Monday, May 6, 2013

The Dining Room {and an update on Nate the Great}

I love the dining room in this house because it is larger than most and doesn't feel cramped even with the table extensions.  It needed lots of cosmetic work, and was a priority for me because it is our primary eating area {remember we put the piano in the eat-in kitchen area}.  At the beginning she was no beauty!

First up we had the wallpaper taken down.

Then we painted the walls Fawn Brindle by Sherwin Williams.  I. Love. This. Color.  It  is such a pretty gray.  It feels warm, moody, and cozy. 


I love the color so much that I'm planning to use it in the stairwell going down to the basement as well {we have a huge window in that space as well as a large chandelier that will take the place of the puny little pendant light currently there, so it won't be too dark}.

I knew I wanted to replace the chandelier, because the one that was there was very rustic.  Now, as you know from this post about the red chandelier over the piano, I love to paint ugly chandeliers and lamps, but since I have the red one so close, and also have a soon-to-be bright yellow one to put in the stairwell, I wanted to put something a little more formal and blingy, and maybe modern, in the dining room.  Well, Handsome Hero called from Home Depot one day soon after we moved in and said, "Hey, I found this really cool chandelier on clearance for seventy-five percent off. What do you think?"


It checked off all of my boxes.  It was blingy without being over-the-top, it was modern, and it was more formal than the other lights, putting a bit of separation between the dining room and rest of the common area.

Then came the quest for the perfect curtains.  I knew I wanted to do full functioning panels.  We weren't putting the nasty brown mini-blinds back up so we needed privacy.  As you can see, the dining room has a double front-facing window at street level, so the curtains needed to be full enough to close.  I found the perfect fabric at a local store called The Fabric Market.  I hadn't gone in with any sort of color in mind, but when I saw this one, I knew it was IT.  It was beautiful and just what I didn't realize I wanted!  It already went with the other fabrics in the room and played nicely with the living room colors. 

But there was a problem.  It was twenty dollars a yard and I needed six yards.  That is before buying lining and the curtain rod and rings clips {so the curtains could glide easily since they were going to be closed every night}. 

Now, those of you who sew {or play at sewing like I do} know this is not a bad price for nice fabric that will lay beautifully.  And coming in at, say, seventy-five dollars a panel, it isn't a bad price for  nice purchased panels that are extra long. Remember, we have nine-foot ceilings so the typical eighty-four inch panels look silly.  Still, it seemed extravagant.

I continued looking, even going as far as Chattanooga to find something cheaper that I liked as much.  I finally found something I liked for twelve dollars a yard, but when Handsome Hero saw it he said that while it was pretty, he thought that I would always be wishing I had held out for what I really wanted.  He reminded me that, unlike all of our other houses, we plan on staying here and it is sometimes worth it to invest in what you really want.

I love that man. 

The pictures don't capture the true colors in the space, but in person it's perfect.  I am so glad I got what I truly wanted, but I'm also glad I really investigated and knew this fabric was the right one.

Just to save you some pain, if you are looking to make curtains, check the repeat of your fabric.  That is the measurement between one place in the pattern and where that place appears again.  This fabric had a thirteen inch repeat, so I had to allow for that so that my curtains matched.  If they don't match, it will bug you forever.  The fabric store should be able to help you with this.

 Sorry the above and below pictures are dark.  Anyone want to tell me how to take pictures in a room with so much natural light?

I'm really glad we went with ring clips.  I had been concerned that they would make the curtain look like a shower curtain, but I don't think they do at all, and opening and closing the curtains is much easier than if I had sewn a pocket in the panel.

So here is what we have still on our to-do list for this room. 

1.  We need to put trim up below the chair rail.  We're not sure what style we'll go with.  We want it to be somewhat traditional so that it doesn't go out of style, but don't want it to be too formal.

2.  Also, I'm planning to stencil the top to look like wallpaper.  I'm not sure how quickly that will happen.  It's one of those projects that I want to tackle all at once, and it may be awhile before I have that kind of time.

3.  I have upholstered the dining room chairs three times now.  I really like the current cushions that I did for our last house in Wisconsin.  We didn't use the dining room there that often, and the upholstery was simply what I liked with no thought to kid-friendliness.  Now that we're using the dining room for most meals, I need to find an attractive way to make it kid-friendly.  I keep making the kids sit on kitchen towels and follow them around when they're hands are yucky, trying to protect those stupid cushions.  They're just cushions, for Pete's sake {should I capitalize Pete when saying for Pete's sake?  Just wondering}. 

4.  I am not sure if we need more art in the room.  I don't want to overdo it and make it look crowded, so I'm waiting until the stenciling is done to add anything.

5.  I think the space would look more grounded with a rug under the table, but I don't really want to put one there, at least while the kids are young.  It's so much easier to clean the hardwood than a carpet.  So maybe that is something to keep in mind for a few years down the road.

All in all, we love our dining room.  It suits us now, even without being totally done.  Want to come over?  I make a mean homemade pizza.  Just don't get your grubby hands on my cushions!
Update on Nate the Great:  He's doing well - just got his tube put back down for the sixth time.  Again, when he took it out we tried to see if he could make it without one, but this time he lost six ounces a day, so we quickly put it back in.  Handsome Hero has been trained to replace the tube, which he has already had to do twice.  It takes some of the anxiety off knowing that we can take care of this ourselves.  Gater's muscle is developing.  He's able to sit by himself and is growing in his play. 
Inbetween tubes
We begin occupational therapy in addition to speech therapy this week.  He has been evaluated twice, and both times the conclusions have been the same.  He's right on track mentally.  No delay there.  His physical development is at the age of a six month old, which is what we expected.   Hopefully we see some improvement with this additional therapy that will enable him to eat soon.  He is consistent with desiring water from a spoon, but still won't take food.  Again, thanks for your continued prayers.

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