Dining room update & a new project coming soon

I hadn’t realized how much the house had changed since the blog was last updated.  I took new photographs of several rooms a few weeks ago, before my family came to visit.  Like the last time they came, dad helped a lot with those little projects that usually take me forever.

Here is what our dining room looked like a few weeks ago:


Since then, dad installed all the baseboards, caps, shoe mouldings, and transition pieces for us.  There are still a lot of things I want to change in here.  (The curtains and lights weren’t supposed to be bright white, and we’re ready for a new light fixture, real crown moulding, etc…)


But last night, things changed a lot in the dining room, because we started a project I’ve been thinking about for a couple years.  It’s not really one we need, but it will be handy.  More importantly to us right now, it should help the resale value of the house when we ever get to sell it.


This wall is now a construction zone and looks nothing like this.  I’ll post an update soon, along with posts about what the rest of the house currently looks like.



We made progress on the kitchen renovation!

We actually have a couple projects to share.  In the last couple months, we replaced the kitchen flooring and built a bench over the radiator.  Here is where we started over a year ago:


The lovely original hardwoods throughout the first floor had been covered in layer after layer of plywood and linoleum.  The orange “wood” laminate was the top layer.  When we pulled up all the layers in the dining room, the kitchen floor looked even uglier.  It was real, beautiful, cool-colored, old hardwood next to shiny orange fake stuff.

So we pulled up the kitchen floor too.  We couldn’t go all the way down to the original wood for several reasons, but we took it down to the lowest practical layer and then laid the new flooring.  Because of time and budget constraints, along with the fact that we’re not planning on staying in this home for much longer, we went with peel-and-stick tiles.  And we’re actually very happy with our decision.


The big tall radiator cover that was there was silly, since the radiator itself was only a matter of inches tall.  So I asked Hubs if we could build a bench over it and make better use of the space.  I drew my general idea, he did the hard part of designing it, and we built it.


And here it is today:


He did amazing work.  It’s really strong, it doesn’t block any of the heat, and I think it looks great.

We are also adding large baseboards, caps, and quarter-round to match what was in the house originally.

Still to do:

* Touch up the paint
* Add baseboard behind bench
* Install quarter-round and baseboard cap
* Paint baseboards
* Make cushions for the bench
* Bring the table back in
* Have a finished kitchen? Maybe?



A traditional bedroom makeover (before and after photos!)

While I was away, we took a road trip and visited my parents.  They wanted some changes made to their bedroom decor, so before we left I put together a terrible Photoshop rendering of some ideas and picked up some things at IKEA.  (The closest IKEA to them is 4 1/2 hours away. Poor people.)

But here is where we started.  The room was decorated with traditional style in mind, in the late ’90s.



They had an abundance of furniture.  Most of them are gorgeous vintage pieces.  But they’re also all very bulky and have a lot of visual weight.  They had her grandmother’s night stands that were dainty and Hepplewhite-ish (?) style, but they thought they needed bulky, visually heavy pieces to match.  As I’ve mentioned before, furniture doesn’t need to match, it needs to balance each other.

I explained it to them this way: it’s like having a party and only inviting type A people.  Everyone is a commanding presence.  Everyone there has something to say, but there’s nobody there to listen and add the breathing room.  And each of their large, heavy furniture pieces were the commanding presence, they were all competing for attention, and without the laid-back, non-focal-point types to balance them out, the room was overwhelming.

Of course, we didn’t want to get rid of the beautiful antiques, so we just rearranged the room so they wouldn’t be the focal point anymore.  (As a side-note, in a bedroom, the bed and bed area should always be the focal point.)

We brought back the dainty vintage side tables.  What they had is on the left (sorry for the low-quality, long-distance decorating has challenges).


In their defense, the sitting room wasn’t normally this cluttered, it had furniture they were hoping to get rid of.  We posted the dressers and nightstands on Craigslist and they were gone in a heartbeat.


Now the after photos:



(The keyboard is just there temporarily.)


We still have more to do in here.  We’re going to be looking for a big, creamy-colored rug to go under the bed to lighten and soften the room (and of course, provide comfort), and new bedding.  And Dad really, really wants to replace the light fixture.  We’re not sure yet if we’re going to go with something more simple and contemporary or something with more of a Craftsman style to go with the house itself.  Along the lines of these lovely lights (similar here):


I should also mention that this makeover has only cost $120 so far. All we purchased were the new curtains, curtain rods, and lamps (all from IKEA). Here are some before-and-afters so you don’t have to scroll:

bed-before-and-after bedroom-before-and-after sitting-area-before-and-after

A few years ago, we gave their living and dining rooms makeovers too, you can see them here: living room, dining room.

We will also be working on Mom’s craft room, which we started a plan for a year ago, but it was put on hold, and now we’re going in a different direction.  I’ll post about that when that project is resumed.

Dad said the office is next, and I’m really excited about that room!