Here are a few pictures of our dining room before we moved in. It's an northeast facing room so it gets most of its direct light in the mornings. The door leads to a small covered porch, which also decreases light into the room.
This photo is of the west end of the room, and is off of the kitchen. If you place a ball on the east end of this room, it will run towards the fireplace - it's that slanted!
Here is the west side. The front door of the house is visible through the door to the right. Beyond the small foyer is the formal living room.
As with the rest of the house, I love this room and planned a few touches to personalize the space while we are staying here - on a budget of course! Among my thoughts from the very beginning were to replace the pressed tin chandelier and coordinated pressed tin sconce (they are being stored for now). I did a post on the sconce a few weeks ago. I absolutely love the primitive attributes of historic homes such as this. In celebrating those attributes though, the pressed tin fixtures do not resonate with me quite as much.
I also wanted to make the room light and bright and very cozy. I knew that it would be a room for enjoying our meals, but also lots of snacks, coloring, painting, etc.
Everything in the room except the chandelier, the sconce, the rug and the reproduction Queen Anne table are recycled from our old house.
The chandelier came from Lowe's because we had a store credit that we needed to use. It was under $100. I added chandelier shades to make it feel a bit cozier, and to coordinate with the sconce I had already purchased (I found a great buy for the shades here).
The sconce comes from ReStore as I mentioned in the earlier post. The story behind it is that when I told Mike I wanted to replace the pressed tin sconce, he said that we shouldn't spend the money because its a rental house - unless of course, I found something for $8.
Well, wouldn't you know it, I did find something for $8. It wasn't perfect, a little shiny, but most definitely meant to be.
We still have a great many of our things in boxes. Every now and then, I'll open a new box but for the most part, we have everything we need (if only I could find my box of vases...).
I thought about putting our new painting above this mantle but it looks very happy over the mantle in the living room. The painting we used is a little dark, but is a nice size to match the proportion of the large hearth.
Our old secretary is now our only bookshelf. It holds everything from cookbooks to parenting books. They are shelved as they came out of the box! The cabinets beneath house table linens and overflow kitchen wares (things that aren't used daily like baking tins, etc.).
The mirror and the writing desk belonged to my Great Grandmother.
Below the desk, I keep a large wicker basket that holds our crafting supplies.
The painting beneath the recycled sconce is hanging there because, simply, there was a nail. Its a nail that had several coats of paint on it.
Although I wouldn't have necessarily thought to hang a painting beneath the sconce, I like the unexpected placement it offers. It's a house that's been lived in a long time - things lose balance and symmetry and just evolve. That's what the placement of this painting symbolizes for me.
We found the reproduction Queen Anne table on Craigslist. We've had it since November and it has received a lot of use. This is of course where we have meals, but the table is also where we paint, color, make crafts, etc. The blemishes you can see in the finish are where the crafting takes place! The blemishes don't bother us as it was purchased for exactly this kind of use.
I do think we should rotate it however so that the table is used evenly on both sides!
The shutters offer so much charm to the room. I will definitely remember the effect for our future house. They were custom built for the homeowner and are just wonderful. I close them when it gets dark (this room faces the street) and open them first thing in the morning.
The rug we bought from Home Goods is working out quite well. It receives a great number of spills - sweet potato, strawberry, pesto, tomato sauce, etc. and cleans up well.
Here's a photo with the high chairs in place.
We purchased the high chairs from an unfinished wood furniture store and painted them white. They are on the same side of the table because our dumplings like sitting next to each other. But also, the room is slanted and I'm afraid of placing a highchair on the down side of the table - hence all of the chairs being on the up side of the slant.
I would consider replacing the high chairs with additional IKEA parson chairs but they aren't available anymore. I have only been able to find the armless version. I've searched Craigslist and Ebay, but no luck. I would love two more.
With all of the lights aglow.
We spend a great deal of time in this room. For the minimal budget we gave ourselves to make it our own, we feel pretty content with the results.
One thing left on the to-do list is to actually have a fire in the fireplace. It is in good working order but the homeowner said that they stuffed insulation up in the chimney many years ago so we would have to pull that out to have our fire.
Neither Mike nor I have been brave enough as we fear what will come with it! It's too bad because I had visions of cozy meals in front of the fireplace when we first looked at this house to rent.
Light a fire in the fireplace and have a cozy meal.