Monday, August 1, 2011

Tackling the Dining Room

One item on my summer to do list was tackling our neglected dining room. If you can even call it a room, more like a square hall way or large closet more closely describes the space. We have been renting our current house for just over a year, and in that time the DR was pretty empty besides a tiny IKEA table and two chairs (from my college years) and the bar/island that my dad made. 

Moving Day July 2010: Table/chairs by the window and the bar on the opposite wall
July 2011: Bar by the window and the table/chairs on the opposite wall (phone pics=bad)

Not much difference from the empty room to the furnished room, huh? Although I knew it would never be the site of a dinner party or Thanksgiving dinner, I was tired of looking at the lonely room everyday. I started to browse the mighty Craigslist and see what was available at the price point I was willing to spend-CHEAP. I didn’t exactly know what I was looking for but hoped I could find something to build around.

After a few days of searching (and losing out on a few things) I came across a posting for antique chairs from a local historial Inn. I immediately fell for the deep olive upholstery and the dark carved wooden frames. The listing asked for 40 bucks a piece but after talking to the delightful owner, Arlene, we negotiated the price down to $125 for all four chairs!

So, I dragged my hubby into the car on Saturday evening and off we went. The chairs were much taller than I expected but actually made me love them even more, except I grew skeptic that they would fit in our small SUV! After some finagling, we got all four chairs in...SUCCESS! Arlene’s husband commented that the Hubs and I must be really great at puzzles since we got them to fit so “easily” (My father would be very proud to hear that he has taught us the master skill of car packing!)

Our IKEA table is small and only fits two chairs, but it worked out since there isn’t much room for all four around a table anyway. We added the extra two chairs flanking the bar, which works nicely. Then I added in some accessories, scored new dinnerware at Marshalls on the cheap (under $12 a setting) and the room is really starting to take shape! Next up, I want to add a picture gallery on either wall above the table and maybe repaint the chairs (thoughts?)

The table cloth is actually a vintage bed sheet that I found at a flea market for a few bucks, folded and draped over the table. I couldn't find a table cloth that covered the entire table but wasn't long on the sides that the chairs go under.     This linen seems to do the trick!
Table setting with my new dinnerware and serving bowl from Marshalls
The bar centered under the window with the two extra chairs.
Again, it is never going to be a space for entertaining large dinner parties, but at least it now has some character and function. Do you have a room in your house that was too small or awkward, but figured out how to make it work? Let me know, I would love to hear all about it.

*Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for the reveal of my Pinterest Challenge craft!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jes, Thanks for your sweet email. And, what an awesome deal on the chairs! Here are my thoughts. . . For a quick fix, I would paint the frames white. This would be a less expensive update than having them reupholstered. Then, I would probably buy a couple of colorful pillows to place in the chairs beside of the bar (maybe a floral?). You could also buy a yard of patterned fabric and layer it over the existing table cloth as a runner--which would also give the room some color. Hope this helps!