making a house a home: where we are today – the dining room

i don’t know about you, but we use our dining room for nearly every single meal…breakfast, brunch, snacks, dinner…and every single craft too!  (oh yeah, and sewing some days!)  we use it constantly.  i often catch myself looking at pictures on pinterest with longing or meandering with awe through a friend’s pristine dining space, wishing that our space could be this or that, but the truth of the matter is – we are just in it too much!  with kiddos almost 5, 3, and 1, our dining room takes a lot of abuse, but i guess you could say that it also sees a lot of love.  

in that respect, our dining room is kind of like the tangible kiss i get to put on my family each meal.  we gather there, pray together, share our stories and our hearts (and our frustrations at times), and i get to feed their bellies!  it’s probably my favorite space for those reasons.

as far as inspiration goes…my designer-friend has labeled my style as ‘scandi-chic’, and i think she nailed it, b/c i love this mixture of cottage, vintage, shabby-chic, eclectic, minimalist all at once!  i like pretty things.  i like things with charm, and i like to keep it plain and simple.  to attach some images to what i just tried to explain…  πŸ˜‰  i love the old-world feel of this space (especially the wood tones and chandelier!).  this space reminds me a lot of what direction we seem to be going in as of now.

we were gifted our current dining room table and chairs by the previous owners.  i love the curves in the chair-backs and have envisioned them as white since day 1 (kind of like the ones found in  this pin).  

i plan on reupholstering them soon, but haven’t taken the plunge simply b/c the kids continue to use them as art easels!  so, i do apologize in advance for when we ask you to come over for dinner and you are sitting on milk stains, blue paint, stickers, and dried applesauce.  i’m really sorry.

to give you a quick tour, here are a few photos of the space from when we moved in all the way up to this week:

when we moved in, the dining room was carpeted.  boy am i so glad that we decided to carry the laminate throughout the entire first floor (with the exception of only the family/living room).  had we not, this mama would have certainly cried over spilled milk about 16 times already.

originally, while i was waiting for the chandelier to decrease in price, we spray painted our brass light with rustoleum’s aged bronze, and it really made a huge difference!  i stood in the yard like a scarecrow for what seemed like an eternity dangling it to dry, but regardless of the awkwardness and pain, i highly recommend doing that if you aren’t happy with the finish of your light fixtures.  (i still have it stored in the basement in case we ever want to use it elsewhere).  we also sprayed all of the registers the aged bronze, making them blend into the floor nicely and dealing with the rust spots at the same time. the picture of one below was taken before painting it – see what an eyesore they were!

here is a peek of where we are today:

i found that purple vase and the pear stems in target’s clearance section this past week.  i appreciate that i can’t kill faux flowers – or fruit in this case.  

remember my grandmother’s sideboard/hutch that hubs and i painted and i nearly had a heart attack?!  yes, it was that scary for me! {post here} but we do love how it turned out.  the hardware is from target.  we kept the existing hinges (just sprayed them to match the rest of the piece).

i know that i’ve already shown you this collage, but i just wanted to share it again to point out that this chandelier was the one that i mentioned in yesterday’s kitchen post.  we originally planned to have this one hanging above the island, but the large scale of the island simply dwarfed this fixture.  it really did it no justice whatsoever.  originally $159, it is also on sale at lowes for under $80!  
so many items in this room are from clearance bins, sale racks, and thrift shops.  the shelf, pitchers, runner, curtains, curtain rod, artwork, the mercury table lamp and shade were all sale/clearance finds, and that’s just to name a few.  i think the only full-price expenses have been our books, and my anthro items (initial mugs and flower pot – shown below).  
i really, really, really want these pinwheel curtains from west elm, but they are out of my budget for now.  i found a happy compromise though at target.  the white poly sheers (threshold) and the single tan heathered herringbone panel (nate berkus) were on a clearance shelf.  i plan on cutting the nate berkus panel down the center (hemming it) and using those two pieces to frame out the white sheers, since we have a rather large window.  why not get a second panel, you may be wondering.  the answer:  b/c ppl are flat out greedy on e-bay!  haha  i’ll make do with the one.  anyway, i love the light that comes into this room in the morning, and the white sheers allow for that while granting us needed privacy from the street.  and yes, that is our real ‘time out’ chair (that i made using a thrift store chair, spray paint, and vinyl lettering).  sadly, the girls spend a great deal of reflection time there on some days, thus naturally antiquing it for me…such darlings. πŸ˜‰
the cabinet that hangs above my great-great-grandmother’s buffet table was relocated from the desk space uppers that we took down in the kitchen.  i store my cookbooks, extra vases, and miscellaneous things in it for now.
what we have yet to do in this space:
* reupholster the chair cushions
* replace the windows
* hang the new curtain rod and draperies
* paint the baseboards (crisp white)
* paint the cabinetry on the wall and update hardware(same as kitchen cabinets)
* paint the chairs 
* update/refinish existing tabletop
* paint the exposed staircase railings white or stain/replace rails to match tone in flooring
* possibly knock down half of the wall shared with the kitchen
so that’s it!  haha  oh, the lists are long, and the days are short, but we will get there eventually!
as i said yesterday, i would love your thoughts/feedback!  please feel free to leave a comment here or on our facebook page!
i’ll be back tomorrow with the weekly pin-it party, and on sunday, i hope to talk you through our family/living room!  until then…

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