After working on this space on and off since late January, I am beyond excited to finally share the dining room makeover reveal with you today.
Truth be told, I had no idea if I should even make a Home Goals List for this year, much less dream about creating spaces we love for this house. As many of you know when my DIY buddy and bestie S, fell in October it significantly altered not only our schedules but the projects we were available to take on as well.
When the new year rolled around and she was still in the wheelchair, I had all but put any house dreams on hold and vowed to simplify, purge and organize instead. But then my super sweet brother in laws offered to help move furniture the weekend of my birthday in late January and it was the first time since S’s accident, I actually felt creative again.
After my brother in laws moved all the furniture out of the way, I started repainting the dining room in Valspar’s Bistro White and the trim work in Valspar’s Ultra White. I can’t even tell what a huge difference it made to finally have all the rooms in the common areas painted the same color. It’s like night and day!
Part of the furniture that had to be moved was the dining room buffet and hutch affectionally known as, “The Beast.” She was one of the first pieces of furniture I ever painted and honestly the black served us well for so many years.
Once we started simplifying our home’s color palette to grays, camels, whites and woodgrains though, the black stuck out like a sore thumb. I knew it would be an easy fix, so, I grabbed my paint brushes and got to work painting the buffet and hutch with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey. I also decided to shiplap the back of the hutch. It’s painted in Valspar’s Du Jour which is a really pretty white.
And I loved it, until I hung up the curtains made from the antelope print fabric I had been hoarding for months. Paris Grey is one of those beautiful chameleon colors that reads as pale gray sometimes and as pale blue-gray other times depending on how much or how little light is in the room.
I should point out here we were making great progress on the dining room up to this point. In fact, according to our project timeline we were set to finish the dining room makeover in February.
But I just couldn’t get over the color and tone combination of the antelope print curtains with the Paris Grey buffet and hutch. I even repainted the buffet and hutch in French Linen to see if that would help.
Thankfully, I decided to move onto another project. I left the antelope print curtains up for a few weeks to see if I would grow to love them and I did love them. Over and over again, though, I just felt like they weren’t the best fit for the dining room.
That’s the thing about having an open concept home – you have to consider all the surrounding spaces – not just the one room you’re working on.
While I was waiting for the curtains to grow on me, my Dad rebuilt a small sideboard we had been using as a nightstand in the one of the bedrooms. At one time we had been housing my ever-growing collection of brown and white transferware on this piece we created from the old fencing from my childhood home, Loblolly Manor.
Without a doubt, the change, forced me to go through all my collections and pare down. I’m not even going to lie, it was tough at times, but the house already feels a bit lighter.
Once the small buffet was in place, I decided to concentrate on the dining room table. The top of the table has a European Oak style finish and we love it. So, the only thing we really had to do was condition the tabletop.
By this point, we were well passed the dining room makeover deadline we had set for ourselves. Mostly because I was still struggling with the color combination of the antelope print curtains and the buffet and hutch.
Honestly, it was S that finally said, “This is worse than watching someone trying to pull a band aid a little at a time. You don’t like the curtains in the dining room. It’s been WEEKS now and we both know you’re not going not like the curtains in the dining room. Just pull the band aid off and find some curtains you actually like!”
After that conversation, I gave myself permission to not only find new curtains, a Waverly fabric called Country House Toile in Platinum,
I also gave myself permission to find a new color for the buffet and hutch. In the end, I chose Deco Art’s Chalk Acrylic Paint in Primitive.
The color is so neutral it not only works well with the Country House Toile, it also works well with our white IKEA curtains in the living room, the floral curtains in the breakfast nook, the gray buffalo check curtains from Ballard that were used in my office, and the antelope print curtains too.
The last piece of the dining room makeover puzzle was to figure out wall art. We needed something that could be used throughout the year no matter what the season, as well as, something that would complement the hutch and buffet, not compete with it.
It sounds like a tall order, but we finally settled on creating grain sack inspired wall art using our grandmother’s monograms. Once we hung them up, it felt like everything else fell into place.
Several weeks ago, we were finally able to take down S’s wheelchair ramps. It was definitely a misty-eyed day of celebration. I saved some of the wood and asked my Dad to create a box we could use on the dining room table as a small reminder of how far S has come since that fateful day in October that changed everything.
Earlier this week, I took that box and made a simple Spring centerpiece . I also refreshed the chandelier with burlap shades I found on sale at Lowe’s for less than $3 each.
While we didn’t knock down any walls or bring in brand new furniture, the dining room makeover was still a labor of love.
Had it not been for my brothers in laws helping to move furniture and hang curtain rods, my sisters bringing over dinner, my Dad refurbishing the small buffet, cutting the boards for the shiplap and trimming out the window, my Mom answering countless texts (most before 5 am, mind you) and S helping to create the grain sack inspired wall art – this project would not have been possible.
But as we’ve come to understand and appreciate over the years love shows up and gives you exactly what you need, at exactly the right time, when you need it most – even in the form of a dining room makeover.
Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.