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Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Posted by Errant (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 4, 14 at 13:47

I'm in need of desperate help! My bigger half has a very large collection of Colonial Revival maple furniture, to which he is very attached. We have this stuff everywhere. He has reluctantly agreed to let me spruce up the dining area, however.

My biggest concerns with the dining area:

1) Hutch blocking the window
2) Much to much wood
3) The room (our whole house) is dark and cluttered

In all honesty, it's just not my style, but I've done my best to incorporate and work around it in our home.

Functionally, the dining furniture is perfect. Every piece is solid. Nothing is broken, wobbly, or squeaky. The table has four leaves, which we have needed to use on many occasions. Two arm chairs and six side chairs are all in great shape, short of the finish. We even have all of the original table pads.

I keep flip flopping on what to do. I could replace everything, but that's not really in my budget considering I just finished a kitchen facelift, and trying to find a table of similar dimensions has been a daunting task. My other option would be to work with what I've got by updating colors, hardware, lighting, add a rug and changing drapes.

As of this moment, I'm seriously considering painting the chairs and cabinet black. Yeah, I know, still dark but I think it will work better with the floor and black refrigerator and double ovens that are at that end of the kitchen. I've thought about removing the hutch from the cabinet, or maybe even replacing the back paneling with an obscured glass. A large rug underneath the table would be nice, but I have concerns with dirt/snow/dogs/cat/grandkids, so it would need to be durable and cleanup easily.

I'm open to any and all ideas and suggestions. I really feel at a loss here. I'll attach a photo below (please excuse the mess, as we are still wrapping up the kitchen reno).


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

I just realized, the hutch is in FRONT of the window. Tell him that is bad for the hutch!

To lighten on a budget, here's what id do:
Remove the top of the hutch (for safekeeping!)
Get rid of everything, i mean everything, except the furniture. No tall vases.
Have washable off white linen seat covers with a little skirt make for your chairs.
Paint the curtain rods and your chandy white or off white.
Get rid of the shades of the chandy.
Get rid of the dark drapes (replace with off white linen) and the dark tablecloth.
Put a large white stoneware platter on the table and put green apples in it.


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Let's start with the basics:

Please post more photos around the whole room -- and the adjoining spaces .... let's us help you .....

First- and foremost -- the too-much-stuff vs. storage issues need to tackled in a Whole House way .... in other words ... if you choose to clean out a closet -- the resulting storage space MIGHT allow you to stash other stuff there ....

Sooooo ... the first step may be to Re-Organize and Rotate your accessories ....

a)Could you find a place to stash the high chair?

b)Could you simply remove the top of the china hutch -- re-organize the stuff in the whole china cabinet. That move alone would REALLY change the room .... and might be a fair deal with your Better Half. :) Perhaps try it -- and live with the room for awhile to see if that move would help ....

c)Switch to lighter-colored curtains ... again ... a simple switch to basic sheers would make a huge change too!


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

In front of the window, oh my! That hutch should go for sure! (IMO)

I have stared at furniture pieces of my husband's kind of willing them to deteriorate. So far they're wearing like iron, more's the pity.

I like your chairs and table and personally would not paint them. The wood finish probably wears better and I think you can do what you want with accessories and paint elsewhere in the room.

I am a clutterbug and really enjoyed reading the book I linked below. I think it's helpful to understand and combat the psychological aspect of keeping things around:

Here is a link that might be useful: It's All Too Much


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

More pictures (you asked for it)!








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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Yes, there is a definite need for reorganization of stuff. He is the clutter bug in the house. Those boxes and bags on the table are filled with knick knacks he had in and on top of the china cabinet (other items he had "displayed" there were simply shoved into other areas of our home). I will definitely take a look at the book, robo!

I think removing and storing the hutch would be a huge improvement. I can relocate the stemware into the kitchen or liquor cabinet.

I do need lighter curtains. Those burgundy wool panels were a cheap/quick fix for a rental before we bought this house. I do need something warm/insulated, however, so sheers won't cut it. They also need to be durable and easy to clean, as both the dog and grandson seem to always want to wrap up in them :o

I like the idea of linen skirts on the chairs, but again, I'm concerned with pet/kid dirt. It they could hold up to being tossed in the washer once a week, I think I'm game. I could even sew them myself, if I can find a pattern and lots of free time.

I was going to replace the chandelier with something that tied into the kitchen better, but will try painting and removing the shades first to see how I like it.

Table cloth and table pads can definitely go :) I believe I have two leaves in the table right now, with two stored behind the china cabinet. Taking them out would help the room not seem so crowded, and we really don't need them unless the kids are over.


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

O.K. Let's see:

Gorgeous kitchen!!!! And LOVE the dog under the end table!!! :)

First and foremost -- clear that front hall wall -- remove the clock/snowshoes etc.

Next -- go through the bookcase -- and only keep a few books on it.

Then -- gather all of the family photos around the whole area -- and have them re-done in black-and-white.

Then -- Create a couple of family gallery areas -- get some magnetic frames for the fridge and some regular ones for the side of the black kitchen cabinet (where the vintage ads now hang) AND then add a grid of photos (in matching black frames) above the bookcase in the front hall.

Switch out the lampshades in the living area to simple creamy white ones. Keep things simple and fresh!


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I agree with these suggestions by mtnredux:

"Get rid of everything, i mean everything, except the furniture. No tall vases.
Get rid of the shades of the chandy.
Get rid of the dark drapes (replace with off white linen) and the dark tablecloth."

I would remove the whole hutch - it is really crowding the space. My exhusband had a beautiful antique hutch that we tried and tried to use in the main living space but it didn't work. We ended up fitting into a closet with the doors removed in the home office - looked great and was functional for the space. Furniture pieces like that can look great in bedrooms as well.

I would add a rug under the table to counteract wood overload. A used wool Craiglist find that can be replaced when necessary. Or, one of the amazing outdoor rugs - this one can be hosed off!

That's just an example - there are quite a few like here:
http://www.potterybarn.com/shop/rugs-windows/outdoor-rugs-door-mats/?cm_type=gnav

Love your spaces, and your kitchen :)


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How soon before you can replace your carpet with lighter colored flooring? I think that's the #1 culprit contributing to the dreariness. In the meantime, I'd replace throw pillows, lamps, picture frames, etc. with white and light versions. Don't paint the DR furniture black. The medium wood tone is fine as long as you lighten up your accessories.


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Blocking the window is not good. If you can't get rid of the hutch, I'd move it to the LR where the small bookcase is now and use it as an entry way piece...baskets for keys and mail, decor items behind the glass above, you can put hats and mittens in the drawer and boots down below.

I think you'll be delighted with how bright that alone will make the DR.

What's with the little nook next to the fireplace? Perhaps you can get low bookcases in there, a bunch of pillows and turn that into the reading nook.


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Go neutral and simple lines. It will at least complement the wood and tie in with the simple curve of the chair backs. If you can't move the hutch (beautiful maple!) then either remove the top or center the whole thing better in the window with a wall of sheers behind it and put in contemporary objects with strong lines in the cabinets, all one color, like white matte pottery.

Can the hutch go where the little book cabinet is by the door?

I have a seagrass rug. It doesn't absorb liquids,cleans really well, and wears like iron. The cat barfed on it but you'd never know because it all came up with a damp cloth. Not comfy under bare feet, but inexpensive and more practical than you'd think.


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

I second the sea grass rug, only in my case it was the dog who threw up. And definitely, that top part of the hutch has to go. You need light.

Also, love your kitchen and that little nook next to the fireplace. I'd just put a cushion in and a small wall sconce or clamp light. Perfect for a snuggly reading nook for the grandkids.

What's underneath the carpet in the living room?


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

First of all, I really like your house. It feels like a home, which is #1 to me.

The mockup from Awm is lovely. I like the light fixture a lot because it then ties into the lovely kitchen you have. I would also bring in a few accents w/black to further tie it together. Maybe the trim/border of your curtains can be black.

A poster here was recently looking for the style of furniture you have-- it made me appreciate it more. There is a LOT to be said for solid, well-made furniture that is paid for already! Just moving the hutch (the actual top) will make a tremendous difference.


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I love you, teacats! But he would surely have my head if I messed with that wall. He LOVES that stuff. And there is sooooo much more of it in our house. He even mentioned the books the other night when I mentioned not liking the bookcase. He flat out told me I was not allowed to mess with his books (even though I have never seen him read a single one).

Feisty, that rug just might be perfect. It looks like it would tie in the colors from all of the rooms beautifully. You are always so good at that! I'm going to have to take a closer look at that rug.

May Flowers, that carpet is brand new. The light carpet that was in the house when we bought it was so horribly stained, that I think it scared us into going too dark. Same thing with the couches. I won't have a problem replacing the throw pillows, but getting him to agree to switching lamps and picture frames will be a struggle.

Annie, I'd rather get rid of the hutch completely than try to use it in another room. I am not a fan of the style at all, and moving to a room where it doesn't even belong would drive me batty. As for the nook by the fireplace, there is one on each side. I thought about doing something like you suggested, but the wood getting stacked there combined with the dogs looking out the windows, it just wouldn't work.

Thank you for the compliments of the kitchen. I tried really hard to make it "mine," without clashing too much with the "his" in the rest of the house. I think it's a good compromise and came out nice :)

Here's a couple of pictures of what the house looked like when we bought it 3 years ago. We've been very busy!





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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Thank you for the mock up, awm!! That really helps me to visualize it. I'd been staring at it one way for so long, it's been difficult for me to see anything new.

I had been thinking about seagrass for the rug, that just might work out. It won't seem out of place? They just always seemed so beach-y to me, but maybe I need to readjust my thinking. There's plenty of cat barf happening, not to mention the occasional Weimaraner pee when he doesn't get let out enough if the kids are watching the house :(


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Seagrass would look good. Other lighter neutral rugs are shown in the indoor-outdoor rugs link that I posted above.

I like the idea of pulling some black accents from your kitchen into your dining/living area.

On either side of the fireplace I would create cozy reading nooks using upholstered foam and pillows:


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Those pictures are exactly what I had envisioned doing with those spaces flanking the fireplace. Perhaps I should work harder at convincing the dogs and my sweetie, that they should be kept pretty. Thank you for posting those pictures, Feisty!


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Take the doors off the hutch. (Place them in storage).
Get rid of the draperies, too dark. Paint the room and get drapes or shutters same color as the walls and keep them closed behind the hutch.
Get a nice light color area rug.
Get rid of the high chair or move it to another locale.
A runner of a light color on the table or no cloth doilies at all.
Declutter those adjacent areas. (Uh, Oh, I just read that he loves the clutter). My husband likes going out to work in the yard and not taking off his shoes. I have never taken off his head for this but I have been tempted. It is worse now. He has taken up pipe smoking after never having smoked before. He stinks. Makes my house stink. I guess I can't take him out, but the extra work is going to probably take me out before him.
Is he collecting boxes from Overstock? Please tell me he is not still buying "stuff."
Can you buy draperies near the wall color (paint a soft but muddy white, otherwise, your furniture is going to make your room look muddy. Outmuddy the furniture, and out-hot it by using a green muddy, dry sage or a soft mass, if you can).
Furniture in the window is bad but if you can obscure the window someway by applying drapes in a color as wall or doing shutters and having them custom painted.
You do need storage and this is really nice furniture. Could be Ethan Allen hard rock maple?
I don't know. If your DH lets you declutter, call me and you can help me with the pipe smoker who will not take off his shoes after working in the garden, who I have to follow with a swiffer until he reaches the shower.


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I see tons of windows, so it can't just be the hutch and furnishings making everything appear so dark. Did you use flash for the photos? I also see a huge tree outside the kitchen window. Does that need pruning to let more light into your kitchen and DR?


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Take everything off the walls "to paint" then do several rooms before you put anything back. By then he might be used to the bare walls and not want to clutter them himself. I did that in my own bedroom. I loved having all my necklaces on pegs by my dresser, and I miss the convenience, but I don't miss that cluttered look!


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Your kitchen turned out great and I love how your dog is seeking shelter under the end table.

I feel your situation -- I had the large walls of rock, just like you, except with more rock and fewer windows! And, it is tough to bridge between the new and the old, especially when someone else has not realized they need to compromise (or properly relinquish control).

In addition to all the suggestions above, consider if you decide to replace the living room romans, to use an outside mount. Right now, you lose about 25% of your light. It made a difference in my (similarly dark) spaces.

Also, if you decide to take down the hutch, you will be amazed how much less imposing it feels (and in your case, the light).


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Thank you all for your suggestions! I should note, the walls are BM Dry Sage. I love the color, but am wondering if I should go just a bit lighter? Oh, and my kitchen cabs aren't black, but a very dark green (Behr Thorny Branch).

Last night I removed the hutch and it was a huge improvement! It's funny, it always looked like there wasn't really enough room at that edge of the table, but now there seems to be plenty. Having the hutch looming over it was very deceptive.

I also cleared our construction mess from the table and removed the cloth and pads. I also pulled the leaf out of it trying the enlarge the space, but now it looks odd. I'm going to wait a few days before putting it back in the see if I get used to it. I also removed the spare chairs and high chair.

At first I was thinking I'd try painting the chandelier, as some of you suggested, but that thing is just awful, and too big for that space. I'll move it to the super tall stairwell, as it matches the fixtures that are in the upstairs hall, for now. So, I'm on the hunt for a new one, I'm thinking it should be brushed nickel to match the fixtures in the kitchen? So far, it looked like this 5-light from Progress might tie into the kitchen well with its simple nickel arms matching the rails and appliance pulls in the kitchen. What do you think?


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I have to say that I like your current chandelier. What does it look like when you remove the shades?
From the picture, it doesn't look too big to me.


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Or maybe something with a drum shade, like awm posted? 60's lamp shade to go with 60's maple?

Oh, and my BH is insistent upon having me paint the chairs and sideboard black. He also wanted the legs and apron of the table done, but was willing to compromise after showing him some pictures on Houzz. I will refinish those and make them look new, instead.

Patricia, the dining set is not Ethan Allen. The drop leaf end tables in the living room, however, are. Complete with "genuine" Formica tops ;) The dining room furniture is all stamped "CAL SHOPS." I don't believe I'll be destroying anything collectable by painting :)


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Really, NSMom? I liked it when we first moved in, but that rustic cracked iron finish is just awful to clean. It's a dust magnet, and tries to eat any cloth I use. I've taken to just using a vacuum and brush when cleaning it. Now that the kitchen is done, it feels very disjointed. I'll pull the shades from it today and snap a picture. At the very least, it will be an improvement until I find a replacement :)


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Oops, I somehow missed gooster's post! Yep, that rock was just awful. I still have more of it. A large ceiling height corner fireplace in my bedroom. Since bedroom doors can be closed, it's been last on my list of projects. I have a very dark picture of it, but I will post since it includes my doggie :D


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Errant: Yours was better than mine -- I had black, pock-marked lava thrown inbetween the taupe colored rocks -- and cherry toned paneling. I have a before and after here. Mine weighed a ton! And your pooch loves the fp, it is clear.

I think you experienced the same feeling that I had when we removed the top of the hutch --- the visual weight is so much, plus the style of the hutch become less prominent when the top is removed. I'm surprised that your DH is the paint advocate, as we are usually dealing with the opposite.

Some lighter panels would definitely help. Maybe white uppers, with the lower 1/3 banded in tan (to pull out the tan from the beautiful stone counters). The tan will help with the dog issue you mentioned but it would bring in the white.


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

All your design decisions repeat the dark look you're trying to avoid--dark green, deep red, black, brown. Why not take the white from the fireplace and beadboard and use that throughout the rooms?

That chandelier is too contemporary and Plain Jane for your LR/DR furnishings. I would not select a chandy based on a kitchen pull when the rest of your home is Colonial Revival. Or mix CR with a 1960s June Cleaver revival with a drum chandelier.

Home Decor can guide you into realizing an overall vision, but will the suggestions be for naught because your husband will veto them?


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Lots of options.







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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Ethan Allen with formica tops? Wow. I never heard of that. I would not have that as I would hate it. Oh, well. I am going to apologize for anything derogatory about husbands. Mine is having atrial fibrillation/flutter and about to be admitted to the hospital before he goes in heart failure, so Lord forgive me talking about bad habits and quirkiness of him and other men. In the name of Adam. Amen.


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Oh no, Patricia! Please post again and let us know that he's going to be OK. I'll definitely be keeping both of you in my thoughts.


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He is now on amiodarone. He was taken off it last Autumn secondary to pancreatitis, but they think the benefits outweigh the risks at this point, so will give him pancreatic enzymes. Thank you for your concern. I really appreciate it. Up late, my dog and me. She keeps me from being scared or lonesome. Sweet girl.


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My doggy is up with me, as well. My guy is snoozing, so she's keeping me company while I look for drapes and chandeliers. I'm having a hard time finding anything within my limited budget.

Oh, and today we discovered a plumbing leak and had to pull siding off the side of the house. It seems like as soon as I get one mess cleaned up, we find ourselves in another.

This post was edited by Errant on Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 4:46


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

I'm linking to a Houzz guide on "reviving" rooms. Most (everything?) has been said above, but still it's nice to have it again in organized steps.

Errant,
how far are you from an IKEA? Their drapes are great, especially their off-white linen.

Or go to www.overstock.com and look at their thermal curtains. There are so many choices. Maybe even something like this:

Can you post a picture of the chandelier without the shades? You could spray paint it and see what it looks like. Not sure about the dust-collecting rough texture, though.

Also, if you're thinking about a seagrass rug, I recommend www.naturalarearugs.com . They always have sales going on. However, I'm not sure about dog pee. Maybe an indoor/outdoor rug would be better in that case.

Do you have a HomeGoods nearby? They have good prices on rugs, and you can return it if you don't like it.

Here is a link that might be useful: 5 steps to reviving rooms


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

I love that first chandy picture you posted, NSMom. I like the simple, thin arms, and tall candle bases. Any idea where I might find something similar, but on the cheap?

Here is a picture of the existing one in the room without the shades. It's a big improvement, but the thickness and curly-q's just make it feel too heavy for the small area and low ceiling (90").


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Oh, the scrap of fabric on the table is leftover from the quickie valance I made for the kitchen so that I could bring the Roman up to expose more of the window. That color is also in the small rug in front of the sink. I'm thinking I would like to use some of that color in the dining area. Maybe in the drapes or rug? Although as of right now, he has vetoed the idea of a rug.

Do you think panels in that color would work?


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Wow, it already looks so much lighter and brighter! I love your windows.

Maybe this? It's 206.00 on Overstock, but no reviews yet.

Or this fo r245.00

Or this? Quite different but pretty cool.

Too much bling?

The last 3 are all under 200.00.

They also have really cool drum shade lights, e.g.


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

The second to last looks pretty good. It comes with both black and whit candle sticks. I'm thinking it would be pretty with the white, and without the shades. It's about the same size as the one we have now, but doesn't look nearly as heavy and clunky :)

ETA: and it's cheap!

This post was edited by Errant on Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 20:21


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Errant, we are doing much better. Thank you. I like your chandelier, but think, like you, it looks heavy but what a difference a day makes, both for your room after removing the hutch and my husband after receiving medicine.

What if you had a powder coat of black on your current chandy? No? It might cost as much as the purchase of a new one. Some very good choices from nosoccermom.


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

I'm glad he's doing better, Patricia. Hopefully you were both able to get some rest last night.

Yes, I'm liking the room much more than before! I'm getting such great advice from all of you, and very much appreciate it. I am really not good at this sort of thing. Pulling everything out of the room has really helped me try to visualize changes better, so that's been a great start.

I've already decided I don't like the current chandy, so I'll replace it. Since it matches the fixtures in the upstairs hall , I'll relocate it up unto the high stairwell. The current fixture up there is just one of those rectangular wrap-around glass do-dads (I don't think anyone's every been motivated enough to get a big extension ladder to fix it, I know we haven't!).


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Errant, all the changes you have made to your house are amazing! You and your husband have done such a great job updating everything - and your dining room looks so much better already! (Not that it is ANY of my business at all, but when I first got married I allowed my husband too much say in how we designed and decorated our house, and unfortunately I really regret that now, because many of those bad decisions are still in my house. ha ha)


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Errant - WOW! you must be so pleased with how good it's looking!! The work you've done as seen in the other photos of your kitchen and LR is amazing!


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Errant, it is looking so good. DH doing better, and I had a nap, suspect he will be able to come home tomorrow.

I have to admit, it takes a brave lady to work these changes, and how beautiful.

I used to give everything away and now I store it in a house we rent because sooner or later I find I want some of it back and I like to change things out by season. So I call it shopping in my own home. I see that is what you are doing with your current chandelier. I don't think you will regret that.

Everything is looking so beautiful.


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That's funny, Patricia, I do the exact same thing! I have a little 2+1 caped cod that's my "storage." My youngest son lives there and usually welcomes any cast-off's. I pretty much left it fully furnished for him, dishes and all.


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From World market, currently half price at 99.00

Also, this one looks really cool in real life, but I think the shadows would be disconcerting.

I like the fabric. Can you just drape it over a rod to see what it looks like?


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I absolutely think you should do panels in that fabric. Then decide on paint color or if you need a rug.

The hutch without the top looks perfect there. And I would add the leaf back into the table. I think it looks odd having the table so close in size to the sideboard.

Another light option:
$299 at ballardesigns.com
Lourdes 12 Light Chandelier


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I rather like this one. and wow, what a difference with the top of the hutch gone!

Also, I thin light-colored curtain panels might be a good idea to lighten up the room a bit.

$190 at overstock.com


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Or this, $95


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This is kind of interesting. Maybe two of these (they're $70 each) hanging down in the center of the two end thirds of the table, with a centerpiece in the middle of the table?

Here is a link that might be useful: Tiffany pendant


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Wow, lots of great suggestions! I don't know what I would do without all of you. I really do appreciate all of the help.

I think I'm pretty much decided on the chandy at this point. This one from Sea Gull Lighting:

The more I look at it, the more I like the icy blue faux silk. I wrapped a pillow in it to see what it looks like in the living room, and I think it looks great with the brown couches. So I could do pillows in there to tie that room in? And maybe use it in the nooks on either side of the fireplace, as well?

Here is that same fabric in kitchen:

And this is the small rug in front of the sink, that also has that color:


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Love the chandelier you picked.
I could also see some pillows like this. It's from West Elm for 20.00, but you could make similar ones if you're handy.


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That one's nice! But yes, I could sew pillow covers myself if I found a great fabric.

And I think geokid's right about needing one leaf back to the table. The tiny size of it right now is nice, but the proportions just don't seem right. Maybe I just need to get used to it.


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NSMom, are the Merete curtains the ones you said were good quality at Ikea? It's hard to see the texture on the website, so they just look like shower curtains to me :o

They are only $20/pair, so it's a steal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Merete


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I can't remember. I have IKEA Lenda, and they are certainly just as nice as the ones from Pottery Barn who cost a lot more. In fact, I think they look a lot nicer than on their web site.They are quite a bit lighter than the Merete, which supposedly weigh 5 lbs, but still don't feel flimsy.

Here's a review: http://jpmdesign.blogspot.com/2010/08/ikea-white-grommet-drapes.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Henderson blog on inexpensive but good drapery

This post was edited by nosoccermom on Tue, Apr 8, 14 at 15:38


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I hope my fiancé isn't conspiring behind my back to purge my things!

This post was edited by KevinMP on Tue, Apr 8, 14 at 19:14


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@ KevinMP - I doubt that it would ever be necessary - you have such excellent taste.

@Errant - love the changes thus far, especially removing the top of the hutch.


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I don't think she would do that, Kevin. If she's anything like me, I'm sure she has no problem doing it right in front of your face :D

Thanks, NSMom. I do need to make a trip to Ikea at some point, so I will take a look at the curtains they have available.

And thank you, decordummy! I have been wanting to get rid of that hutch for a long time. I'm glad I was finally able to convince him to let me try. Even with the old dark drapes from the other house, it has made a huge improvement :)


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LOL at Kevin, you made me laugh out loud.


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I've been at a stand-still this last week, as we were out of town. But I did get that chandy ordered. It will be here on Tuesday!

I'm still having a tough time shopping window panels. Both windows are so large, I think I need at least 8 of them, so the cheaper the better (so I'm leaning towards Ikea, even though I'm not seeing anything that really grabs me). Would these BLEKVIVA panels work? I can't really see myself going any lighter in color with the dogs nosing through them, and they seem fairly heavy which I need for the snowy months.

They also have the MERETE curtains in beige, and they are only $20/pair right now, but I'm not crazy about the grommet tops.

I'm also seeing lots of gray-blue colors at other places that I like and am wondering if something along those lines would work if I changed the BM Dry Sage in that room to BM Icicle? Something a little less blue than the scrap of fabric I have.


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My IKEA has a lot more in the store than online. Because I'm within less than 30 minutes, I bought a whole bunch of curtains and then just tried them out, including the Blekviva in my house; they have a tone-on-tone pattern and are quite sturdy.
Also really liked the Henny Rand, blue, gray, beige, brown, but they do have those grommet tops

You could also add some ribbon or trim to plain curtains.

I think it's probably best to go and look at them yourself.


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Sorry for not updating in a while, but not much has happened in the room. Other than hanging the new chandy, which I love! I also changed out the wall switch with a dimmer.

I still haven't been able to make it out to Ikea to check on the curtains there. I did go ahead an order some from JCP, since they were having a sale. I'm hoping they work. They are a light gray (which I'm hoping is on the blue side). The color was listed as "gray unbra," but I guess is now sold out because I can't find a picture on the website.

The other half also wanted the same curtains but in "huckleberry" for his game room. Opposite side of the house from the dining area, but still visible so I hope it works! I'll need to find a new wall color for both rooms, as the Dry Sage won't work with either color. I guess I'm on a greige hunt now :o

Speaking of the man and his game room, he's making me nervous! He is suddenly uncluttering. He went through his game room and removed all of the tin beer signs, mirrors, and sports memorabilia that covered the walls. I wish I had a before picture of that room to show you. The walls were completely covered, like in an old bar/pub. The only things he left on them were four neon beer lights, the dart board, and pool cues.

That wall at the entry with the snow shoes, etc? It's all gone! He moved the snow shoes, ice skates, and sled to his game room. The bookcase and all of it's knick-knacks are now in the upstairs hall.

I did buy the book you recommended, robo, but I swear I wasn't reading it to him in his sleep! I don't know what's up with the sudden change. Whatever's caused it, I'm not going to complain, but it does make me feel a bit trepidatious.


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

  • Posted by Errant 8 SoCal Mountains (My Page) on
    Mon, May 12, 14 at 12:25

dup

This post was edited by Errant on Mon, May 12, 14 at 12:27


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RE: Please Help Revive This Dining Area

Bad Feng Shuy with the hutch in front of the window. The energy becomes stagnated when natural light is blocked. Blocked energy could result in many problems, including financial. The 'clutter', mainly the bookcase, near the frond door isn't good either~the front door is where money comes and goes. Blocking the doorway doesn't allow money to flow in freely. My DD has been schooled in the study of this Oriental belief system, and has helped many friends/ relatives, including me, with their home. Many retail stores and even large companies are 'Feng Shuyed' today, so there must be something to it. Mirrors are also good reflectors to draw in good energy(garden) or reflect bad energy(wall or building).


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That's funny, Patty, because he is fond of teasing me by saying, "Will I mess up your Feng Shui if I put this here?"

Actually, both the hutch and bookcase are already gone :) I've been considering a large silvered mirror for the entryway, so it sounds like you and I are on the same track.


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Yay! Curtains have arrived and I love them. They are a silvery gray faux silk, lined and interlined, so they are nice and full (and well insulated). I have to hem them, since the ceiling is only 93". They are not as blue as I was originally trying to find, but they look good.

I also have to paint...the BM Dry Sage I have on the walls is just wrong. It looks dark and dingy. I think a lighter, cool tone is needed. So far, I'm looking at Silvery Moon, Gray Owl, Gray Cloud… maybe something that can make them look a bit more blue? Any suggestions?


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How wonderful that you like the new curtains! Instead of hemming the curtains, can you just hang as-is and let them slightly puddle on the floor (a/k/a break, as in breaking the crease on a pair of men's pants)?


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Errant would you consider switching your chairs out for something in faux leather but more updated but not modern design? It feels like your tastes are more transitional, but the chairs and oak stain are definitely traditional. Perhaps switching out the seating and restraining the oak in something like an antiqued gray would would work?


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The maple chairs and buffet will get painted black, Robni. You're right, my tastes are more transitional, but my other half is difficult to sway ;)


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In these instances where negotiating just doesn't work, when I have the conviction, I usually just do it without consensus ;) let's just say that my track record/success rate speaks for itself ;) I would try and do that flat rubbed on black stain. Or maybe experiment on the underside of one of the seats to see how it will look on the actual wood. Your kitchen though is beautiful so I can't imagine that he would trust you to keep going!


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Thanks, Robnj! I'm starting to push a little harder towards making some changes, and he's been OK with it so far. I just replaced all of the Colonial Revival tables in the living room with glass Pottery Barn knock-offs. They weren't my first choice, but I had to go with something to which he would be amenable ;)


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I'm still plugging away, slowly but surely. I repainted the dining area to a white (I can't recall the actual color, atm). New curtain rods are installed up high, and I've got the new curtains on one window. I'm hoping to get the second window finished tonight. The white walls and silvery curtains look great, IMO! I'll get some pics tonight when the other window is done and see if you agree.

Little bits have been done to all of the adjoining rooms, as well. All of the Colonial maple tables in the living room have been replaced with metal and glass tables above, including a matching console table to go where the maple bookcase used to be. I bought a mirror for over the console, but it arrived broken and I'm waiting on a replacement. The throw pillows on the couch have been swapped for blue/gray ones, entry rug changed out, and roman shades moved up to the ceiling (but still need replacement to get the proper width for being an outside mount now). New lamps on the end tables, and a floor lamp at one end of the couch (where the maple tea cart used to reside) have really brightened it up :)


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I'm looking forward to pics! Sounds like you've made lots of improvements. Are you still looking for colours? I love the Farrow and Ball ones. They have so much depth and complexity. I probably wouldn't use their formulations, but the person at their store was super helpful when I was picking colours. They have such a restricted palette that they know the colours that they do have really well - how the behave and what works. I need a warm and bright space so I'm with Pointing, an off-white.


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The mirror for over the entry console arrived! Now to figure out how high to hang it. The table is 30" high, mirror is 25", and the ceiling is 96". Any suggestions before I make a million holes?


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Hmmm my first thought was that it should be horizontal, but most of what I'm seeing online shows them vertical. Decisions, decisions!


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Ah hah! Tin foil to the rescue! I think this is where it will go (if I can find my big picture hooks) :)


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Excuse my makeshift sewing/ironing table, but I couldn't wait to post! I still need to train and steam them a bit, but I think they are going to be great. What do you think?


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They look awesome! The whole room looks so much more nice and open!!

(Ps I think I like the mirror horizontal)


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*ack* now GW is turning my pics sideways, too. WTH?

Thanks, robo! I do like the new drapes, even if hemming and pleating was a royal pain. Painting the walls the same as the ceiling helps the room feel taller, too :)

I've still not hung the mirror in the entry. I'm going to have to get to the hardware store for some hangers, as I can't seem to find my box of stuff (I must have put it someplace "special"). I tried horizontal with my tin foil for a day, but it just didn't seem right. It felt more like a vanity than a console table, if that makes sense.


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Your posts have been so entertaining and exciting, since all the changes you make are so positive, it looks so airy and light now !!!!


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The wall colour and curtains look great! The curtains look very elegant now with minimal "stuff" in the room. This is definitely a "less is more situation" - your windows are a wonderful focal point and if you can avoid adding "layers" their beauty will really be the star of the room. The curtains harmonize nicely with your lovely kitchen too.


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Oh, I really like the mirror horizontal because it echoes the width of the table and looks more modern.


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It is just about the same size as the table. I ordered it that way thinking it would look best. But when I hang it (or my tin foil) horizontally, I feel like it leaves too much wall to ceiling space above. That, and it feels like the mirror in my bathroom and makes me want to brush my teeth ;)

Vertically, there isn't so much blank space above, and it mimics the vertical windows that flank the fireplace. But then I feel like it needs something installed at each side (like sconces or something).

I hate being this indecisive!


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Wow, I can't believe this is the same room! So much lighter and sophisticated. What white is the paint color?
In terms of function, i.e. if you want to see yourself in the mirror, and reflection, what orientation would work better. I kind of like the vertical orientation.


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Vertical would be better, since we're both a bit tall. Also, it won't be reflecting a window or anything too interesting (just the stairway). I know it should be looking at something pretty, but house isn't set up that way :(

I don't recall the name of the white I used on the walls. It's left-over from my ceilings and weight room (bought a 5-gal bucket for some reason).

I'll get another picture in the daylight when my mess is cleaned up. I'm still working on the curtains in his game room, so it will be a day or two.


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Your room looks wonderful! I, too, like the mirror horizontal, but can see the appeal of having it vertical. Just to throw a little wrench in your thinking, what about hanging it vertically but not in the center? Try it (your foil) to one side with your arrangement in the other space. I'd put the mirror to the left, I think, with the arrangement (or whatever decor item you'll use) to the right.


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I love your window panels - they look so perfect! This is such a fun post to follow. If you don't mind me asking, where did you find your sink?!? I love how the corners are square - thank you in advance! :)


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Ok I looked at my bucket of paint, and it's Frazee, Pacer White. Frazee is an SW brand, but their Pacer White looks much more beige than this?

I will give that a try, oly, thanks! The arrangement, which is looking a little sad ATM, doesn't have to stay. My sweetie brings me flowers most Fridays, and that seemed a good place to stick them. That area felt so naked after removing his cluttered up bookcase, I didn't want him to go into withdrawals and bring it back ;)

Glad, the sink is a 36" Krause. I actually found the best price on Overstock. I love the squared edges, too. And it seemed the best match for the Jenn Air cooktop on the opposite counter.


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Thanks so much Errant! I will look it up -


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JMHO, I like the mirror vertical with a 96 inch ceiling.


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The mirror is up! Decorating creep is in full swing ;)


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I don't think I showed you the new lamps and pillows, either, so here they are!


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Wow, there are some brilliant suggestions here. When I read the post by mtnrdredux , I agreed with everything.

- Take top off of hutch
- paint hutch base and chairs a cream/white in a semi gloss
- swap out dark drapes for cream
- remove everything except furniture

I love your kitchen...great green cabinets. What about something simple (and low) on the table that is cream with a hint of the green in design?

And, just don't change out that dog. He's perfect.

I also agree with posts above. Your home is inviting and really feels welcoming like a home...

When you remove the top of the hutch so much light will come in .... you'll love it.

Radley


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Wow, it looks great! That reflection in the mirror looks very artistic. Everything looks so much lighter.


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Thank you! I'm really it. I need to get rid of the little coat hooks, or find something better. We have a tiny coat closet around the corner off of the garage, but I would like something at the door for guests. There's really not much room, though.

Radley, I can't change out the dog. We love him too much. But he makes me crazy! He scares himself with reflections and shadows. The new lamps and mirror have made it even worse. It's both hilarious and irritating at the same time. I nearly peed myself watching him crash and burn in the kitchen when he caught his reflection in the double ovens!!


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I love it. I love the reflection and I agree with nosoccermom, it makes everything so light and airy. It is amazing what your creep is doing to your home. ;-)


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Wow, it looks just super. I think Ikea would be a great place for curtains - a lightish cream/beige would be perfect.

Lamps - terrific. Simpler chandelier - terrific. Topless hutch - love it.

By jove, I think you've got it.

Funny how the pets respond to things. Maybe you could gently walk him by and show him his reflection in the furniture while giving him lots of reassurance? Perhaps he thinks some mutt is moving in with the furniture?

We had a rescue cat who was initially afraid of boots and men - when we first got him, he would run and hid in the bathtub every time my husband came home. So we practiced - about 10 times every weekend for about 2 months - I would hold him on my lap and my husband would go out the back door and come in the front door wearing his boots. Then he would gently come over to the terrified cat and pat him for about one minute and tell him what a good kitty he was. Then I would let him go and hide.

After 2 months, one day when he heard my husband come in he just rolled over in my lap purring and showed my husband his tummy and waited for his ears to be scratched. Then he wasn't afraid anymore.

Aside for everyone...this was probably not such a decorating-type post - unless you consider the pets an integral part of the décor......

Great home.


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Pets are definitely an integral part of decor!! I think Danny is already OK with the mirror. I don't think he noticed it once yesterday :)

I was hoping to start painting the dining room chairs black this weekend, but the drapes in the game room are taking longer than I thought. Maybe I can get a couple done next weekend, but Father's Day will probably put a damper on that.

I also need to figure out what to do with the server. I was thinking new hardware would help, maybe chunky black iron or something with a twisted rope detail to go with the chandy. The problem is, it has three different sized pulls and I can't find anything that has all three sizes in the same line. It would need 2.25", 2.5", and 3.25" pulls, plus knobs or ring pulls. Maybe I should just replace the server altogether?

Also, any ideas for a wall mount coat rack I can use in the entry?


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How on earth can a house be considered a proper home without a cat (or a dog).


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Would these Deltana adjustable pulls in black help update the server? I could get 4.75" pulls for the three smaller upper drawers, and 6.5" for the two larger drawers.

They have these coordinating knobs that I could use on the three cupboards:

Just trying to figure out a way to update the server without altering it, since the hutch is being stored unaltered.


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I've decided to go ahead and order them. I'm having a hard time picturing them on the piece, so I will install and then decide :)


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*phooey*

The adjustable bar pulls arrived for the server. The finish is different between the long and short pulls, however. One is a satin black, and the other is flat. Other than that, I think they would have worked. I just emailed Cape Cod Brass to see what they can do (match or refund).

I'm really hoping they can find flat black matches. I these adjustable pulls are the only way to update the hardware without having to drill new holes :(


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Can you show us the handles on the server, or is it too big a pain to attach them? Also, please show us a picture of the DR during day light.


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Here is a picture of the two adjustable pulls I was able to keep. I'm still waiting on the three replacements. They wouldn't be my first choice, but are my only choice without drilling new holes in his cabinet.


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Oh, and here's the room in day light (well, late afternoon, anyway). I still have to figure out how to dress the server and table. Also how to remove the heat marks and fine scratches from both. Then I will tackle refinishing the chairs.


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Wow! Looks great in the sunlight. The drapes and new light fixture really made a huge difference.

I have to say though, I'm missing the snow shoes. They were totally awesome and unexpected. I think they would still look great with your new entry table. The more natural fibers would contrast the metal so nicely.


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LOL the snow shoes, sled, and shoe shine box(??) are now in the adjoining game room.


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It looks fabulous. Has your window trim always been black? The chairs painted black is going to look great with the trim. I love all the sunlight.


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The windows are actually a dark brown, sort of ORB looking. I lucked out, as most people were doing white grids when this house was built.

I'm nervous about doing the chairs black, due to his attachment to this furniture. But he's actually been pushing me to get it done, so I think I'll start tomorrow.

Do you have any ideas on how to clean up the tops os the server and table. I was reading and it sounds like denatured alcohol on the white heat marks, then paste wax the whole thing. Does that sound right?

And how about decorations for both? The nickel Aladdin oil lamp is sitting there because it was mounted on the wall above the tea cart that's now gone. It can actually light the whole downstairs in a power outage (which we sometimes get during the Winter months) so I would like to hang onto that but I'm not sure where else I can put it. The table runner is just something I sewed up real quick out of a Target curtain panel, trying to get an idea of what a Toile might look like. I was actually thinking lumbar pillows out of that might look nice in the two arm chairs once they are black... But that could just be crazy talk ;)


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I am painting!! Wish me luck :o


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Good for you! Can't wait to see the results.


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First coat done! The arm chairs are still drying, so I didn't set them out, but here's a peek:


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WOAH, I'm painting, too, ASAP!!!! It's amazing how much it highlights the shape and details of the chairs. From boring to wow.

What kind of paint did you use? And did you spray or use a brush?


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I cleaned them with straight white vinegar first, them scrubbed them down with Kleen Strip Liquid Sander Deglosser, and then sprayed with Krylon Dual Superbond in satin black. There was no way I wanted to brush all those spindals! Even hitting them from every angle with the spray was a pain in the rear. Today I lightly hit the edges and seats with a 180 grit sanding cloth and gave them a second coat.

I wasn't expecting them to come out with a showroom finish as they are supposed to look like old chairs painted, but they actually came out really nice. The spray came out even and smooth. I didn't get any runs (amazing!). I did mess up on one... The second coat needs to be applied after one hour but with six, otherwise after 24. Sine I was working on them so late last night, 24 hours hadn't passed on the last one and the seat (where is was laying it on extra heavy) crackled as it was drying. I'll need to sand the seat and fix it, but it won't be a big deal.

After they have cured a few days, I'll use a paste wax on them to help protect the paint. But I'm sure they will get knicks here and there which I can touch up or leave alone for that "vintage look." I've actually seen vintage black repro Windors selling for several hundred bucks, so I'm not too worried about it ;)

Now I need to figure out how to repair the finish on the table feet. Can you see in the picture how dry they look? I bought some of that Howard's Restore-a-Finish, but I don't image it will help. It's worth a try, I suppose.

I also need to clean up the tops of the table and server. There are a lot of fine scuffs, that I think the paste wax will fix. But first I need the figure out how to remove the couple of white heat marks. After doing some research it sounds like denatured alcohol and super-fine steel wool will do it. Unless any of you have other suggestions?


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Last night I sanded the table feet and used the Howards on them. It seems to have helped. I'll give them a coat of past wax tonight and post a picture :)


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My paste wax didn't arrive, yet, so I didn't work on the table.

And I finally heard back from Cape Cod Brass and Deltana regarding the mismatched pulls I ordered for the server. They can't get any to match. The finish on all of them is off between the short and long pulls :(


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What size do you need?

This post was edited by nosoccermom on Tue, Jul 1, 14 at 17:57


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The existing holes are 2.25, 2.5, and 3.25 on center, plus single holes for the cabinet knobs. I have searched high and low, and the only thing I can find are the same Chippendales. Maybe you'd have better luck?

I hate the idea of painting cabinet hardware, but I'm not seeing another option :(


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Wow, Errant! I haven't checked this post in a while and you've been busy. Your dining room is beautiful! The room looks so much bigger and brighter without the hutch portion of the server. What an amazing difference small changes can make. And kudos to you for working in your husband's furniture as well. It's so easy to forget that men care about what their homes look like as well... just maybe not EXACTLY which shade of lilac the curtains should be :)


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Thank you, sundance! It really has come a long way. Still more Colonial than my taste, but it fits the house and blends nicely with the redone kitchen :)


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So, if you got, say 3" and 4" bin pulls, would the old holes be hidden inside the "bin"?
Or just all one size? http://www.wayfair.com/HickoryHardware-Williamsburg-1.49-Cup-Pull-P3055-YMF1685.html

Here is a link that might be useful: PB bin pulls


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The thing is, I promised I wouldn't put new holes in it. I'll go ahead and paint the adjustable bar pulls, once the three I sent back are returned. I'll scrub them up with super fine steel wool, and use the same satin black spray I'm using on the chairs, then cross my fingers!


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Another (very) belated update. My mismatched pulls were eventually returned. I painted them all with the same satin black I used on the chairs, and they look pretty good. I've no idea how durable the finish will be, but they aren't high use pulls so it should be fine.

I'll try to remember to post some pictures this weekend (my attention has be sucked away by the pantry remodel). :)


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