Monday, November 4, 2013

Dining room makeover

The renovation of the dining room started in early September, flowing from the redecoration of the two front rooms, which incorporated more silver, gray and white into my color scheme. My whole house is done primarily in earth tones of brown and green.  The idea is to redecorate on a budget, largely by using the same furniture, finding items to use from around the house, and incorporating DIY as much as my creativity and dexterity allow.

So the dining room project began with repainting and reupholstering the bench and chairs in gray, then the rest flowed from there.  The fact that the hutch doesn't match the table top is a sore spot with me.  I love the hutch, and it was a real steal for $450 at HomeGoods, so it's staying.  I'm not crazy about the table and chairs, but don't want to spend money on replacing them.  So the solution was to sand and restain the table top. 

As Joe already knew before starting this project, maple is difficult to stain.  The Minwax stains were a failure.  So he consulted the experts and the solution was gel stain.  We found a color we thought matched fairly well, having carried one of the hutch's drawers into the store.  As it turns out, it's a little too red, and needs more brown in it.  So the adventure continues....

The room so far,with one coat of stain on the table, and legs unpainted
The ceiling fan needs to be replaced with a chandelier

Centsational Girl has a terrific blog post on painting furniture. She says that you don't have to sand furniture if you use a primer like Zinsser, so I followed her advice by mixing a latex paint in gray with Zinsser. The fabric came from JoAnn's.  Not only did I cover the chairs and bench in the fabric, but I made two valances for the kitchen.

Ryan commented about the huge improvement in the chairs after painting and reupholstering.
A teenager even noticed?  Wow, I'm impressed.  The apron and legs will also be painted in gray.

The armoire was moved down to the basement, and the one wall was painted with the same paint used on the chairs.  On it, I hung the mirror (taken from the front room), to make the room appear more spacious and brighter.  On either side, I hung sconces (also from the front room), bought at Pottery Barn years ago.  I wanted them to be more substantial, so I bought an oval wooden piece at AC Moore for $2, used Mod Podge to apply scrapbook paper to the center, and painted the edges with silver paint.this time.  This is now the backing to the sconce.

The hutch will be redecorated, getting rid of the browns, pinks and greens, and going white/gray/black.  I may use some of the white with silver edge dinnerware stored on the shelves and underneath for decoration on the table top and on the hutch.  I am also planning on lining the backs of the shelves, using paper once again printed off the internet.  Cost = free.

I came across a crown image for lining the hutch, inspired by the metal pieces bought at Michael's.  I found it here, and changed the color to a light gray when printing it.

An overhead view, taken while the table was still in the kitchen

Clicking through home decorating blogs, I noticed a series of posts about tablescapes, which got me interested in the idea of setting up the dining room table for a month or season.  Here's what I came up with, using the white with silver trim dishes stored in my hutch and clear wine glasses I already had; the silver and clear drinking glasses were $5 each; ; the silver, imprinted placemats were $4 each; the gourd and two pumpkins were $ 37; the crystal candleholders were $10 each.  All of those items were purchased at HomeGoods.  With a piece of scrap wood found in the basement, I covered it with scrapbook paper, ribbon and Mod Podge to make a centerpiece.  The bigger candles were $3 each from Christmas Tree Shop, and the tapers $1:

I used the metal pieces below for the napkin rings; the napkins, which I stenciled using three different paints and little rhinestones, were probably $15 for all four.

I made the centerpiece out of a scrap of wood;
the thick candles were decorated with silver ribbon; the same ribbon
was used to tie around the base of the tapers

This is what I scored at Michael's recently, for a total of $34.  All of the metal pieces on the right were only .75 each (used with the napkin rings).  Some of them are in gold, so I'll use the rub n buff to make them silver.  Michael's has a couple of clearance aisles, with some good stuff.  The pieces were marked $2 but rang up at the reduced price at the register.  Score!  The spider daisies were half off at $1 each.  The mini birch logs were $2; the burlap was only $3 (used for wreaths); the two ribbons were on sale - marked Christmas; the Martha Stewart flowers were full price at $6 (used on the silver wreath).

At AC Moore, I found 3 yards of heavy gray fabric in a remnant bin for $6, and a stencil for $5 .  With them, I made a pillow using an existing pillow form, stenciled in white ($7).  I used two Ralph Lauren placemats ($6.50) and the same stencil, this time in pewter, glitter and rhinestones ($2), to make a smaller, white pillow.  Both of these pillows are on the bench, placed under the mirror:

With the same gray fabric, a wire wreath ($2.69), floral stickers ($7.16) and ribbon ($1), I made a gray, silver and white wreath to hang in front of the mirror:

With another wire wreath, remainders of two kinds of burlap, and the remainder of the curtain I bought at the Salisbury thrift shop, I made another wreath, hanging on one side of the hutch:

I like the wreath that Lucy made here, so I decided to try one of my own.  Here's her version, using dried roses instead of my fabric ones.  I really like the way she styled it, hanging from a weathered window frame and with a silver set holding more hydrangeas.

I wanted my version to be whiter and lighter, so the dried hydrangeas I already had on hand were a perfect shade.  I wrapped the wreath with a curtain panel I bought at the thrift store for $4, and also used the material to make the ties and three roses, with plenty of fabric left over.  I bought wired burlap trim at AC Moore for more ties.  Total estimated cost:  $12.  I hung this one on one side of the hutch.

I've been obsessed with hydrangeas, collecting them from my yard and elsewhere, and using them through out the house.

Hydrangeas in hutch on a cake stand

In a plastic planter, spray painted in silver, next to the hutch

While browsing through my favorites yesterday, I came across this post featuring wall stickers.  This particular company is based in the UK, and the prices were not bad.  I actually considered buying one, until I realized that I just have to stop spending money.  That I don't have.  But it did get my creative juices going.  I also realized that patience was required in applying the sticker to the wall, and I wondered if the process was as easy as the video tutorial on the website.  Instead, I bought Avery full sheet clear labels and printed them with designs found on google images.

While I'm on the subject, I also used the following graphics for the interior side of the front door.  I lucked out in finding the two coordinating images from different websites.


Fabric for chairs, bench and windows: $50
Zinsser paint for furniture: $25
Minwax polyacrylic: $9
Wood finish stripper: $8
Burlap and hydrangea wreath: $12
Clock: $6
Sconces: $6
Tablescape: $115
Stain: $45
Two pillows: $15.50
Gray wreath: $11
Burlap and rose wreath: $4
Backing to sconces: $6

I've linked this post to the following blogs:

House on the Way
Tablescape Thursday