Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Dining Room - Second Try...

When we moved into our house, we knew we had to change everything.  Our plan was to tackle a lot of inexpensive projects first - for the most impact.  So, before we moved in, I worked on the dining and living rooms.  Here's why I chose these rooms:

1. The living room wasn't wallpapered - so after removing the three layers of curtains, all I had to do was paint.      Easy.

2. The dining room was only partially wallpapered.  A little more work, but easy.

3.  The rooms are the first two you see when you enter the house.  I figured they should look nice.

Here's what we started with in the dining room:

Here's what needed to be done:

1. Remove wallpaper.  Sand the walls.  They actually weren't in bad condition but they needed some touching up.

2. Remove the stained, smelly old carpet.  Unfortunately, there was only sub floor underneath.  Which we lived with for a year.  (I wanted to run the same hardwood floors in there and the kitchen.  So the dining room didn't get floors until the kitchen was remodeled.).

3.  Paint all of the wainscoting and trim a semigloss white.  It's hard to tell in the picture, but all of the trim in our house was a yellow-y off white.

4. Paint the top half of the room.  I was trying to get this room done before we moved in. So, I didn't give the color too much thought.  I used a beige that I had used in our old house (and loved).

5.  Remove the chandelier and find a new one.

6.  Remove the curtains.  Buy and hang new ones.

The project was going smoothly.  I ripped up the carpet and removed the wallpaper.  Finished all the painting.  And then I was stuck.  I had plenty of projects throughout the house, so the dining room became less of a priority.  It took a while to get back to it but I finally decided on a chandelier.  I fell in love with one in the Pottery Barn catalog.  It was beautifully photographed in several dining rooms and looked simple and elegant.  I broke down and ordered it.  I was so excited when it arrived, and Craig and I put it up that night.  I rushed out to buy mini shades.  And then I stood back to look...

I wasn't in love.  Well, I still did love the light.  I just didn't like it in my dining room.  It was too casual or simple or something.  I couldn't really figure it out.  And I moved on to the many other projects in the house.

Until now.  Why?  Because this is my dining room on an average day:

It's become the dumping ground for everything that doesn't have a home.  And I am determined to change that.  Even though we don't use the room a lot, I still want a nice semi-formal space in the house.  I know that sounds old fashioned, but I still want it.  And just for perspective, here is the before from the other angle:

Sorry about the lousy lighting in the picture but it's the only one I have from that view.  See that front door?  That has changed too.  I'll talk about that later.  And this angle now:

This is not what I want my guests to see when they walk in my house.  And I think the best way to keep this room looking nice, is to make it nice.  I plan on repainting the walls, adding a little more art, and changing out the chandelier.  I still kinda like the curtains but they may change too.  And even though the furniture is a little formal, I'd like to keep it that way.  I decorated the whole room around my grandmother's china cabinet in the corner.

It's my favorite piece of furniture (mainly because it holds sentimental value).  And the china inside was hand painted by my great grandmother - so I'll keep that on display.  But I want to make this room into something that we will want to keep clean.

I just don't know where I'm going to dump all of my junk when this is finished...