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The New Dining Room

21 Jan

Happy New Year to you all!

I’m back with more details and pictures of our formal living room turned dining room. We got the room pulled together just in time to host a really fun Christmas dinner at our house.

It was lovely all dressed up for the holiday.


And a far cry from where it stood only a few days prior.


And here’s a few more pictures of what it looks like now.

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The two bookcases will be emptied once the office bookcases are complete. I’m toying with the idea of having Steve add doors to the bottom and top of them to turn them into china cabinets. I have no idea if that’s even doable, but I would like 2 matching cabinets opposite each other in here. The one we have now is an old Ikea one I painted and has several chips (despite sanding and priming, the paint didn’t adhere very well to the laminate).

Also, it wasn’t until I looked at these pictures that I realized how off center the rug is. Looks like it can be moved a good foot toward the back wall. Amazing what you see in pictures that isn’t obvious in person!

Anyway, I am thrilled with the end result and so pleased to have this room put together.

Some details:

Wall color: Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog

Light fixture: Hampton Bay Barcelona Chandelier

Rug: Seagrass from Natural Home Rugs

Upholstered dining chairs: Ikea Hendriksdal (I don’t think the armchair version is available anymore)

Sconces: Ikea Rodd Wall Lamp (spray painted gold and cord painted to match the walls)

Curtain fabric: Essential Stripe in Hickory

Chair Pillow Fabric: Braemore Fern Fabric

Bookcases and china cabinet are all old Ikea pieces purchased for our first apartment 7 years ago.

The rest was either passed down to us or purchased at an estate sale, antique market, or thrift store.

Not too shabby for such a hodge podge!


11 Dec

Steve and I are currently in the midst of our annual end of year push to complete projects in time for Christmas. Last year, it was the wainscoting and crown molding in the hallway. I’m crossing my fingers that next year it will be putting the finishing touches on our screened porch to sunroom conversion. This year however, it’s turning our dining room into an office and our formal living room into a dining room.

I mentioned it before, but we’re making the switch for several reasons. We need an office, a larger dining room would be nice, and we don’t have a need for a formal living room (the family room and eventual sunroon will make for plenty of seating areas). Steve has been drawing (and re-drawing) plans for his office for months. There are a ton of books in our house and not nearly enough storage, so building bookshelves in the office is a big priority. We looked into using the Ikea Billy bookcases and making them look built-in, but in the end Steve decided to build his own from scratch. Here’s a look at the plans he made in google sketch up. The bookcases will run against the entire back wall of the office.


And here’s a reminder of the dining room looked like pre-office conversion:



Before Steve got started building the bookshelves, we cleared out the old dining room and took out the base boards and crown molding on the back wall.


While Steve got started building the first of 4 shelves with his father last weekend, I painted the room. We went with Sherwin Williams Intellectual Gray.

Last night Steve dry fit the first shelf against the wall.



I am so impressed! This one will eventually be moved up against the left wall and the shelves will run wall to wall. He still needs to build cabinet doors for the bottom, a counter top above the base cabinet, and the actual shelves. Rinse and repeat 3 more times. I think we’ll get started priming and painting this week, and he’s hopeful to get the other 3 built this weekend. The cabinet doors and shelves may wait until after Christmas.

The existing seagrass rug that was in this room will stay. Steve will likely build a new desk. We picked up this cute little table from his grandmother’s house when she recently moved which will live here by the window. It needs a few repairs then I think we’ll give it a fresh coat of black paint.


I picked up this leather chair at goodwill years ago. I had no idea what I would do with it, but it was so cute and so cheap (maybe $20) that I couldn’t say no.


It’s in super rough shape and in desperate need of a new upholstery job. In the new year, I’m going to try to re-upholster it on my own. It will require taking it down to the frame and building it back up. Sounds scary, but I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading a lot of books, so I’m hoping it will work out. It will go in a corner of the office, and I think it will make the perfect reading chair.

We will use the office as an opportunity to finally frame and hang our diplomas, and we’ve got some other ideas for wall art. For now, the lantern light fixture will stay here as it’s too small for the new dining room. Steve would ultimately like something else in here. I think it looks great in the office and should stay, but if he finds something else I’ll probably move it to our bedroom.

Finally, I’m going to keep the brown and cream striped curtains in here. I actually already made another set and moved the existing set into the new dining room since there are two windows in there. For consistency sake, I decided I will make yet another set to hang back up in the office.

Moving into the new dining room, converting this room is taking much less work. Here’s where it stood a few months ago.


We had an electrician add an over head light since one didn’t exist before. We purchased this light last weekend at Home Depot to hang over the table (still need to actually hang it):


I also painted in here a couple of weeks ago using Benjamin Moore’s Coastal Fog.


I rolled out the herringbone seagrass rug that used to be in our family room and moved in our pedestal side table and head dining chairs. The lamp was another goodwill find years ago. It originally was filled with seashells. I emptied those out, rewired the lamp, and used rub and buff on the base to freshen it up. The mirror is from the guest room. This room will be wood heavy and I felt like the texture on this mirror would make the room feel a bit more casual.

These shots are from last weekend before I hung the curtains.


Once the curtains were hung the next morning, we emptied the old dining room into here which turned this room into pure chaos.





You may notice 2 dining tables in here. One is our existing table, and the other we got from Steve’s grandmother. The table was her mothers and is from the sixties. We love it. It has 2 leaves and can go from a 4-8 seater. This is exactly what I was looking for in a table to use in the eventual sunroom, so we’re saving it for in there (the idea of eating our casual meals at a table with some much family history makes me very happy). For now, it will probably be used as Steve’s desk until he builds one, and it will be use for extra seating at Christmas which is why it’s here.

Here’s my new Christmas Tree skirt basket! How optimistic to take it out amongst the mess! I got it on Cyber Monday from Terrain (now that I have it, I think it’s overpriced but I love it and I got free shipping so what can you do?).


On the back wall where the chairs are lined up, we will put yet another piece of furniture we received from Steve’s grandmother. Really, she gave us some great pieces, and there’s several more I haven’t shown yet. The caveat is that it needs a bit of work, but I’m hopeful that we’ll get most of that taken care of this weekend. Here’s a truly awful shot of it in the basement, but hopefully you can get an idea of what it looks like.


I’m going to re-hang my arrangement of silver platters that I had in the old dining room above it, and I’ll add my milk glass and green plates to the mix.

As well as some sconces! I purchased these from Ikea last week and spray painted them gold to tie into the ginger jar lamp on the other wall.


Those are the plans and progress as of now! Fortunately, I think we can knock out a lot of the remaining work this weekend (leaving just painting and installing the bookshelves left to do). Plus, we took the week of Christmas off so there will be time for finishing touches then.

This may be delusional, but I’m also hoping to decorate the inside of the house for Christmas this weekend. At the very least, I’d like to get a tree up! I’ll report back next week!

2012 House Projects

6 Jan

Now that the 2013 goals are out-of-the-way, I want to take a look back at what was accomplished in 2012.

I started the year by making curtains for the family room and called this room done.

fr curtains


Later in January we had recessed lights and pendant lights added to the kitchen and family room.


Next up, I over-hauled our coat closet.



About six months later, I gave the pantry a similar re-do.


In March we purchased a new dishwasher which we thought was the last kitchen project.



But a few weeks ago, I recolored the grout in here with Grout Renew, just like I did in the hall bathroom. Now it’s done! Here’s a shot in-process:


We kind of accidentally re-did the dining room. Here are some pictures of the room completely done with the new dining table and upholstered chair seats.








My favorite project of the year was landscaping our yard. It’s been about 7 months, but the plants are already much larger.

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My second favorite project was the hallway and entry where we added crown molding and replaced the chair rail with traditional wainscoting.



We started re-doing the master bedroom by purchasing a king sized bed, new dressers, a rug and painting the walls. Still a LOT to do in here.


We moved the old bedroom furniture and rug into the guest room and mostly finished that space too.


And that’s our 2012 in review!

Christmas Preparations

16 Dec

The halls are decked:


The dining table is nearly complete:

refinished dining table


table leaf

A carpet remnant has been purchased for the hallway:

rug remnant


remnant close up

The dining chairs have been reupholstered:

reupholstered chair

And a Christmas table centerpiece has been assembled:

centerpiece arrangement


But all of the preparations for Christmas feel very insignificant today. This year more than ever, I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas with the people I love the most. I hope you’re all able to enjoy the same!

Quick Update

21 Aug

Hi Friends! I’m heading out of town for a few days to stay with my sister and her fam in their cute apartment in Brooklyn. Plans include excessive play time with my nephew, teaching him how to say “Auntie Kate”, eating big fat NYC bagels, hitting up the farmers market, and a long run in Prospect Park among other fun activities I can’t wait for.

I hate to leave this space blank for so long, so I thought I’d pop in with a small update on a few (of the many and endless) projects we’re in the middle of…

Like staining the dining table!

Here she is with two coats of stain on (we used Minwax’s Dark Walnut – mostly because we had it on hand). We’ll likely put on a couple more coats before we’re through.

And here’s a peek at the pantry I mentioned we’re working on.

Yes, stripes. Just like the coat closet. Nothing new here. I have a disease that requires all of my closets to match. You’ll be seeing these again in the linen closet too at some point. But then I’m done with the stripes. I sent a picture to my sister and she politely responded with “that’s a lot of work for a pantry.” Indeed.

Hope everyone has a good week!!

Dining Room (Re) Redo

7 Aug

Since last February, we’ve been slowly making changes in our dining room. It started innocently enough when I came across this table at Goodwill for $50.

You may remember that we already had a perfectly fine dining table. And chairs and curtains and wall art and all the other makings of a complete room. But I had never really been happy with the dining chairs we had, so when I spotted these chairs at a consignment shop I knew they would be coming home with me. Thankfully I was able to sell the existing chairs on craigslist and covered the cost of the new chairs.

And things kind of snow balled from there. Soon enough I was tracking down new fabrics and switching out the wall art.

Amazing how that happens, right? I’m just glad I still love the wall color (Ben Moore Camouflage). I’m too embarrassed to tell you how many coats of paint I put on those walls before settling on this.

But the room is finally starting to come together … again. Steve’s been working hard to refinish the Goodwill table little by little as he has time. I’m typically really involved in projects around the house, but I’m happy to leave the dirty job of sanding to him. And as of this weekend, we’re much closer to the staining phase. Here’s one of the pedestal legs in sanding central (the basement). You can see the top sitting on a table in the background.

When the table is done, the room will be (mostly) ready for it. Before I show you the progress, let’s take a moment to appreciate where it started.

That’s vinyl wall paper y’all.

And here’s the first redo:

And today:

There were only 7 of the new chairs available, so I bought 2 of these Ikea Henriksdal armchairs to add to the ends of the table should we need to add the leaf and seat 8.

As you can see, I still need to reupholster the chair seats. I’m also going to make some skirted slip covers for the seats. Probably like the picture below from here.

I would say it’s nice to have the room back together again, but here’s what it looks like currently:

You’re looking at the contents of my pantry here (clearly I have no shame). After a large grocery haul last week I decided our pantry needed to be re painted and organized right that very second. More on that project later!

Around Here

8 May

I’ve been working on a hodge podge of projects lately. Lots of things started. Not a single one finished. How about a run down?

The landscapers came today to finish cleaning up the yard. Unfortunately I can’t start planting yet because we’ll have to wait 2 weeks for the round up they used to wash off. They’ll be back then to take up the grass and weeds they sprayed. In the meantime, there are a few areas I can get started on. Maybe this weekend!

Three or 4 weeks ago, I did go ahead and plant a bed around our mailbox. This little corner of the yard is looking much better these days.

I thought redoing our entry and hallway would be next on our interior to do list, but it’s been bumped in favor of the bedrooms. Our bedroom is currently my least favorite space in the house. The room gets very little natural sunlight and isn’t very inviting. We’ll purchase all new furniture and upgrade to a king sized bed and move the current queen set into the guest room.

In preparation, I painted the guest room this weekend in Ben Moore’s Camouflage. This room has historically been the spot for everything that didn’t have a home or that we didn’t feel like taking into the basement. I’m really ready to not be faced with this mess every time I walk down the hallway.


My plan was to empty out the room before I painted, but I quickly realized I could just push everything to the center of the room. Lazy wins every time. Clearing it out is on my list for this weekend. Promise.

I’ve also started some projects in the dining room. The dining table Steve is refinishing is probably 80% sanded. I’m trying to sell our current dining chairs on craigslist to make room for the new ones. As part of the dining room update, I’m making new curtains and swapping out the prints currently on the wall for silver platters I’ve been collecting.

One curtain panel is currently in process. Here it is with a swatch of the fabric I’m going to use for some pillows in there:

I was kind of sad taking the prints off the the dining room wall because I like them so much, so I decided to use them in the kitchen. Here’s where they started:

And in their new home:

The prints are free from Vintage Printable. If anyone is interested in them, you can find them here along with many others.

I also picked up these plates at an estate sale a few weeks ago:

I’m going to hang them on either side of the window in the dining room with the milk glass plates above them in the photo.

So I’m a little bit of everywhere these days. I’m hoping to get started on our bedroom soon (because why not start something new when I have 5 other things going?) – updates on that coming soon.