Bird and Belle's Adventures in Marriage



What started as a simple window treatment has turned into an all-out redecorating fiasco. While still a work-in-progress, I thought I would share some photos of the current state of our dining room.

I decided to tackle No. 2 on my 31 in 365 in early May. The previous homeowners had painted the walls an uninspiring dark beige. After great deliberation Bird and I selected a pale putty color called Dove Wing that, when in the right light, seems to almost glow. I also repaired and repainted the ceilings, and then painted the trim with a high gloss ultra white. I am really pleased with how much larger the space looks once painted.

Once the walls were painted and the snazzy new drapes hung, we turned our attention to the chandelier, or lack-there-of. Instead of a chandelier, our dining room was illuminated by the kind of cheap round light that you would expect to see over a toilet. My mother found the perfect drum pendant lamp at Tuesday Morning for a mere $80. Bird had to hack it a bit to make it work in our space, but the end result is just what we had in mind: subtle, trendy and within budget. And, for the first time ever, my dinner is well-lit!

My second big sewing project were new covers for our Ikea Harry chairs. The cats had done a number on the old red covers in just a year so I knew I did not want to spent a lot of money on new ones. I also found the limited colors and prints at Ikea to be uninspiring. Instead, I selected a heavy-duty outdoor fabric that coordinated nicely with the drapes. Using the old cover as a pattern, the awesome Loretta helped me create two fantastic covers that cost only $30 and two mornings of sewing time.

I used the old Ikea curtains and some cheap black cotton fabric to make a pile of simple place mats. These are far from perfection, but do a fine job catching rogue food and I won’t freak out if I see a cat sitting on one as they can go from table to washer and dryer without batting an eye.
The wall above the sideboard is still a work in progress. Ultimately the antique typewriter from our wedding will live here. I am in the process of making a chalkboard center for the rectangular frame, which I snagged at a Cincinnati thrift store for two bucks and painted white. The oval frames are antiques from E-bay that came with the original convex glass. We are ordering black and white prints of our family wedding photos to go in each. The woodblock print of a B is from our travels to Seattle.
And finally, on the wall opposite the sideboard is a grouping of photos from our travels in Costa Rica. Hanging these was a major labor of love and required a lot of cursing and pencil drawing on the wall. My friend Katy recently posted a brilliant way to hang art easily without the pencil markings and squabbling with your significant other. If only I had known that a while back!
And so that is the dining room thus far. Bird and I really enjoyed eating our dinner in such a pretty, well-lit space tonight and think you will too! (Hint!)

4 thoughts on “Progress!

  1. Wow Sarah! This looks like a totally different room. Well done! I wish I had inherited some sewing ability..guess you got that from your Mom 🙂

  2. Sally, there is work going on outside, too! Jay and Clinton are working on cleaning and repainting the deck. I’ll tackle the patio furniture next, which is in dire need of having the rust cleaned off and a new coat of paint applied. I’m thinking teal… Glad you like the work thus far. It’s been fun!

    Mom: The chairs make me super happy! They also make the cats super happy. I’m currently waging war against them: Cats & Claws vs. Belle & Vinegar+Water Bottle!

  3. Gosh! Pretty soon you will be in Better Homes and Gardens! I love it all, so cheery! The new sideboard is definitely better in your dining space than the old one (though I liked the old one too and hope you found a good home for it). It’s great that you are displaying some of your wonderful photos.

    I see through the window a ladder on the deck–looks like work is ongoing out there too. Busy B’s!

    Your post says 1:34 a.m. I HOPE you were not up at that time.

  4. How bright and pretty the room looks! I love the chair covers, nice change from the solid red! So glad the light fixture was a hit, it looks really good and if Jay bumps it with his head it won’t hurt.

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