Let me say, this is probably the single post that has contributed most to my extended absence on the blogging front. It is very hard for an extreme perfectionist like me to blog about a room that I feel is extremely imperfect and unfinished. But (deep breath)…here I go:
The dining room.
Starting waaaay back at the beginning, when we were building, I decided to eliminate the column and instead enclose the dining room. Here is a picture of another house with our same floor plan, to reference what we changed:
I’m just not a fan of the random column. And I really liked the idea of having french doors leading to the dining room (to be added later). Plus, I didn’t want to feel like I had to decorate the dining room to coordinate with the living room like I would have to if it was all one open space.
So instead, it looks like this:
For the most part, I am happy that I made this change. I especially like how the extra wall makes the entryway feel a bit more separate from the rest of the open floor plan. I will admit though, this dining room is tiny and enclosing it only adds to that feeling. If I were to do it over again, I might’ve had them redesign the floor plan to give us a little extra space in the dining room (even if it meant loosing a bit in the living room).
Anyway, moving on. A dining room table was really the only major furniture purchase we had to make when moving from the rental to the new house. About a month before we moved, a local furniture store was going out of business and was having HUGE sales so we decided to take advantage and found this table, with a 60% markdown!
I really liked how modern it looked, and because it is a square and the dining room is a square, it was a perfect fit. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about were those dark, velvet-y cushions in the chairs. But by that point I was reading enough DIY home improvement blogs to know that I could easily change that by reupholstering them myself.
Can you guess what color I ended up changing the cushions to? Ten points for you if you guessed WHITE! Yes, I seem to have an affinity toward the high contrast combo of dark wood with white accents, or vice versa.
So this was my first reupholstering job, and it really wasn’t too difficult. It didn’t turn out perfectly, but it was good enough that it doesn’t bother me. I am not going to do much of a step-by-step breakdown because frankly I am no expert and there are hundreds of blogs with instructions on how to do this from people who know more on the subject than I ever will! But basically, we just removed the seat, and I put my new fabric right over the existing cushion, pulled it as tight as I possibly could and used a staple gun to tightly secure the fabric to the back. Then we just popped the seat back in place. I love the results! It makes the whole table feel much more contemporary, in my opinion.
So for a while, the dining room sat like this.
The four other chairs are the leather parsons chairs we used to have at our kitchen table (when we were at the rental house). I just covered them with IKEA slipcovers to give them that Pottery Barn-esque feeling.
Eventually I added some curtains from Target and pillows from Pier One Imports:
I created the centerpieces as a nearly dead-on copy of some that were for sale at Ballard (wish I had a picture to show of the Ballard ones, but trust me, they look veeeery similar). It is just your basic clear vase with burlap fabric wrapped around it, and flowers from IKEA inside. The Ballard version was over $50 a vase, I think mine ended up being like, $12 or less a vase.
So here’s where my perfectionism screams for me to stop this post. But we shall keep going!
I had always had plans to do something different in here, a little outside the box. That’s partially why I wanted to enclose this room, so I could decorate it independently of the rest of the living/great room. I wanted to do something tone-on-tone, with different shades of white. And the blog world is pretty much going crazy for stenciling walls, so…you see where I am going here!
I used our trim paint (a semi-gloss) to create a tone-on-tone stencil against our already painted off-white walls. Isn’t it interesting how much darker the existing wall color seems with that bright white on top of it? Anyway, I bought the stencil from Etsy for about $40. I really like it, but man is it time consuming to do! The room basically sat like the picture above for a couple of months just because I couldn’t find the motivation to do the other three walls!
You can get a better idea of the process from the above picture. Basically you just have to do a small section at a time, then wait for that to dry and line the stencil up with the already finished parts and paint the next section. And then the next. And the next. And the next. Get the picture?
The part that really got me tripped up was the corners. The stencil doesn’t easily bend, so I really am at a loss to know how to get a perfectly crisp pattern (or even a nearly crisp pattern). I eventually just gave up, did it very sloppily and told myself I would go back later and hand paint the corners to fix them.
Well, then I got pregnant.
And I’ve really tried to be good and not breathe paint fumes while I am pregnant.
And this is not a project that my loving husband would ever DREAM of taking on. So the imperfect stenciling has just had to sit that way for. six. long. months. To say its bugging me is a bit of an understatement.
But one day it will be fixed. Just in time for me to get tired of it and want to redecorate, I’m sure 😉
I have some other decorating details, but I think I will leave that for another post since this one is already too long. Stay tuned. Its coming.