Or perhaps I should name this, “Dining Room Before. And After: Prepared for a Dinner Party”. That’s too long for a title anyway. But that’s the gist of these pictures. I was going to do before & after pictures of this room anyway, and then during preparation for my husband 30th party I snapped these pictures. And no, my dining room is not set up for a dinner party every day! :)
It has been SO FUN to decorate this home on a budget. Other than blinds/shades for the windows, and light fixtures, I tried to not buy much at all to decorate with in this house. Unless I made it myself, then I allowed myself to buy items to make it with. Or found it at Goodwill, or a cheap antique shop, or something. You know, where I could justify it. :)
I was thinking the other day, and wondering what this house would look like if I would have had unlimited resources to work with. But then I thought some more, and said to myself that I think it would not look much different. I might have shopped at high-quality, high-dollar antique stores, maybe. But I think the basic look would be the same. But then that’s today. It seems like “my style” [whatever that is] is always emerging, developing, changing… :)
Because, I like uniqueness. Originality. I like it that I didn’t just walk into a store to buy my stuff, and that a lot of things here are unique to me, and to this house. I like to make a lot of things, because that makes it more unique. More one-of-a-kind. That’s just what makes me tick. :)
So, not sure why I said all that before a dining room, because there’s only so much a girl can make for a room like that!
But here, it is.
Welcome to Room #2 of the house tour.
There were walls everywhere. These were the first to go. The rooms are quite small even without the walls now, but it makes everything *feel* so much bigger. If you can trick your mind like that your comfort level is much higher. :)
Behind that wall in the first picture – in the tearing out process.
Fireplace #2 of 5 in the house. Blue paint is not original to the house, so I didn’t ruin historic value in this century-old house by painting it!
Lovely blue trim. And I didn’t get a picture of the ceiling, but it was a light sky blue too. Someone really liked blue, is all I can say!
[if you remember from the living room post, this is opening from one side of that room]
I found the bike/bakery shop/flower pictures before we got married at Michaels or A.C. Moore. My grandmother framed it in an inexpensive frame, then had a friend glaze it to make it look like an oil painting, but it’s really a cheap poster.
We painted the fireplace mantel and brick under it a pure white, and I love the fresh look that it gave!
A few antique-joint finds on Saturday…
These paper balls were hung especially for the dinner party. My theme in decorating was “Garden Party Indoors.” I looooove outdoor parties, but it’s just not possible here most of the year. 100 degrees and 100% humidity for an outdoor party just isn’t very enjoyable. I tried it one year, and dripping sweat and buzzing mosquitoes just wasn’t very pleasant. Trust me on that one.
This was a little challenge for me to know how to pull off my theme without it being too girly for my husband 30th party! Afterward I kept asking him, “This wasn’t too froufrou for you, was it? It wasn’t too girly?” And he kept assuring me that no, it was good. :) Although when I mentioned keeping those paper balls up there permanently he got a little scared and said he might have to find another place to stay. :)
Martha Stewart gets the credit for the instructions on how to make these balls. I had read tutorials online, but was thoroughly confused. Martha Stewart to the rescue. In three easy steps I had made these balls and was so delighted! I would have made hundreds of them by now if I would have known how easy they are!
This girl has made something similar, only in flower shape, that are so beautiful. She was a main inspiration for me wanting to make these in the first place!
These window panels were inspired by Pottery Barn Teen. A few friends and I were looking at a catalogue one day and said, “We have got to make these!” I found fabric on clearance for $1.50 a yard, so spent about $20 for fabric and thread. I made these with a different twist than the ones Pottery Barn sells, but got my idea from them.
The Pottery Barn price was $68 per panel. Unbelievable difference. :)
The wide trim was present in the house when we bought it. I LOVE it.
I cut bamboo rods for curtain rods for these panels, like the ones in the living room. This saved me about $50 doing that, because these were free from our old backyard. I did have to buy the brackets to hold the bamboo rods, which ended up being about $10 at Home Depot.
The bamboo Roman Shades come from Kmart. I love this purchase. I think it really dresses up the room, and I love the different textures and media.
This old door was in the house as a laundry room door when we bought it, but in too poor a condition to actually use. I couldn’t bear to throw it away, and one day had the inspiration to put it in here. The chalkboard dresses it up a bit, and is a fun place to write notes, menus, or inspiring quotes.
[yikes, should have pulled the dead leaves off my “friendship plant!”]
This chandelier was a bargain I found on craigslist. (I know, right?! Who could even bear to part with this kind of beauty?) It’s the Pottery Barn ‘Celeste’ which was selling for far less than store/catalogue price. I was one happy girl to pick this baby up! And I was trying not to appear over-eager as I handed her the money and drove off, totally beaming!!! This was one deal I couldn’t BELIEVE I actually found on craigslist. I loved the bit of glamor it added to the older historical elements in the room.
Dinner Party Details:
The centerpiece was three simple green arrangements. This was just an elephant ear leaf in a milk glass vase. I love milk glass. My Aunt Grace has collected them for years, and the past three years I’ve picked up pieces as well when I find them cheaply.
This potted arrangement was given to me after a dear friend’s wedding. Isn’t it beautiful?!
The vase in the background is filled with magnolia leaves and an old magnolia flower pod. Also in milk glass.
More paper balls:
Silver chargers were found at garage sales and discount stores, for around $1-2 each.
White place settings: Pottery Barn outlet, on sale. They’re called “Suppertime.” I purchased a set of 10 dinner and salad plates with a gift card given by husband a year and a half ago. I LOVE these. They feel special for everyday, but for a more formal dinner they look the part as well. And they hold up splendidly with years of use.
Goblets: you can find these for $1 each at Dollar General. Walmart, Pottery Barn, and other places sell them as well, for a bit more money.
White cloth napkins: found at garage sales, goodwills, re-use-it shops.
Mix-matched chairs. The table set was a wedding gift given by my parents, but for a larger party I have to pull out every chair I have around the house!
And can you believe that I forgot to take any pictures of the actual party?! No food or people pictures. Sad sad sad. I was feeling very scatterbrained at the last minute. That’s my excuse. :)
Here’s the final before:
Hope you enjoyed the tour!
Wishing you all a lovely day, wherever you may find yourselves… Feeling a bit somber this week, thinking of my sweet friend who suddenly lost her father a week ago. Tragedies like that always remind me to hug a little tighter, tell people that I love them more often, and just put life in perspective so much. I ache for my friend, who has to find a new normal, and learn to live without someone who has always been part of her life.
And while I hurt for her, I’m reminded, for myself, to treasure today. Even if my kids are cranky. If they spill pink nail polish all over the floor. If they cry over every little thing. If they won’t take long naps. If they put flour in the sugar container and sugar in the flour box. If it feels like I just can’t sweet my floor enough, it’s always dirty from kids’ crumbs.
Because those are all just inanimate things. Just things. And these years of raising children are such a small part of the time span of my life. So love them well, Mrs. Yoder. Kiss them, and hug them, and laugh instead of getting upset, and take time to read that same book for the hundredth time. You don’t know how long you will be able to hold them, and cuddle and kiss them. You don’t know, so treasure today…