Monday, April 09, 2018

Dining Room Project: Input Requested

Good morning! Hope you all had a great weekend!

I don't know what it is about this time of year but when we finish CC and our school load lightens a bit, I am annually in the mood to do a home project! I'm still thinking about the dining room just like I was a year ago - here is a post I wrote almost exactly a year ago that outlines some ideas. I did accomplish some of these things!

Even though I have fearlessly painted furniture in the past, I've been a little hesitant about painting this time. Here is the history - I bought this table and chairs for $200. It was a steal. Then I spent several summers sanding, stripping and refinishing every teensy bit. I don't really want to do that again!

But, the top of our table really does need to be redone and I'm not loving how the stain looks orange-y in many lighting situations.I'm also pretty sure I won't be able to re-stain the entire thing, it just takes too long and summers are too hot here for that! I really do love this table though so I want to figure out how to make it work!

Another view of the table here.

Here is the other side of the dining room for reference.

As a next step - I looked through a bunch of things on Pinterest that I liked and tried to watch for what caught my eye multiple times.

Here are some inspiration photos that jumped out as my favorite:

source {as best as I can tell}

source {couldn't find, so I'm linking to Pinterest}

The common thing that jumps out at me is that I want the table top to be stained rather than painted. I like the dark chairs - will I like black? We will not be buying new chairs - so I'm not looking at different anything other than finishes. 

I also noticed that I've maybe been overly worried about how well the floor matches the finish. It doesn't really look like any of these are an exact color match when wood flooring is involved and most of them have a rug which I'm not interested in at this point. 

Casual, homey and warm are the feeling I want. Not formal or fussy and I know I definitely don't want white or cream. 

My only hesitation is will I regret painting the chairs? I just love the chairs we have but I also know that once they are painted it would be an even bigger pain to go back to unpainted in the future. The original refinishing job I did was about 20 years ago {wow!} so I want this to last me a while if I invest the time!

I could paint the whole chair and leave the seat stained? Paint the whole chair? Don't paint the chair? Should I paint the table legs black too or leave them stained?


Next, I have braided rug type seat pads on the chairs now and these won't match if I paint the chairs black. So, I would need to figure out some sort of cover/cushion to make them more comfortable. It needs to be soft but I'd love for it to have a grain sack look either striped or non-striped. 

I'm willing to make them - but I don't want just a pillow with ties on it. Have any of you made them? This fabric looks dreamy. I also like the buffalo plaid black/white cushions shown above in one of the photos. 

Lastly, I'm kind of wanting to update the curtains too - these are great and still in good shape - but aren't really my taste anymore. 

Here are some inspiration photos for what I like on window treatments:

I also like these linen ruffle curtains {different color} but would want them to have this sort of top. Or even with two colors like this

Ok, I want to hear from you! Looking forward to reading your comments!


Jen said...

I just stained a table and chairs last summer! It was the real "orangey" 90s oak but it was solid wood and handmade by an Amish craftsman so I wanted to keep it. Plus it was FREE (picked it up from someone who was throwing it away!) and our budget didn't allow for new. It's not my first choice of style but it works. I used the article linked below. I will say that because our table had a rather thick coat of polyurethane on it, we did have to sand it, but it was worth it! I ended up staining the table top dark and then just putting two lights coats on the table legs and chairs. So they are still oak looking but not so "orangey" looking. I'll be looking forward to seeing your finished product! (We are also in SC, outside Charlotte, and we did this project last August! We had just moved here from Maryland, and the humidity was new to us. It's definitely something to consider for projects like this!)

Wendi said...

I like curtain choice #2. They are cute and simple. I find the ones with the ruffle to look busy. I wonder if they would make your space looked cluttered. I also like the look of tables with painted bases and stained tops. Maybe you could paint the table base and then the two end chairs to start. That way you're not all in if you're not loving it.

laura said...

Well, you know I am never short on opinions, my friend. :) I think you landed on exactly the right things to change in order to make a huge difference. Go with your gut and power through that half-way-done scary stage and I think you will end up with something you love! Here are my thoughts (most just echo yours, surprise, surprise...)

1. Replace curtains with a neutral fabric. Light gray or natural-colored linen or linen-look fabric is a great choice, as I think it would echo your gray accent wall which is across from the french doors nicely, and tie in/flow with your school table from the next room. It seems like that would also give the living/dining area a gray/cream theme to tie it all in. I would also raise the curtain rod higher a few inches to just under where the ceiling meets the wall to make the space seem taller. This will mean you need longer curtains to reach the floor and not look odd, but it's a trick I learned living in base housing that always works (even though I HATE installing curtain rods - worth it). Idea for inexpensive full-length (98") panels (which you could totally make in an afternoon, I know): In all your travels, surely you pass an ikea? I've been surprised by their quality.

2. Looks like you know what you want in a table - and I love all of your idea pics! If you don't like the top of your table now, you could just sand and stain that, since the horizontal flat surface is by far the fastest and easiest part to redo. I wouldn't go too dark with the stain - it looks like you gravitate toward the natural tones. Then paint the apron and legs of the table, as well as the chairs, some neutral. Maybe the same color as your little bench, there against the gray wall? Black would tie in with your sideboard and it's classic, but it may also be a little dominating for the space? Hmmm. Lisa got me hooked on the Fusion Mineral paints. A tad pricey at first, but SO GOOD. One jar goes very far, they require almost no prep, and the end product feels like you waxed it - it's that smooth. I like it better than ASCP- I even used it on a bassinet my grandfather made:)

3. Have you thought about painting the french doors white to flow with the walls?

4. Chair pads- have you seen these from ikea:
They remind me of you:)

5. I think you are right - don't worry about your floors.

One thing for sure - whatever you do will look great! back to lesson prep:)

Kimberly Lottman said...

I painted a table and two chairs black a few years ago and never regretted it. But with that, I really like the idea of the stained top and painting the bottom of the table and the chairs black. You could also paint them gray, like your school table to kind of tie that together. I would also paint the door facing the same color as the wall, or again, gray, to kind of pull it all together, then use a simple natural or linen curtain and make chair pads make to match. Maybe make some for the school chairs as well, again, to tie everything together. Gray and black are wonderful contrasting colors, so a black/white buffalo check would be cute, too.

Shelia said...

Always so fun to tackle a project!
I am going to suggest sanding the top of the table and staining a medium to light stain. If you like you can stain entire table but I think painting the legs and apron portion a light shade of cream or gray will really make the table pop. Black on the tbale may be harsh for a small space and the goal is to open the room up. As far as chairs I suggest mismatching. Paint the two end ones to coordinate with the table (even if you go with black) and then stain rest. If you add the buffalo check cushions all this will tie together nicely. Or even just a buffalo check table runner may allow it to tie in nicely. Definitely a simple curtain of a light colored linen. Keep it simple and clean. As far as floors coordinating, it has always been my opinion that your floors should actually contrast your other wood. The contrast really makes the room pop and feel clean! Lots of luck with your redo!

Jackie said...

I really like the black for the chairs, and for the table leave the top stained and paint the rest black. If I remember correctly, the material you used for the couch comes in a striped gray and white. That would be nice. I love the plaid cushions. They rock. The black as a base color would go well with your floating shelves. You could paint the frames of 3 pictures anywhere you need the black to continue to flow. Or stack some books with black covers you have made from black wraping paper,etc. Or paint a clay pot/vase black. Just a few small things around to tie it all together without being overpowering.

Monica, you really have a great eye for decorating. I am sure whatever you decide to do will be wonderful. I can't wait to go on this journey with you over the next several months. Like your book, it doesn't all get done at the same time. It is a work in progress. Enjoy the process.


Anonymous said...

Have you thought of using canvas dropcloths as fabric for your curtains and cushions? They have that soft, muslin-y look you are looking for and wear like iron. Wash them first. They are also super cheap! Make sure to get ones that don't have a seam down the middle. They are also easy to paint and do transfers on to. Also check out The Graphics Fairy website for tons of vintage images and transfer methods and ideas, all FREE.

mysweetbunch said...

Hi Monica,

I like your ideas. I don't think I would go with black on the chairs as it may be too bold for your space. Sounds like a fun project!

mysweetbunch said...

Also, I agree with Laura about painting the French doors white. Great idea!

Jen said...

I will second the Ikea curtains! They are great and they have many options and they come long--which is hard to find sometimes. One caution: Ikea curtains tend to shrink terribly--even without using the dryer. So keep that in mind. I have also had great luck for curtains at Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc. They don't have the large selection but, if you're looking for something simple, it's worth a look I got some adorable ball fringe curtains for my bedroom there. I had been watching them online for months but they were just more than I wanted to spend. Then I happened upon the exact thing I wanted at Home Goods, and they were cheaper!

Jessica said...

Yes! I think you should paint the chairs black! I think the table legs would like great too! And maybe leave the top stained. It's ironic you're thinking about this...I've been planning to try this with our table too. I honestly don't love our set, but it was Kenny's grandparent's table so has some sentimental value to our family! The top is formica which I don't like, but I'm thinking that painting the chairs and table legs will give it a fresh look.
Someone suggested a Rustoleum spray paint to me - have you ever painted furniture with spray paint? I'm not sure how it would hold up sitting on 3 meals a day. What are you thoughts on type of paint?