The first room is finally done! (Umm… for now.) Can we get some before pictures please??
These were all taken on the third day after moving in. That was a $100, 4-year old K-Mart dinette set, that was subsequently chewed up by Séamus when he was a pup. Those red walls stressed me out. And the sheer curtain panels the previous owner left behind just didn’t make sense.
But without further ado, here is my finished product:
So first things first, I took on the major painting project. Although tedious, the results are fantastic. The cool, cream color makes the room feel bigger and taller. Despite my reservations about essentially painting a room white, it really lets the individual items in the room stand out. It’s light and airy, and just feels comfortable to me.
After giving it a lot of thought, I went with the salt chair from Design Within Reach. They have been just great. Being a high-traffic, high-use dining room, these chairs have been moved around a lot and sat in by all different sized people. The consensus is that they look great and are super-comfortable. The only problem is that now I get the DWR catalog in the mail, and I can’t afford all of the beautiful things contained within. I have also been pleased with the shaker style wooden table that I finished myself a few months back.
The home-made curtain panels add a bit of color and pattern to the room. And hanging the rod high and wide make the windows look huge. It’s a trick I honestly never would have thought of if it weren’t for this post.
Beyond that, I needed to fill out this room with some accessories and fill up all of those blank walls. I want all the items hanging on our walls to have some kind of personal meaning to us. The ship print on the largest wall was actually our only existing piece of real art. It’s a painting of the ship that Danny served on in the Navy, the USS Fitzgerald. He had it in storage for a few years, then got the hook up back in Maryland for a pro framing job. The blues and greys in the ship feel right in this room, so we went with it.
The two small framed pictures on the facing wall are prints from our travels. One is a landscape from Co. Donegal in Ireland. The other is an alpine river that runs through Füssen, Germany. They’ve always been favorites of ours, but they’ve never been displayed (outside of facebook) until now.
I finished things out with painting the phone nook green and refinishing a $5 rummage sale mirror. By the way, that mirror is hanging on the wall by the grace of god. I have no idea how, but the second anchor we put in that crumbly old wall stayed, and I haven’t so much as breathed on that thing ever since. But if it falls and breaks, what the hell, I’ve only invested $9 in it. Top it off with some green bamboo place mats, a little caged plant, and some nick-nacky vases and jars from my mom’s hand-me-down collection. Those are also some flowers from the backyard on the table there. Tiger Lilly? That’s my best guess anyway.
If I have any reservations about it at all, it’s just that it’s a little plain. I like that it’s subdued and clean and uncluttered, but sometimes I think it lacks a little pizzazz. But I have to keep reminding myself that this is just the first version. And as the years pass it will evolve and grow, and get filled with more personality.
Let’s crunch some numbers. I’m pretty happy with the total dollar figure spent on this room. Considering I desperately needed a new table and chairs, that was obviously going to be the biggest expense. But when it came down to it, the other costs kept to a minimum. Without shame, here is the final tally, and sources for each item in the room:
- Chairs [Design Within Reach]: $361
- Table + finishing supplies [Bill Cox Unpainted Furniture & Lowes]: $260
- Rug [Overstock.com]: $167
- DIY’ed Curtain Panels & Rod [Fabric.com & Lowes]: $105
- Paint & Supplies [Glidden from Graning Paint Co.]: $60
- Travel prints and frames [frames from JoAnn]: $28
- Floral canister [Liberty of London for Target]: $13
- Mirror & Supplies [re-painted rummage sale find]: $9
- Bird cage & plant [Hobby Lobby & Pratt’s]: $8
- Green place mats [World Market]: $6
- Green Paint for phone nook [Valspar from Lowes]: $3
- Side Table/Cart [bought 5 years ago at IKEA]: $0
- Burlap Sack [from Danny’s old warehouse in NY]: $0
- Assorted vases, jars, candles [hand me downs from mom]: $0
- TOTAL: $1,020