Category Archives: Dining Room

Home Tour Tuesday: The Dining Room

Ta-da! It’s Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I reveal a new area or room in our home. Since we’ve just moved in, for now I’m just experimenting with what I’d like to do to improve it or decorate it. Eventually, I’ll show off before and afters. (Can’t wait!) But for now, it’s just the “before” and an explanation of what I’d like to see happen in the near future.

Today’s tour is the first room off of the entryway from last week–our dining room. Most of our downstairs is an open plan, but the dining room is set off by itself so it has a more formal feeling.

So here is our plain vanilla dining room. Mid 90s builder basic at its “best,” no?

And a few more close-ups from various room angles:

Overall, it is a very serviceable, decent dining room. Yawn. It plays its role well, and we use it on a regular basis. I am even planning to entertain there soon, as Daniel and I enjoy opening up our home to friends and family for dinners or parties occasionally. (Why wait for something to be perfect? We’re gonna enjoy our home now, despite its flaws!)

That being said, my goal is to makes the room feel richer and more vibrant by adding texture with patterns and bold punches of color.

We don’t have the money for a full overhaul; everything we do will be on a tight budget with lots of elbow grease instead of dollars. So, for this room’s upgrade, I’m hoping to add some DIY wainscoting, paint rich color on the upper part of the wall, and install a more modern light fixture. We’d also like to update our dining room table and chairs. I’ve been haunting Craigslist for about a year … eventually we’ll find one we like and can afford.

In addition, the current window sheers are a terrible burnt yellow color. I’m living with them for now, but, trust me, they will be one of the first things to go!

In the end, I’m hoping it will look something like this:

Dining Room
Much better, dontcha think?
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Filed under Budget Decor, Dining Room, DIY, Home Improvement, Home Tour Tuesday

Moving in Progress Update

Well, folks, it’s been three weeks since we moved into this house and one month since I quit my day job. Here’s the progress, to date:

  • Kitchen fully unpacked. Still some organizing to do.
  • Living room unpacked. We plan on purchasing a rug and selling our current coffee table/end table combo; for now, though, they are doing just fine holding up coffee and lamps.
  • Dining room mostly unpacked. I’ve been ignoring the two upright laundry hampers that hold all the odds and ends we took out of the old house in a panic at the last hour. I should probably unpack those. Oh, and Daniel would probably appreciate me moving the broken down boxes and packing paper in a trash bag out of there. Probably.
  • Bedroom has two boxes left to unpack and a ton of clothing to figure out where to put it. Maybe I’ll just take it all to Goodwill. Oh, and I am storing ALL of our wall art in the bedroom, propped against walls. Again, Daniel would probably appreciate me moving that. Somewhere.
  • Office is 3/4 painted. We just have the IdeaPaint and green accents to add. Currently, it is a little crowded with all the vintage things I’m taking pictures of for my new little Etsy shop. Oh, you didn’t know I had a new little Etsy shop? Why, take a gander by clicking on this link or the one on the top of the lefthand sidebar. Please and thank you. Otherwise, and this will sound like a broken record, Daniel would probably appreciate if I put all those lovely vintagey things back in their storage space.
  • Second bedroom (oh, how I love having a three bedroom home now!) is sort of our storage facility for the time being. It is mostly inhabited by stacks of books on the floor and a large air mattress for guests. One day it will be a clear floor and a real bed. And probably storage for my Etsy stock.
  • Outdoors. We love our new grill! It’s grill out time in the Brame household at least once a week these days, while we stubbornly hold onto the last warm vestiges of Fall in Tennessee. I should probably rake those leaves.

And that about sums it up. Our current organizational progress is mainly of the “figure out where everything goes” category. The GREAT news is that we have only 8-10 boxes, total, that are still unpacked, and most of those are crafting and art supplies that are being stored on a huge industrial rack in the garage. We really only have 4 boxes unpacked in the house itself. So, technically, we’re pretty much moved in.

I have some Craigslisting of our furniture we’re selling to do, and I have some decorating to do, and I have some cleaning schedules to figure out, but for three weeks later, it ain’t too bad to have the house in livable condition. I’m thrilled.

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Filed under Dining Room, Home, Kitchen, Living Room, Moving, Office, Painting

Painting a Nook

I have confession to make: I dreaded painting our dining room nook that doubled as a laundry zone. I painted one living room wall to correspond with the the hall and dining room color (gotta love town homes being one long open room), but I stopped at the nook. For FOUR months. Ugh.

Today, we summoned some daring and Daniel cleaned our living room carpet and filled nail holes from our gallery wall of pictures I decided to remove, while I tackled the nook. Oh, that nook.

Three hours later … I feel extremely proud of myself and can’t stop staring lovingly at the soft dove gray/beige color that looks quietly stunning against the white trim. Ahhhhhhhh. Yes. That is why I wanted to do this.

And just to remember just how far we’ve come … here’s a progression from the past seven months:

I’ve got to say, the hardest part was getting past my reluctance to do the trim and cutting in. I was terrified I’d mess it up, but I didn’t. In fact, I think I did a pretty good job for an amateur, and my artist brushes came in handy for the tiny spots! I don’t have wallpaper up in between the shelves as I had initially considered adding, but that’s okay; this is good as is.

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The Cheater’s Guide to Hanging a Type Drawer as Decor

During my mad weekend makeover of our dining room, I kept telling Daniel that I needed something with some oomph to put on the wall. Something that would tone down the girly-ness and not cost too much.

I searched high and low in our house, only to discover that 90% of my vintage “stuff” that I like to swap out from room to room was too small, or just plain impossible to hang on a wall.

That’s when I re-discovered my type drawer. It was a gift from my mother and father back several years ago and I was so excited to get that gift, but I never did anything with it! Finally, it went to use, but first it needed a little TLC of the MacGyver variety.

Here’s how it looked before I got to work:

I took a good look at it and realized 1) there was a LOT of grime on those sections of the drawer, and 2) there wasn’t a way to hang it up on the wall.

I grabbed a couple of old rags, wire cutters, a hammer, a can of Kleen Guard spray, and an old frame I had picked up at a Goodwill store a few years back.

First, I stole the hanging wire from the back of the old frame, cutting it on each side as close to the nails as possible.

I took my cue from the old frame and grabbed a couple of nails from our stash. I figured if they could jerry-rig it that way, I could, too.

I set the wire and nails aside for a few minutes and took up the rags and Kleen Guard spray. I had no idea what I had just signed up to do …

I sprayed all over the tray drawer several times and rubbed hard with the rags for each application. If I was being a little more obsessive compulsive about the process, I probably would have grabbed an old toothbrush or cotton swabs or something to get in the crevices. There were A LOT of partitions to clean.

After about a thirty minutes to an hour of elbow grease later, this is what I had to show for it:

Ewwww. GROSS.

Still, I had to wonder if some of that grime was actually from the time when the drawer had been used. While part of me felt a bit alarmed at the idea of lead touching some of the areas (the graphic design layout term “leading” actually comes from actual use of lead to separate lines of text), the other part felt an odd sort of excitement that I was coming in contact with history. I daydreamed a bit about what kinds of printed matter the type was used to create, and where the drawer could have been from. This is why I love vintage things. You touch the stories behind those things.

My drawer “cleaned up good”, as they say. See?

After cleaning, though, I took up my hammer and nails and tried to figure where was the best point on the back of the drawer to hammer the nails into for support.

I tested the length of the wire to make sure at its fully-extended length when hung on the wall would not extend above the top of the drawer. Then I realized I didn’t have quite enough wire to stretch from the sides to that point. I decided to improvise and found two partition pieces wide enough to support the nails and drove them in there. I then hammered the nails down so that they bent sideways and trapped the wire.

And that’s it!

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Filed under Art, Budget Decor, Dining Room, DIY

Dining Room Reveal: Use What You Have Decorating!

Whew! What a jam-packed weekend! Friday I shopped thrift shops, Target, and Wal-Mart. Saturday, I shopped my own home and did a little DIY-ing. Sunday, I pulled it all together.

I started painting back in March, and while I still have far to go, I was determined to finish up the dining room area so we could enjoy our meals there.

We started with this hot mess …

… and ended with this!

I’m so excited and proud. There may have been a happy dance involved with this reveal. Just sayin’.

Let’s take a look around, shall we?

View from the kitchen:

View from the dining room nook:

Forgive me … I used a different camera than usual for these shots and the lighting is making the paint color change from angle to angle. I’m still learning. However, one of the interesting things about Behr Sculptor Clay is that it really is a trickster, always adapting to the light and turning from a light beige to a warm gray, depending on the light source. The great thing is that ALL of its tones, no matter the light, are lovely.

The biggest challenge was our budget, which was, namely, zilch. Or close to it. I poured into the project a little of my own “mad money” I had stashed away, to get the key components in place. Outside of the paint itself, our grand total for the transformation was just under $25. I already owned all of the pictures and items used to decorate the walls.

Budget breakdown:

  • $13, curtain rod (Target)
  • $4, curtain clips (Target)
  • $3, vintage sheet (Goodwill)
  • $3, sticky tack (Wal-Mart)

I whipped up the curtains from the vintage sheet … tutorial on that to come soon! Daniel helped me install the curtain rod hardware, and after that it was an intense hunt through our home to decorate the empty walls.

Here’s what I came up with:

Yes, I realize the numbers are out of order! Oops.

1) Engagement photo by Kristyn Hogan, printed out by us; 2) Antique printer’s type tray (12 pt font, for any typophiles like me out there); my parents purchased it from an antique store for me several years ago; 3) Vintage serving tray, Pre to Post Modern, Nashville; 4) Small print, stilletoheights on Etsy, 5) Craigslist frame, unfinished quilt begun by my aunt.

Not in any close-ups, but also part of the list, is the vintage tin canister on the table (antique store), vintage books (paternal grandmother and thrift shops), and, finally, the crocheted table runner (maternal grandmother … possibly from my great-grandmother).

That’s a lot of history for one little room! I feel surrounded by my family, my love of vintage, and I did it all for $23. Not too shabby.

Personally? I love that it is my most feminine room in the house, and Daniel still likes it. We both agreed we are MUCH more likely now to sit down at the table and enjoy a meal and some good conversation. In fact, Daniel claimed the table as his reading spot last night.

Mission accomplished.

———————

Linking up to:

Centsational Girl’s Paint Project Link Party

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Filed under Budget Decor, Dining Room, Home Improvement, Painting

Dining Room Sneak Peek

I don’t want to do a full reveal until I have some decoration up and go for a full SHAZAAM! but I’m thrilled with the lovely results and so I can’t wait until then … here it is a sneak peak with some fresh spring flowers I gathered after work today.

{Images: Andrea B @ Behind Closed Drawers}

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Filed under Balance, Budget, Budget Decor, Dining Room, Painting

Coming Soon: Behr Sculptor Clay

At laaaaaaassssst, my love has come along / My lonely days are over / And life is like a sonnng!

Yes, at last we have a winner. Behr Sculptor Clay (UL1700-9). We had to spring for the real deal, but after using the sample last night, I knew it was the right (if more expensive) thing to do. It has primer and paint in one, and the difference between it and the cheap stuff was pretty obvious. I would have had to do 2-3 coats to get the economy paint as thick and even as one coat of the Behr, so Behr it is.

I’m painting as I can at night, and this was about 1.5 hours of work after our third Home Depot run this week. Little by little, it will get done, and then, my friends, I will reveal the lovely after!

I was spackling and cutting in and jamming and dancing to Pandora while I worked. I went from Blues to Rock to Smooth Jazz; finishing up with Etta James just seemed like the right thing to to. So here she is!

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I’m Scared This Paint is Too Light!

I just realized this post had been scheduled but it didn’t ever catch … sorry!

When you’re in the middle of organization projects, sometimes a room gets sacrificed as the catch-all of piles of things that need homes but don’t yet have them. Ours was the dining room. You didn’t see this part while I was working on the nook, but now I’m exposing it in all its sad glory.

I had my reasons for shifting the sorting piles around. Remember that paint can from earlier? I couldn’t wait to test its contents out!

At first stir, I was already getting nervous. I’m aiming for a light greige. What I got was … creamy white?

I decided to paint a patch, anyway, to test it out. I’m hoping it dries darker. This is scary. I’m glad we didn’t invest in the expensive paint just to find out it was the wrong color!

Here goes nothing …

YIKES! Barely any definition between it and the white at all. Now I’m REALLY scared. Did the Home Depot paint lady use the wrong color on our chosen swatch? I decided to compare.

Well, in the picture it looks the same. But I’m still not sure. There’s a sinking feeling in my stomach I’m going to have to do another color pick.

Fortunately, the evening wasn’t lost. I did manage to clean out the dining room while we watched the Biggest Loser. Granted, now I have lots of stacks of things waiting to go upstairs, but at least they are sorted!

Man, I hope that greige works out! We chose it based on how it looked in our living room … which is really dark … please oh please oh please …

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Behr Silver Drop

Guess where we went today?

Yes! Home Depot! Excellent guess.

And what did we find there? Helllllllooooo, lovely!

Our helpful paint center guide assured us she could easily color match our selection of Behr’s Silver Drop paint and provide us with an economical version of good quality.

I can’t wait to begin the transformation of the dining room and nook walls! I’m pretty sure the tired yellow has seen better days since it was painted when the building was built.

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Gray, Beige, Greige. Whatever You Call It, It’s Tricky to Pick

More paint selecting fun. I have a Behr color picked out; I have a Kilz budget, and I’m using the Sherwin-Williams paint selector tool again. Enough brands, you think?

One looks too pink, one looks green, one looks purple, one looks white. Greige is hard to find!

1) Roycroft Mist Gray; 2) Requisite Gray; 3) Fawn Brindle; 4) Perfect Greige; 5) Pewter Tankard; 6) Escape Gray

I think. It is somewhat possible two of them are the same image. I made a mistake and didn’t write the paint names on the layers in Photoshop. 3 and 5 look a lot alike. Overall, 2, 3, and 5 have the best tint for me. 6 is definitely too green. 4, or “Perfect Greige” is actually not so perfect. The search continues …

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Filed under Dining Room, Living Room, Painting