Wednesday, September 7, 2011

(Pretty Much) Done

I am excited to share with you another (pretty much) done room of my house! And feel free to consider this a two in one post. Because not only is this a before & after of our dining room in general, but part of the reveal includes another rather big before & after project: the dining room table. 

Let's start, shall we? Here is a before shot of the day or so before our truck of stuff came followed by what it looks like today:

Ah. Much better. 

The dining room, hall and part of the kitchen were the first rooms to be painted - even before our moving truck came. That helped a great deal already. I like red. It was an accent color already back in Grand Rapids. But a whole room of it? Let's just say, it was nice to see it go. Another B&A set:

As I look at these shots, I see that by adding curtains, an "awning" and a snowball-of-a-dining-room-light, I've successfully made the room seem much smaller/shorter. But with smaller comes cozier and homier. So I'm ok with that. Things slowly changed in this room over the (almost) year we've been here. I never had a complete 'vision' for this room. (then again - do I ever have a 'vision'? not really...things just eventually happen) Besides wanting two big square frames one either side of the window, I had nothing - no dream dining room. But slowly I figured it out and now, I love it.

The room sported a ceiling fan and I knew that had to go. There's something about cooking a hot meal, only to cool it down with the aid of a ceiling fan that has me confused. Enter fun IKEA dandelion light. (I had some help installing from my parents - my dad did the electrical part and my mom helped with the flower putting-on...good ol' build-it-yourself IKEA)

The room offered the only available spot in the house for our piano, plus the only location for the internet cables, etc. to hook up. (wires, wires, everywhere on the left side of the piano) Enter baskets to tuck that stuff away and a new piano bench slipcover.

The room had walls that politely asked for more than just "here's what I have, let's toss it on". A trip to Winners and a hunt all the way to the back of their artwork section and: Enter these beauties in just the right colors.

The room needed curtains on the patio doors for privacy (the window already had blinds) and originally I purchased dark brown ones. Loved them. Wish they would've covered the whole window. But saw these Ikea curtains here and here and fell in serious like. The color of the dots matched my island to a tee and I thought they would compliment the fun-ness of the dandelion light. Brown curtains moved to master bedroom. Enter dotted curtains. (which, by the way, are discontinued, so unless you're prepared to {almost literally} rip curtains off display walls, don't expect to find them at Ikea anymore...bummer, I know)

The room housed a dining set that Tim and I purchased in London for $200, just before we were married. We stumbled across it waaaaay in the back of a rather expensive furniture store, in their clearance section. We decided we couldn't go wrong at the time. But 6 years later, we were both tired of the finish and look and began browsing around for a new set. $200? No siree. The ones we like are a smidge (ok, a lot!) more expensive than that and waiting seemed like a good idea. Then I had a brilliant "in between table sets" idea. Paint! Sand! Stain! And pull in our brown living room chairs on the ends... Enter a new-to-us dining set. 

The room had a big, tall window area that needed some kind of window treatment, but I couldn't decide on what. Until I was browsing outdoor rooms (another project coming up) on pinterest and came saw an awning. A little online research, a purchase of two tension rods and some fabric later, and...Enter my very own indoor awning. Finishes off the space, doesn't it?

We've discussed the possibility of an area rug, but both of us nixed the idea. Sweeping up crumbs and spilled milk is much easier on hardwood - and we do have a Hadassah eating at this table. Plus, the hardwood is laid out in a big, cool square, which we would entirely miss out on with a rug.
And so despite a couple little things yet to be done - the curtains have floods right now so their hem needs to be taken down, plus I've been collecting plates for one of the walls - our room is complete! How about two last after shots?

I tell ya, I still get random smiles on my face when I think about our house and how it came to be and I still thank God every day for blessing us with this home. I know it's temporary - we won't be on this earth forever! - plus, it's a fact that minister's move. But every day in it is a gift from God and we're determined to enjoy it and hope it can bless others as well. 

Now to finish up the front porch. Just in time for fall and winter. ;)


  1. Hi Jennifer,
    I been a follower of your blog for a long time and I just have to comment!
    Your decorating taste is fabulous! I love the awning, the table, the lights. Great job!
    Thanks also for the post about your trip to Lancaster. Now I have that on a must-see list.
    I have you linked to my blog because you are a great inspiration of DIY and I love how you write! Thanks for posting.

    Kerri from Vineland

  2. It. Is. Fabulous. !! Great work. I think i need to find a place in my house for one of those splendid IKEA lights. :-)

    -jen k.

  3. You`ve done a wonderful job. I have always loved cafe curtains and they look fabulous in your house!

  4. Ok,'re my hero!! You make me even more excited to get a house so I can decorate it.

    And BTW, I am no longer calling you Jen, I am now going to refer to you as Martha! ;-)

  5. That awning is great! The room looks so cozy, warm and inviting.

  6. Super cute spaces! Love how you've personalized it. Saw your feature on Better After!

  7. I saw you featured on Better After today and cant wait to follow your blog and see more of your home nad get to "know" you better.
    Stoppin in from NY:)

  8. Can you share the name of your wall color with us? I would love to lighten up our dining room(currently a too- dark mocha color) and love how light yours is.

  9. Thank you everyone - it's always nice to know that you're not the only one who thinks something worked!

    ...but "Martha" may be going a bit far. Appreciate the implication behind it, though!

    Wall color? I'd love to share it with you because I do believe it's going to be my go-to neutral, that's how much I've enjoyed it. It's "Natural Linen" from Benjamin Moore. It's also in my bathroom upstairs and very possibly will make an appearance in our master bedroom.

  10. Your space looks beautiful! And I love that dandelion light fixture! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Great job, love the curtains!

  12. Popped over from Better After... your room is so warm and inviting.

    I especially love the awning and that light has me drooling.

    You make me want to scrap everything in my house and start over.

    Thanks for sharing... I am off to check out your other ideas. So happy I found you.

    Hugs, Deb



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