Last I left you, we were starting on the dining room from almost scratch.
This is so fun! This room is in need of almost everything less most large furniture items.
Let’s talk a moment about that new light because she was quite the adventure. The original chandelier was beautiful, ornate and most likely original to the house (meaning it was 77 years old).
She was clearly showing her wear though. Everything from missing pieces to really, really bad wiring.
My favorite accent has got to be the faux dripping gold candle wax .
Despite it all though I still think it is such a cool piece and that it should stay with the house. Maybe I can fix it up and make it more of an accent light in Liv’s big girl room (whenever we decide to take that on), or perhaps keep it neatly wrapped up in storage so that we can pass the original lighting on to future owners.
What I did know though, was that a new light would be an instant, updated impact to the entire space.
After much pendant hunting, I had narrowed my ideas down to:
I love the big round Eden pendant that we installed in Liv’s room – this has to be my favorite go-to in terms of price and look, and I thought that this version with a natural linen shade would fit the dining room even better. I was also drawn to something a bit more rectangular, like this West Elm shade pendant or this beautiful capiz pendant (so stunning! but Kev was not on board). Finally, I thought a light with multiple drum shades might just fill up the space well, like this one.
After much searching and much envisioning and much research, I finally fell for the West Elm short drum natural linen pendant shade. It didn’t hurt that on one of my random visits to the store, I found it marked down a third of the price! I haven’t seen that discount since but it was clearly a sign that she was the right modern pendant for the space.
I was very keen on the light, but not so keen on the white cable and silver wire/canopy that suspended the light from the ceiling (a little too modern for the space) – not sure why the above shows black because it’s definitely white! The pendant had to be converted to a wired version rather than a plugin, so in that process I opted to nix the West Elm mounting and added the shade to the oil rubbed bronze rods (just two rather than the three stacked 12″ rods it came with) and canopy of this Lowe’s pendant:
A pricey upgrade but definitely worth it. The new bronze mounting fits the Spanish-style space (with those rounded walls and inset ceilings) but the size and shape of the shade makes a huge modern difference.
Using a kitchen pendant light to update another ceiling fixture is an easy and affordable tip, though I must warn that we got this one wrong on the first try. I originally bought a candelabra mini pendant light that emitted about 30W – aka not enough to eat your dinner by! This monster shade needed a real deal light base (like the size of a usual light bulb) and we reinstalled the pendant again with the right sized light mount (thanks Andrew!). Now something like this option or this option, while not as big as I wanted for the space, would have provided three or four light bulbs for the large shade and would have cut down on this problem all together.
Another reason it doesn’t emit as much light as a usual chandelier?
The bottom of the shade is covered with a see-through insert that diffuses any light that comes out of the chandelier. You need as much watts or lumens (the LED version) as possible!
This all wraps up with my love for drum pendant lights, whether you hang them high in the center of a room like the Eden in Liv’s nursery:
Or low over a table, like the new linen short drum in the dining room!
Though I do wish it could be a half a rod lower – just need to learn how to rethread rod iron rods .
Read the full dining room story by starting here: the before!
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Home, Lighting
Posted in DIY, Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 3 Comments »
As a guest, there’s something about the first couple of rooms that you walk into in a home that sort of sets the stage for the rest of the house. Kind of like that first impression that you’re so conscious of when meeting someone for the first time. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that we always have one or two rooms/spaces that are under construction. I’m talking open walls, ceilings, floors… the works. So when it comes to rooms that we don’t plan on touching with a sledge hammer and nail gun, I really enjoy making these the ‘first impression’ areas (then as a guest you can walk right into the mess, but at least at first glance all seemed well!)
Our dining room is one such room. It greets new visitors with its rounded walls and inset Spanish ceiling, and it’s hard to miss when you pass our living room (the two are connected with a large arched walkway). It is the gateway to the rest of the house, and the first impression that I’m going for is a warm ‘welcome to my cozy dining area, friend! Let’s share a yummy meal and a glass of wine’. Wouldn’t you love for a room to ask you that?
The dining room is on its way… but it’s not there yet. Not by a long shot. Let’s start by taking a few steps backwards with a quick look at the last couple of years.
This is the before, before shot – before we even moved in. It offers a clear view of the original chandelier and how the arch between the dining room and living room helps to integrate the two rooms. In this photo you’d be standing in the door that connects the office/guestroom to the dining room.
This ‘in-progress’ is from an interview with 6th Street Design School on favorite spaces – at the time the dining room was my home office while we demoed the old kitchen and slowly restored the Spanish plaster and ceilings for the new office.
Believe it or not this photo is probably one of the only few I have with the space looking as it did above, and this is the way the room stayed for several years.
A few more details from that interview:
Sorry about the terrible exposure in these photos – it was also early in my photography days.
Can you see the old kitchen peeking out back there? And that second extra door that led to the old hallway? All gone now!
Shift to this year and the rug is now gone (the Pottery Barn rug was a Craigslist find and had lived a good life – but too many permanent stains with us and we let her go just recently in favor of something a little more modern), as well as that original home light fixture (I hope to reuse it in another space someday). The new pendant can be found right here. That beautiful mirrored lamp broke last summer and a clear glass Ikea version has taken its place. Still love that black shade.
Here’s a look into the new blank slate from the living room.
We’re starting from close to scratch in here and it’s clearly in need of a little oomph, you know?
I have a few rug ideas that have just shown up on the doorstep! And a new wall collage solution to share soon. This room also needs new curtains as well as a new feature piece over on the right where that door is now closed up and a large wall sits empty.
The favorite piece in this room that won’t be going anywhere is this vintage blue credenza that we spotted at an antique store the week we moved into our home – and my parents-in-law surprised us with as a housewarming gift! It’s more of a teal/turquoise-y blue and it’s so awesome. Definitely commands attention and a piece that the rest of the room will revolve around color-wise.
On the other side of the room is my set of Crate & Barrel leaning bookcases (found on Craigslist) that fill in either side of the archway back to the living room. I shared these guys in this post on my favorite bookshelf styling ideas, but I’m ready for these to be re-oomphed too (same with the other set of bookshelves featured in that post!).
There are two really tricky, permanent details about the room that are difficult to decorate around.
The first is both a favorite feature and a frustrating architectural detail – these high, rounded walls and inset ceilings are common with Spanish architecture but they make painting a room difficult because A. the ceiling has to be the same color as the walls or B. you have to have some sort of chair rail/picture rail to cut off one from the other.
The second is the door to the office/guestroom on the left there that throws the room a bit off center. It’s definitely a convenient in & out (otherwise you’re walking around to the kitchen) but it means that the buffet is now two feet off from the center of the room, so the table, rug, pendant light all line up with that inset ceiling, but nothing else. The only solution I can think of to fix this (without plastering over the door) is to find a shorter buffet that can line up on center with a larger object (standing mirror?) on the right side to balance out the door. But I love my blue one too much. Argh.
Well there’s our blank slate! It’s getting a heavy dose of makeover (most of the projects are underway) and I’ll keep you all updated on the progress.
Meanwhile… Kevin has been busy drawing up plans for a new back and side yard and right now we’re thinking decks, pergolas, fountains, flagstone pathways, a giant farm-style table with lots of fun chairs… it should be a great summer project!
Tags: Blue, Decorating, Dining Room, Home, Turquoise
Posted in Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »
I’ve been so inspired lately with all of the decorating ideas on bringing the outdoors in. One trend that has especially caught my eye is the glass vase terrariums that we’re seeing on dining room tables, in kitchens and even in outdoor spaces.
I was rummaging through my buffet recently, attempting to reorganize, clean it out and cut down on what I no longer use, when I came across a few vases and vase fillers that I thought would be perfect for a couple of indoor terrariums for our dining room. In fact, I didn’t buy a single thing for this project – everything was either from under the buffet (where lots of vases live), in my craft bin, from around the house or from the garage.
Here’s what I managed to find to put these guys together:
*A large clear vase (you could also use a fish bowl or punch bowl)
*Several smaller, shorter vases for holding the potted plants (I used votive holders)
*River rock (this can be purchased in mass at a home improvement store in the gardening section, just hose off those dirty river rocks and you should find beautiful black ones! these are left over from my wedding as vase fillers, believe it or not)
*Dried Spanish moss (also from my vase filler collection – can br purchased at any craft store)
*Dried or live green moss (mine came from the craft store as well, also left over from a wedding)
*Succulents for planting (from Ikea and our yard)
First up was to replant my little succulents in the votives with a little potting soil and a little water.
There are actually three little votive candle holders in the bigger vase above, though it’s hard to see that last one.
Then I filled in rocks around the votives:
Next up was a layer of Spanish moss:
And finally a thin top layer of the rich green moss:
Put it all together, and what do you get!
Lots of layers or prettiness!
I ended up ‘planting’ a few more cactus varieties from our yard to add a little color, and I added a few rocks to the top after bringing these guys inside.
The smaller one was super simple – same as the above but just one votive of planted succulents.
I’ve been playing with styling these guys – maybe with a cloche? He’s holding on to a few left over clippings.
I think they look great in the dining room. The terrariums would be neat as a centerpiece for the table over a burlap runner and surrounded by simple white flowers for a dinner party. Oooo, I can see it now.
Again, the layering is what really makes these guys. Though some sort of tinted vase might be kind of neat as well.
I love that I had all of the supplies on hand, makes for a super easy weekend project!
I kind of have a thing for collecting and holding on to great vases and different filler decor. It all started with my wedding five years ago and has grown to help plenty of friends with their big day centerpieces (yes, that many vases. times three). So that little stash in my garage is actually a cabinet that really needs to be emptied out… one indoor terrarium at a time.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Home, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home | 5 Comments »