Dining Room Update | 1

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When we moved into this house, I set three goals for myself:

  1. Share more progress.
  2. Remember that this house is your home, not just your project.
  3. Take your time.

So far, I’m not doing so hot on any of them. I spent almost literally all day Sunday obsessively painting trim when I really should have set aside some time for, oh I don’t know–relaxing, cuddling dogs, enjoying the great outdoors, eating Thai food, catching up with family, buying new pants (I lost two pairs of jeans in the move, and at this point I’m not sure if they’re coming back), etc, etc. This means that I don’t get to put a check mark next to #2 or #3.

With this post, I’m trying to take a step in the right direction toward #1 by sharing some update pictures that I’ve been promising for so long. I’m starting with the dining room because it’s the most relatively put together at this point. Of the planned updates, here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:

  • Refinish floors – Done! Love ’em.
  • Paint – I talked a little bit about my trouble with this color here, but it kind of grew on me, so I decided to stick it out with the blue(ish) and see what happens.
  • Replace baseboards – Coming Soon.
  • New light fixture – We’re going to Ikea Friday, and I may snag this one if it’s bright enough and I like it in person.

We’re also adding a few more items to the list.

  • Replace window and door casings – In addition to replacing the baseboards, Justin is going to work his magic on some Craftsman-style window and door casings, something more like this. We’re going to do these in white rather than wood, for the reasons that 1) the baseboards will be white, 2) it avoids the necessity to stain match, and 3) we just like it better. We are not, however, going to paint the windows themselves; instead we’re going with a white/wood combination, a la this:

    Painting the cross bars on old windows is a painfully tedious affair, and I find the contrast of the painted+stained trim to be more interesting, anyway. (PS, Bravo to the black handrail in that photo.)

  • Scrape the popcorn ceilings – I finally talked Justin into agreeing to this. YAY.

So the to-do list has grown more than it’s shrunk (at least work-wise), but I have a better sense of where the room is going, and that’s exciting.

Where the furniture/decor is concerned, pretty much nothing that’s currently in the room is going to stay long term. We’ve been looking for a new dining set for a while now. Just before we moved, we passed on two that would have been perfect because it didn’t seem like the right time to be adding more miscellaneous furniture to the moving effort. I still love our chrome/smoked glass table, but it doesn’t feel like it fits this space, and we’d like something that can accommodate more seating. I’d love to find a wood table and chairs with with (or the potential for) some knobbly upholstery.

Strategy-wise, this is an almost-square room with a symmetrical focal point, and it really wants a symmetrical design. But nothing nothing else in the room follows that symmetry–the window, french doors, and the living room entry are all off from the center–so instead I’m aiming for a winning balance. I’m not there yet, but I’ve got some ideas–like, for starters, a larger rug, moving the table/pendant more toward the center and in line with the windows, and finding scaled furniture or perhaps art to flank the french doors. That’s why I decided I better number these updates; there are bound to be more to come.

In other news, the couch is back, and the dachshunds knocked it out of the park! Pics coming soon!


10 thoughts on “Dining Room Update | 1

    • Thank you, Carmen! And thanks for noticing the floors! We used semi-gloss polyurethane, and it really does give a nice shine. I’m so glad you like the wall color. You’re making me feel better about that choice, lol. We have come a long way since the days of the orange wall; I think when some of the other changes are in place, it’s really going to be like BOOM. 🙂


  1. I must have missed the post where you use the Living Room for the Dining Room. Love the mirror over the fireplace & the cheery Blue. You Are Right, the floors look Great! Looking forward to seeing how the Ikea light casts shadows in the room. Fun!

    So glad you two are removing the popcorn ceiling 😉 Super cute table/chairs! Hope you find the right wood set I like the direction your going with the molding/trim/windows. (Please, if you replace, either store the originals with the house or offer it on CL, they don’t make wood like that any more…) You can also spray paint registers to match the white trim & color match floor registers. I Would get some estimates on installing pocket doors @ the entry. Worth the splurge for livability 😉

    Go Guys! Looking Fine!


    • You didn’t miss anything–I don’t think I ever really talked about using the formal living room space as the dining room. We saw it set up that way by the previous owner, and it seemed to make sense. The original dining room (that we are using as the living room) is the larger of the two spaces, and in the living room (that we are using for the dining room) there is nowhere to put the TV except above the mantle, which is nobody’s first choice. Glad you like the blue! I really do like it, too. We will definitely give away the the trim we remove, but I’m pretty much positive it’s not original to the house. I’d be very hesitant to replace if I thought that was the case! Justin is already working on spray painting the registers. 🙂 Thank you so much for your detailed comments. You always cover every possibility. It’s good to know somebody’s got our back! 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!


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    • Thanks! I wasn’t too sure of the color at first, but I figured repainting now or later is the same effort and the same cost, so I might as well try to live with it. I do like it more over time, and it’s for sure better with the wood than that orange color was. The mirror kind of got above the mantle accidentally–there was one nail in the brick, and we were trying to get the mirror out of harm’s way–it’s been there ever since. 🙂 It is a great mirror. Crazy heavy, too!


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