dresser-to-buffet

We love living in Rodgers Forge, but space is, well, a commodity.  Some day I’d of course love a legitimate buffet or sideboard for our dining room, but this hand-me-down dresser has to get the job done for now.  And it does provide a great amount of storage!

Here is an old pic:

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If you can’t replace it, you can at least re-do it.  Maybe that should be my motto.  Or as part of my epitaph, along with “lover of chalk paint”.  Because of course I turned to Annie to give this dresser a new attitude.

We had first moved the piece to the adjacent wall.  Then with Versailles, we gave it a unique pale creamy-yellow-green look.

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Because of the dark blue walls and dark wood of our dining room table, I felt like the corner with our “buffet” needed to be lightened up. And I think this helped!

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dining room chairs

I’ve been rather busy over the past few weeks planning for my sister’s bridal shower, etc…I’ve worked on a handful of projects and will try to post them over the next several days!

One project completed: re-staining our dining room chairs.  We had purchased a new dining room table after moving in, but the chairs are hand-me-downs from my parents.  They were a light pine color, which clashed with the dark walnut-ish stain of the table.  My mom had also helped me cover the chairs when I first moved to Baltimore, which is now almost 5 years ago!  We used a brown geometric pattern with circles–great for then, but they needed a fresh update that would also work with the colors in our dining room.  I opted for a Jonathan Adler-esque orange Greek key fabric, which you’ll see below.  This was only $15/yd at a really cool fabric store in Richmond!

The before pictures:

(close up of old chair with old fabric)

(our dining room–rug was recently purchased from Crate & Barrel for what I think was a great deal considering how pricey rugs can be!)

And after:

(one of the finished chairs with new stain to match table, and new cushion cover!)

I’ll admit, the sanding and applying three coats of stain was not the fun part, but the results were totally worth it!

And I must say, the pics sadly don’t do it justice…I love my camera, but I think I need an SLR for taking better ‘still lifes’!

Lightening up

I love our dining room, but even with a bright chandelier, the lighting has just not been right.  I felt like the wall with our buffet table (which is actually an antique dresser passed down from my Grandmother) was just  a bit too dark for my liking. That area of the room needed some brightening up.

I have been shopping around for inexpensive buffet lamps, but then had a *bright* idea the other day…why not just use lamps I already had? A few years ago I purchased these beauties ( 🙂 ) at Ikea, always with the intention of painting the lamp bases.

That never happened, and they were residing currently atop my dresser in our bedroom.  While I love symmetry, I figured one lamp would do the trick in that space for now at least…there is a lot of other lighting in our bedroom.  So I put the nursery lamp’s twin on top of my dresser, and moved the Ikea lamps to the dining room.

Before I did that, they needed some sprucing up…the bronzed metal just did not go with the dining room.  I have a gold mirror hanging above the buffet on loan from my mom, so I thought I’d turn the lamps gold as well.

Before getting out the can of spraypaint, I remembered seeing a great idea in my Design*Sponge At Home book.  She had given vases the look of textured porcelain by painting a design with puffy paint, letting it dry, and then spray painting over the design.

So I decided to give a little more pizazz to my lamps by using this technique.  I used a puffy paint color I already had on hand:

and began painting a design…

Once that dried, I spray painted two coats of gold paint on the lamps.  I taped off the lamp cords so they wouldn’t be painted gold.

It gave them a nice 3-D finish!

Here they are on the buffet, and I think it makes a world of difference in the dining room!

I think it makes the blue walls glow, and just puts me in a better mood when I walk into the room!  Always nice to get a new look by re-purposing something you already own and using materials already on hand! A free little facelift : )

(Above is a shameless plug of our secretary in the dining room…I just love it because it was given to me by my parents but Jason and I painted it white a couple years ago…pictured are blue and white china from my mother-in-law–garage sale find!– mixed in with wedding crystal, shells, and monogrammed high-ball glasses. This piece of furniture makes me so happy!)

Posting at Last!

It has been way too l-o-n-g since my last post…with the start of school, hurricane power outage, and just being pregnant and exhausted, I have neglected my blog! I have a few things to update on, so here we go!

Spray Painted Tray

I had eyed this tray on a recent trip to Homegoods, and then upon returning found it in the clearance section (it had some chips and dings).  For only $8, I thought I could spruce it up! I loved the hexagonal shape, but the hot pink and lime green were a little too preppy for me.  For those who don’t know, my favorite holiday is Halloween–I am mildly obsessed.  I thought I’d do a subtle nod to the wonderful fall holiday, but something I could still use year-round. I settled on black and white.

This is what it started as:

I used two coats of Kilz in white to cover the lime green and pink…

Then I taped off my design using painter’s tape and Exact-o knife.  In retrospect, I am not crazy about the design–I guess I just didn’t think it through that much.  I wanted a ‘trellis’ design and don’t think I executed too well. But I think the overall look in the end was okay.  Live and learn!

After taping off, I spray painted with white…. the picture above shows what it looked like after that step.

Then, I spray painted using a glossy black:

…and peeled off the tape after it dried.

Some of the edges needed a tiny bit of touching up, which I used black and white paint pens to do.

Before using, I’ll spray paint with a glossy sealer.  I thought it would be cute to serve drinks on at a Halloween party. : – )

Dining Room Curtains

Almost a week’s worth of no electricity after Irene, and a housewarming party planned for Sunday of Labor Day weekend meant a very stressful week for me (just ask my husband).  Luckily, school was closed due to power outages as well, so I drove to my mother-in-law’s for a day of sewing curtains for our dining room!  We had high aspirations to paint our dining room prior to the party, and with the power outage didn’t even start that project until two days before.  A new paint job meant I wanted to get these curtains up too.

I had purchased 4 panels at World Market for $19.99 each. We have a large bay window and a smaller window in the dining room, and I thought this white would look nice and crisp against the dark blue walls we had planned.

I loved the lattice design, almost like a burnout look.  But it needed more oomph than just the sheer panel alone, so I purchased 10 yards of muslin to sew behind the panels.  The muslin was around $3 per yard, but I had a 50% off coupon to use at Jo-Anns, which saved me a bundle.

This was only my 3rd sewing project using my sewing machine (my parents gave me one for this past Christmas), so I was nervous at first, and you’ll have to excuse the craftsmanship–I have a long way to go yet in terms of experience!  But it turned out to be a really enjoyable, rewarding project. :- )

The width of the muslin was advertised as 44 inches, which was the same width as the curtain panel…but for some reason when I measured it, it was a good 2 and some-odd inches longer. Maybe a seasoned seamstress can explain that to me–perhaps it’s the selvedge?  Anyway, I measured and pinned a 2.5″ hem to compensate, so the muslin underlay wouldn’t stick out from behind the panel.

Then sewed a hem down the length of the muslin:

After that, I folded over the top of the muslin across the width of the fabric and pinned it to the underside of the lattice panel, directly underneath the rod pocket.  Then I sewed them together:

Finally, I pinned up the bottom of the muslin across the width (about 2 inches) because it was a little longer than the lattice panel, and sewed a hem.  Here is one finished panel:

After finishing the four panels, I ironed both the lattice and muslin layers with my iron on medium setting.  We bought curtain rods at Wal-Mart, they were from the Better Homes and Gardens line and a whopping $20 each!  I liked the brushed gold rod with the lucite finials.

I really am so happy with the finished product–I think they look so cute with the sunlight shining through, and great against the dark blue contrast of our walls. We used Olympic One Paint + Primer in Chinese Porcelain, and two coats later, fell in love!

Nothing short of a miracle, we finished painting the dining room and preparing the house in time for our party on Sunday.

A few details: the paper lantern is Jonathan Adler, purchased at TJ Maxx for $3.  The napkins and yellow sunflower doilies are from the Dollar Tree.  If you are ever in need of flowers for entertaining, Trader Joes is great–I got orange, yellow, red, and pink gerber daisies there for $4.99 a bunch.

I love our napkin holder, purchased from Homegoods–thankfully my mom found one too–we were both dying from the cuteness factor! Here’s a close-up in case you want to hunt for one at your local Homegoods:

The evening turned out to be a great time surrounded by good friends. :- )

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and I look forward to posting again without so long a hiatus this time!