Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dining Room Details

So, we begin the house tour in the room that I have most recently added to – the dining room. As I said in my first post, I have been thinking about starting a blog for YEARS, I just never have been able to bite the bullet and actually start. The beginning is always so hard. I have rarely read blogs in real time from the very beginning, so starting out is sort of awkward. I am so used to just opening up my blog reader and continuing on reading the stories of John & Sherry (probably THE first blog I started reading way back in 2009), Kate, Sarah, Katie, Jenny, and so on. So last weekend something kickstarted my drive to start blogging – the purchase of a rug for my dining room.

 Here's a view of what the dining room looks like right now:

A little history on the dining room:
We moved into our house in June of 2010. We bought it as a foreclosure. Overall, the house was in good shape. It had a newly remodeled kitchen and master bathroom, and many areas in the basement had been finished. It mostly was in need of a deep clean, paint, new kitchen appliances (oven, fridge, and built-in wine fridge), and some new light fixtures (the forclosees took 4 chandeliers with them when they split - including the one in the dining room).
After appliances, the first purchases we made for the house were chandeliers. I really wanted this chandy for the dining room.

I first saw it in Kyle’s dining room. Love her dining room!

But at $800, it was way more than I wanted to spend. I found some great alternatives on Bellacor.com. Plus, my husband was a contractor at the time, so we got a decent discount as well. This is what we ended up with.

The dining room was originally a cranberry red. Sadly, I do not have any before pics. I’ll just say that red is not my color, and I couldn’t WAIT to paint over those walls. It was one of the first rooms we painted. The color we chose for the walls is Mercer from the Ralph Lauren paint line that Home Depot used to have. We were under contract on our house when Bryn wrote this post about the paint color, and I fell in love.

Shortly after picking the paint color, I found this fabric, and I knew that it would be great in the dining room as curtains.
Because our ceilings are over 10 feet tall, premade curtains are almost out of the question, and custom curtains that are lined are outrageous! So my mom and I made these lined curtains. We also recovered the dining room chairs with the same fabric.

So I had lots of gray going on in this room. It was almost a mental block, and for about a year and a half, I couldn’t decide what other colors to bring into the room. It pretty much sat almost undecorated, except for the wedding pictures I hung and random accessories that moved in and out of the room as I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with the space. Here’s a bad iPhone pic of one color trial – purple.

Finally, I decided that I needed to get a plan going. Because I had no idea about how I wanted the room to feel, I thought I’d start with fabric. So I went to Maryjo’s (maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s only one of the awesomest fabric stores ever, and it’s in my town!) looking for inspiration. And lo, I found this!

It is a Waverly fabric from the Colonial Williamsburg collection. The background is a wonderful coral color that I thought would really pop against the gray walls. It also has pops of light blue, lemon, and gray that would also allow me to bring in other colors with accessories. I was so excited I created this mood board:
Dining Room
The plan was to use the new fabric to cover cornices that would go on top of the curtains. Then I would find a coral rug to further brighten things up. To add pops of another color, I would recover 2 small wingback chairs in a peacock-blue velvet to use as end chairs at the dining room table. The buffet would get a dose of symmetry with matching blue buffet lamps.

Because the room would need a large rug, I thought that I would find a rug first, because that was going to be the major expense in the room. I’m glad I decided to do that, because I wasn’t able to find a rug that coordinated with the Waverly fabric. I found this rug instead

I found it at Home Goods (love that place!) It is an 8’x11’, hand-tufted, wool rug that was made in India, and it was only $249! You can’t beat that price. So in the rug came, and out the fabric idea went, because that coral was not going to jibe with the oranges and maroons in the rug. I was bummed out about not being able to use the fabric, but when we got the rug home and put it in the space, I was ok with it, because I love the rug in the dining room! It adds so much warmth to the space; something that the room was seriously lacking.

I shopped the house for accessories to use in the room with the new color scheme, and I found many great things, like these lamps.

I got the bases at a thrift store. They were only $5 for the pair. They need to be wired, which is no big deal. When I got them I had no idea what I would do with them, but I just couldn’t pass them up. They have such a classic shape, plus they are a matching pair. I stuck them in my basement until I could figure out what I wanted to do for them. I always thought that I would paint them a different color, but the orange looks great in the room, so they are staying orange. I may touch the paint up – it’s a little faded in areas -- and I will probably use a little Rub ‘n Buff to accent some of the neat details on the lamps.

I also brought in the items that make up this little vignette from various areas in the house.

My mom got the chest for me from a consignment shop. I love its campaign style. It’s so versatile – it’s one of those pieces that moves from room to room around the house.
The chairs were from an auction. I think I paid $10 apiece for them. They were originally stained and were covered in a red chinoiserie fabric. I painted them light blue and covered the seats in one of my favorite fabrics – Thomas Paul’s Dahlia fabric in the Aegean colorway. The fabric on the chairs does not match the new rug, so I will either have to recover (and possibly repaint or glaze) the chairs, or find new ones (on the cheap) and rework them to better fit the room’s new feel.

Since the original inspiration fabric is out, I had to find a new fabric. Back to Maryjo’s I went. Once again, it did not disappoint. I love fabric shopping in person. It is so inspiring. Sometimes when I have hit a design wall, I will just go browse the aisles of a fabric store, and most of the time I will leave with a great new idea that I am dying to try. This trip was no exception. I found a new inspiration fabric.
It is Samoan Plantation by Iman Home Fabrics in the Sunstone colorway. I think I love it more than the Waverly fabric. I can’t decide what to do with the fabric – should I make cornices? Recover the seats on the chairs? Make a table runner? There are so many possibilities.
So let’s make a little to-do list for this room:
  • Implement new inspiration fabric into room
  • Find a pair of wingback chairs and recover them in a peacock blue velvet
  • Wire lamps, touch up paint, and accent with Rub ‘n Buff
  • Repaint/recover light blue shield-back chairs or find new ones
  • Find a better centerpiece for the table
  • Introduce new art that ties in the new color scheme
  • Find some new accessories for the china cabinet, buffet, and blue chest
Well that’s not too bad! I wonder how long it will take me… We shall see! Maybe now that I am being held accountable by posting a to-do list on the interwebs, I will move a little quicker to get some items checked of the list.

So let’s hear from you – have you ever painted yourself into a corner and lost motivation in a room? What did you do to jumpstart your creativity? Have any of you found a new rug or a new fabric that is going to totally transform a room in your house?

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