Thursday, January 14, 2016

Project #3 - The Dining Room

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!


Anonymous said...

Way to go, Reno Girl! :)

I don't know that you need to get lighter curtains. Of course, if you do and then post another picture, I'll likely gush over it any way.

I am hoping to renovate our main floor living space -- replace our battered up hardwoods (they've been sanded down to nail heads in some spots already), get new living room furniture and maybe new dining room furniture. I am hoping to commission my sister-in-law to make my dining room table...she makes lovely wood furniture. But she tends to have a hard time completing projects and I'm too completion oriented.

I might have Shannon over to help me think about our space before we replace furniture because I am willing to make a go at forever furniture (we too mostly have hand me down/second hand stuff).


Anonymous said...

I LOVE it!!!! It looks amazing!!!

I have a question though, and I don't mean it in the potentially rude way it will come out:

Does the light fixture need to be centred, or does the table? Is it the photo or is the table more over to the right than it needs to be? And if it is on purpose, I get it. Our dining room table is too big for the dining room (not that yours is!!) and therefore it can't be in the dead centre if we want to be able to walk around it...but the picture on our wall and the hutch underneath the picture are centred with the dimensions of the room and the light fixture...and it makes me CRAZY. So I had to ask. Coz otherwise I was getting a little crazy about it.

xo Sio

Daniel said...

That looks great! I love it with the dark curtains - very elegant. Good looking chairs!

We totally agree with you on the Ikea dishes getting ugly and scratched WAY too quickly. You know it's pathetic when you look through your stack of plates for the cleanest ones for Christmas dinner, and are delighted when you find some that are 'not bad'.

L said...

Thanks guys!

Sio - when we knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, we pushed the kitchen counter a little into the former dining room. So now if we centre the table under the light fixture, it's too close to the stools & counter. We could move the table away from the mirror wall so that the light fixture is at least centred lengthwise above the table, but then the table juts out too far towards the living room. So both ways, it's not ideal. We do have some leeway with the cords/chain used to hang the fixture, so I'm going to try to put in a ceiling hook and "swag" the light fixture so it's centred.

Sorry - that's probably a longer answer than you wanted!

Anonymous said...

No!! It's a good answer!! Hahah! Sorry I am so fixated on it! The room DOES look AMAZING!!! xoxox

Martha said...

what a fabulous change! Look really nice! I'd like to do some changing in our house too - now that both the boys moved out, I'd say it's time for some updating!

Anonymous said...

Looks awesome!! Nice work. Way to go Nevey with the mudding. We just bought Corelle dishes. Jim