Here is a current update of the dining room as of August 29th, 2012
We still have several items to add like a rug underneath the table, but so far I think it looks amazing compared to the dark paneling we started with. It may look a little too beige right now, there are several reasons for this.
1. I like a neutral backdrop with pops of color that I can change often. Ian and I both like to change things around periodically so I try to create a decor that allows me to do this. If I keep the base of the room somewhat neutral I can add pops of color with inexpensive additions like new place mats, center pieces, holiday decor...etc.
We are not limiting ourselves during the holidays. This room will look just as fantastic with pumpkins and Christmas garland as it will with spring flowers from the garden on the table. I can create a new feeling in the room as often as I like.
2. I bought these curtains less than a year ago for my old place (before I knew I was moving), and I spent too much money not to use them...I am determined! I also have a pair of chocolate brown curtains that I plan to add when it becomes colder out. As I before, I am a big proponent of switching a few of your decor items around for the seasons, not just holiday decor. I like to create a cozier setting in the winter with richer, darker colors, and then brighten things up in the spring. It prolongs the life of your items, and prevents you from becoming bored with everything. You don't need to go out and buy new stuff after a year or two.
3. I want to do something dramatic on one of the walls. The stairs to the second floor are in the dining room. I want it to POP!- whenever I finally decide and commit to a plan. Notice the paint swatches on the wall...I have several ideas. Stay tuned...
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
A few months ago (before I moved in) I excitedly called Ian to ask him if he could drive over to the alley near my apartment to pick up a table I had just found out by the dumpster. It took a little convincing...luckily Ian trusts my instincts when it comes to furniture, or at least he fakes it and humors me well.
The next day he called me from outside of the dumpster asking if I really wanted the table...he was not nearly as excited about the find. After explaining to him that that horrible odor he was smelling was from the dumpster he was next to and NOT the table, he lifted it into his Jeep and brought it home.
He also grabbed the legs that were scattered around even though I had told him I did not intend to use them. Thankfully Ian didn't listen to me.
My original plan was to purchase new legs and stain them to match the new finish I was going to give the top. Although this would not have been an overly expensive process, the point of pulling a table from a dumpster is transforming it for as little $$ as possible. This is the challenge, the goal and part of the fun. I love visualizing what something can be... discovering a diamond in the rough when no one else could see it.
So after pricing everything, we decided to stick with the old legs and give them a fresh coat of paint. Ian built a new base to support the table while I SCRUBBED, sanded and stained the top a nice dark walnut stain.
Shortly after we began working on the table my Stepmom mentioned she had chairs in her basement that we could have. After my Grandpop past away, my parent's bought his house and did a beautiful job renovating the home. So these were my Grandfather's chairs and I am so pleased we were able to bring them out of the basement and give them a new life.
I am working on a separate post about how I painted the chairs and legs. This was my first experience finally trying out the chalk paint I keep hearing so much about. I am hooked!
For now, back to our table...
We love it! Our dining room is in the center of the house so every time I walk anywhere I was going through an empty and unused room. As soon as the table was in I felt a huge shift from a house that is under construction to finally feeling like a home. I feel like the table was the anchor the house needed. Everything is falling into place now. I could finally hang pictures and decorate! I can invite friends and family over for dinner! Just in time for Fall...
Oh what a difference our dumpster table has made! The best part, we made it together!
Friday, August 10, 2012
Today, I woke up in the house by myself for the first time. It was Monday morning and Ian had to go to work early. We spent this past weekend moving furniture into the house that had been residing in the garage since April. We could finally sleep in the bedroom. Squatting in the living room was getting old.
The kitchen cabinets were starting to fill up, things were finding their place, missing items were beginning to surface...the house is starting to feel like a home.
On this early Monday morning I poured myself a cup of coffee and wandered around the silent and lonely house. Unsure of what to do with my solo morning, I found myself sitting on the dusty and unfinished stairs looking down on the dining room. It's empty now except for some tools and buckets of paint.
I am not exactly sure why I decided to sit on the stairs. Probably because we don't have a couch yet and the bedroom feels lonely. For whatever reason...I sat and started imagining what the dining room was going to look like. I see a rustic farm table with a dark stained top. After I refinish Ian's Grandmother's secretary desk, I'll put that in the corner with some plate wear. My collection of vintage bottles will go in the bay window. Hmm...what color for the walls??
While I was trying to picture different wall colors and decor I started looking past the unfinished walls that have been nagging me for weeks - we primed them, we just haven't picked a color. Today I started imagining what this room is for. Our family and friends will gather here. I will finally be able to serve a holiday dinner to my family in this room. We will drink wine and laugh together recounting old memories and making new. Things happen in a dining room. Important things. Days will be celebrated, good news will be shared, conversations will be had and decisions will be made. After a long, tedious and tiring weekend it is nice to sit and remember what all of this is for.
On this morning that started out feeling so lonely, I am suddenly feeling overwhelmed by all of the love that surrounds me in this unfinished dining room. Life will happen here. My life with Ian.
I think I will pick a paint color today...