Our dining room is small and basic and has the least amount of furniture of any room in the house. Yet it has been an ongoing project for the last 18 months. It started off as this:
Somewhere along the way we added wallpaper (filling the panelling lines first).
That was followed by a mirror and a new light fixture.
We bought the old white melamine table second-hand when we lived in Toronto and we got every single penny’s worth out of it. It was chipped and marked and ugly. We ditched the matching chairs a few years ago when the upholstered seats were so stained and disgusting that I refused to invite anyone over for dinner. Kristin’s parents were getting rid of their farmhouse-style chairs and even though it wasn’t the look I was after, the solid wood seats were a big step up. With a table cloth covering the table, we managed just fine in this state until the motivation to go buy a new table and chairs kicked in.
That finally happened in December. I had vowed to get rid of the existing set in January which would force us to take action. And then Christmas happened ... to my surprise and delight, Dale had squirrelled away money to put towards a new table and chairs.
I wavered between investing in an expensive “forever” set and just snapping up a cheaper one at IKEA. IKEA won. The problem with buying an expensive set is that I don’t like being all careful and anxious about any scratch or mark (which is why we kept the old table so long). Also, small decisions aren’t super easy for me, never mind a big expensive dining room suite. It would have taken me months to decide and if I ended up not loving it, I would have been very sad. But if we really feel the IKEA one is not working for us, at least we didn’t invest two months’ salary in it.
But so far, we love it! I blatantly stole the look from Mike and Darla, who took Shannon’s advice on it. Shannon helped me along the way with decisions and ideas. It must have driven her crazy to see how slowly I made this happen. But as always, she was patient and supportive! My friend Rachel also gave me advice and a kick in the butt when I needed it.
Here it is:
The table expands to seat 12 very comfortably. The extra leaves have a nice little spot under the table top when they're not in use. We bought two more chairs, which are put to use in different parts of the house when not needed at the table.
To go along with our new table, we bought new dishes. Our cheap IKEA ones were scratched up and looked terrible, despite not being very old. I hope IKEA tested the quality of the table and chairs a lot more thoroughly than they did those dishes (which they still sell - DON'T BUY THEM).
So now we're set! We served brunch for 9 people on Sunday and it was a success. Now I have no excuse not to have people over. Except the cooking part.
Here's one last before and after photo.
As I look at these pictures, I think I'm going to put up lighter-coloured curtains, right after I check with Shannon! And my plant needs a pot. And my mirror needs cleaning. And my light fixture needs centre-ing. It never ends! But I'm loving it so far!