Which is really 5 weeks because, you know, gotta give the photographer more than a day to shoot.
We took a look at the dining room in its current state last week (check that out here). It's clear from the public outcry that I'm completely nuts and shouldn't be touching this room unless it's to finally finish it. But, as fate would have it, our family is growing next year and I'll be losing a dedicated office, resulting in this room now doing double duty. So it had to change anyway. Might as well give it a fresh, clean look. Something with the mixed up vibe of these spaces:
Which might only make sense in my twisted head. Fresh, casual, and bright is the idea. I spent plenty of time exploring a few directions for the space before settling on this one. At one point, I was dead set on grass cloth. Deliciously rich and depth-enhancing, this option also screamed PLEASE COLOR ON ME, SMALL CHILDREN. So I'm putting these dreams in the "someday" file. But ohhhhh do I wish it were going to be mine! I'd even honed in on this lovely paper from Walls Republic when my dreams met reality. Just so we can all properly mourn this evolution...
Not long after the grass cloth realization, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which pretty much changed everything. This is when I decided that we needed more function in here. With warmth and personality. In the book, Marie Kondo talks about the importance of owning only those things that very literally bring you joy --
I'm going to be honest here. A lot of things bring me joy. Which is why I buy them immediately. Dah. But then I sell them. Sometimes right away, sometimes after displaying them in our home for a time. And that works for me. In fact, it's how I love to live. I definitely hang onto things that have meaning, and I like to move goods around fairly often. (Some of our rugs have lived in almost every room in our 4 short years in this home!) All to say that the ORC -- especially this round -- isn't about acquiring new things. It's about making our home even more of a home. Beautiful? Yes. Design fluff? Nope. (Well, okay, maybe just a smidge.)
Enough of that. You get the idea. Here's a really rough idea of where I've landed. ish.
And here's the nitty gritty of what needs to happen real quicklike:
Walls primed.Done! Walls painted.Done! After much debate, I've selected Farrow and Ball Cornforth White. Now you would think from all of that inspiration up there that I would be going with a true white, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, this room couldn't handle a true white and we're not in a position to add natural light. So I opted for this deliciously versatile gray. The color actually changes from warm to cool depending on the time of day. I'm so eager to see how it looks when everything is all said and done. I've always been curious about F&B paint, so I was really excited when I learned they were a sponsor this round! Honest opinion: Goes on like butta and has incredible depth. It did take 3 coats even after priming, but worth all of the minutes. Trim painted.Got started. I went with Benjamin Moore Simply White because I have plans to carry this throughout the house. Nice and crisp and lets the Cornforth White really shine.
- Swap out overhead lighting. I know, I know. I truly love our existing chandy! It's glorious. (Even more so since the color change actually.) But I'm mentally committed to a quieter vibe in here aaaand some co-workers were selling a longtime favorite - a George Nelson saucer pendant - so I really had no choice.
- Find a ceiling medallion. I love how these juxtapose modern fixtures! Also, we have a gaping hole to cover so there's that.
- Solve for window and treatment. The existing window is original to our 1960s home and no longer opens, so we'll be swapping this out with some help from Lowe's. I think I've settled on pairing a bamboo roman shade with the existing white Ikea curtains for a casual look, but we'll see how I'm feeling about the combo once the other elements are in place. The drapes will need to be hemmed fo sho.
- Solve for storage. This is where I get nervous. I've secured part one of this conundrum with a gorrrrrrgeous brass Sarreid chest that rests on a bamboo stand. I die! Because if you don't know about my brass obsession, you don't know me at all. As for the other wall -- though I really love the mid century credenza in this space (scored at an estate sale many years ago) -- it's not going to hide an entire office AND our table linens AND misc dining room treats and trinkets. I'm thinking hard about yet another Ikea hack -- because that seems to be a theme with my ORC posts -- and attempting a floating credenza the length of the room. OOOORRR maybe full on built-ins with open uppers and cabinet lowers?? Or it would appear from my inspiration that I like open storage?! I'm such a visual person that I need more progress in here before I can decide for sure. So stay tuned there. I'm sort of at a loss here. Note: This is likely going to end up being my breaking point for this challenge. Because a deadline is looming and Ikea assembly instructions and my brain don't get along...even without the added pressure. Husband to the rescue!
- Find some art. One can never have too much art, minimalism be damned. We'll talk about some of my favorite options next week.
- Accessorize. Secondary lighting, greenery, (brass) accessories. I'll likely display some of my favorite inventory to get my fill before pieces find happy new homes.
Other notes: The table and chairs will stay. This table is a perfect 60" round and has an extension that tacks onto the outer edge to make it 72" round. A table that keeps its shape when extended was pretty hard to find. Plus I scored it on Craigslist for $150 and you can't beat a $150 table, man. I do wish there were time and resources to get the chairs reupholstered, but I go back to my kid-proof (okay, and husband-proof) argument. I'll be a lot cooler with spills and accidents if I wait to put any money into the chairs. Plus, I actually dig the existing fabric so much more with the neutral palette. Winning!
I haven't decided if the hide rug will stay or go. Many many many of my inspiration images are rugless, and I'm loving the look lately. Practical, too. But I may cave if I find that working in here results in a chill without and/or the room needs a little punch. TBD on the rug front.
Holy longest post ever. If you're still reading this, maybe make a lap before you dive into everyone else's week 2 progress. ;) And don't forget about the link-up participants on Thursdays!! SOOOO much talent in that group!