Today I'm going to share our den/ dining room combo and our kitchen and breakfast nook with you. We wanted to finish these spaces first, since they're where we spend the majority of our time. The other rooms are unpacked and livable, but still need some attention and organization.
I figured we should start with some true before pictures. These were taken the day we put an offer on the house.
Dining and Den Before
Do you remember all of that fabulous, dark, wood paneling and trim? I'm totally joking about the fabulous part...
It was definitely a labor of love to makeover this little beauty. Looking back, I can hardly believe my eyes. I'm really glad we believed in Miss Shania, despite how dark and dreary she used to be.
Now, finally, feast your eyes on the progress we've made.
Dining and Den Progress
As you can see, we painted the paneling a neutral gray and painted the trim white. The day we put the primer up, I may or may not have shouted, "And then there was light!" But honestly, painting the paneling and being able to enjoy the natural light that floods in has made Miss Shania feel much less like a dungeon and more like a happy home.
We went back and forth for weeks about whether or not we wanted to remove the bookcases that were serving as a room divider between the dining room and den. I breathed a huge sigh of relief the minute they came down and I have to say, I don't miss them one bit. I'm positive that taking them down gave us an extra 200 square feet in this space, visually at least. This layout makes it so much easier to mingle when we have guests over, and most importantly, we can keep a better eye on our mobile 11 month old.
Okay, enough about the painted paneling and the bookcases. How about that table?!
In a few days, I'll share all of the details about how my husband and I built this little beauty from scratch. That's right, we built it! Okay, well Andrew did most of the work. But I did help him lay out and glue the design, sand, and stain it. This bad boy measures 43"x 98"! There are about 250 pieces of cedar that make up the tabletop while the legs are made of raw steel (which we ordered from here).
With such a beautiful finished product, we really had a hard time deciding on chairs. Since the table is over eight feet long, we wanted ten chairs. I know ten chairs seems like a lot, but we regularly feed that many friends, or more. We immediately decided against wood chairs. Ten upholstered chairs weren't in the budget and also didn't seem very practical. It was quite the dilemma...
That is until we stumbled upon these chairs from World Market, that just so happened to be the exact same color steel as our table legs. We were sold. Once we brought them home and realized the height of the chairs wouldn't take any attention away from the intricate design of the tabletop, we knew we made the right decision. I just love 'em!
I may or may not find myself staring and drooling and forgetting what I was doing every time I see the table...
Our couch and chair are from the Hovas line at Ikea. The chair is a new addition, but we've had the couch for about a year. I'm sure you think it's crazy to have white furniture with two dogs and a baby, but I actually love it. The slipcovers are super easy to wash, and since they're white, I can use bleach. Which unfortunately is a must sometimes...
Yes, the frames are still empty. I'm getting there! Unless you think empty frames are artsy and creative, then... I like your style! haha...
The buffet and side table are antiques that have been in my family for a long, long time, but our coffee table is made from an old door. It's the first thing my husband built for us after we got married and I love it bunches.
I recently refinished our TV stand. It's another piece that has quite a bit of history in my family. For as long as I could remember, it held toys and puzzles on my Grandma Betty's front porch. Now it holds Everett's toys and I think that's pretty special!
I know Patrick Swayze was against putting Baby in the corner, but we keep baby Everett's stuff in this back corner of the den. He's an expert at pulling toys of our old crock and books off the shelves.
This buffet, that also used to be my Grandma Betty's, keeps us organized and serves as our landing strip by the carport door. Keys, sunglasses, and loose change all find a home right on top. I'm pretty much obsessed with our new elephant piggy bank. We like elephants... a bunch!
Okay, so this shot of the buffet concludes the dining room and den before and after shots. What do you think? I'm more than pleased, I hope you are too!
It wasn't an awful kitchen to begin with. We obviously needed a refrigerator, but other than that, this space was pretty much a blank slate. The cabinets were new. The oven and dishwasher were new. The tile floor was new. It wasn't exactly our cup of tea, but everything in here was brand new. On a tight budget, we made quite a few adjustments and really personalized the space.
I wrestled with the idea of painting the cabinets from the day we bought the house. Eventually, I snapped back into reality and realized that this isn't our dream home, its our first home. There's nothing wrong with these cabinets and I'm glad I didn't entertain the idea of ruining them with a bad paint job. I honestly think I was so turned off by the dark wood color because the rest of the house was covered in wood paneling. Now that the wood paneling is gone, the kitchen's actually kind of nice! Adding some new hardware and painting the walls Sherwin Williams' "tame teal," also made the world of difference. We bought a top of the line refrigerator, and eventually we will upgrade the other appliances. But for now, money's tight and they work just fine.
New counters and a back splash are next on the agenda. We decided we can live with the cabinets, but after ten weeks, we really still hate the counters. We just had the guy come draw up the template for the new counters, so any day now we'll be rid of the orange and pink marbled yuckiness. I'll be sure to keep you updated!
Oh, and bye bye florescent lighting from the 60's and hello bright and clean track lighting. This minor adjustment has seriously been rocking our worlds. The crown molding in here is also new! Another fantastic job well done by Andrew.
We took the cabinets down from above the pass through. This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I couldn't even reach them. Andrew hung them in our laundry room for more food storage instead and I don't miss them one bit. It's definitely more open now. We actually bought this buffet from goodwill a couple years ago for $40! It's almost a perfect match to our cabinets and fits the space like it was made for it. And lets be honest, I desperately need the extra storage!
I think I may have saved the best for last. I L.O.V.E. my new breakfast nook. We originally thought we'd have room for more cabinets AND a table. Turns out, we definitely underestimated the space. But that's okay, because we got creative and came up with something even better: open shelving! Yep, Andrew built that too. Isn't he the best?
Before the shelves, fitting our serve ware and bake ware into our cabinets was a joke. But now we have the extra storage to not only house our huge bowls and platters, but display them! Of course, we have to dust over there and wash off each piece before we use it and all of those shenanigans... totally worth it though! Just like with the dining room table, I find myself staring in here too. Sigh...
The table and chairs are the ones I grew up using. My parents got the set when they were newlyweds, then my sister and her family used them, now we have them! Honestly, I don't think I'll change a thing. I had planned to paint the table and chairs white, but I think I might be too sentimental. I want Everett to eat at the same table I did as a little girl: scuffs, scratches, glitter pen stains and all.
So that's it! That concludes the tour! I think our home will always be a work in progress, but the transformation that's occurred since we just moved in a couple months ago is pretty astonishing, at least to me! I hope you love it as much as we do and that the tour was worth the wait. I'll be sure to keep you updated as we change things around. Thanks for sticking with me! Oh, and more details about the table soon!