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Tag Archives: Dining room

Painted Architectural Pediment

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I have been looking for an old architectural pediment to hang over the bookcases in my “dining room turned office“.  I found this piece at an antique store. I have no idea what it was in its previous life.  But that’s okay… it was only $10.00 and just what I was looking for. 😀

I didn’t paint it right away.  I don’t know if you know this about me, but I tend to change my mind a lot once in a while.  It sat for some time before I decided to go ahead and paint it.  You just never know when another bright idea will pop in your head.  I had to be sure.


Before painting, I gave the piece a light sanding, then wiped it down.

I used two coats of Annie Sloan “Old White” chalk paint.

After the paint dried, I sanded the entire piece again, concentrating more on the edges for a distressed, aged look.

I love how easy Annie Sloan chalk paint is to sand!  That’s it.  It literally took only a couple of hours to complete.  I’m not a patient painter, so there are no hours or days between paint coats for this girl.  If it feels dry and it needs another coat, then it gets another coat. If the second coat feels dry, and it needs to be sanded, then it gets sanded.  Yes I am a DIY Rebel. 😉

Now it’s hanging above the bookcases in my “Dining Room turned Library“.

Finding a “one of a kind” makes antiquing and thrifting so much fun!

This Loon has been in the family for almost 100 years. My daughter admired it at my in-laws house in New Hampshire. Somehow, it managed the long trek to my house where it now resides for all to see. Obviously I need to teach my daughter to admire a 100-year-old piece of furniture, not a century old bird! I will work on that! 😉

Linking to: House on the Way mop it up mondays {nifty button}


DIY Dining Tables

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I was out thrift store shopping with my friend and neighbor, looking for a dining room table.  Not for me, I don’t do dining rooms, but for my friend.  She actually uses her dining room. 😉 

We found a GORGEOUS dining set at our favorite Habitat Restore, but shockingly, it was $2,000!  TWO THOUSAND!  The table was amazing!  Beautiful wood!  We drooled over it for a while, but had to moved on.  Two thousand dollars isn’t exactly thrifty shopping for us.

Then making a table came to mind.  My friend and I are very like-minded when it comes to “I can do that!”.  When she told me she was thinking about making a table, my response was “Woohoo!”

I found some inspiring DIY dining table ideas.  (Click picture for SOURCE)  I have a favorite.  Which one is yours??


Table After

how to build a farmhouse table

created at: 05/24/2012

DIY Pedestal Table

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In planning my new “library” I knew I wanted a round pedestal table and a couple of chairs in the room.  I found the chairs, but the table was not so easy.  I didn’t want a round dining room table because they are too big, and I didn’t want an accent table because they are too small.  (Sounds a bit like Goldie Locks!)  I wanted a table that was 36 inches round. 

So, I decided to make one.  Logical right?  Ask me how hard it was to find a round unfinished table top that’s 36 inches?  I thought it would be easy.  Nope.  The home improvement stores have some round table tops, but they were very small.  Lowes had one 36 inch table top in stock, on the shelf, but it was cracked.  I looked at it at least 3 times and walked away from it.  Brought my brother with me that last time and he declared it fixable, got it for half off, and then fixed it for me.  Problem solved.

I found the pedestal at Garden Ridge.  It’s substantial and heavy and it only cost 24.99!  All together, the top and bottom on the table cost a total of $45.00!  Next, I just needed to decide what color to paint it.  Easy peasy!

My brother said paint it white.  I said BORING!

Pedestal before

Unfinished table and pedestal

I wanted to give the pedestal a faux distressed finish.  I lightly rubbed on blue paint and wiped off the excess.  IT LOOKED HORRIBLE! 

Second try – Painted the whole thing blue.  Had to look better than the blotchy yuck that was on there before!

Painted the table top blue as well. Brought both pieces into the house and it looked HORRIBLE!

Third try – Painted the whole darn thing AGAIN, this time white.  Yes, I heard “I TOLD YOU SO!”

Finished table – for the moment.

While I was on vacation, my brother painted the underside of the table (I was going to be lazy and not paint it!) and glued the top to the pedestal.  It looks great.  Kids can sit there and play games or use their laptops.  I have a glass top on order.  While I’m waiting on that, I’m planning on doing something decorative to the table top.  More on that later. : )

Morale of the story…  Do it yourself.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for or it cost more than you want to spend, make it, create it.  Be resourceful, be patient, and oh yeah… if your brother suggest painting it white, paint it white. : )

Accessorizing Bookcases

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Having threes bookcases to fill for my new Library/Office was a little more overwhelming than I thought it would be.  I looked for some inspiration for accessorizing bookcases and came up with the resources/pictures below.

I literally pulled out all my knick knacks, went through all my books, including my children’s books, and grabbed anything and everything off all the shelves and on top of cabinets to use in the bookcases.  Of course I went shopping at HomeGoods and Kirklands too! : )  It took a couple of days of playing and reorganizing to come up with the look I wanted.  But it was fun!

Pinned Image

House of 34 bookcases.  The final product!  At least this week anyway. ; )

Dining Room turned Library/Office

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Happy Monday! 

I’m almost finished redoing  my “dining room that’s not a dining room”.  Let’s call it my new Library/Office.  Over the weekend I finished the drapes and got them hung. 

I have to give a shout out to my favorite local fabric store, Tony’s Fabrics, for coming through and finding more fabric for me.   Panic set in when I finally decided on the fabric for my drapes and they didn’t have enough to make two.  That old saying “you snooze you lose” applied to me big time!  I don’t know if it was the tears in my eyes, the pouty lip or the kindness of their hearts, but they found more fabric and special ordered it for me.  I LOVE THAT STORE!  And the staff is generously helpful, offering tips and advice.  Always a great thing when you don’t know the quantity you need to buy, or even the type of fabric you need to use for a particular project.

The bookcases came from Ikea.  I love them!  The difference they alone make in the room is huge.  They are from Ikea HEMNES series.  The chairs came from HomeGoods (of course!).  I only bought two, but I’m thinking of picking up two more, or maybe coordinating chairs.  I’m not a matchy matchy kind of girl.  The paint color is a rich brown called Sierra Spruce from Benjamin Moore.

The room is almost complete.  I’m looking for a round table to add to the room.  I’m thinking of making one actually.  But I’m having a really hard time finding an unfinished wood round table top.  No luck at Lowes or Home Depot.  ; (  Any suggestions??

Still need some artwork on the walls.  I will post more pictures when the room is complete.

Parsons chairs from HomeGoods. $99.00 each.

Bookcases from Ikea. Color Grey/Brown

Drapes are finally made! Woohoo!!

Bonus Room Redo

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My BFF has seen me redo room after room after room.  I know she has silently thought I was (I am) a bit crazy.  She has patiently indulged me when I ask her to come over to rearrange furniture or re-accessorize my walls.  But now we are redoing her house.  And NOW she is seeing and experiencing for herself how easy it is to change things up, and how good it feel to redo something yourself and see the end result look amazing.  In short, she is a redo fanatic.  She’s just like me! ha!  Her dining room is next!

The room went from a light tan to a happy blue/gray.  The wall color we used is called Ocean City Blue #718 by Benjamin Moore.  It’s lovely!

Ocean City Blue by Benjamin Moore

The BEFORE. Sad Couch. Unhappy Cushions. Plain Walls.

Boring walls.

Here’s the room AFTER! Happy couch and cushions!  Beautiful walls!  I recovered the back cushions and pillows in the groovy fabric BFF picked out. It changed the look of the couch! The curtains are from Ikea. I added a panel of fabric on the side to give it a “custom” look.  BFF recovered her kid’s desk chairs in a coordinating strip fabric.

The leftover fabric was added to the curtains.

I ripped out the seam on the side of the curtain to add a narrow panel of fabric.  The fabric is 45 inches wide.  I cut 20 inch wide panels to add to the side of the curtain.  I needed to added a couple of back tabs to match the tabs that were already on the Ikea curtains.  Another way to add a “custom” look to ready-made curtains is to add fabric to the top 1/3 or the bottom 1/3 of the curtain.

From Useless to Useful

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Apparently neither Nate nor Candace are coming to my rescue.  I’ve tried.  I have written sad, sad letters about my poor empty dining room, to no avail.  I’m on my own to tackle my dining room that’s not a dining room.  This poor room has been abandoned for almost 9 years.  We are not dining room people.  And I’m not a fan of cooking so I don’t need to have two rooms dedicated to food.

I really think dining rooms should be “optional” in new construction these days.  I think there are a lot of families who would rather have offices, libraries or dens instead of formal dining rooms.  Dining rooms look pretty, but are hardly used.  That’s my opinion anyway.

This week I have been contemplating what to do with this room.  Normally I’m not so overwhelmed with a project like this, but I want the room to look nice and be somewhat functional.  It’s the first room you see when you walk in the front door.  And it needs everything.  Paint, furniture, pictures, you name it!  Breathe Laurie, breathe.

A couple of days after my post on Navy Blue, I received the Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs catalog in the mail.  (Magazine/catalog day is always a happy day!)  Anyways, dark blue was shown in accessories, fabric and paint color.  I think it was a sign.  Now if I can get Hubby on board, I’m all set!

Blues from Pottery Barn

Blues from Ballard Designs

I love the color “Dusk” from Restoration Hardware.  It’s not navy blue, but it’s a darker blue.  I also like the color “Hale Navy” from Benjamin Moore.  I have picked up several different samples of fabric and they all have the dark blue in them.  I think it’s a sign that dark blue is what my “not a dining rooms” wants.

Restoration Hardware “Dusk”

Hale Blue – Benjamin Moore

I also just picked up three bookcases from Ikea.    They are the Hemnes series and I chose the Gray/Brown color.  It’s a different look.  I went to Ikea with the idea I was going to pick up the Brown/Black color, but once I was there, and with the cheering of my Bro, I pick the other color.  I think it will look great with a dark blue wall.  I put the smaller bookcase together already.  It took a little blood, sweat and beers (literally!) but the next two should be a piece of cake. 

Gray/Brown Hemnes Bookcases

I like the idea of adding a round table and a couple of chairs to the new room.

Kursi Kubu Armchair

Chair from Pier 1. A consideration for seating.

That’s as far I as got.  If I could only decide on fabric for curtains, I could buy the paint.  For some silly reason I keep asking my Hubby and my brother what they think of my choices.  And they are actually giving me their opinions!  Does rhetorical mean nothing to them?  I will post the end result of my room that’s not a dining room soon.  I hoping it will be a room that is beautiful, functional and dark blue!

Bench Redo

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The holidays are officially over.  The kids are (finally) back at school.  Honestly, a week off from school would have been just fine with me.  Any more than that the kids get bored, pick on each other and drive each other crazy.  (And their Mom too!)   Love them and they’re awesome, but there are those days that if I hear “MOM!” just one more time… well, they are at school now, so all is well! ; )

I went out in the world today to do a little browsing at my favorite stores and guess what??  It’s not Christmas anymore, it’s Valentines Day!  Who knew??  The retail stores certainly did.  Red, pink and white decorations, candy and hearts are everywhere!

Anyway, I started this bench before the holidays and it’s finally complete.  I had an old Kirkland’s bench I bought some years ago and it wasn’t being used.  Not to mention my style has changed and any thing “scrolly” has gotta go.  So, I took the thing apart.  I have always wanted to have a bench at the kitchen table, so that was where the inspiration came from.  I had four table legs I bought at an antique show just lying around, so they were cut to size with my table saw.  I pulled the padding off the bench a bit to drill holes through the seat and into the center of each leg for screws.  The legs and frame are glued as well, and supported with L-brackets.  I love L-brackets!  They come in handy when you don’t have the right nail gun or drill bit.

After paint and fabric I have a new bench!  Oh yeah, I am doing all this (except painting) in my empty dining room.  Since Nate Berkus hasn’t come to my house yet to figure out what to do with a dining room I don’t want to use as a dining room, it’s my workshop!

My old bench


The legs are screwed in from the seat as well as glued.


The support frame is attached with glue and L-brackets.


L-brackets. I used a lot!


I actually painted this thing 3 times! The third time was the charm!


My kids now sit side by side nicely so they can sit on the bench! ha!

Turning a Dining Room into a Home Office

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Dining rooms.  Really?  I wish I could say we have elegant gatherings around a beautiful dining table serving five course meals to friends and family.  Nah, I really don’t mean that.  We are not a fussy group here and family gatherings mean hanging out in the kitchen, snacking of appetizers.  “Formal” rooms aren’t my thing.  Dining rooms, I believe, are becoming a thing of the past.  But every home I’ve owned has come with a dining room, and that poor room just stays empty.  I never felt the need to buy a dining set just to fill the space.  So my dining room is just a walk through room.  We walk through it to get to other parts of the house.  And if a dining room set was sitting in the middle of the room, it would still be a walk through room, except we would have to walk around the table to walk through the room!

Unfortunately, like a lot of “traditional” homes, the dining room is the first room you see then you come in the front door.  I’ve tried to make it look like a useful room, but have failed miserably.  It’s a room with a hodge podge of unused furniture I don’t know what to do with.  So after fifteen years of an empty room, I really, really want to make it not a wasted space.  I’m thinking home office/library.  As a family of multiple computers, we would use an office much more than a dining room.  And maybe my kitchen wouldn’t be a dumping ground for bills and papers if they had a home to go to.  I have scoured the internet for some inspiration.  Here are some pictures I have come up with.

Better Homes and Gardens

House Beautiful





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