everything you need to know about our dining room

Friday, May 23, 2014

On a normal every day basis, there wouldn't be much you would need to know about a dining room.
But this is a public blog. So you need to know everything there is to know. And then some. More than you would like to know. You might need a sweat towel for your brain after you are inundated with all this pertinent (read: unimportant) information about my dining room.

Let us begin:

Our chandelier was hung so that it's centered with the dining room window (pictured), and not the sliding glass door on the connecting wall. Which drives me nuts, because then the table isn't centered with the sliding glass door and is off to one side of the door by at least three feet (not really), but what can you do? (Other than re-framing where the sliding glass door is, but I'm guessing that would be a little excessive just to fill an urgent, OCD need.)

Speaking of the sliding glass door, that sucker is in there sideways. Or something. Our house was "home made" so to speak, so it has a lot of quirks. Quirks we have come to know and love/loathe, but none the less, we love our house and all that comes with it. Including the bent-out-of-shape frame that the sliding glass door fits in. Which means the sliding glass door closes snugly at the top of the door frame and slowly angles away from the frame the closer to the ground you get. It angles away so much that it lets lots of air from outside in. Which if you factor in wind chill and Minnesota, it meant that we stuffed the crack with paper towels as a temporary seal throughout Winter and it looked really nice and not at all redneck. (ahem) Because minus 40 degree air gracing the kitchen and dining room floor without socks on is not the business.
Contrary to popular belief.

These days it's warming up outside so we recently took our paper towel insulation out only to make room for all those big fat black ants that-bite-you-and-make-you-feel-like-you're-going-crazy-when-you're-swatting-at-your-legs-like-a-maniac-to-find-that-there's-nothing-there to make their way inside. Yay. 

Speaking of flooring, our flooring is reclaimed hardwood boards and there are spaces between all of them which makes vacuuming an excellent dirt finding activity and it means that there are minuscule little specs of Styrofoam in the cracks from unpacking boxes while we were moving in. It makes for a wonderful life and I'll get to scraping out those pesky specs someday.

Until then, here's our dining room so far.
I say "so far" very loosely because in a sense the dining room is actually done, but I would like to have some pictures hanging on the walls and have a bigger collage of wall hangings. But, for now it is totally functional and it took a long time for it to get that way! I love how it's turned out.

We went the first six months of our marriage without a dining table. We didn't even use one of those folding card tables that your grandma would pull out for bridge games with her old lady friends when you were little as a dining table. Dinner has been routinely eaten at the coffee table. But I married a Canadian and Canadians and coffee are synonymous with one another (Canadian+coffee=lifeblood), so I really think it all turned out okay. Or, that's what I try to tell myself so I don't feel bad about looking like I live in a frat house some days. Eventually we will be done painting and the mess that I call my home will subside.
But this is just what I tell myself so I can sleep at night.

To be honest, we still haven't used the dining table much and it almost feels unorthodox to sit at it because I know I'll just find a way to mess it up or make it the next "mail, junk, and everything else you can think of" landing spot if I use it too much. So for now, it kind of just sits there and looks pretty. Better than just having a wide open space with nothing but a chandelier hanging to bang your head on several times a week, right?


We built our dining table from the 4x4 Truss Beam Table plans from Ana White's website. The table design is actually a Restoration Hardware knockoff. And I love it! Restoration Hardware wants $3,000 dollars for their version of this same table...but with construction grade lumber we built ours for around $100 dollars! Not bad, huh? It seats eight people and is the perfect size for our dining room.

The dining chairs were an absolutely awesome find. I saw them on Target's website and fell in love with them. We don't have a Target anywhere near us (which doesn't matter anyway, since the chairs aren't sold in stores), so we decided to take the opportunity to sign up for a Target Red Card which gives you free shipping every single time you order from their website and an additional 5% off. That part alone saved us almost $100 dollars in shipping and the 5% took care of most of the sales tax. So awesome! This is the next best thing to having a Target near us, haha.

When the chairs came, I was worried they would be cheap, particle board type stuff, but they are solid wood and amazing! The wood had an aged look to it and has ridges and "scarred" looking areas and everything. Even the hardware has an aged look to it which goes with our house beautifully. What's more is that the color of the chairs is an almost perfect match to our kitchen counter tops.

This was the dining room before we bought our house:

And now:

Right now the dining room is the only room in the house that's totally done. When I feel overwhelmed and amazed sometimes at how long the rest of the house is taking to come together, I look at our dining room and it calms me down. (Anyone who's not as mental as me about interior design, cleanliness, and order officially thinks I'm a nut, but I can live with that.) Designing my own home and its interiors has been something I have been absolutely dreaming about since I was a little kid. And to see this one little part of our house come together... it makes the rest of the messes around the house worth it because I know in time all my hard work and effort (and frustration) will pay off.  I love to find creative new ways of doing things, doing things myself instead of buying (if I can!) and thrifting to make a whole look come together. It's unique and totally one of a kind!


The dining chairs are from Target as well as the end chairs.
The chandelier is from IKEA.
I made the curtains myself. (: We bought the fabric from a local craft store and I went to work with my sewing machine!
The "grace" wall hanging is from Hobby Lobby.
The tutorial for the "EAT" sign can be found here.
The slate chalkboard sign is from Michael's and was a prop from our engagement photo session. It has our wedding date written on it. (:
The candle sticks were a thrift store find from our trip to California in April. I spotted them from about 30 feet away and I loved them at first sight!
The candles are little scented tea lights from IKEA.

Now go get yourself a nice cool sweat towel for your brain. You've earned it.

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