Kitschdesigns

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:

DR-SideWindow-Before

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

DR-BackWall-Before

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.

DR-Fireplace-Before

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….

DR-FrontWindows-Before

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. 

DiningRoomColors-2

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.

DR-Progress-WholeRoom

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.

IMG_7059

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.

DR-FrontWindows-Progress

DR-SideWindow-Progress

DR-FireplaceProgress

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.

DR-Mirror

DR-Mirror-CU

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

DR-Chandy

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!!!

DR-Progress-WholeRoom

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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Waiting For Paint To Dry

June 9, 2010 03:37 by ehouston

It’s the hardest part of any DIY paint project.  Well, that and doing everything while the baby sleeps!  Luckily the paint can dry in between naps and I don’t go to crazy in the meantime.  Hanging with the Little Guy always takes my mind off all the work I have to do around this place.  The priming is complete and I am waiting for the swatches of wall color to dry.  While I am trying to make a decision about which colors to use I plan to get a couple of coats up on the ceiling.  Lord knows when the last time that thing saw a fresh paint job.  It’s funny how white things seem until you paint them with a fresh coat of white paint.  As soon as the chair rail got a hit or two from the brush after I splattered primer I could really see the distinct difference in colors.  Can’t wait to get the ceiling and all that trim cleaned up!

In addition to the wall color I need to make a decision about curtains.  Since this room is large I thought about going bold with a fun patterned fabric for the stationary panels I plan to put up high and wide along all three windows in the room.  The real privacy will come in the form of bamboo roman shades.  So, I was perusing Target the other day and came across the new table linens from Dwell Studio.  As always, I was drawn right in by their use of color and fun pattern.  I was also lured by the size of the largest tablecloth, 60” X 104”, which is exactly the size I need for these windows.  Unfortunately, finding the longer sized curtains in the ready made world of window treatments has proven very difficult.  If, and that is a big IF, I find a ready made panel that I like it either doesn’t come in the larger size or that size is super expensive, or it’s out of stock.  That was my luck up until recently in searching for curtain panels.  Until I walked into Target that fateful day.  I left with just enough tablecloths to make curtains for the dining room and adjoining living room.  Now I just need to choose which to use in each room.  Here are some shots of the dining room pre-DIY disaster with the curtains held in place via clothespins over the sheer panels the previous owners left.

IMG_6525

IMG_6521

Linen #1 – Large Medallions

IMG_6522

Linen #2 – Branches with Birds

Usually I do not like a lot of bold pattern, so I may end up just using one set in the dining room (since it’s a larger space) and going with plain fabric for the living room.  Both linens use the exact same color combo of chocolate brown and deep blue gray with an occasional bit of mustard thrown in for contrast, all on a white background.  My plan is to put up white wooden curtain rods with rounded finials that sit above the window and just below the crown molding.  I also want the rods to hold the curtains outside of the windows on either side, just overlapping at the trim and up to the edge of the bamboo shades I plan to hang for privacy.

I am curious to know what you guys think.  So far everyone that I have asked has picked the same style with the comment, “This one looks like you”.  What is funny is that I was leaning toward the opposite design.

So, let’s see what you all think, “looks like me”.

Kitsch Krafts


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