Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Dining Room Before and After Reveal!

The dining room is at the front of the house, and the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. It faces slightly northeast, making it a darker corner of the house. The ketchup (okay, maybe more wine than ketchup) walls didn't help to brighten the space at all. But wait! There's a chandelier for light, right? Nope! That was merely a glass vase and candle holder. Surprise! There was no electrical wiring in the ceiling, either.

Hello, ketchup and mustard!

Before week one was over, we began the dining room remodel.

Honestly, the ketchup/wine color was probably something I would have lived with ten years ago, and it would have matched our furniture and decor just fine. It just didn't feel right in this house.

Priming was absolutely necessary. Even with a coat of primer, the room already looked lighter and brighter! We chose Sherwin Williams Watery for the wall color, a nice neutral blue that goes with just about anything and will work well in all seasons.

Here's the dining room now:

Let there be light!

I found a wrought iron swag chandelier on Overstock.com to add light over the dining table without the need to call in an electrician and open up ceilings and walls. I like it because it is simple and understated, and it will be fun to decorate for different seasons. And did I mention that it was a bargain? $100.

I used a burlap cord cover (Ballard Designs) to hide the not-so-pretty chains. I think it adds to the style, which I am now dubbing New American Farmhouse.

We mixed a little new with a lot of old. I like to fill our rooms with the things that have meaning, rather than collecting an assortment of items that the decorating world tells me is the "new hot item". After all, we don't live in magazines. We live in homes. Our houses should tell our story.

The hutch now holds my collection of Ironstone, a wedding gift from one of our childhood neighbors when I was growing up.

I found this "Temperance" sign at an antique store in Chesterfield, Missouri called "Old House at Hog Hollow". It happens to be the name of my hometown, so I had to have it. I have it sandwiched between a wire rooster and my grandmother's vintage cookie jar.

My mother gave me this antique high chair last summer. It was the high chair I used as a baby, and all of the family grandchildren used as babies, too. She bought it from the local farmstead that had once given the land to our family church to build upon many years ago.

 On the dining table, this lovely swan decoy keeps company with a vase of summer flowers in a vintage Ball canning jar (another gift from Mom!).

Don't Daisies just sing "Summertime"?

The new buffalo check curtains and the rug came from Ballard Designs. The curtains were the big splurge of this room, but they make such a statement. I love them. I saved a little money by buying the rods from Lowe's. Also, this fantastic rug is actually a very reasonably priced indoor/outdoor rug. I found the bold pattern to be slightly contemporary, while at the same time suggesting a quilt pattern which definitely follows my New American Farmhouse theme.

The piano from our Pittsburgh home made the move with us. And let me tell you, the movers were very happy that they only had to carry this heavy piano a few feet through the front door! I think it looks great in this room, and now Sam can give us mood music when we dine. :)

My favorite paintings from Pennsylvania artist Kolene Spicher hang on both sides of the front window.

Spring, Summer...

...Autumn and Winter.

As you can see, the wood trim has seen better days. It looks like puppies and kitties scratched at them as they gazed out the windows every day. Our first thought was to paint out all the trim white. But the longer I live with it, the more I am liking the wood trim. It certainly isn't "the look" that you see in magazines and home decor now (where everything is white white white!). But it does go so well with our existing pine furniture. Perhaps we will give them a light sanding and staining and see if they grow on us.

We really love the new space. Before, I had a sense that no one ever used the dining room. It was probably meant to serve as the home's living room at one time (thus no ceiling light fixture), but had been converted to use as a show room. We don't live that formally. I like to use all of the spaces of our home, and this room is no exception. We have eaten in here frequently, and I know that we will enjoy many family meals in this space in the future.

This room is not only the first room you see when you enter the house, but it's also the first room I see when I come downstairs in the morning. And now, when this room is flooded with morning sunlight, I can start my day happy.

Hope your day is happy, too, cafe friends!


  1. Darn it all...I just couldn't resist taking a sneak peek before seeing it all in person :) Can't wait! Ready or not...here we come!

  2. Love the new paint color! You have been very industrious. ......and even found time to make a card!

  3. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.
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