Friday, April 1, 2011

House project - Dining room

I love our house.

We are slowly making it ours. 

{See?  Now we're in the picture.  This was taken when we first moved in.  If you were to see it now it would look more like this -

This is taken from inside the house, however, because only crazy people go outside for no good reason when it's zero degrees.  Wait - is that Handsome Hero and Ella out there?}

When Handsome Hero is traveling, more projects are accomplished, because I need something to pass the time.  For the past few weeks, however, he has been home and I don't want to take away from the time we have to do home projects.  Because I kind of like him.  So the projects wait, and then I'm guaranteed to have something to work on next time he goes out of town.

A big project room for me is the dining room.

This angle is from the front entry.  You see it right when you walk into the house.  The problem is: our dining room does not reflect us.  It isn't a destination.  We just walk through it.

It lives in Blandsville, even with the AWESOME animal print chair cushions, my favorite thing in the room.

The walls are cream, which I chose, because previously they had been navy below the chair rail and industrial gray above it.  It. was. awful.

So I thought I would tie it into the kitchen through color, but didn't want to paint the walls the same blue, because I thought it would be overkill.  I wanted to keep it neutral and add color through accessories.   

Anyone who has ever been to my house {any of the three we've owned} knows I like color and lots of it.  I'm a little more restrained this time around, doing bold accent walls instead of whole bold rooms, but this room is one word to me - BLAND!  Or maybe two - BORING!  But I have plans {picture me hunched with glazed eyes, rubbing my hands together gleefully}!  Plans to take this room from bland to beautiful, from dull to dazzling, from boring to breathtaking, from irksome to interesting!  You get the idea.  And yes, I did use a thesaurus.  Useful things, thesauruses thesauri.

First thing on the list is for practicality as well as beauty.  Here in the Great White North, all the friends we have made who have children, have at least four of them!  When we have families over, we don't fit around the diring room table together, even with the two extensions, so we got the bright idea to get a bench and upholster it.  It will sit against the wall, adding color but not inhibiting the flow.  When we have big families over, we can add the extensions and pull up the bench, and lots of little bodies will fit on it.  Bonus:  When we have large groups over, we can pull the bench into the living room for extra seating.  Problem solved!

Except for one thing: finding the bench.  I scoured Craigslist for awhile with no results.  We looked into making our own from scratch {Handsome Hero is mighty handy}, but it was going to be a very expensive job {Handsome Hero, while mighty handy, is not one to do things halfway or less than perfectly.  This is a trait I have learned to admire in him, but it does mean some of my hairbrained ideas that I'm sure would be awesome will never happen.  He can't handle their imperfections}.

So, one morning while the kids and I were on our way to the gym, I was magnetically pulled instead to several furniture consignment shops, looking for a few other things we have on our list.  And there it was. 

It is perfect.  It's exactly the right length, and it is in good shape, and it cost less than the materials to make it from scratch.  BOOYAH {Mom, that means YEAH}!!

Now I'm ready to upholster, but first I need your opinion.  Upholstery fabric bolts are 54" and my bench is 60", so I am going to put a stripe in the middle of an alternate fabric.  I have a floral fabric that I LOVE and used on another project I will show soon.  The solid fabric is actually a heavy vinyl with a subtle alligator texture.  Very cool.  So....  Here's the quandry.

Should we go with
A.  The vinyl with floral stripe or
B.  The floral with vinyl stripe?

My original thought was B, since the floral fabric ties all the rooms downstairs together and I plan on using the bench in the other rooms when needed.  However, the wipe-ability of the vinyl has great appeal, since it will be used mostly with kids, and I'm drawn to it when I see the picture.  However, I've never had a stain problem on my fabric cover dining chairs, so I don't know that that matters.



  1. Wow, that is a really cool bench! I really like it, too! I have a nasty habit of looking at all the pictures before I read through the blog, and my first instinct was that I liked the first one better with the floral stripe in the middle. I don't know why, but, hand down, I like it better. But either way you choose, it will be gorgeous! Way to go, Beth! Nice find!

  2. Zanna and I both like option number two! Like Lydia, have no idea why. I think it is because it's a dark print which means that it hides finger marks well!

  3. I like option 2 better and I think you don't need to worry about kids making stains since it's a dark busy floral. It won't show. Beautiful!