DIY–The Dining Room Lighting Debate Continues

November 16, 2010 09:19 by ehouston

I thought I had it all worked out.  I was determined to add a bit of whimsy into our stuffy and traditional space even though my head told me that it would be a tear out for resale.  Since I have only owned one other home and decorated the entire thing with the next buyer always in mind I had decided to make this second home a place that showed more of our personal taste.  I figure that since we aren’t planning any major remodels (no tearing down walls or gutting of any bathrooms or even the kitchen) it seemed fine to add decorative elements that could easily be changed or painted over, seeing as how the cost would be much lower.  That way we can have our traditional colonial home on the outside with a fun wink on the inside.  So far I have done very little to change the look of any of the interior, aside from the nursery and the dining room, but the ideas keep piling up.  Hopefully the new year will bring more opportunity for décor change- YEAH!  (We have a guest bathroom that is just screaming out for hideous wallpaper removal!)

As you may remember with the dining room makeover-in-progress one of our “undone” items was the glorious chandelier.


(It really doesn’t matter how pretty the wall color turned out or how fresh the new curtains look when you have this thing hanging in the center of the room.)

I had been searching for a replacement from the moment we moved in, only to find that everything I liked was a total budget buster.  Not to mention that most of the lighting I am drawn to is sort of odd and different.  Again, something that we would probably have to remove for resale, but not necessarily something that will fit in the next home.  Rather than going through the hassle of having to move or sell a fixture, I then attempted to tame things down a notch and look for more traditional pieces with a modern twist.  Again, I ran into a problem with cost, but more than that I ran into issues with color.  It seemed liked every traditional-with-a-modern-twist fixture I came across had shades in off-white or cream and the room calls for bright white.  The other issue was metal finishes in burnished copper, antiqued bronze, rusty metal.  All very nice, but not the look I really wanted for this space.  I gave up on the search for a while and then resumed it recently after entering Lowe’s and seeing this:

Bel Air Lighting 5-Light Polished Chrome Contemporary Chandelier

Bel Air Lighting 5 Light Polished Chrome Contemporary Chandelier (Very original name, right?)

This particular light seemed a bit to fancy, but was so fun I have to admit I have looked at it several times since first spotting it.  The $159.00 price tag makes it a winner as well.

Bel Air Lighting 6-Light Chrome Traditional Chandelier

Bel Air Lighting 6-light Chrome Traditional Chandelier  (Gosh!  These names!  Where do they come up with them?)

I am still strongly considering this one because it’s simple, yet it plays to the castle theme that The Mister would love to over indulge throughout our home.  This way I could please him and keep the faux exposed brick walls and turrets at bay.  Plus, it’s still under the $200.00 mark at $189.00.

Now, this last one I found while looking through and I have to say I like it a lot too. 

Portfolio 5-Light  Brushed Nickel Chandelier

Portfolio 5-light Brushed Nickel Chandelier   It’s the simplest of the three and I think it falls into the realm of “classic”…maybe?

Well, with all these simple chandeliers in mind I still had my heart set on something different.  Something fun and a little bit crazy.  One of those décor elements that you might gasp at with the first glance and think, “ooh, that’s just wrong”, only to later decide it’s just right.  I actually did just that after the installation was complete and I am still debating the new dining room light.


(Sorry for the terrible pics.  We have not had much sun at all lately.)

It’s the PS Maskros ceiling light from IKEA.  And, it’s only $89.00 bucks a pop!  Woot to the Budget!!

IKEA PS MASKROS Pendant lamp  Diameter: 32 " Cord length: 71 "  Diameter: 80 cm Cord length: 180 cm

The only downside is that it only holds one 75 watt bulb, so we aren’t getting a lot of overhead light from this guy.  However, I do plan to bring in a side piece of furniture to act as a bar and it will also hold a lamp or two.  In addition, I am considering adding sconces to the far end of the room to help out with the lack of light in here.  The other thing is the enormous size of the sphere.  I laughed when I put this together because I had thought the old brass chandy was SO BIG, but this thing is 32 inches in diameter!  I think the fact that it’s a perfect sphere makes it seem even larger.  So, at this point I am undecided about keeping the light and may end up going back to one of my other, simple design choices.


(I do love the play of pattern on the ceiling!)

Unfortunately, I just recently came across this light while looking through and I am torn all over again!  AHAHAHAHAAAAHHHHHH!!!

IKEA PS VÄVA Pendant lamp natural Diameter: 21

PS Vava  Bee-uty-full!

Now, I just need to make a decision and then get to work on the awful table.

Kitsch Krafts

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DIY – The Dining Room : Finally Some Progress To Share!

August 18, 2010 04:19 by ehouston

For those of you wondering how long it takes to complete typical DIY work around your home, please read no further.  Move on now, nothing to see here.   …I have given up on estimating the timeline of a project and have decided just to go with the flow.  Once you add a kid in the mix, it’s all downhill from there.  Sorry to say, but my one to two week fix for the dining room in our 1992 Colonial has taken well over 2 months and has yet to be completed.  Since things are taking sooooo long, I thought I would share what I have done so far.  Because, it really is just some of the final finishes that are lacking.

Let’s start with the before shots:


This shot shows us making do with our old furniture, decor and the shears and shades that the previous owners left in place.


It’s hard to tell, but the wallpaper in this room was not only very dark green, but it also had a pattern like crushed leather.  It looked a lot like an old style ink blotter for a desktop.  At least that’s what we think the look was that they were going for.  Unfortunately, we were not “going for” the gentlemen’s library feel for our dining space.


This shot of the fireplace shows the trim work that appears to be an after thought.  It’s as though they just forgot about adding a mantle or something?  The previous owners gifted us the gold mirror.  mmmmm….


Here is the front wall of windows, a shot that we have posted before, showing our curtain fabric choices.  There is also another mirror that a relative gifted us many years ago.  This one is gold too, but with an antiqued wash.  Still not exactly our cup of tea.

As you may or may not remember, the first two big decisions we had to make for this space were paint colors and curtain fabric.  It took four samples from the home improvement store and four more mixed in baby food jars to get the right shade for the walls.  I ended up using the French Grey color chip that I found at Home depot, but mixed at Lowe’s with Valspar Eggshell finish paint, on the bottom portion of the walls.  I had a quart of the same color mixed with a high gloss paint for the chair rail and the trim around the floor just for a little contrast. 


Unfortunately the Antique Silver color was two muddy once I put it up on the walls and just did not have enough of a hint of blue for my taste.  So, I mixed it with the French Grey until I had just the right shade and had it color matched at Lowe’s.  I also wanted the upper walls to be darker than what the Antique Silver offered up against the deep blue grey of the bottom portion of the walls.  After getting the wall color completed I finished out the crown molding, window and door trim with glossy white Valspar paint.


We have not had many sunny days lately (or at least not when the sun comes around to this side of the house), so I have not been able to score a really good shot of the paint color to share.  Oh well…

As you can see from the wide room shot above, we decided to go with the Bird and Vine tablecloths from Dwell Studio for Target for our curtains.  After carefully cutting them in half, I sewed up the edge and then put a 1.5 inch hem in the top for some stability and then hemmed the bottoms to length for each window.  At $21.99 a pop, I would say these were a pretty cost conscious solution for the curtain panels. 

I also added more substantial wooden curtain rods with simple finials painted out in the same glossy white as the crown molding.  This piece of the project took a bit longer than expected because I ended up building my own rod system from the trim pieces you can purchase individually at Lowe’s and Home Depot.  Instead of buying the already finished curtain systems I opted for this more cost effective way to get exactly the size I wanted for a “high and wide” mounting.  Even though it was a pain to paint all these pieces I did save about a third of what I would have spent on the prefinished items.  I also found that many of the rods in the home improvement stores are either really bulky and large or kind of small and wimpy.  The Allen & Roth line at Lowe’s is quite nice, but their white pieces are actually sort of more ecru and looked dirty next to the glossy white of the other trim in the room.


And, although I prefer bamboo shades to wooden blinds I decided to go with the latter.  They are still not my favorite, but I figured they will stay with the house if we move and this home calls for a plantation blind or shutter look more than the that of bamboo shades.  Again, not my favorite, but I think the windows came out just fine anyway.




We decided to paint out the trim around the fireplace the same color as the crown molding.  It actually makes the grey streaks running through the marble look much better.  The surround also looks slightly less out of place or as an after thought.  My ideal fix for this wall would be to pull all the trim down from around the marble and use small glass tiles with a bit of shimmer from floor to ceiling just on this one angled wall.  I think that would be such a nice focal point for the room.  That is a far off in the future project, though, and we are quite happy with the paint job for now.  As soon as possible I will be spraying the gold trim piece, along with the rest of the gas insert surround, a mat black to further spruce up the fireplace area.

Another little project I have been wanting to tackle for years now was to paint the antiqued gold mirror white.  The color was never quite right and it is a bit ornate for our tastes, so we figured a nice coat of glossy white paint (same as the trim in the room) would help tone it down and play a little more nicely with the rest of the space.



NOW, for the elephant, or two, in the room.


This chandelier actually evoked hysterical laughter from The Mister and I when we were first looking at this home.  Granted, the previous owners had filled the space with big, bulky, dark wood period pieces, but this light always seemed over the top to us.  I have always looked at it as to large for the room, but I discovered I may be off in my thinking after a recent visit to a local decorator’s outlet.  I was told that the chandelier should meet the measurements of the room size, not the table below it.  Oops.  I was thinking the opposite, and now I realize that I think it’s just my general dislike for the shiny, brass that keeps me from accepting this guy as the right fit for the room.  I have considered spraying it out, but I believe it is a nice and probably costly piece of brass.  So, I think I may replace it with something more our taste, but leave it in the attic in case future owners want to restore this room to it’s former gentlemen’s library glory.  BTW (sorry Kelli)- It’s hard to tell from this picture, but this thing is nearly 30 inches across.  It’s HUGE!!!


The other issue is the table.  It is only a dinette size and was our extra game table at our last place.  I have dreams of relocating it to our spare bedroom upstairs that plays double duty as my craft space.  I think it will be the perfect size table for all my sewing and crafting needs.  In the meantime I have this crazy idea that I am going to craft my own table from plywood and paint it out white.  That way I can get the exact size I want and I don’t have to worry about matching the wood tones to anything else I put in here (something I gave up on long ago after acquiring the Danish made rosewood hutch).  I did finally settle on some simple chairs that are pretty comfy, plus I figured I could slipcover them for different looks if I want to in the future.  They are the bentwood modern stacking chairs from Target in the espresso finish.  Not only did these come in sets of two, but I was able to purchase them at a price cut for $59.99 a set.  WHOOHOO for the budget!

Hopefully, we will be able to stop playing “which of these things is not like the others” soon and take this room DIY completely off the list.  Stay tuned for the latest project I created for myself involving a piece of furniture to take up that empty space below the newly painted mirror.  I’m super excited about this one and I think it will really make the whole space!

Bon Appétit!

Kitsch Krafts

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