Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Be Our Guest - Dining Room Reveal

This was one of the longest yet most rewarding redesigns I have completed in quite some time.  If you're just now tuning in, let me quickly get you up to speed.  This redesign started a couple months ago with the tearing down of the wall paper and the ripping out of the white wall-to-wall carpet that screamed, "I'm stuffy, formal, and you better not use me except on holidays!"  The dining room isn't screaming at us anymore, instead it's singing a sweet little rendition of "Be Our Guest" from Disney's Beauty and the Beast (not really an animated version more like if the cast of Glee sang it :)-.

Here are some before and progress pics:

For more background info on the wall paper removal process and why we decided to pull a table switcharoo with our eat-in kitchen check here and here.  Oh, and if you're dying to know how we created a faux hardwood floor for a mere $79 check here.  Lastly if you're wondering how the modern hubs and the more tradish me finally agreed on a new light fixture check here.  Without further ado.  Drum roll please.  Well, wait, first let's recap the objectives of this redesign.  

1.  We wanted to make a smallish space feel larger. 

2.  We wanted to create a dining room that was less formal so we would use it more often. 

3.  We wanted to update this room without breaking the bank. 

In reference to number 2 mentioned above, I feel it necessary to take a minute to explain this concept of "less formal".  This really is relative, as "less formal" can look differently to everyone.  I wanted the dining room to be less stuffy, less use-me-only-for-special-occasions.  However, I still wanted something that was elegant and special enough for holidays, yet casual enough for family dinners.  I feel like ripping out the carpet to create a faux hardwood floor was the biggest part of making this room more family-friendly.  There is no fear of staining the white carpet now, and now eating in this room is no longer a scary-nobody-drop-anything kind of experience.  Ok, so for realz now, drum roll please.  Be our guest!

 To achieve mission #1, I painted the walls in a Valspar paint matched to Waverly's Cafe Cream.  Using a light color on the walls really opened up the space.  This is such a departure for me, as I am usually drawn to dark colors; but I was going for a light and airy feeling here.  It is a warmer, slightly darker color than the trim so it still highlights the picture frame molding that I just love.  Also in order to make the room feel "roomier",  I the hubs hung the drapes high; almost touching the crown molding.

This gives the illusion of a higher ceiling and makes the room feel larger.  Also by selling the old china cabinet and buffet and swapping tables with our eat-in kitchen we were able to make better use of the space we had.  Sometimes, not all the time, it is just better to let things go rather than trying to make them fit.  While I still love a traditional china cabinet in a dining room, having more space around the table works better for our family and also helps to take the stuffy, overly formal feeling away.  

Lastly, using mirrors was another great way to open up the space.  I love decorating with mirrors.  They are really timeless to me.  While, many people are departing from gold finishes, I myself still love them.  I like to mix finishes like gold and silver to give a room a more updated look and eclectic feel.  In other words, I just do what I like and could careless about what is trendy or what the "decorating rule book" says.

The family art wall is yet another example of mixing finishes.  I just gathered a bunch of frames from around the house (mainly from the master bedroom) and added 3 more frames I picked up from the Dollar store.  I love the mix of gold, silver, and black frames.  Adding a family art wall to the dining room also helped to make this room feel more family friendly.  It was like adding life to this room.  I didn't fill this wall up.  I left plenty of space to add more to it slowly over the years (after all our fifth house is the forever house right?).  One of my favorite frames on this wall is my fortune cookie proposal. Our first date was at a Chinese restaurant, and it is also where the hubs proposed.  I'll never forget that night, and I love seeing my fortune framed :) 

At night this room looks so romantic.  The chandelier is on a dimmer which I recommend highly.  Lighting is such a great way to set a mood in room.  The dimmer switch is so precious too; looks a little Alice in Wonderland-ish (I can't help myself- I'm a mom to a Disney loving daughter)! 

I love the soft light these buffet lamps add to the room.  I gave these lamps a little makeover which I'll be sharing soon.  Instead of using a traditional buffet, I brought in this slate console table that was in our basement.  It's a piece we picked up in Richmond at La Difference (that store is like an art gallery- just gorgeous!)  Anywho, I love this masculine piece married to these feminine lamps, and adding our wedding picture above is just, well, a perfect union :)  Oh- look and there's Mrs. Potts.  You'd just about die if I told you that one of my china tea cups is chipped, but seriously it's true!  I'm not making this stuff up! 

You're probably looking at this room thinking to yourself there's no way she didn't break the bank here. Nothing could be further from the truth.  We started this project by selling the china cabinet and buffet which brought in $475 to add to our small budget.  Here's the rundown of expenses:

- faux hardwood floor  $79
- area rug from Lowe's $399
- light fixture from The Home Depot - $200 minus $70 gift card = $130
- drapery panels from Bed, Bath, and Beyond $110   (they were $69/panel and I had 2 coupons for 20% off)   *These are the most expensive window treatments I have in the house, but I fell in love with them and had to have them.  They are lined and interlined taffeta - need I say more?  That's my justification :)
- 3 Dollar store frames for the family art wall $3
- plate hangers from Michaels $35

Everything else in this room we already had from the furniture to the plates to the mirrors to the drapery rod etc.

Total Expenses = $756  
Subtract income from selling furniture - $475
Total out-of-pocket expense = $281!!!!!!!!      

You saw the before pics right?  $281 didn't break the bank especially because it was spent gradually as we had the time to get this room finished.  My advice for any redesign in which you are planning to sell furniture is to start the project by selling the furniture first.  It not only gives you a budget to start with, but also frees up the space so you can better visualize what you want the room to look like.  Also, pick a budget and stick to it.  I was planning to stay under $300 for my out-of-pocket expenses, and I came in just a little short!!!!  YAY!

We got this room finished just in time to have a cocktail party to celebrate our 10 year anniversary!  Perfect timing!

Do you have any tips on how to stay under budget?  I'd love to hear them!

Linking up here!  Go check out all the other great DIY projects!

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  1. I absolutely adore what you've done with your dining room. Care to head out here and finish mine?!! Thanks so much for all the pictures. It's definitely got my mind spinning with ideas for our house. :o)

  2. Just stunning!!! I love it, thank you for sharing with me!

  3. How warm and inviting, I love your dining room transformation, love the texture that was brought in by chosing different end chairs! Love the idea of framing your proposal! Great room!!

  4. Fabulous job! I think it looks great, and I love the seagrass chairs. Cute to frame your proposal, too! Nice way to save a memory :)

  5. Wow, I love this! I LOVE the gold mirror in the corner... Where did you find this?!

  6. Thanks! The gold mirror was my mother-in-law's. She wasn't using it in her home, so I was more than happy to take it off of her hands ;)

  7. Beautiful dining room! I'm on my way to check out the flooring and other links. I'm a new follower.

  8. The room looks gorgeous. Fabulous transformation. Love the wood floors too. Hugs, Marty

  9. Beautiful! And oh my gosh. . . I have those lamps! I think I will be giving them a makeover as well! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  10. You guys did a great job---very pretty! Can't wait to see what you do next!

  11. Much lighter and more welcoming. I like the seagrass chairs and leaning mirror-smart.

  12. There is not one single thing in this room that I don't love! :) It's gorgeous and perfect for lovely dinners with friends and long talks over coffee.

  13. OMG! We have the same china cabinet and side board and I can't get rid of it soon enough. They were hand me downs, so we took them. Mom was in an antique store the other day and saw that china cab. listed for $850. Love your new dining room. Are you using it more now?


  14. Thanks so much Renee! Yes- totally using it more now!

    xo- Carmel

  15. Gorgeous!!! It's so warm and inviting at night!! :)

    I love the seagrass chairs!


Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C


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