November 6, 2012

'Tis the Season for Dining

I may be spending most of my time walking around like a zombie from lack of sleep due to our recent little addition, but that doesn't mean we haven't found a little time for projects.  Remember where we last left the Dining Room?

I'm happy to report our contractor patched the holes, scraped the ceiling and repainted it.  And the even better news- after your kind suggestions, I went ahead and sent a letter to our Bath Crashers executive producer, and she came through and sent us a check to reimburse us for the work! Whoo-to-the-hoo!  Sure, she didn't apologize for all the problems we've had, or mention whether this was a frequent occurrence with their show, but she sent a check and to me, right now, that's all that matters.

Once the ceiling was fixed, the Hubs and I were itching to get the room put back together.  But first we took the left over primer and enamel from the Kitchen trim and did this:

It took 4 days, sanding, caulking, two coats of primer and two coats of enamel to get the job done, but the damaged and dirty Golden Oak Trim is gone!  Of course this room is no where close to being done, just take a look at the view from the other side:

This room has been tricky from the start.  The 12 x 12 space doesn't leave much room for a big dining space, especially since this room is the only direct way out to our backyard, so it is used far more as a hallway to the door than a formal Dining Room.  I have a grand plan for the space, but it's going to take a lot of work.  "Grand Plan?" you say?  I might be giving myself a bit too much credit.  Here's the plan:

Try not to make fun of the sketch, would you?  I've had this in mind since we moved in, but couldn't quite explain it to the Hubs so he could share my vision, so finally I drew it out for him.  An artist I am not, but you get the idea.  I'd start by pushing everything back against the far wall that contains the picture right now.  This will open up the walk way from the hallway to the door, making much easier access to the backyard without tripping over chairs.  To get the table over as far as we can, I'd use a bench or a banquette for seating for 2-3 on that side of the table.  I'm am head over heels in love with this one from World Market, except for the price. 

Finding a round table, or ideally a round table that can expand via a couple of table leaves into an oval, will make it easier for the people sitting on that bench side to get around and in.  An expandable table is key for me so that 95% of the time this room can be uncluttered and have furniture that fits the space appropriately.  Whenever we would use the formal Dining Room though, its likely because we have 8+ people over to dinner, and therefore we'll need a much bigger table to sit everyone.  I think we can find a table like this to refinish on Craigslist.  The Hubs wants to buy it. And so the eternal disagreement continues (Me: Build It, Hubs: Buy It.)  We'll see who wins this time.

Speaking of the Build/Buy dilemma, instead of a buffet or sideboard style piece of furniture in this room for storage, I love the idea of two towers on either side of the bench.  A sideboard, either way it's placed, has to sit behind chairs and significantly limits the ability for chairs to pull out or for people to pass behind them.  By splitting the piece into two and placing it in the corners, you can have just as much storage, but take up less space. Cupboards could conceal less attractive storage below, and our prettier pieces of china, vases, glass wear, etc... could be placed on the open shelving above.  I think we should custom build these to fit the space exactly and use molding to make it look built into the room.  The Hubs thinks we should find something like that and buy it.  No surprises here people.

There's a bunch of other details to consider too, like the paint color, curtains, rug, etc...  So regardless of whether we buy or build, the whole thing is going to take a lot of time and money, which is why we're taking our time before we dive in.  We also have a bunch of ideas for the Family Room downstairs, (that will be another post), and we're currently trying to decide which room we want to focus on first.  In the mean time, let's just enjoy this beautiful, new, smooth ceiling- shall we?

I still have nightmares that the plumbing is going to leak again and that we'll have to open up this ceiling for a 4th time.  Pray for me people, pray. What do you guys think?  Good plan?  Anything I'm missing?  Build It or Buy It?  (Help a girl out here...)


  1. I think the sketch makes a lot of sense given the idea that it's both a dining room and an access corridor. But how set is it as a dining room? (Not saying that's not the best use, just curious if you have the flexibility to consider that against other options).

    1. Given that there's no other space in the house that would be suitable as a Dining Room, and we already have lots of other "Bonus Spaces" (i.e. Loft, Playroom, Workout Room, Screened in Porch, etc...)so we aren't lacking for space or another room type. I'm hoping I can make Dinning Room/corridor to backyard work. (Fingers Crossed.)

  2. Hi Erin - Very nice ceiling - haha - I love your light. I've got a dining room the same size as yours and I've been looking for a round table that I like at a good price forever!! I'm ready to give up and just pick up a rectangular one from the Restore. It would have to be better than the pub table we've got leftover from our apartment days, right?