So I was looking around my dining room post-pine china cabinet removal project, and something still didn’t seem… light and airy. (And, of course, light and airy equals awesome and desirable when it comes to selling, you know.) The culprit? My curtain tie-backs. Yes, really. I KNOW – they’re little and insignificant and I’m likely a crazy person for thinking that they were bringing the room down. But look…
Here’s the before (dark and heavy-looking):
After! (Pretty, simple, and breezy!)
Yep! That’s twine. So does this officially make me the strange lady who uses twine to tie back her curtains? Perhaps. I decided that the black ribbon was far too dark and formal-ish (can ribbon be formal? Let’s say yes…) and went searching through my house for a replacement and the first thing I stumbled upon was the big spool of twine that normally resides under my kitchen sink. But despite that it’s a rather utilitarian sort of thing, I actually think it kinda works with the sort of rustic pine-ish-ness of the room.
Or I may just be grasping at straws here. Either way, I like it! And those curtain tie-backs cost me roughly three cents in twine. Cheap and cheerful indeed! :)
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I’m so SO sorry – I had to. I really couldn’t resist. Please don’t hate me around 3pm tomorrow afternoon when you’re still humming that song.
And in case you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, here – watch this…
It’s quite the catchy little tune eh?
I’ve been packing up (packin up, packin up, packin up) for a few days now. Specifically, the dining room has been ruthlessly cleared out, as recommended by Ms Stager who said the room would look much much bigger without the china cabinet and with less cluttery stuff on the bookshelf. And, of course, she was right. See?
BEFORE (with lots of pine):
AFTER (so much bigger looking!)
I should have removed the china cabinet YEARS ago, eh? Ms Stager is really really smart. :)
Luckily, Sweetie invested in a storage unit (since we seem to have a lot of stuff, and stuff isn’t particularly good for staging), so removing the china cabinet from the dining room was indeed a realistic decluttering option. And, if nothing else, the room looks far less pine-y without it. I’m pretty sure I’ll be painting the china cabinet before it reappears at our next happy little abode.
Oh! And see that mirror? That’s new. Once the china cabinet was gone, the wall behind the table was a little… empty-looking. I found that lovely mirror at my beloved HomeSense store for TWENTY BUCKS. Yep. Twenty. Why so insanely cheap and cheerful? The frame has a few scratches.
But you only really notice these if you’re standing four inches from the mirror. And I’m assuming potential house buyers won’t be carefully examining my wall-hangings.
Falling into the category of “weird things that I own and love” is this Mozart teapot that’s now been carefully packed away…
It’s one of my most favourite things ever. And yes, he’s holding the score to the Marriage of Figaro tightly in his hand (which also serves as the spout. Yep – it’s not just a decorative teapot! This baby is functional!) Ridiculously silly, I know, but it makes me smile.
So that’s where things are at for the moment. New kitchen floor? Check. Severely decluttered and prettied up dining room? Check. Basement painting half finished? Check. Progress moving way slower than expected? CHECK. Ugh. I’m hoping we can get everything we need to get done by the end of April.
A full month behind schedule.
But then again, I’m always late. For everything. So why would this be any different, I suppose. If nothing else, I’m consistent. :)
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So, I’ve likely referenced my dining room, like, a gazillion times in previous posts (ok, well, maybe not a gazillion, per se. Maybe twice. But that’s still lots!) but I’ve never actually posted anything about my dining room. It’s like the Polkaroo of my house. The Mr Snuffleupagus of our abode. Today, my friends, that changes.
(Did I just build it up a little too much? Crap. K. This had better be good…)
When we bought this house just over 2 years ago, the dining room was ugly. It was so un-pretty, in fact, that the sellers’ listing agent hadn’t even bothered posting pictures of the dining room in the house-listing.
The walls were white, but not a nice clean white – they hadn’t been painted in years and looked dirty and dingy and worn.
(And yes, those are gold drapes. They came with the house. Fancy eh?)
The trim… um… it was brown. But not “nicely stained in a lovely wood finish” brown (which is the really good kind of brown!) Nope. All the baseboards and trim had been painted dark brown (in a glossy finish, of course.) It was gross.
And don’t even get me started on the light above the dining room table… Ummm… here. Just look.
AGH! I know. What IS that? Yep. We were the crazy people who bought the house with THAT light in the dining room.
We’re brave, brave souls, Sweetie and me.
BUT! Here’s our dining room now…
The walls are painted Benjamin Moore’s Gossamer Blue, and all the trim, baseboards, the closet door and ceiling were repainted Snowfall White. For the record, it takes many many coats of white paint to cover up dark brown glossy baseboards.
We found the refinished dining room chairs on Kijiji (I adore Kijiji!) And the table is an old Ikea table (I don’t think they carry it anymore) purchased from a local Ebay seller shortly after Sweetie and I bought our first house. It’s not the prettiest table in the world (I think the most appropriate term would be “well-loved”), but it works. :)
And Jacob says it makes a rather good kitty fort.
The dining room light was a Home Depot find. It was cheap. It is cheerful. :)
The bowl of balls on the table is just that: a bowl of balls. (But it’s a pretty bowl, containing pretty balls, of course.)
Admittedly, there’s A LOT (like, a WHOLE lot) more pine in this room than I’d like. It almost has a “country-cottage” feel to it (and I’m not really a country-cottage kinda gal.) Some day I’ll get around to painting the Leksvik china cabinet and bookcase. But until then, they’re functional and not overly offensive-looking at least (and, given that they were both also Kijiji scores, they hardly cost us anything, so I can’t really complain…)
The bookcase holds odds and ends. The lower shelves contain my Scentsy stuff (I obviously need a better place to store all that.) The higher (ie: more visable) shelves hold more practical things (cookbooks, reference books, my lampe berger, random pretty things…) And yes, that is indeed a Mozart teapot on top (just in case you were curious!)
But the most important item in the room? The little red chair by the window. It gets a lot of use.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with the progress to date! It’s definitely a cheery little room, and the colour is one of my faves (I love turquoise. Or teal. Or seafoam. Whatever you prefer to call it.) :) Finding somethingmerother to put on the walls is my next project. And I’d like to replace the closet doorknob too (it’s still gold, and even though I’ve heard that gold is “back”, it isn’t really “back” in my house.) (Just sayin’.)
But yes! The dining room is house-listing feature-photo suitable now. Not that we’re planning to sell our house in the immediate future, mind you. There’s still lots more painting to be done! (Sigh…) But if we WERE to list the house, it would now be acceptable to post pictures of the dining room in the listing, I think.
Dear dining room: you are no longer a Snuffleupagus. Oh, no. Consider yourself the Grover of our little 1940′s house. You’re a little odd, and you still need some work, but overall you’re pretty darn cute. :)
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A few months back we had a (very minor, but still rather scary!) fire in our basement laundry room (actually, technically the fire was in the washing machine itself) that started a bit of a mini laundry room reno, because:
a) the laundry room was dark and dreary
b) due to its apparently flammable nature, we decided the old washer might not be the safest appliance on the block
c) because our dryer was nearly as archaic as our washing machine, we figured we may as well buy an entirely new pair (my first ever new, and not just new-to-me, appliances – yay!)
d) see point a :)
The whole shebang ended up seemingly taking for-ev-ver. There were (rather expensive) decisions on new machines to be made (read about that HERE.) And then there was the sad sad moment when I noticed a scuff on top of my brand new shiny washing machine (I whined a wee bit about that HERE.) I even succumbed to some Pinterest-inspired daydreams over what my little laundryroom could look like (HERE.) And then there was painting and patching and shelf-hanging and all that fun stuff in between.
BUT, I’m happy to say she’s done. Well, done-ish. Our little laundry room doesn’t look A THING like my inspiration images (I’m blaming the smallness and lack of windows for that!) but it looks a lot better. :)
Here’s where we started (prepare yourself for overall laundry room ugliness)…
Ack, eh? Not a pleasant (little) room for doing ANYTHING, let alone something already as arduous as laundry.
A couple coats of Benjamin Moore Gossamer Blue paint (leftover from my dining room painting project – aka free paint), a shelf, and a few other additions later (baskets! I love baskets!) and it’s a far more pleasant place to be…
For the record, the room is TINY. In case you’re wondering why all of my laundry room pics only show a few feet of the room at a time. Without removing walls (which I’ve considered, but I don’t think Sweetie would approve) this is just the way it is! Here are a few other angles (for the really ambitious, I’m pretty sure if you cut and pasted all of these pics together, you’d get a pretty complete picture of the room!)
I painted the wooden pedestal our laundry tub is perched upon (and bolted to, we found out!) Just made things look a lot cleaner (Snowfall White paint fixes everything!)
The shelf is just a piece of knotty pine that Sweetie picked up and put a routered edge on for me (that Sweetie is pretty handy, you know!) and then I gave ‘er a good painting. It’s amazing how a little organization can make a laundry room a much friendlier place!
I repurposed a couple old jars (leftover from my pre-Slom-ed pantry) to hold paint brushes and that sort of thing. And the white basket holds extra roller refills quite nicely!
And, of course, no room in our house is complete without a picture of one of the cats. (We’re a little weird like that.) This picture was taken over 10 years ago (when Jacob was just a young lad!) with our very first ever digital camera.
I hate ironing. A whole lot. But at least my ironing devices are nicely organized in the newly organized laundry room. It almost makes me want to iron. (OK. I’m totally fibbing. The room could be clad in marble and platinum and I’d still avoid my iron. But at least it has its own spot now. Where it will probably stay, untouched, for a really really long time.)
As the wife of an electrician who seems to collect electrical stuff throughout the day, I was constantly making little piles of marrettes and screws and other random electrical things (ie: I have no idea what they are, but I’m pretty sure Sweetie uses them for something) on the washer. Oh. And piles of change too. Because apparently electricians carry a lot of change around in their pockets. These jars (also leftover from the Slom-ification of our pantry) have meant the end of the random change/doodad piles. Thus making me a rather happy electrician’s wife!
We even replaced the light in the room (er, rather, the naked hanging lightbulb) with a sweet (and inexpensive – I think the globe part was only $5) light fixture. I don’t have any pictures of the light installed in the room itself (since, well, that would involve turning off the light, which would plunge the room into darkness, which would make picture taking a bit of a challenge!) but here she is before Sweetie got all electrician-ish and got her all functioning and stuff…
(I think the design kinda looks like lace. Prettiest $5 light ever!)
And there you have it! My tiny little laundry room (divided up into many many images.) I mean, I wouldn’t want to hang out in there for HOURS, or anything like that, but it’s better at least, and (quite importantly!) neither dark, nor dreary now (such a pretty paint colour could never be dreary!) The best part (I guess, from a practical position) is that we are pretty sure this washer will operate sans fire. (Excuse me while I go knock on wood.) And it gets to do so in a cheery little room (because I’m sure that having pretty teal walls makes my washer happy too.)
Have a great weekend all!
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A happy update! My eagerly-awaited and much anticipated (isn’t that a line from something?) (I think it is…) (anyway…) washer/dryer delivery took place over the weekend. Hooray! Well, kinda. I was in bed while the whole move-in (new appliances) and move-out (old appliances) took place – let’s just say it was a long dark day in migraineville. :( When I finally managed to drag myself out of bed, I ran (quite literally) downstairs to soak in (ha ha – funny washer pun) the view in my laundry room. That’s when I saw this…
Yes. That’s right. My washer was scuffed. (Insert a very sad sigh here.) Right on top. Right near the front. Right about where I would be looking EVERY SINGLE TIME I do laundry. Like the mean old movers had dragged something rough and metal across my lovely and perfect new washer. :(
I won’t lie: some tears may have actually fallen over my now less-than-perfect-washer. I KNOW… it’s just a machine. And I know… it’ll likely get banged up over time, but this is the first time I’ve EVER (ev-ver) had my own, brand spanking new appliances. Purchased full price (kinda, minus the sale), not scratch-and-dent, not hand-me-downs, not new-to-me. New. And perfect. At least until I noticed the scuff. I kinda freaked out just a little (shhhh… don’t tell.)
To my rescue? The fine folk at Home Depot. One rather sheepish phone call later (during which I admitted that the scuff is only about an inch long, and mentioned that my hubby thought I was a little OCD for getting a wee bit upset over a scuff) and I have a replacement washer being delivered next week. Yes. Really. :) Brenda, the Home Depot appliances-section lady: you are my hero. She empathized with me. She stated that new appliances should be perfect when delivered to the customer. She agreed that the scuff-spot could rust over time (my main concern.) She was awesome. She has a big hug coming her way the next time I venture into HD. :)
In the meantime, we were told to go ahead and use the new (slightly imperfect) washer. And I’m loving it. Loooooving it. We actually stood there and watched the washer go through the entire wash cycle with our first load of laundry. (Yep – we’re big huge losers like that.) It’s stupidly quiet, and sings a happy little song when the load is clean. I do the laundry dance every time I put a new load in (um, yeah… really.) I’m so in love with these melodious and fantastical machines. And will be even more in love with the non-scuffed version of my washer coming later this week. :)
In the meantime, here’s a quick peek at the laundry room progress to date. Shelves still need to go up above the machines, and the new light needs to be installed still too (the hanging bare light bulb just isn’t fitting for such pretty machines) but the walls are coated in lovely Gossamer Blue-ness…
Big happy sigh. All’s well that ends well, right? More progress updates to follow. :)
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