Hello my friends! How are you? My sister-in-law and nephew have been here all week and this is our last day with them. I’m excited we have a sunny day (I think ALL day) to do something fun!
In celebration of two anniversaries recently – ten years in our home and my blogging anniversary – I’ve been sharing the progress of some of the rooms in our home over the years. By the way, I totally forgot about my blogging anniversary when it hit – six years at the end of May. Whoot!!
I ALWAYS struggled with our dining room. I don’t know why. Part of it was that shortly after we moved in I marched myself to the furniture store and bought a complete set of dining furniture. I liked it OK – but I wasn’t madly in love with it. I just wanted to fill the space. Now I know better and would wait it out, but you know how that goes.
Long ago I added molding to the walls (with Liquid Nails! No.) and jazzed up the ceiling:
I also recovered the seats of the chairs almost immediately to add some color to the room. It was very beige/brown.
You’ll see here that this was my gold and red phase as well. Ah yes…
I still wanted some more contrast so I changed up the drapes and added a solid red to the bottom:
Then things just got crazy and I painted the whole room (the entire. room.) brown:
You know, looking back, I don’t hate it. It was dramatic and pretty – I say you can go dramatic in two rooms safely – the powder room and the dining room. Or all the rooms, it’s your house.
I always struggled with the fact that this room opened up to our two story living room so I just added a piece of trim down the wall to separate them. Probably a major design crime but you know, I like to live on the edge.
But the thing is…it was DARK. Shocking, I know!:
I didn’t mind it much till we had new floors put down after a water issue. Then it was positively cave-like. Dark on every surface in the room and I couldn’t take it anymore.
A new idea formed in my head over time that I talked about here. I was tired of not using this space. I wanted to make it more functional and change up how we used it.
So the DIY built ins began:
You can see the synopsis of how my Dad and I built them here. It wasn’t hard, just time consuming. It took me forever to get them finished – eight months total I believe.
I had a design in my head all those months of thinking about it and a big part of that design was lights at the top of the bookcases. It took months to find something that was affordable but I finally found what I wanted in the outdoor section:
And now…I love it. This room is one of my favorites in our home.
I could not be more pleased with how it turned out:
It’s been about a year and a half since they were finished and they are holding up great. I’m really proud of Dad and I for tackling it. :)
Funny thing is, the plan all along was to put a coffee table and four chairs in here, but we moved our old kitchen table in here a year or so ago and it’s become my husband’s office in the summer months:
He has a basement office but can’t stand to be down there without natural light in the summer. So although his stuff laying around kind of drives me batty, I love that we’re actually using it. Many of you have suggested adding a more casual table back in here and the idea is growing on me. Plus, finding four matching (comfy) upholstered chairs is so dang expensive!
I can’t forget the other view of the dining area – it’s really more of a landing/hallway of sorts. I found this before shot of our stairs that I didn’t know I had:
And I showed you this more recent after here:
Such a difference! (Here’s the how to on pulling the carpet off of stairs.)
Many of you have asked how much I spent on the built ins and I’m not positive of the cost because we did them over such a long time. The kitchen cabinet bases were $320 total and the butcher block from IKEA was $130. I’m guessing we put in another $150-200 in trim and wood (I used basic pine wood for the actual bookcases). And the lights came to $140. So a rough estimate is about $750-800 for 12 feet of built ins.
I would have paid three times that to have them done. Easily.
So there’s a look back at what is now one of my favorite spaces in our home! It was one of my problem children before though. :)
Do you have a dining room? Do you use it? Have you considered changing up how it’s used?
P.S. Check out my tips on decorating bookcases in this post.
Have a great weekend!