Wednesday, February 9, 2011

my house: dining room/kitchen updates

Dining Room/Kitchen Updates

I can't even remember how many months ago it was I promised pictures of the updates I've made to our dining room and kitchen. Well, it has taken time and in fact, still not complete. We did the initial painting and haven't finished the kitchen or hallway. I have, however, added some decor and we did finally get our pendant lights about the kitchen island switched out. Ryan's dad is AMAZING! I love that he has so many handy skills and he is so generous and willing to help. I ask for advise and guidance, and he saves me and does it for me. When Gavin and I were in Utah he came out I think twice to make these lights happen and I was so excited to see them up when I got home!

So, here the are the photos and I will be the first to admit they are not in focus and horrible lighting. As such, I took the liberty to edit them and use some fun new techniques I've come across. You still get the idea... Someday I will photograph them again and hope for better results. I've been trying to shoot out of auto mode so I'm still getting used to aperture and shutter speeds when dealing with bad lighting and it is proving to be more of a challenge than I realized. I also couldn't get the woods in the kitchen cabinets and floors to read right. They aren't as orange/red as they look. I would love to paint them out white but it would be a HUGE $$ investment to have it done right and since we don't want to be here long-term it was out.

Wondering what that big white circled on the photo is? Its covering up the horrible builder-grade light that is still in the dining room. It so doesn't go with the updates and I've been struggling to find the right light to replace it. We need the 800-1000 Watts of light that it gives off (isn't that awful though, I mean seriously not good). I am looking for a compromise around 300 watts and a dimmer switch, but its hard to find anything that will cast light up and not just down on the table. I am leaning towards an oversized paper lantern around 30-36 inches in diameter and a light fixture that is inserted inside around 300 watts.

I was able to create a little desk area for myself in the corner of the dining room. For the first 3 years we were in this house the cut out area sat blank and was the first and only thing people commented on when they walked into the room. "Why is that there?" Our response, "No clue!". So, after debating about having a built-in desk added and not wanting to spend that much money, I found this little parsons desk on Its not anything crazy but it works for the area and will do the job. We probably won't need it once we leave this house so I think the minimal investment was key. I love having this little area. Its all mine!!

I think I've said it before that our house has some built-in architecture that really gives it a cabin feel. I love modern (think warm wood, black and white contrast, industrial, rustic). So, I have been trying to decide on some changes we can make to help meld the home closer to my style and at a low cost. Neither Ryan or I want to live here long term (like no more than 5 more years) so I hesitate to make serious changes to the home. I also don't know how many people who live in Orland would appreciate modern design so I don't want to invest in something that won't appeal to people when we go to sell the home.

This display on the console is probably not permanant. Ryan thinks its weird having the green board there. Its a bulletin board I made (still need some more nailhead tacks to finish the trim). It was a bulletin board from Salvation Army for like $10 and I already had the fabric. I used it for activity days but am not doing that any more. Down the road with kids we could post quotes of the week, whatever. We will see...
Here are the amazing lights! They look smaller in the photos, but seeing them here I wonder if I could pull off the next size up. I may try them out. I love large oversized lights! Here is the magnetic chalkboard wall I painted. I love it! I found some dustless chalk that works pretty good. We have already been enjoying it drawing clocks, airplanes, and trucks. I love that it breaks up the wood and adds the black that I wanted to use in the walls.
Here is the other angle. I sewed a faux roman shade for the kitchen window. It took me a while to line up the pattern. Note to self: when a beginner seamstress stick with solid fabrics. Its tough because i love the prints! Its not perfect but I'm happy with it (most of the time). Its a chevron print (zig zag). It adds a modern kick to the area. We still need to paint out the area around the shade with the gray that's in the dining room, same thing by the fridge and into the hallway.

The bathroom is next and coming along Sllllllllllllowly. Thanks to my father-in-law again he got us moving again by helping to remove the trim and wall paper in there. Removing wallpaper is probably the worst thing ever and I haven't done any of it myself yet. Ryan is so sweet to be working on it. I am excited about what I think the end result will be. It is coming out much like my inspiration board!! So excited!

What have you been doing around your house?


  1. Shnikes, Stace! The house looks like something straight out of PB...wait, better than that. You are so talented. I love how the gray paint turned out and the softness of the curtains! I love the chalkboard paint, the lights are also outstanding. I like the size, but one step bigger would also look good. Brilliant idea with putting a desk in that corner. From the pic, it actually looks like a built-in. We would love to have a space like that in our front area.

    Can you send me instructions on the roman shade? I seriously need something like that in my kitchen window, it looks really blah!

    Great job, Stace!

  2. Beautiful! Isn't it nice to enjoy being in a place that you created and beautified? Not that I've ever beautified something that turned out so beautiful! You are good!

    And I love the fun chalkboard at kids' level and the bulletin board--stylish and functional for families--my favorite!

  3. Thanks so much for sending me this link! I think these photos may have sealed the deal for me. It looks fantastic in your kitchen.


  4. Stumbled on your blog via Emily A. Clark. Love the fabric you used for the roman shades .. I have been wanting to do that for the longest time but can't find the chevron fabric I want .. If you don't mind me asking where you got yours?

    Thanks and great job!

  5. ashub, not sure how to respond except for on here...hope you get the answer. The fabric is actually from Premier Prints and its their zig zag pattern, which they have in many different colors. Here's a link: Hope that helps!