Holy bananas! We are so excited to participate in Sadie + Stella’s Favorite Room series this week. Chad and I have been married and homeowners for about two years now and are finally beginning to really conquer the tricky task of defining our decorating style as a couple.
Twenty four months of DIY projects, paint sampling, and thrift store shopping has led us to one conclusion. We are somewhat quirky, color-loving, cheapskates. We wonder, would this assessment fit anywhere into EmilyHenderson’s Style Diagnostic? It certainly fits the finished look of our dining room – and we love it.
We moved into our home before ever dreaming of starting a blog, this means that the only “before” image that exists of our dining room comes from our MLS listing.
We are the first to admit that it’s not too bad at all. Like most MLS photos it is taken from a wide angle that makes the room seem much larger than it really is. In reality this is a somewhat small space that also serves as a pass-through between our living room and kitchen.
It is also very open to our living room, divided only by an extremely wide doorway which brings two challenges to the space. One – keep the look of the living and dining rooms cohesive enough that no colors or patterns clash with one another. Two – find a subtle way to define the dining room as its own purposeful space.
Here’s a run-down the projects that brought it all together:
1. We replaced our light fixture. Props to our previous home-owners for at least spray painting the brass chandelier black, but it was still a little traditional for our tastes. It stayed for a year before receiving a one-way ticket to Goodwill. It was exchanges with a basic white linen drum shade
2. To further define the space we added faux wainscoting to our walls. You can read all about the process on our blog, here, but essentially we just painted half of the walls white and added a chair rail and wainscoting-like boxes made out of trim molding. We were able to do the whole room in one afternoon and it made a huge impact on the room – for less than a hundred bucks.
3. Repurposed and second-hand furniture make the space a little eclectic, a lot of fun to put together, and very affordable. A great mix in our book. The only new furniture purchased were the four wicker dining chairs that we found at IKEA. The table was found unfinished at a used furniture store and has somehow survived being paint red, then blue, and then stripped down and stained the mahogany tone you see now. The many layers of design disaster actually made for a nice aged patina to a table that’s only about five
After what felt like hundreds of trips to the Raleigh Flea Market, the china cabinet was found at a garage sale we stumbled upon after one last failed trip. It cost $65 and we spent about twenty dollars more on paint and other supplies to give it real personality. To tie the space to the living room we opted for a green hue that matches the green accents in our living room rug. We know this piece is called “Favorite Room” but this is probably also our “Favorite Piece.”
Our small marble top plant stand was also a thrifty find at $25. We didn’t know we needed it until we found it. Love when that happens.
4. Inventive curtains. We totally snagged this idea from Carmel at “Our Fifth House” whose dining room you saw last week right here. Using drop cloths, craft paint and textile medium we create custom drapes to mimic more expensive ikat fabric we found online. Mounted them with shiny brass curtain rods balanced out the roughness of the canvas drop cloths and made them look suitable for a dining. We continued the curtains into our living room to tie the two spaces together.
5. Finally we just added a lot of fun and colorful accessories all around the small space to reflect our personalities and also keep your eyes moving. All of these items were collected from travels or second hand shops. We also created pop-style art online out of photos of our two pups for an added personal and very inexpensive touch.
Thanks for indulging us by allowing us to gush about one of our favorite spaces in our home! Although it took about two years to get here, the joy of creating a room that no one else has and that perfectly reflects the personalities of not just one but two people (and two pups) makes a room the perfect place to end each day.