Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Dining Room

The dining room has seemingly been a never ending work in progress. When I moved in, all of the walls in my house were the same shade of white and mostly in good shape. The dining room walls were, however, full of nail holes and covered in scratches. Since I'm the worst at making decisions, but really good at picking up every paint sample under the sun, I decided to patch the holes and repaint over the bad spots. There was a leftover can of paint in the basement conveniently labeled 'dining room', and I could stop obsessing about how bad the walls looked until I could decide what color to paint. This method seemed to work until the paint dried and you could totally see the places where I re-painted. I knew I'd need to paint the entire wall sooner rather than later. One weekend while Mom was visiting she had already painted my guest bedroom and was ready to tackle another project. She forced me to finally pick a color from my stack of 2,323,234 paint samples. After staring at these samples for months I finally just gave up and randomly picked two colors. Mom and I worked out a plan to paint the wall two different colors and to later add chair rail molding to dress up the room.

The top color is Province Blue by Benjamin Moore and the bottom color is Tempered Allspice by Valspar. Mom painted this room in one afternoon. She is the lady to call if you have some painting to do! We then successfully hung a new shelf from Ikea. PS - I'm a real pro when it comes to power tools :) The plan was to use the shelf to make a picture gallery wall.

While I was home for Thanksgiving we picked out trim at Lowe's, my brother cut the pieces, and I picked the pieces back up at Christmas. The pieces then sat in my basement for about three months until I found the closest shade of stain that would match my existing trim. This proved to be a more difficult task than I first thought it would be. I realized that the floor trim and the window trim are just slightly different from each other. I ended up using three coats of stain and I sealed them with polyurethane that I found in the basement left by the previous owners. The end result is very close to the existing finishes. It’s not perfect, but it doesn't bother me that all of the trim isn’t exactly the same. Next came hanging the trim. I borrowed a nail gun from a coworker, and Adam came to the rescue with an air compressor. He helped me hang the trim (and finish some other projects) while he and Jessie were visiting in March. Adam is a pretty good house guest who gets a lot more enthusiastic about my many projects than Ace does. :)

After the trim was hung, the room looked much more complete. However, I started to doubt my original choices of paint. The room just seemed too dark. The brown looked too heavy, and I felt like it didn't fit with the rest of the house. After seeing a lot of turquoise and gray rooms on Pinterest I decided to switch up the paint. I really liked the original turquoise color, but decided it should be the anchor of the wall. I chose Light French Gray by Sherwin Williams to go on the top of the wall. I’m so happy with the results! The room is much “fresher” now and is not at all dark. It flows much better with the other rooms as well.

The final touch was to finish the gallery picture wall. My inspiration came from this blog. I made a trip to Ikea and purchased various sizes of the 'Ribba' frame. I took the paper out of the frames to use as spacers on the wall.  This method was not 100% effective at accurately figuring how the frames would fit, because the frames added an extra inch or so.  But it worked well enough. Some of the frames are a bit close to the ceiling, but it works. The hardest part was deciding which pictures to use. I knew I wanted some of my farm pictures that I've taken along with some family pictures.

I love the final look! I love that all the frames match, and I love how white and clean they are against the gray wall.  The wall looks white in these pictures, but it's a subtle gray in person.  The paint is also more turquoise than blue.

I think the shelf needs a few other items. I have one lonesome Mason jar sitting there now. However, it took almost 6 months to get to this phase so it may take me a little longer to find some shelf accents!

There are still a couple of items on the dining room to do list.  I’d like to find a really big clock to hang on the wall opposite of the frame wall. I’m also planning to take down the chandelier and spray paint it silver. Mom is making a new curtain for the window to better match the new colors.  I've thought about sanding and painting or re-staining my table, and I'm loving the look of mismatched chairs right now.  I've been keeping my eyes open for a good deal on chairs.

I'm calling the dining room a (semi)finished success! 

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