Let me preface this by saying I don’t hate red paint. Really, sometimes I quite like the warm glow red can cast. I think that bright reds and rusty oranges can make certain rooms look great. But my dining room is not one of them. It’s a small room (10’x11′) and it’s basically in the dead center of the house. The red walls are overwhelming, and I’m feeling a much lighter color scheme for all of the rooms downstairs.
The red walls, coupled with my pathetic K-mart dinette set made the decision that the dining room was going to be the first project of the new house. So I started out with cute little graph paper cutouts of the room and the furniture pieces I was looking at.
It was a productive endeavor. I would have ended up with a giant rug and a tiny table if I tried to “eyeball it” as I tend to do with things like this. It showed me that an 8×10 rug was far too big, and 5×7 was going to be way too small. So I started browsing odd sized rugs on Overstock.com and found several that were available in 8’x8′, which turned out to be the perfect size to take into account the huge air registers on both ends of the floor. I ended up with a natural fiber rug, with a subtle wide stripe, and a 15% off coupon (cha-ching). It’s a little rough on bare feet, but not terrible, and it’s not like it’s in the bedroom or something. Also- did you know that Overstock ships almost anything for three bucks? It’s a pretty good deal once you weed through all the ugly junk they have on there.
The table and chairs were really the only pieces of furniture I needed to buy right away. I fell in love with the Salt Chair from Design Within Reach, which was incidentally the only thing within my reach at that store. And I ended up going with an unfinished rectangular wooden table from Bill Cox Unpainted Furniture in Knoxville. This weekend I finished it with the Minwax natural 209 stain and their fast-drying polyurethane. It took a little time, but turned out great and only cost another $10. So for the standard price of an average table and four chair set at a furniture store (about $600) I got myself a set that I’m entirely happy with, and even put a little elbow grease into making it awesome. Here’s my test spot on the bottom of the table. The center panel was stained, and the two on the outside were not.
So we’re almost there. Just have to get around to painting…soon. The game plan is to prep, sand, and tape off the edges this weekend (we’re dog-sitting, and paint and extra dogs doesn’t seem like the best idea). Then two coats of primer over the course of next week, and choosing a final color and painting the following weekend. We’re currently leaning towards a light green color. But I so love the look of the bright cream color in this room against the white trim, I’m still thinking about doing that. In the meantime, here’s the setup so far.