having a dining room is something important to me. my parents have a dining room and were always ALWAYS entertaining when we were growing up. it was a big part of my childhood—and we intend to do (and are doing) the same for our kids.
our home was built with only an eat-in kitchen originally. one of my "must-haves" during The Great Addition/Renovation of 2004/2005 was a dining room.
dinner happens around this table just about every night. we eat as a family. sometimes there’s extra friends, sometimes someone’s missing…but we eat here at the table. we talk and laugh and read a bible chapter together after we eat.
but that’s the smushy family stuff. let’s get to the nitty gritty.
there was no question in my mind when we did this room: i had always wanted a RED dining room. and red it is. FIVE tiring, back breaking coats of red, to be exact. the wall frames were jeremy’s baby--and i’ll admit when he did them i wasn’t a fan. but my tastes have changed and matured i think—i appreciate their beauty much more now. (am i awful? all over the blogworld women are lusting after wall frames…and i’m all meh. i let him have his way in this one thing. awful.)
so at first glance, through the french doors you see a lovely warm dining room.
it’s time for some changes. some updating. and here’s why:
walk in the room and to the right you have a fireplace. oooh, sounds romantic, right? i know what you’re picturing—a cozy roaring fire next to the table. a glass of wine in hand and snow falling softly outside.
okay, so yeah—sometimes we throw one of those fake logs in there to burn.
but don’t move that fireplace screen. because if you do you’ll see this:
AHHH! my eyes! that my friends, is a totally untouched
do we HAVE the tiles to make a surround? why yes, yes we do. have we had them in the shed for 5 years? why yes, yes we have.
and the mantle is no better—a mantle that never yet in the 7-ish years since this room was “finished” managed to properly decorate. that weird mismatched grouping of stuff? yup, that’s pretty much how it always looks. (except for my paint swatch board…but i’m coming to that)
continuing on around the room we come to this:
the buffet wall. that “sideboard” was $100 from a scratch and dent department. it’s a dresser actually. we’re missing a few knobs, the top has huge nicks and scratches, and most of the drawers only work if you really put your back into it. plus, it’s just too wide. it doesn’t look like it here, but it’s deep and the front bows out making it even deeper in the center. only very very skinny people can sit in that chair right in front of it.
as for the stuff here…well, it’s not awful. i’m just kind of…over it? it’s a collection of stuff from random places, nothing expensive.
on the sideboard: lamp bases—walmart clearance, $11 eachso you see? nothing crazy expensive. i’m just kind of done with the cluttery look and longing for something cleaner, brighter, and simpler.
lamp shades—a discount store in MA, $4.50 each
giant apple—thrift shop, $8
wine box and flower vase—gifts
little wicker box—ross i think? like $4 probably 10 years ago?
on the wall/shelf: clock—walmart clearance, $30 ish? it used to hang over the sofa and someone pulled the hands off it so it doesn’t work.
pear painting—done by me
little 3-painting plaque—ross, $3.99 (still has the tag on the back! probably 6 years old)
antique racquet—thrift, $1
also, i’d like to point out the LACK OF A WALL SWITCH PLATE COVER.moving on around the room:
7 years. and virtually everyone who’s walked in the house has mentioned it at one point or another. darling? can we PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE WITH A CHERRY ON TOP DEAL WITH THAT?????
the window wall. the two little lamps don’t work. not surprising considering they’ve each been knocked down 1.2 million times. ;)
the curtains were remnants of two different fabrics i pieced together. the fabrics are both gorgeous—the blue an embroidered silk, and red/gold stripe also silk i believe.
but they’ve been hanging there limply for a long time, and i’d like to see something new—more modern, and more of a graphic print. (and they've already been spoken for, so they're going to a good home!)
there’s a few more cheap ross-bought pictures on that wall, and that corner also holds the high chair.
i don’t hate the stuff on the walls. i love my french advertisements. i’m thinking they’ll make a nice grouping in the hallway back to the kids’ rooms.
(it’s the diamond painted wall you can see through the other doorway here, which had pictures on it that i just stole to use somewhere else and now looks sadly empty)
now the elephant in the room--
okay, first of all, i LOVE my round table. the size of this room was determined based on having a round table. but there’s a few things here, too:
o1) don’t be fooled by that tablecloth. the base of that table is a $50 table jeremy and i bought from the jc penney’s furniture outlet before we got married. it was designed for 4, maybe 5 people. as our family grew…
surprise! he cut a BIGGER circle from mdf and screwed it on top. now i’m not gonna lie—this is amazingly handy. kids doing a project? mom doing a project? just toss the tablecloth to the side and have at it! it’s a virtual time capsule of all the painting and crafting we’ve done over the years. and when company comes or it’s dinner time, just throw on a new tablecloth and you’re good!
except…i’m kind of ready for a REAL dining room table. and for not having to wash a tablecloth every. single. day. i don’t think we really planned on that $50 table from penney’s outlet lasting us 15 years…but it has. and now it’s time to go.
o2) FAKE FLOWERS. need i say more? okay, i will: GOOD BYE.
o3) the chandelier. after pondering and staring at it and looking online, i don’t think i hate it. i think it just needs to be sprayed a solid color—not the mottled brownish/greenish/black it is now.
o4) the chairs—obviously they’re staying. jeremy and i designed these and he made them and i love them. they’re covered in soft chocolate brown leather and have springs in them—which makes them insanely comfortable and durable.
but i like angles and curves, and because the front edge is substantially w i d e r than the back they just really don’t fit well around a round table. serious dumb move on my part.
o5) the rug—used to be in the family room. i drug it in here because i was tired of it rolled up and sitting in the way after we bought the orange one for that room and it was either that or throw it away but it still had some life left in it so i couldn’t justify tossing it. it’s dirty and was $50 at ikea. now let us never speak of it again.
so there you have it—an extremely long post
i hear you whispering…but shannon, you never really finished the family room. or your room. or the kitchen. there’s even things to be done in the girls’ room for cryin’ out loud. come to think of it—i’ve been here since the bitter beginning, and didn’t you say you were “updating” your living room? what ever happened to that? and now you’re starting on the dining room? what?
and so to you i oh so graciously say: SHUT. UP. okay, actually, what i say is this: the things remaining in those rooms are, how shall i put this? not my problem? meaning—beyond my scope of expertise. meaning—they’re waiting on him—the googiedaddy, the mister, jeremy. so i move on to things i can do.
okay—and some of the things…um, i just lost interest in. plus, it’s my blog and i can do what i want to.
but really, the plan is simple. this is not a major overhaul—just a minor freshening. and i can handle most of it on my own.
first: i love my red walls. i really do. even still. but it’s time for a change.
meet the change:
i also bought a yard of this:
with discount codes and free shipping i got it all (plus one other random yard of an amy butler fabric) for just over $40. woot!
so the walls will be painted (what little there is of the actual wall!) and the wall frames and trim will get a fresh coat of white. the drapes will be replaced, and the de-cluttering will commence. i’m not sure what i’ll put up on the walls, i have my eye out for one or two substantial pieces i can buy, or more likely, copy.
i want to spray paint the chandy for now. maybe in the future replace, but it works.
the sideboard: i’ve got my eye out for something thinner and smaller. i’m looking at thrift shops for something cheap that can be upgraded.
the other major change—and this one falls into the mister’s “to-do” pile…i’ve been pinning things like this:
(sidenote: did you see the thing that said "pinterest is for women what fantasy football is for men"? so true!
i’m thinking a big long wooden farmhouse table. he’s got some cherry and black walnut stored that was given to him by a landscaper that had it rough hewn into planks after cutting down the trees. it will make a lovely table. i love the juxtaposition of a rustic table with some more formal elements. (and i love that word…juxtaposition) and, while i’ll lose my round table, the chairs will fit much more neatly around a rectangle.
of course i'd love some of those giant gorgeous windows...and the manicured gardens outside of them...but...
so there it is—the plan in