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Dining Room Diva.

September 25, 2012

Now that we are officially moved in and closed on our second home it’s only appropriate that I roll up my sleeves and get down to some DIY.  In case you missed it, you can find the new house tour here.

My first project is the dining room.  I have no specific plan to number/rank each room I want to tackle, but somehow the  dining room became lucky #1 on the list.   To give you an idea of the first floor layout of the new house, here is a mock-up (not to scale) floor plan.  Said dining room is circled in blue.

It’s kinda the heart of the home.  It’s off the kitchen, connected to the living room, and you have to walk thru it to get to the TV room and garage.  No better place to start.  Before we moved in this is what the space looked like:

After we moved in (and before our furniture arrived) this is what the space looked like:

The room is about 13×13.  It has amazing wainscoting below the chair rail and crown moulding on each wall.  It’s hard to distinguish these beautiful wood accents because they slightly blend into the wall.  My goal is to make these upgraded features really pop.  First and foremost I removed the valance and sheers from the windows to really open up the space.

After starting this project, I realized I was doing it backwards: I painted the walls first.  Looking back, it would have been much easier to paint the trim first then the walls.  Oh well, you live and you learn.  I decided to use the same grey (I don’t recall the name) we painted in the basement of our first home (mentioned here).  I loved that glorious grey.  (I really slacked here and produced no photos of this step.  oh well.)  Here is the grey against the beige wainscoting, trim and crown:

Once the beige walls were covered with two coats of grey paint the next step (and most labor intensive) is getting that trim to really pop.  The trim is a creamy-beige color.  It’s throughout the entire house.  Naturally, I have a fetish for crisp, clean, white trim so converting all the trim in the house will be a long term project (and that’s ok).   Because the trim is very glossy I was told by my local Sherwin Williams guy I need to prime before slapping on some white paint.  Ugh.  So priming I a-go….

I used Sherwin Willimas Multi-Purpose Primer.  It’s zero VOC (no fumes) and has great coverage.  This is my go-to primer for almost any (non-furniture) job.  Even with just the primer (and late at night) you can start to see the difference between beige and white.  wowza!

One thing I took into consideration when agonizing on converting the house to white trim was the windows.  Yep, you guessed it, they are also painted creamish-beige.  By converting the trim to white it also means I have to paint all the windows white.  Now you can see why this conversion will be a long term project.  I taped off the window to carefully apply  a clean coat of white primer and paint as well.

The white wainscoting and bright white trim & crown really make this room pop against the grey walls.  I can’t put into words how excited I am with this transformation.  It is so ME.  A touch of classic with a contemporary twist.

Aside from the paint, my second most favorite part of the transformation is the chandelier.  It’s from the Home Depot, Hampton Bay’s Elora Collection.  It’s on sale right now super-cheap (I wish I hadn’t looked).

Because every room deserves a little drama I decided to take this dining room one step further and paint the louver doors.  Nope, I didn’t paint the beige doors white as you would expect.  I instead gave them drama!

I did a little research on interior black doors and fell in love via the internet.  I wasn’t sure how I would feel about them in my house so I figured the perfect place to give them a ‘go’ was the dining room before I commit to the whole house.

I primed the doors with tinted primer then painted a black semi-gloss that I had on hand.  It took about 2.5 seconds to determine I was in love.

After hanging the ornate black mirror that previously hung in our first home’s master bathroom, I call this room finished for now.  (I may paint the mirror white, the jury’s still out on that one).

Of course the room still needs some art and accessories, but one thing at a time.  I would really like to invest in a new round dining table.  I feel our pup-height table doesn’t fit well into this formal dining space.  Our first dining room was more casual so the table felt right, but now it feels a little parochial.  Ideally I would like something large enough to seat 8-10.  Maybe I can coerce my favorite father-in-law to build me something unique.   We shall see.  In the mean time, on to the next room!

**UPDATE**I intentionally hung my drapery panels higher than ‘normal’.  I do not plan to let the panels hang that far off the ground, I have plans to add length with accent fabric which will pool on the wood floor….just to clarify.  I didn’t want you to think I was wearing ‘high-waters in my dining room…haha!


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