Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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Before & After: My Dining Room Makeover


Frank bought our home because it has good bones. You know, it's structurally sound, made of brick, that kind of stuff. Which means, in true bachelor fashion, design didn't really factor into his decision.

Let's start with the dining area: It featured worn-out carpet, an etched glass and brass chandelier circa 1980, and a faux stone wall. Leroy, the old owner, had painted around one of his China cabinets, leaving a faint mint green rectangle on one wall. The bleak situation was not improved by Frank's high-top table, which was a different wood than the other furniture (left by Leroy) and was the wrong shape for the space. An intervention was in order.

Step one: We ripped up the carpet to expose the wood floors (those good bones!) and ripped down the faux stone drywall. Then I replaced the chandelier with a brushed nickel fixture with a white drum shade (Lowes, $169), and installed GE Reveal bulbs, which mimic natural light. I replaced the high-top table with a farm table bought on CraigsList for $45 (what a steal!).

When we removed the drywall, we discovered two junction boxes. Perfect for sconces! I chose nickel sconces with white glass shades (Lowe's, $30 each). The new wall color is Rainwater by Martha Stewart (sold at Home Depot), which gives the space a calming, almost ethereal feel.

I found the chairs in the basement, and I liked their shape and the cane headrests. But the finish was just ugly, as was the red damask fabric. So I painted them white, and reupholstered the cushions with a light teal and beige burlap. I also stained the table to darken it and bring out the scuffs (so it looks like a true farm table). 

Then came the big project: refinishing the China cabinet. I removed the metal lattice on the glass, painted the whole thing white, then painted the backboard Magnolia Yellow by Martha Stewart. (The yellow pops beautifully against the surrounding pale teal walls.) I replaced the old hardware with cut glass knobs, and painted the hinges with brushed nickel spray paint. 

My final purchase was two tufted benches with silver legs from Pier 1. They're actually vanity benches, but I wanted something more elegant than wooden farm benches.  



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