and sewing machine).

Gratuitous craigslist table action.

So that's where we're at with the dining room right now.  Next stop: get that box unpacked and steam the carpet.  Maybe then we'll eat in the dining room...?

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