Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Before and After: Dining Room Makeover.

The problem, you see, is that our dining room (the room we eat all of our meals in, unless we are parked in front of the tv) is centrally located between our kitchen and family room. It is the place one immediately dumps things on upon coming through the front door. When the table is full, things cascade onto the sideboard. Also, we store toys in there. So, yeah, we're asking a lot of a room that is about 10 feet by 10 feet.

For entertainment purposes, I took the before pictures when the dining room looked just about as bad as I've ever seen it:Let's not miss the alternate angle - gotta see ALL the crap piled up EVERYWHERE:And of course, saving the best for last - the ancient crappy plastic blinds left by the previous owners that the kids have had their way with (note, the broken off parts are great for seeing who's at the front door at deciding whether or not to hide in the kitchen and pretend your not home...not that we've done that): The dining room makeover has been a work in progress for the last month or so. I actually started with the blinds, but the new chandelier is really the best part. Jennifer helped me pick it out when she was here for the birthdaypalooza weekend. She thought I needed something whimsical to cheer myself up in the morning. When I first showed it to Scott he hated it, but he hated all of the chandeliers I showed him. Once I figured out he just doesn't like chandeliers, I went ahead and got the one I liked the best (I mean, if he isn't going to like anything I buy, I might as well go with my first choice, right?).
I installed it all by my lonesome, because I'm not only a decent plumber, but I do some electrical work on the side (heh). Each of the strands of capiz shells was wrapped up in individual plastic packs, and they couldn't be opened until the shade was installed (or else they would have gotten all tangled up). It took a long ass time to unwrap all the strands. But the end result is stunning:
I cleaned up all the crap in the dining room, moved the toys OUT, and installed new blinds (Ikea) and sewed some new valances (made of inexpensive Ikea fabric):
Let's take another look at these wonderful blinds and valances that (in case you were wondering), I also installed all on my own:
While it is far from glamorous, it is much, much better. There are still some papers being stored where they shouldn't be, but whatever. One day I would like some new dining room furniture, that is maybe less that 50 years old and that the kids haven't kicked the crap out of. Until then, I'll be happy if we manage to keep this room tidy and the table clear. Unless there are flowers in the centre of it (ahem, hint hint Scott).


  1. Anonymous11:24 p.m.

    WOWZA! Nice!


  2. Beautiful!!!!!!!! I love the chandelier. Shane is, unfortunately, rather into light fixtures (!!) so I would have to get his approval but I think something similar might work in our bedroom. We're looking for a whimsical sort of chandelier to go with our bedroom reno. You know, the reno that will take place sometime in the next decade. Gah!

    I too refuse to invest in any decent furniture at this stage. The kids just wreck everything so there's no point in getting a fancy dining room set. Not that I'm a "fancy" person anyway...

  3. Love it Kat. It looks great. The chandelier is a treat. I think they are very important to the overall dining room look. When I actually have a dining room that is!

    We are pretty happy with how our little apt. is coming along. Nesting is fun - even when doing it on the cheap with second-hand furniture!

  4. Our dining room is in the same predicament - it's the dumping ground of all dumping grounds. The table is used pretty much exclusively for the baby's carseat bucket carrier thingy and 2 dying orchid plants (given to me when Hazel was born 4mos ago) and then there's apretty solid stack of papers that have been collecting there - growing bigger with each design project I've tackled in the last several months. We NEVER eat at the dining room table - and I suppose part of being an ACTUAL grown is, in fact, not eating in front of the tv every night - but that would mean I would have to lose all the crap and own up to the fact that I'm a bit of a slob, and, well... then we'd have to excavate the dining room and who knows what else we'd find.

    Anyway, that's a long way of saying - I'm SO impressed with your new leaf! You've made me think about turning one over myself and seeing what dinosaurs lurk under my piles of junk - and what it feels like to actually look at my husband during dinner, and maybe even talk to him, instead of the boobtube!

    Yay! Way to go! Two thumbs up!