Our dining room has never felt "done" in the 5.5 years that we've been in this house. Even when I declared it done previously I think I was just trying to convince myself unsuccessfully. There's a reason that I've never taken proper photos of this room- it's never been worthy. It's been through several evolutions and I'm super excited about my latest plans for it!! I swear, either the universe or the side-of-the-road trash gods have been smiling on me. My plans have been evolving slowly for this room, then suddenly fell into place Wednesday.
Let's see if I can quickly catch you up on this space.... Our dining room has changed a bit over time, but it's always felt unsettled and never a room that I wanted to shout from the rooftops or post to instagram. It doesn't look like an interior designer's dining room. This is what it looked like back in 2013 when I last did any major work in here. I feel like my style has grown so much in the past few years that this room is just an ancient relic constantly reminding me of design missteps (melodramatic much?).
A few small things have changed since that photo such as adding a second curtain panel to each window (why in the world did I think just one panel per window would be chic??), banishing the painted chairs for calmer, matching chairs, and switching up the mantle/piano top decor. Yep, in 2.5 years, that's all I've touched in here. We don't use the room a ton, but we walk through it every time we need to get to the kitchen- I just put my blinders on and envision the dining room of my dreams.
Things that have ALWAYS felt off to me about this space are
- too small light fixture
- 'temporary' art over the piano has long overstayed it's welcome
- the paint color. The bane of my dining room existence. I love a purple dining room, but this is not the right purple or sheen. It's not bad in person, but it's positively horrific in photos.
- the piano and liquor cabinet compete with each other
- the captain's chairs are a chenille fabric which is very enticing to kitty claws and shows every little pull.
While I've been itching (more like twitching) to do something about this room, I've been trying to curb house spending since Hubby recently joined me in self-employment as the best darn Realtor you could ever work with. Thanks to several side of the road finds, though I can finally make big changes in this space for a reasonable budget!
My first side of the road game-changer was a set of chairs. Before I go on, let me say, it's not that I live somewhere where there's always amazing stuff on the side of the road- I just ALWAYS have my picker radar up. It's a keen skill that I thank my parents for. SO over the winter when I saw a pile of furniture around the corner from my house, 4 of these midcentury chairs just jumped into my car. Chairs jumping into my car has been a longstanding issue, however I think this time it was well worth it. They need refinishing and clearly reupholstering, but we've been using them for months as is.
To address another issue- the competing and crowding piano and liquor cabinet, I'll be building a built-in china cabinet similar to this one:
source: Vibeke Design
Instead of building it from scratch like I did with my living room built-in, I plan to use vintage doors and a vintage dresser if I can find one the right size. Much like the living room shelving, though, I've had this idea stuck in my head since shortly after moving. When an idea sticks for that long, I really need to listen to it. That's actually what lead me to my second roadside revelation. After scouring Craigslist, I drove 45 minutes to pick up these vintage wood doors complete with hardware for a whopping $4 total.
On the way to the pick up location, I passed a trash pile. Not a pile of furniture like with the chairs, but a literal trash pile. A trash pile with a 3' tall hexagonal gold, framed gem sticking out of it. I don't even want to know what was smeared all over it, but I'm still in complete disbelief that I found this on the side of the road! This mirror is seriously huge and dreamy. And with that find, my dining room plans are falling into place.
The moral of today's post is keep your eyes peeled and you'll find treasures is all kinds of places! And ugh that color. Yes I chose that color 4 years ago and was over it 3 years ago. I personally think that purple is one of the best colors there is, but it needs to be toned down a notch, a bit more gray, and most importantly matte and not semi-gloss. #liveandlearn
I'll be back next week with my complete vision for the room. Until then, have a great weekend and happy picking!!