Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dining room redo

The latest transformation in the Casa de Jones is our dining room.

A little history...this room was a wild card to start with. When we bought our house the previous owner (PO) had their dining room in another area of the house. It was RIGHT when you walked in the front door. In fact, you had to walk around the dining room table in order to get to the living room. For us, it just didn't work.

One of the stipulations that Josh had from the beginning was finding an alternative spot for our dining table and chairs. We resolved this by using a guest room that was located right off of the kitchen and changing it into a private dining room for us and guests. It allows the natural flow of the house to work better and allows Josh to have a "whiskey parlor" where the PO's dining room used to be.

Side note...trust me ladies, you can get A LOT further in a marriage by helping your man build and decorate a "whiskey parlor". Let me just say, it was one of my smarter moves, if I do say so myself.

Back to the dining room...for a little less than a year we have rarely used it and have mainly stored the table, china, and chairs in there waiting to make it "our own" when the time came.

We had to tackle the most important areas first...whiskey parlor, laundry room, and dog room. Yep, can you see the priorities?! Don't judge.

When I began to think about how to make the dining room special and a place that we wanted to spend time in I became really overwhelmed. There were so many options in lighting, paint colors, fabric, etc. and so few options in arranging the furniture, changing the furniture, and using what we had in order to save $. The furniture we have in the room is in great shape, some of it has sentimental value, and one of the pieces is just really cool. I wanted/needed to make it all work without having to buy new pieces. I began trying to decide what to do and where to start...no progress. Too overwhelming. So the room sat...and sat.

It looked like this most of the time...blah and unfinished.

After the daunting task of decorating became too much, I decided I needed professional help (no comments necessary). I decided to take a risk and investigate e-design. I've seen the idea on other blogs before, but I didn't know if it was really for me or what to expect. I contacted a few bloggers that I read daily and after getting prices, working styles, and time frames established, I decided that Shannon at Pink Wallpaper would be the best person and designer to try this with. She is SUPER talented, really friendly, writes an amazing blog, and had worked with one of my best girlfriends that just loved and raved about her. I contacted her and she was ready for the challenge and ready for my constant barrage of emails each day. I immediately felt comfortable with her and her style. We are both email girls...and the scariness of the project subsided and became so much fun. I loved checking my email each morning and finding an email from her waiting. I seriously don't have a clue when this chick sleeps!

Shannon's design process was simple and easy to do over the distance...she's in South Carolina.

I was first instructed to send her pictures of ideas that I liked. I had been saving them from other design blogs, from magazines, from Houzz.com, etc. I sent Shannon these images which she compiled together in one pretty format.

All images were found at either Cote de Texas (1st row left side and 3rd row left side) or Houzz.com

Shannon then asked that I send her pictures of the actual room with a list of what I wanted to keep and what I was comfortable getting rid of or changing.

I sent her these:

I wanted to try to keep the table and chairs but was willing to rework them in anyway. I would love a circular table in the room, but the budget just doesn't allow for it right now.

I am willing to get rid of the massive mirror and the painted concrete floors, but I wanted to keep the serving hutch on the left side.

The new crown molding needed paint, obviously, and the paint color on the walls was certainly changeable. The tall china cabinet had to stay though. I love it.

A light fixture was necessary! We had moved the fan out of this room and used it in another room in the house. Light was pretty essential since you must eat in this room before 6:30 in order to see your food!

Shannon sent me several lighting recommendations but we both agreed that an oversize lantern would look great in the room. We both liked this one...

It is from Wisteria and the same one that Brooke Giannetti at Velvet and Linen used in her office.

Shannon then gave me a few ideas to consider regarding my existing dining room table. She merged them all together here.

In a morning email she sent me these thoughts and ideas:

Two options w/ the existing table:

1. Sanding the top of the table to make it a more natural wood finish and then painting the base a distressed white finish like picture A.

2. Using a liming wax (Brimwax makes a wax that apparently can go over any finish) and putting it all over the table to create a finish like picture B.


I have a couple of things I was thinking:

In all of your pics, one variable that seems constant are wicker chairs...so I thought we could add a host and hostess wicker chair, similar to something like picture C (although I am not sold on these particular ones). Then take 4 of your current chairs and either

1. paint them to resemble pic D (your current chairs have the X back like these) and recover the seat cushions

2. or slipcover them like E or F

Shannon and I both hunted for the right wicker chair for the head of the table and finally found the one we had been searching for. I'm still waiting for Redefine Home to get them in. Eagerly waiting...

When it was all said and done and dozens upon dozens of emails had been exchanged, I ended up with this final idea board from Shannon. It's truly the design that I had pictured in my head but wasn't sure how on earth to implement.

To break it down, Shannon recommended:

We choose an oversize lantern for the room.

Linen draperies to hang on each side of the French doors.

A cool statement piece for over the buffet. Josh vetoed the mirror in the design board above, but that was fine because the Round Top excursion earlier in the month produced two awesome etchings that will be hung above the piece.

A great jute rug from Sundance that is very reasonably priced.

Slipcovers for the dining room chairs in a brown twill.

For us to strip down the main table and paint and distress the base.

And, replace the heads of the table with two woven wicker chairs.

Now it is up to me to implement...if only she could be shipped in a little box to my doorstep for this next step (sigh).

More to come...


  1. Great post... I'm on the edge of my seat for the results show :-)
    - Mere

  2. How cool! I have read about people who do all their designing through email and I think it is fabulous. Maybe you could even have a future in it! With me first!

  3. yay! So fun to read! Can't wait to see progress pics!!!