Hi everyone! Welcome back for the final installment in the One Room Challenge series, wherein I and a host of talented bloggers aim to transform a space in six extremely short weeks. Feel free to catch up on previous posts HERE. Before we get started, I just want to give Linda of Calling it Home a big shoutout for organizing this challenge. Without the threat of public failure, I probably would have flaked a month ago.
So who’s tired of looking at an empty green box where my dining area should be? If you’ve been following along, you know that I started with a fleshy peach disaster of a charmless room that housed sad chairs, a hideous table, and wicked dirty grout. I planned to push myself into designing something bright, edgy and polished, yet still breakfast casual. I had big dreams to resurrect my cracked marble Saarinen table in hopes of creating greater seating flexibility, but that plan failed and I was left bereft. What’s a tableless girl to do when the world is waiting for a dining area makeover?
Bust out the sandpaper and spray paint, that’s what. I waited and waited for St. Craig to reward my fervent prayers with an oval top for my leftover tulip base, but Frankensaarinen table was not to be. I investigated many fabrication options but was stymied by cost and lead time. So my sad, flaking, peeling old table got a coat of semi gloss black paint on the apron and legs. Then, we sanded the top finish off and wiped on about five coats of dark walnut Danish oil. It actually looks not too shabby, and I love the matte quality of the finish. Plus the fruitwood inlay really pops now.
That left me with the art conundrum to solve. This was a toughie. I really have too many choices and I like them all for various reasons. What I chose surprised even me…
Say what? Maybe it’s because it was PITCH BLACK and pouring on shoot day, but the acid yellow of this 70s abstract painting appealed to me. Let the sunshine in!
I tried lots of art in multiple situations with tons of different styling options, and somehow this dark horse ended up the winner. When I paired it with the crazy Clarence House fabric I used to upholster this vintage ebay bench, something clicked into place for me and I saw things differently. It really is so important to shift your perspective and keep an open mind. Wine helps.
I know I kept saying I was going to use that red Robert Allen fabric — I do love it and I even ordered a yard. But me and Clarence House have a thing going on. Don’t tell Robert… I don’t want him to be jealous.
So far the brassy bench is popular seating — like elbow your baby brother out of the way popular. I’m pretty happy with the way it opens the dining area to the kitchen, in that it feels less fenced off.
And then there is the vintage head vase… it’s 80s deco eurovibe o’clock up in here, with a Fornasetti twist. Say that 20 times fast.
Everything on the table is thrifted — from the $5 flatware to the fringed napkins, cobra commando candlesticks, glassware and Bavarian china.
I have TONS more china, flatware and glassware, but I just put way too much work into the table to completely cover all that sexy woodgrain up.
In case you were wondering, the other half of the room still exists…. Of course my ugly door has been properly rejuvenated with a shiny brass doorknob. And what’s that on the kitchen side of things?
Oh, it’s just a creepy haunted mirror. No biggie — apparently I have to showcase something haunted in every room. I have no idea what this thing is, but my hunch is turn of the 20th century central European. The hammered brass vase came from Round Top and it is far cooler than pictures give it credit for.
This picture is supremely awful… it was the end of a (literally) dark day and the kids were (literally) three seconds from walking through the door, but I wanted you to see the whole humble setup.
Even the china cabinet got a mini restyle. Notice all the gold glassware that didn’t make it to the table…
I bought the unicorn for a client kid room, but little Susie may have to live in a land of shattered dreams. Or maybe I will let it go… I am a giver, after all.
And that’s about it for my teeny tiny dinette makeover. Let’s have a proper before and after, shall we?
I think I accomplished what I set out to do. The room is functional and finished, plus there are a few surprise moments. Nothing like a little shock and awe to go with your morning cereal, right? By relying on thrift stores, craigslist, and ebay I was able to keep the budget in check. The bulk of my funds was spent on simple window treatments and a cowhide rug that can be used in different decorating schemes. Content to play supporting roles, neutral basics allow color and quirky accessories to take center stage in the dinette drama. And of course I can always switch out the cheapie flashies when my fickle side takes hold.
As Leonardo da Vinci said: art is never finished, only abandoned. I read that in Parent’s magazine or something. Hey, I’m no snob — inspiration comes from everywhere.
It’s been a blast hanging with you fine people throughout the challenge! Thank you for your support and comments — they have been the wind beneath my wings. I read each and every word and I love them all, good or bad. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me all about what you think of the new old dinette. Maybe you can even talk me into doing the kitchen next… Maybe.
Please don’t forget to visit the other participants to see how their rooms resolved. There is some amazing work taking place!
It’s been real. Signing off and taking a nap.