Dining room turned…

Hey all! I shared some of my home plans for 2012 with you here, but there’s one I held off on mentioning. It’s one I’m kind of sort of really excited nervous anxious about. :)

There’s actually two drastic changes for the house I have going on in my noggin – both are HUGE projects. One I’m still hashing out in my head. This one I’m more ready to move forward on. It’s a bit of an usual makeover idea though and I’m wondering if I’m losin’ it. ;)

If you’ve been around for a while, you saw how I changed up our dining room a few years ago by painting, hanging a new fixture, adding new drapes and recovering the chairs.

Here’s what it looked like before:


I went DARK with the walls and the ceiling (I love a dramatic look in a dining room), but wow, the new floors certainly changed the look even more. 

Here’s what it looks like now:

chocolate brown dining room (Ignore the one white chair…more on that in a bit.)

WAY too dark for my taste. I am loving brighter looks now anyway, but if we had had these floors years ago, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have gone this dark with the paint.

Now every surface in the room is the same dark color, and me no likey:

I know painting the ceiling would help, and so would a light rug, but I’ve been itching to rework this room over the past few months anyway, so I’ve held off on those (not easy or cheap) projects.

(Not sure I want a light rug in the dining room anyway!)

There’s a few things I know I want to change, and one is the molding on the wall. I just want something more elaborate and different, but I put this up a LONG time ago, way before I had  a compound miter saw or a nail gun. Here’s the reason I always tell you to use nails to install molding – cause you can remove it if you want down the line.

Guess what I used on this stuff, pre-nail gun? Liquid Nails baby. That stuff is going NOWHERE.

Sooo…I’ve been considering my options. One is to rip it down and have the drywall fixed. Honestly I don’t know if it could be patched. I mean, it could, but it would take an incredible drywaller for that to not be noticeable.

The other option is to just cover them. And that’s when I came up with my slightly unorthodox idea. (That I’m one really excited/nervous about.)

Here’s the deal…we never, I repeat, NEVER use this room. Ever, ever, ever. I think in the almost eight years we’ve lived here, we have used it maybe five times. Probably more like four.

The last time we used it was the Christmas dinner of 2009.

And I still remember how completely uncomfortable I was sitting on those awful chairs. They were the hardest upholstered chairs my tooshy has ever graced.

So about a year ago (YES. A YEAR.), I found a set of chairs at Goodwill that I planned to recover and paint. They were way more comfortable, and I liked that the open backs opened up the space a bit.

You can see one white chair in the pics that I spray painted:

I stalled out though, and usually when I stall out on something like this it’s because I know there’s something deep down making me hesitate.

And now I think I like my new idea way better than recovering the chairs.

I want to get rid of the “dining room” and make it a useable space. This room is open to our living room, and we spend quite a bit of time out there. I know most don’t use the more formal area like that, but because our house is so open, it just lends itself to hanging and playing. Thing is, the living and dining rooms are bigger and more open then our kitchen/family room space.

At least they feel like they are, I’ve never taken measurements. :)

So because we use our living room so often and it’s open to this space that we never use, I’m toying around with not having a dining room table at all.

Instead, I’m envisioning a library-type space. One day…some day…I’d love to make the living room a music room, complete with a Baby Grand Piano for my musician hubby.

That’s a LONG way off, but the library idea in here could be a reality.

I’m thinking floor to ceiling bookcases on this wall:

Like in my friend Emily’s office:

Isn’t that fantastic?

In our room, I’d make the bottom level of the whole thing cabinets, so I could use it for storage of all of our serving dishes. (And loads of other stuff!)

Are you starting to see it? :)

And then, I would do away with the table and chairs, and go with a different type of table and chairs, like this:


Or this:

chairs around coffee table (source)

Or this:

four chairs around table

One of my girlfriends has this set up in their sunroom, and every time I’ve been there, that’s where we end up. I love that idea!

That last photo with the low table is more of what I’m thinking. Or maybe a long, narrow coffee table, with two chairs on either side, facing each other over the table. (Instead of in a circle, it would be more like a square shape.)

I’m also thinking very comfy chairs for lounging. Reading. Visiting. Talking. Whatever.

I think it could be amazing!!

Here are my hesitations and my own rebuttal to those. ;)

1. The furniture. The current stuff wasn’t cheap, but we’ve had it for seven years now. I’m not in love with it though, and wouldn’t mind selling it. I could even take the leaf out of the dining table and move it to the basement in my craft area instead. (I can see it painted out in a fun color! It’s just a veneer, not solid wood, so don’t hate on me.)

New furniture and built ins certainly wouldn’t be cheap. But the built ins I could DIY, and four new chairs wouldn’t be awful if I really took my time looking for a great deal. Otherwise the only expense is a table and a rug, and the rug was coming anyway.

2. The light fixture. I LOVE our dining room light. LOVE. I don’t know if I would try to lower it a bit and keep it in the room or not. It may be too fancy for the look I’m thinking up. I love it so much though and can’t think of where else I would put it.

Wait a minute…hot DANG, I could put it in our bedroom!! Just thought of that just now. Well…now that one doesn’t bother me as much. (See how I talk myself into things?)

3. The whole losing a dining room thing. Uhh…why is it I’m worrying about this even though we NEVER EVER use it? And we’ve thrown a sit down dinner party uh, NEVER. I doubt we’ll start any time soon. (Our parties are more stand around the island mowing on food.) And if we do finish the basement this year, the chance of anyone sitting in the dining room lessens even more.

Party in the basement! Whoo HOO!

I’ve already come up with a possible solution if we need a huge table for an event, and that would be just to have folding tables that I could cover with tablecloths. I think that would do the trick.

4. Resale. Well, we’re not moving. No plan to. Don’t wanna. And when we do, I think the built ins would only enhance the look of the room, not take away from it. We could take out the chairs and throw a table in the room when selling it to make sure potential buyers knew what the space was supposed to be. It’s not anything crazy permanent that couldn’t be changed around in the future.

Soooo…what do you think? Have you ever changed up a room so drastically? Made it something it wasn’t supposed to be? I’d love to hear! I’m really anxious about this potential change, but it’s a FUN, I-think-I-really-want-to-do-this anxious.

I’m linking this up to my girl Nester’s Home Goals Party…cause it’s a goal I think I’m going to try to meet. If I can get up the courage. ;)

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