As you know from this post, I have been really unsettled and unhappy with our dining room. It just didn’t reflect who I am or who we are as a family. It was too dark, too stuffy, too traditional. Not us.
But now… it looks like this:
It’s so much brighter and more, well, ME.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Here’s what the dining room looked like before:
Everything in there was dark and traditional – from the table legs to the wall color to the chair rail. It made the room feel smaller.
As you can see in the pictures I posted as inspiration, I like lighter, brighter colors. I’m not really a traditional kind of girl. And there was just too much stuff in the dining room.
So, the first thing I did was take off the chair rail. This was actually pretty easy. I just used a small pry bar and an exacto knife. First, I scored the paint between the chair rail and the wall, both on the top and bottom of the chair rail. Then, I wedged the pry bar in the cut line, between the wall and rail, gently rocking it until the nails came loose from the wall. Very easy to do.
The problem that arose, as you can see from this picture…
…was that, because there was so much paint, wallpaper, etc. on the wall, there was a significant difference between the area under the chair rail and the wall. So, I had to patch that area to make it level and even with the wall. I used spackle for this. I patched it, then sanded it, then sanded it, then sanded it again.
I got it as smooth and even as I could.
After clean up (including buying a shop vac – love!), I let the dust settle, cleaned again, and then it was time to paint.
I chose Moonshine by Benjamin Moore. I used their Natura line (no VOCs) in an eggshell finish.
I couldn’t believe the difference. Without the chair rail and with the lighter color, the room seemed so much bigger!
I also decided that the traditional curtain rod needed some help:
So, I spray painted it a lovely teal color:
And now I love the splash of color in an unexpected place:
I don’t have curtains for it yet, though. I have picked out the fabric, but haven’t gotten them together yet. Suffice it to say that the fabric is light, bright, and not traditional (are you getting the theme here?).
Without further ado, here is the finished product:
Note how there is so. much. less. stuff on the buffet! So much better.
Now the long wall is a gallery wall, filled with bright, colorful prints.
We moved the armoire and replaced it with a lighter, airier glass and metal table. I moved the botanical garden print in here because of its bright colors.
Once again, just to show you the difference…
And now, AFTER:
I’m not quite done yet, though. As mentioned above, I still need to get some fun curtains. Also, we need a rug in there. The sound bounces around off the walls too much without one, and I’d prefer a soft rug underfoot. I’m looking for something bright and happy, maybe something with teal in it.
There it is! The new and improved dining room.
I smile every time I walk in there.
Did I mention that I did this in one week? Oh, right. I did. And now I’m tired.
Thank you for your advice, help, encouragement, support, and kind words!!