I don't want to clutter up with a lot of pictures of the before - and quite honestly, there aren't a lot of before pictures anyway. But, if you want to compare - go here, and get a glimpse at where we started.
Are you ready!??
One of the biggest changes in the dining room came in the form of color. The room used to be a deep, barn red and now is a light and fresh taupe with crisp white trim and built-ins, which we added. The old Ikea chandelier was thrown out, and replaced with this beautiful fake crystal chandelier. Honestly, people, they're fake! Want one for yourself? Get it here!
The new built-ins are home to lots of decorative stuff, but also store all of Allison's entertaining china, crystal, silverware, tablecloths, and napkins. They also are home to baskets of gloves, and scarves. They are standard kitchen cabinet depth, since we used kitchen base cabinets to create the bulk of the unit. So there is plenty of room up top for my favorite dining room display: the bar in a basket!
The side table and mirror here used to be in Allison's foyer, where the new doorway was created. So we moved it here, only for the time being. Eventually, this wall too, will come down and the dining room and kitchen will become one large space with a center island. For now though, it was great to have a spot for its reuse. Two captains chairs flank the table, and are perfectly positioned to pull up to the table when it extends from round to oval. I gave Allison these chairs, and she recovered the chair seats with a Waverly blue and white fabric here.
Here you can see the decorative rope braid trim that we added to the top of the counter surface, and to each of the shelf fronts. The case pieces have shelves that can be adjusted, and still need the crown molding, which we're waiting to install until it can go around the entire open space. That'll happen after the wall between the kitchen and dining room comes down.
Most everything on the shelves came from the attic of Allison's house, or from the basement at my house - which I was all too happy to give her. You can see the boho beads I used to sell on Cross Bottle Guy draped over a beautiful gilt column base. Allison's oldest daughter Grace was kind enough to model those beads for me when I first made and sold them - so I gave these to her as a thank you.
Isn't she beautiful!? I don't know why I stopped making these. They really are beautiful and so versatile. Perhaps they'll make a come back at Christmas.
The curtains are not custom, another cost savings; but they are back-tabbed which gives them a much easier fold back and a nicer look than the pole top curtains. They just kiss the floor, and are made from a synthetic silk. Allison knew she wanted purple, olive, and blue in the room - but couldn't figure out how to get them all to work together. I think we did it here, with splashes of purple in candles, and books in the case pieces, olive curtains, and blue and white fabric on the chairs. We've kept the room otherwise neutral for easy shifts to any color changes she wants to make.
For color, we spray painted the bindings of paperback books with gold and purple spray paint until we got the look we desired. We then tied bundles of them together with jute twine, and they made for really wonderful shelf filler. Allison is an avid collector of my cross bottles, so there are several of those in the dining room, too.
Allison also collects blue and white porcelain, as I do, and many of you. So a lot of it ended up in her dining room, including this little garden stool - which I've been told has become some sort of desk chair to that little console table for her youngest daughter. SO cute!
Here you can see the need for that crown molding, but again - one project at a time. We all know how that goes, right? The heavy wool rug with the bold, rich colors was replaced by this seagrass option with a fawn border. The whole room feels so much bigger, and brighter than it ever did before. We added light to the inside of the case pieces, along with 5-outlet strips to the top of each piece for Allison to be able to more conveniently plug in things - like crock pots, etc..
I love the top of this table, which was a honey oak before Allison stained it with an ebony and then walnut stain.
The case pieces have brushed nickel bin pulls on the drawers, and crystal knobs on the doors, to help tie in the crystal door knobs on the french doors, and the chandelier. The shelf styling, done by me, was really a lot of fun. I just went from room to room, and picked what I thought would look best. Sure, it left the rest of the house in shambles, but we can work on that later!
The room has really gracious windows, and gets a ton of natural light - which floods the room and adjoining foyer with a beautiful glow. We reused Allison's curtain rods, and just hung them higher to accommodate the new curtain length.
... Fun Vignette Time ...
I hope you enjoyed this little story of friendship and renovation. All of Allison's family LOVES the new room. She has hosted several family dinners with her extended family since we finished the renovation, and she and her family eat there every night. I told her that we'd have to wait a year before the kitchen wall came down if she wanted me to help - so, while it won't be anytime soon, keep your eyes peeled for more photos and stories of friendship and renovation!