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Posts Tagged ‘Dining Room’

I know, I know. It’s been awhile since we’ve posted, but we haven’t done much lately on the home front. Instead we’ve been relaxing some, cooking and grilling some, entertaining some, reading some, chillaxing in general.

Get this – I did get some iron-on hem tape for the living room curtains, so that’s a work-in-progress. One panel down, three to go!

Also, my little tomato plant has a fruit:

I tweaked our dining room arrangement a tad, and Andrew painted THE REST OF THE TRIM in there. Woot! The amount of untouched trim in this house is dwindling.

Little tweaks in here aside from the trim-painting include: hanging the blue painting of the couple in the field (a homemade gift from Tricia circa 2004), moving the bar cabinet over, and pulling two of the six chairs away from the table to make it feel less squanched (that’s a made-up word, btw). Oh, and putting into use some bottle stoppers we’ve had sitting in a drawer for the past two years.

I had about a week there were I went through some cleaning-out-junk-drawer insanity, and these stoppers either had to earn their keep or git. So that’s the story of how we became fancy people who use bottle stoppers.

Still to come in this room: gotta paint the walls (we are going to use the spare gallon of paint we already have, which matches the color in our bedroom and my “dressing room”) and gotta hang an actual curtain rod. Holy moly. It’s been almost two years. We really need to do that.

Sorry for the lighting in the photo above. I’m playing around with the settings on my camera; maybe one day photos on this blog will be of a consistent quality.

Aside from the two immediate (and by “immediate” I mean “at top of the list… whenever we happen to get to the list”) projects concerning paint and curtain hardware, I want to reupholster the chair seats and paint the hutch. We also are considering rotating the table 90 degrees (an idea my mom had), but don’t think that orientation will work until after we run hardwoods all the way into the adjoining kitchen.

Wow, I was looking for a picture to demonstrate the transition from hardwood to linoleum between the dining room and kitchen, and I came across this never-before-seen beaut:

So many things wrong with this picture! Hardwoods not yet refinished, permanent doormat mark along with the huge grate in the floor (um, neither of these issues have been addressed yet…), lacy curtains still on the door, yellow trim along the floor, black (broken) dishwasher not yet replaced, eagle-adorned switchplate over the counter… This is the type of picture I post that embarrasses Andrew.

Another recent development around here is that I have a self-imposed glow-box (TV, computer, iPad, cell phone) shut off time of 9:30, and I’m 15 minutes late for that, so I really gotta go now. The curfew doesn’t apply to talking on the phone though. Call me.

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I know we’re keeping you guys in suspense with the bathroom reveal, but we’re still putting the finishing touches in the room. Soon!

In the meantime, our birthdays bookended the big bath project. Mine was the Wednesday before we demo’d, and Andrew’s was Sunday – the day after we were able to shower in our own house again (that’s a good birthday present, right?).

Even though the bathroom has been commanding 98% of our attention (and funds), we both managed to gift the other with something decor-related.

First up, Andrew gave me this decorative ampersand, which I’ve been coveting since at least the fall:

Ampersands are so hot right now (right, Nora?). This one’s from Restoration Hardware – otherwise known as Mecca – but there are a lot of options on Etsy, too (like these and this). I put it on top of our little china hutch for now; it’ll probably move around the house from time to time. It can also be mounted on the wall.

Meanwhile, Andrew’s been complaining about our TV stand in the living room for some time. You can see it here:

It doesn’t look so bad, but the middle was starting to sag under the weight of the TV, and the back was open, which did nothing to hide the tangle of wires back there. Also, we’re starting to move away from the blond-colored finish toward darker finishes, like the frame for our wedding photo above the mantel and the Goodwill side table by our chair-and-a-half.

The old TV stand was starting to get under Andrew’s skin. Hence, this secret little project:

Yup, I bought it, hid it, and assembled it on the down-low and swapped it in for the blond one when Andrew wasn’t looking.

So the blond TV stand now lives in the basement, along with all our other semi-homeless home goods. We are plotting to find one big ottoman to replace both the beige microfiber ottoman and the blond Ikea Lack table, a pair of stools to go under the big window (which can serve as foot stools or extra seating in a pinch), and an area rug. Down the line, we’re thinking we want a smaller armchair in place of the chair-and-a-half too. And once we’ve misplaced all this living room furniture, we’ll be well on our way to furnishing our basement and turning it into a second, bigger, casual living/TV space. After we eradicate the snakes, of course. Yikes. Snakes.

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People have been asking me about the bathroom – sadly, there’s not much to report, but there is a tiny bit of progress, so I will need to write a post about that (soon, promise).

Instead, I’ll share the little projects we did this weekend. Gotta keep the state of this shack moving forward in some way. That reminds me of my mantra, which I don’t think I’ve shared: “petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nit.” “Little by little, the bird feathers its nest.” Sometimes I repeat it over and over to myself, and it makes me feel better that our house isn’t 100% perfectly put together 18 months later.

So, we now have a few visitors scheduled in the upcoming weekends – one of my cousins plus her friend, Andrew’s parents, and Andrew’s brother. Nothing like visitors to motivate some nest-feathering. Andrew painted some more trim work (that job seems to never end), this time around the door to the third bedroom and some other small pieces in the “hallway” that never got done for whatever reason. Hmm, I don’t seem to have a picture to illustrate why I used quotation marks around “hallway,” but it’s really just a small area that includes the doors to all three bedrooms, the bathroom, and the linen closet. Here’s a picture of Widget to make up for it:

I decided to finally hang some stuff that’s been gathering dust for a few weeks/months. First up, a mirror I got from Goodwill for $25. It’s pretty heavy, so I was nervous about hanging it, but I successfully located at least one stud. It’s been about nine hours, and it hasn’t fallen off the wall… yet… I’m still nervous.

I’d like to paint the frame, but I haven’t landed on a color yet, and I really wanted it on the wall already.

While I was at it, I decided to put up a picture I’ve been meaning to hang in the dining room also. It took me about 10 seconds to hang it. I don’t know why I didn’t until this point.

It’s a picture of cheese and honey that I took out of an issue of Martha Stewart Weddings. If you know me, you know I love cheese, and I hung it over our “bar,” where we keep our wine rack. Get it? Wine and cheese.

Anyone else have trouble keeping wine in the house? We had a good stock going, but now all that’s left is that bottle of ice wine.

Since I had such good momentum going, I decided to hang one last thing over the fireplace. Yes! We now have something over the fireplace (18 months later)! And to be a total letdown, I didn’t take a picture! But I have a picture of the next best thing, which is the picture sitting on the mantel. It’s basically the same thing, the picture’s just three inches higher now.

It’s a photo of us from our wedding. A late Christmas surprise from my parents. Close up:

Andrew said, “Does it make us vain to have a big picture of ourselves in the living room?” And I said, “It’s our house, we can do whatever we want.” Plus, I look so happy in it (because I was).

The black frame brings a new direction to our living room: now we need to incorporate black. Easy. Our living room had no direction anyway! Maybe I’ll paint the mirror frame black to tie it in.

Back to the dining room for a minute. I found an old pic for a little before and after. Here’s the before:

Please note the hand-me-down table & chairs, the window valances and light fixture left behind by the previous owner, and my sad attempt to spruce things up with some sunflowers. Also, look! Our wine rack has some wine in it!

Here’s the now (not really an “after” since I wouldn’t consider any room of our house to be an “after” yet):

So that’s our weekend update. Back to you, Seth Myers.

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Andrew and I hosted a little get-together on Sunday, so we devoted our entire Saturday to prepping the house.  Andrew mowed the lawn; I cleaned some windows… until I got distracted.

What’s going on over there?  When did our hutch start looking so disjointed and chaotic?  I mean, we’ve got blue; we’ve got green; we’ve got a sparkly red piggy bank (thanks, P!). We’re country… No, we’re Asian… No, we’re Vegas!

That hutch was making me feel stressed, and I decided I just could not live with this arrangement for a minute longer.  I needed something more streamlined, more cohesive, and more organized.  I took everything off the shelves, forming a few loose goals in my mind:

1. Break up the look of the wood – display fewer clear glass pieces and more opaque pieces

2. Introduce a tighter color palette to be able to highlight a unique piece or two by having it stand out from the pack

3. Stop using this area as a catchall for things that I’m just too lazy to actually find a home for

Here’s a closer look at what was:

And here’s how it looks now:

When I started trying to rearrange things, I realized that most of our opaque pieces were colorful – and none of them matched.  Gosh, if only I had some plain old white stuff.  Um.  Enter wedding china, stage right.  Such an obvious solution, and yet, I’d left our wedding china stowed away in boxes instead of letting people (aka “myself”) admire it on the reg.  And I LOVE this china.

The photo is off-colored.  It’s white china rimmed in silver in real life.  And the Van der Woodsens have it rimmed in gold:

(image found here)

In case you aren’t catching on here, the Van der Woodsens are fictional, and they live on Gossip Girl.  Also, I never noticed china patterns until Andrew and I decided to get married and I “had” to register for china.  So in case anyone out there is searching for the Van der Woodsens’ china pattern (or wants to send us a belated wedding gift), it’s Vera Wang Wedgwood, “Grosgrain” collection.

The picture frame is also “Grosgrain,” and I like how the water pitcher has pearls/dots down the front of it, which coordinate with the china pattern.  AND, I just realized that the frame on our hand-painted cookie recipe (woot Trish!) ALSO coordinates, with dotted detailing:

So that’s how I wasted at least an hour of pre-party cleaning time this weekend.  I’m SO GOOD at avoiding real chores.

xoxo,

gossip girl

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