It’s hard to believe we moved into this house three years ago, maybe because we have been tackling renovation projects since Day 1. Yep, we’ve basically gutted, demolished, sanded and painted every surface. As much as I love DIY remodeling, the arrival of Mister left the home improvement Gods saying, “Get thy act together,” and we plan to listen. Time is a luxury now, and we are anxious to get the main rooms in working order.
Overall, the dining room didn’t look too bad in the beginning.
The thing that struck us the most what how very one-toned it was, like an overwhelming Canadian tuxedo.
Photo credit: Getty Images
The walls, floor and ceiling (wtf…) all boasted the same muddy brown color. We made it work for a while, but it became clear that something had to change. “No problem,” we thought. “We’ll just sand and stain the floors.”
Fun fact: Maple does not stain. Maybe it does, technically, but the flooring expert we spoke with said the finished product would look splotchy and damaged in the end. Since the adjoining living rooms needed a shag carpet makeover, we decided to rip up the entire first floor and start fresh with new hardwood throughout. The transformation began with a couple crowbars, a rented dumpster in our driveway, and a looong weekend.
I was also three weeks pregnant during this demo (unbeknownst to us), so you could call it Mister’s first project!
We stripped the entire room down to the sub-floor. Say hi to the old fridge.
Once the underlayment was placed, the installation crew began working. (Note: Dave and I installed the second floor hardwood ourselves, but being preggo at this stage, I wasn’t very helpful for the first floor install, hence the hired professionals. The second floor saga is a good one. Coming soon!)
After only two days of work (way to make us feel like slackers, professional guys…) we had a beautiful (somewhat messy) Brazilian Cherry floor.
We made a few more updates along the way: installing chunky baseboards, Part 1 of the crown moulding, casings around the dining room entryways, hung wood blinds, and we painted the walls a warmer color called Greige Avenue by Benjamin Moore. If the original color was muddy brown, this color is hot chocolate. It’s subtle for now, but a change in the ceiling and fireplace will cozy it up in no time.
And there you have it. So much better than the original.
We’re chipping away at the to-do list, and it feels almost as good as wearing matching outfits to an awards show. Check back soon for updates.
Dining Room Decorating List
Demolish existing flooring
Install new flooringHang curtains
Hang wood blinds
Chunk up the crown moulding
Add crown moulding
Add casings to the entryways
Add four-inch baseboards
Paint the walls
Paint the ceiling/add some intrigue
Create a gallery wall
Build fireplace mantel and retile
Make a longer table runner
Locate a sound system that wasn’t manufactured in th mid-90’s (Aiwa in the house!)