Thursday, November 30, 2017

Our dining room

Hi everyone!  I wanted to share our little dining room before the holiday craziness, I know it's been awhile since my last post.  This room is pretty small, and it's the hardest working room in our house.  Lots of stuff happens here, eating, homework, crafts, packaging prints for my business, even folding laundry.  Since we downsized our kitchen by a lot in this house, I had to give up one of our dining tables.  The midcentury table's style fit better in this house, but I'll admit it's form over function.  This table is wobbly, hard to keep clean, and a little dinged up.  At least I don't have to worry about ruining it!  I've spent a lot of time trying to add functionality and beauty to an otherwise bare box of a room with an awkward half wall.  Here is how the room looked when we were in the process of renovating the house:
And here is how it looks today:
One of the main problems with this room is how narrow it is.  Unfortunately, we really need the extra storage that the pieces on the sides provide.  Our tiny useless kitchen offers little cabinet space, so I purchased this beautiful media console from CB2 to use as extra storage for pots, serving pieces, and craft supplies for the kids.  I love this piece so much!
For above the console, I reused our starburst mirror and wall urchins, then added a marble shelf from CB2.  
One day the marble top of this piece will hold fancy liquor bottles, but for now, it's practical for little kids.
I bought a box from Homegoods to hold Ashford's completed homework pages.  Not sure what I'm going to do with it all!  Side note: making a 5 year old do homework pages sucks ass. 
The other side of the room has our vintage cart, which we have crapped up with the Keurig, stand mixer, and coffee mugs.  Also, the wine is stored underneath along with random stuff like placemats. 
We do not have enough counter top space for these things in the kitchen, so having them here is a necessity.  I also want to point out the Ikea plant on the half wall is like a full tree now.  Here's a picture of what it looked like few years ago in Minnesota, seen in the window.  (PS - sweet little Ashford was only 2.5!  Ahhh!)
Man, I miss that kitchen and dining table so badly every day of my life!  Anyway, getting back to the is a look at the space on the other side of the console, just a few short months ago. 
It was a hot mess, and all this junk just sat there during the summer.  During the winter, our huge hibiscus took up this spot, dropping leaves and dried flowers all over the place.  Oh, and Zach loved to play in the dirt.  Awesome!
I decided that enough was enough, and the hibiscus was going to have to tough it out in the attached garage this winter.  I wanted to claim this area back, so I decided to make a little seating and display area using this cool metal coffee table from Target.  (No longer available)
I also needed to stash file baskets underneath, so it works perfectly for less than $50.  
It does work as a seating area, and Zach sits up there sometimes.  When he feels like sitting, that is. 
I put a faux fur on top, then some Target pillows to spruce it up.  Even though we didn't need more lighting, I really wanted to use my capiz pendant to avoid storing it any longer.  Then I found this awesome wire one at World Market when I went to buy a black cord.  I debated the two. 
Ultimately, I liked the capiz because it broke up all the gold, and it looks much nicer lit up.  I ended up using the other one somewhere else, because it was a great deal!  We love having this pendant on at night along with the pole lamp. 
I wanted this area to be a cute spot to display artwork and photos, so I bought this metal memo holder from Target and it does the trick perfectly.  I can use regular clips, and magnetic-back clips. 
For the tiny bit of wall next to the window, I chose three black frames and printed some photos of the boys in black and white.  They are eating donuts in the middle one, and in the other two, they are showing their bellies to fit with the dining room theme.  Ha!
I just love this little spot.  I like having pretty pillows in every room, even the dining room!
The curtain rod is the same as the living room.  We love it, but it's not the easiest to install.  After I put up the picture frames, I wanted to balance them on the other side of the widow.  I bought these square metal shelves from Target (sensing a theme, here?) and put up paper templates to see where I should hang them.
They ended up being the perfect place to store rarely-used but pretty vases, and coffee mugs right by the Keurig. 
The last little spot is the tiny wall in between the kitchen doorway and living room.  I knew I wanted to put the chalkboard here, and some sort of display space. 
I ended up finding this pretty wire memo holder at CB2, and bought a bunch of magnetic clips to use for Ashford's art.  This time of year, it will get cleaned off so we can hang Christmas cards instead.  Love it!
I picked up this black rattan basket and throw blanket from Target (sorry, I just love Target) and we use this all the time when it gets cold on the couch.  You might notice the Pottery Barn zebra rug I've had for 9 years.  This thing is still going strong!  I'll say it over and over - wool rugs from Pottery Barn are the best investment ever!  It definitely has stains now, but it's perfect for this room since it will only get more ruined by my minions.
The last item in the room I wanted to mention is the light.  I was IN LOVE with this light when I found it on Wayfair.  Actually, I found it for much more at a local lighting store, then got it cheaper on Wayfair.  Sadly, it's always filthy and full of gnats because the top of the globes are open.  I'm sort of regretting my purchase!  When the globes are clean, it's beautiful. 
Anyway, that is the dining room.  Since leaving my career in Wisconsin and starting my less lucrative photography business, my motto has always been reuse everything I can.  Most of the accessories in this room were very inexpensive, the only big ticket items were the $900 console and $600 chandelier.  I'm very happy with the way it turned out!  Here are some before and afters, the first being the way the house looked when we first saw it:
Here is during reno, last December at Zach's birthday party, and today:
And the little corner, in September and today:
And just because, here is a photo of the gorgeous morning light we get in here.  I try to never see sunrise, but this kid loves 6:30am!  One thing this house has plenty of, is amazing natural light.  That is huge for me! 
Not to leave the big kid is the dining room hard at work on a typical morning.  Cereal bowls, colored pencils, paper, this is it! 
Have a fabulous December!