It was recently brought to my attention that I had never posted the “redecorate the dining room” post. This was a May ’17 project I set myself to completing before hosting a dinner party, taking our green dining room and transforming it into a pink dining room. And I was truly pleased with myself and the results. This room reno cost a little over $200 including awesome rug, paint, and curtains. And is a monument to decorating minimalism and intuition.
At least five years ago, I decided to paint my dining room Chartreuse green. I thought that Spring green shade would be happy. It was but for some unknown reason I chose to do it in a glossy finish which only made the bumpy walls more visible. This renovation was well overdue. I had visions of pink in my head. It was so design forward it frightened me.
But I dreaded taking off that grass cloth I’d glued to the dado (beneath the chair rail) some 15 years ago, I’d left it. And eventually, it had become the scratching post for certain naughty kitties. As with so many tasks we dread, it turned out to be easy. It took me one hour to remove and scrub off the remaining glue from the walls. I was again astonished at how we dread and put off things for no reason.
I decided I didn’t need to repaint the ceiling or the insides of the corner cabinets from their original colors. So, I brought home color swatches until I’d chosen the right color to match.
I knew that this now all warm-toned room would need a color cool down in the new rug I chose and as soon as I saw this turquoise beauty, I knew it was right. This sucker was a mere $150 bought at Esalerugs.com on a special sale day. Free shipping always. This is the same site I purchased my kilim rug for the hallway. This rug looks fancier than it is. Stuff can get spilled on it (Resolve has been go-to magic in a bottle for 25 years), cats can claw at it, and it still looks good.
The curtains were another hurdle I finally overcame. I had literally never put curtains up because I didn’t know how to cost effectively handle the bay window rigging. But I’d done some prior research on Pinterest and had pinned some ideas to my secret “redecorate the dining room” board. I revisited those and found the solution.
I used metal electrical conduit pipe setting around in the garage. We covered it with gaff tape to make it white. Same tape technique I used on Fiona’s bedroom curtain rods. And I attached them together between the windows with rubber tubing! I was exasperated to have to pay $5 a piece for the 4 brackets to hold all this up. The only ones I could find were black too! And lastly, leveling the whole curtain rig was tough as the windows are visibly wonky. But again, only took me an hour. And them my husband offered up some extra cream-colored wedding organza and just looped maybe 17 foot runs over the rods and I tied them back with jute string. Voila, the windows and the views are framed out.
The major time I took was for the painting. I blocked off the week to do it and just resigned myself to doing no other chores and to plugging my daughter into the TV for chunks of time. And as usual, the worst part was painting the woodwork. I had chosen to go back to white woodwork while leaving the corner cabinets cream. Lovely concept but that crown molding was tedious going and darned if I wasn’t “almost finished” …”almost finished” …”almost finished” when the kids started to act up.
The one last decision (besides going from green to pink) that seemed avante garde was the painting of the chair rail. I have always detested the way that chair rail visually chopped up the space. I’ve seen people painting their woodwork out in the same color as the walls. And so, I went for it hoping the chair rail would disappear. It was a success and I encourage everyone to do whatever their whim tells them. It’s only paint after all.
I should have been more nervous about the rug but somehow, I knew it’d be perfect and I was right. The items I hung on the walls were what I already had and went very well with an evolving color palette of pink, mustard, and aqua. And the two pieces of grass cloth that were perfectly intact when I pulled them from the wall under the windows? Turned them on their sides and mounted these fabulous sconces that I have never been able to hang until now!
So how did the dinner party go you ask? It was a smash success and I was a confident hostess because I felt like my dining room was finally the exact place that I wanted to entertain in. It was the new me. The color palate is fresh and the windows are frames in that lush wedding organza. Crazy cool.
And PS, Since I’ve taken these pictures, I recovered those dining room chairs too! Had the fabric for over 20 years!
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