Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Cheap Tricks

So, the dining room. To put things in perspective, you should see what we started with.

This isn't the best picture--it doesn't show you the entire room--but you get the gist, right? Please note the Pathway of Filth that leads through the avocado shag into the kitchen, and the swanky pull-down light fixture that was coated in years of grease and dust.

Okay then.

Like the living room, the dining room also went through a transitional period, during which I liked very dark, saturated colors, and also during which I had no furniture. The result was a very traditional cave/dining room with deep red walls, my mom's old uber-traditional dining furniture (which I was not allowed to paint), and some very dramatic gold fabric (with tassles! Oh, my!) twisted up over the window. The fabric was intended for curtians, but I was too lazy to make them. We did manage to put a chandelier and some crown molding up.

The red was okay, and I especially liked it in the fall and over the holiday season, but it could feel oppressive in my tiny, tiny house. It really didn't feel very "me," either. The table, even with no leaves in, was too big for a room that we have to walk through constantly, and the chairs were too bulky. Over time, the dining room has evolved into what I think is something that's brighter, crisper, and much more reflective of who we are.

The walls are now a crisp apple/pear green (Sherwin Williams "Parakeet"). The curtains are from Target, and I was thrilled at their quality: thick fabric, nice lining, available in the long length that I need for my tall windows. We found the Spencer pedestal table at Crate and Barrel a couple years ago (I think it pops up in the online outlet store from time to time now), clearanced out because it was a floor model. We had the white chairs leftover from our years as renters, when we actually had an eat-in kitchen.

I craved a different light fixture, maybe something with a drum shade, but just taking the mumsy silk shades of the chandelier has placated me for now.

The above picture shows some of our baby clutter (high chair, exersaucer), but I included it for the shot of the buffet (flea market, $150) and the sunburst mirrors that I ordered from Pottery Barn Kids, thanks to a hot tip from Holly at Decor8. I think I may paint the mirrors black.

I'd had my china and crystal and whathaveyou on a big white bookshelf that Seth's grandfather made him years ago, but when Graham started crawling, we realized what a bad idea that was. I scoured Craigslist for something with doors on it, but all I could find were massive, overpriced (and sometimes hideous) china hutches. Then, a few weeks ago, I found this simple cabinet:

I loved its scale and its cute legs. The picture didn't tell me much about the quality of the wood. I decided if it turned out to be nice (visions of Heywood Wakfefield danced in my head), I would use it as-is, and if not, I would paint it.

Alas, it was not Heywood Wakefield blonde maple; it was wood from the Ikea Tree. So I went through forty-seven cans of spray paint and ended up with something I'm quite happy with.

I still need to touch up the paint a bit, and I'd like to add some more exciting hardware (Anthropologie's clearance bins are calling my name), but I'm pleased. I love the Craigslist.

From the last picture, you can kind of see into my kitchen, which isn't quite camera-ready (and not just because of the giant playpen blocking the door). Hopefully, after over a year of painfully slow DIY renovations, it will be done very soon and I can show it off here.

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Anonymous said...

just stumbled across here from decor8. love that dining room. such simple but thoughtful touches make such a great room!

Anonymous said...

Oooh--great dining room transition! Nice use of black while staying bright and cheerful. I think your renovations are going wonderfully.