Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My next big house project

I've never been one to have meals in a dining room, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in every house/townhouse/condo I've ever lived in, the dining room was either wasted space, or space with a table and chairs that was never used. I was ok with that - but now that I'm growing up (I guess) I feel like I want a grown up dining room. Not sure when the change happened, but I've been thinking about it seriously for the last few months.

When we moved into this house, I knew we weren't going to use the dining room for that purpose, so we turned it into a study/library, with a whole wall of bookshelves and a big comfy chair and ottoman. It was a great idea in theory, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've spent more than 15 minutes in there, and cannot recall any time when I sat in said big comfy chair and read anything. Most of my reading is done in the other big comfy chair in the living room, in front of the window that overlooks the trees and birds outside. Much better than the view from the dining room.

In order to turn this unused study into a dining room, I need to find a new home for its current inhabitants: the books. There are plenty that could be put in a box in the attic, like the yearbooks and the 23 Bibles. Ok, it's not that many, but we have more Bibles than any couple should have and I don't feel right about discarding any of them. Think about it - I'd be the girl who's 'donating' a Bible. Whether I take some to a church or library, they don't know that I have 22 more at home, they'd naturally think I'm symbolically discarding more than a book. It might seem illogical, but it makes perfect sense in my head. Yearbooks don't need to be out all the time, the recipe books can find a home in the kitchen, Jodi Picoult books can go to someone who will actually read them, and Harry Potter can go in the office with the rest of Dave's boy-ness. Twilight and my favorite fiction books can find a home in my craft room, and that just leaves the classics. Haven't figured out where to put them yet. I'm sure if I do enough purging, it'll all work out :)

Bored yet? It's ok, me too.

On to the fun part - the shopping! Here's my polyvore of the ideal dining room:

1: You've all heard about our painting project. We're continuing Behr's 'Restful' in this room because it shares a wall with the living room, which shares a wall with the kitchen, but we hope to add a chair rail, with Ralph Lauren's suede 'Snowdrift' on the bottom half of the wall.

2: I found this chandelier at Home Depot when I was picking up paint and fell in love with it! It's simple, and the bulbs are mounted so you aren't blinded when you look up from the table at the light. I hate that! I love the rustic iron finish, but if I found one in stainless steel, I wouldn't be disappointed.

3: After our first flood at the house, caused by me flushing Clorox wipes after cleaning the half bath, we installed laminate flooring in the dining room. Even though the purpose of the room at the time was a cozy study, I was thinking about the future when replacing the floors instead of putting down carpet.

4: Since everything else in the room will be wood or neutral tones, I want to bring in some punches of color with the curtains and accessories. I love red as an accent color in small doses, but a fally orange would be even better! Once we start seriously shopping for this project, I'm going to hit up a local fabric outlet to see if I can score an awesome print for curtains!

5: Whatever finish I choose for the chandelier will be matched to the decorative curtain rod, like this one I found! I need to find the perfect one - I love the decorative finial of the one in the polyvore, but need a double rod, so I can hang a sheer behind the panels. It's a weird thing i have about the windows looking the same from the street. All the other windows (except my bedroom closet) have sheers and the blinds are always open, but this room just has a bare window. Unacceptable.

6: is the number of these chairs we need to buy! I fell in love with this style of chair at Thanksgiving when we visited Dave's brother in Dallas. They are so comfortable! His are from Pottery Barn and cost an arm and a leg, so I've got my eye on this less expensive version from the Room Store.

7: Love this table - also from the Room Store. It is rectangular, but comes with a leaf that expands the tabletop to 54x54, and seats 6. Perfect for holiday meals with family. I'm picturing it with a table runner with a red or orange (whichever punch of color I choose) and some fresh flowers, or no table runner, but a bowl full of apples in the middle of the table?

8: This is a piece similar to one I received as a gift from the Millers at Christmas a few years ago. Right now it's sitting in a pantry with my other serving dishes, but is so cool that it deserves to be displayed on a buffet, waiting for a party!

9: I'm in love with natural fiber rugs. I love the way they feel on my feet, even though they're not soft and's almost like walking on the beach. Crate and Barrel has some good ones, but I found this one on I'd love to find a square one to match the proportions of the table, but affordable square rugs are hard to find.

10: This is my favorite piece! It's perfect for our needs - wine storage room for my serving platters and placemats to get rid of an old piece of furniture in the kitchen. It's not normally something I'd pick out because of the marble top and modern style, but I love it!

Well, there you go! That's the dining room that I'd love to have in my home by the end of the year! I want to take my time to find the perfect items, not just throw a bunch of stuff together just to call it done. Stay tuned for more details!

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