Saturday, September 19, 2015

First Look: Dining Room

Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of incorporating a ton of white into my home decor. I do however also love bold pops of colour and mixing and matching of patterns / prints. Our previous home had a two-toned taupe wall along with warm tones in the tiling. This meant we pretty much went all white er'where with our home decor to brighten up the space and keep it feeling fresh. 

In our new home, it's almost the total opposite. Here, it's bright and light all on it's own! Light streams in from bay windows, both the existing walls and tiles are shades of cream / white and the high ceilings emphasize it all. I LOVE IT. Imagine my surprise when we moved all our furniture in and it all just felt a little the rooms were still echoing! Too much white? I didn't think that was possible. One month in, our main living spaces still didn't feel like 'home' and needed some key features to bring warmth and balance. 

We have recently started on our biggest DIY project to date in our Lounge, but we are only planning to have that finished by the end of the year. A simpler project to work on in the meantime is our Dining room. We are by no means finished with it, but this is a sneaky first look at where we are at and what we started from. Right before we moved in, the space looked like this:

Initially, we dumped everything in this room that we didn't know where to put anywhere else. We actually hosted our first church lunch on the day pictured below. We were so excited to have people over to our new mansion that we didn't care much for the piles of un-hung artwork and frames.

We decided to take everything out into the garage that we absolutely didn't like for the Dining room area, and rather start from the beginning again. Ahh, I could actually start to think clearly.

*We mounted a white curtain rod
*We started out picture frame wall
*We painted the chandelier white
 *We left only the bookcase, the curtains and the table and chairs. The rest of the furniture and nik naks we moved out.
*Clint recently made a gorgeous mirror for me that I had intended for an entrance way of some sort. That pain-staking project deserves a whole story of it's own so I won't go into it too much, but we decided to use it on this Dining room wall. Read: Clint desperately wanted it there!! :) 

On paper, this looks pretty as a picture. In real life, it lacked character and since it's the first thing you see when you walk in the front door, it needed something. I've fallen in love with a specific shade of blue-grey that I've seen in a few magazines recently. It's not too cheesy. It's not too dark. It's timeless. It's classy. It's easy to match. It flows with the rest of the open plan. More importantly, it's perfect for our feature wall in here! Our first tin of paint was a flop - way too purple (see swatch below on far left)...

I'm having a little laugh out loud here that Clint's shirt matches perfectly to the shade gone wrong. Anyway, enough staring at that wonderful human. He returned the tin for us - I get so shy about that kind of thing - and we had Builders Express make up our perfect colour instead. At only R290 for 5L, we were very happy overall.

* Clint poly-filled a few unnecessary holes in the wall
* I used painters tape to section off the wall
* We tag-teamed painting two coats while the kids did their own arts + crafts at the breakfast table

Finally, here is where we have ended up as of this past week-end! To say we are pleased with the changes so far would be an understatment. It makes me happy every time I walk into the house.

The projects on our to-do list for this space are as follows:

* Update / fill photo frames 
* I'm torn between keeping the frame wall simple or making a really large one
* The bookcase (you can see it on the first pic) will either need a coat of Annie Sloan chalk paint or else we may replace it altogether. We would also like to move all the books and games out into the Lounge and have this bookcase serve as a display case instead.
* Our random assortment of second-hand chairs need a little attention. Three of them are still begging to be re-upholstered, and we'd actually like to switch out two of them. 
* Replace our dining room table. Clint made this one using a friend's discarded door, but it's shown wear through the move. Clint's Dad has kindly offered us an unfinished oak table base that we will turn into a sturdier table. I have a feeling we will keep this all natural wood and rather incorporate white accessories on the tabletop. 

There you have it! I hope you are inspired to tackle a project of your own this week-end!

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