Dining Room - Before & After

Updated: Aug 20, 2018

So last week I posted a before and after of our dining area in our old home on social media. I wanted to talk a little bit more about this space and how it transformed over the 4 years that we lived there.

As I mentioned in the last post, when we purchased the home in 2013, it needed some TLC. Wall to wall carpeting, wood walls and very old wallpaper that crumbled in tiny pieces. We had a limited budget but wanted to bring the house to the 21st century and live somewhere that was aesthetically pleasing. This did not happen overnight. I repeat, this DID NOT happen overnight. :) We lived through construction (3 times), had dust on every corner of our house, and did things little by little.

This photo is from the original listing when we bought the home. Basically, nothing in the 'after' picture exists, other than the chandelier above the table. The half wall limited the view to the living room, and more importantly, to the Lake that was directly behind our house. We wanted to have an open floor plan with views of the water as soon as you walked in the house.

Also, carpet in the dining area. I think that's enough said on that topic.

So, here's the after... 4 years later.

The first thing we did was added uniform flooring throughout the entire main first floor. This helped the entire downstairs flow and feel like one open space. Unfortunately when we removed the carpet, there was not original hardwood flooring that we could refinish, and replacing with new hardwood was out of the budget, so we used this laminate flooring. Also being directly on the water and having two dogs, we we worried that hardwood would get destroyed over time so wanted something with durability for our lifestyle. We loved this flooring because it gave the coastal feel we were looking for, was hand-scraped which made it feel less 'plastic', and the color variations in the wood helped hide dirt and the endless amount of dog hair from our two aussies.

The other main thing we did was turned the half wall that separated the dining and living area into columns. We initially wanted the entire wall gone, but it was a load bearing wall and would have required a lot of reconfiguration to completely remove. Also, a base board heat register is affixed to that wall, which would of required us to re-plumb and add heating to another location. We were able to design these columns with the help of our contractor which was a nice way to allow the open floor-plan, have views of the living room and lake, and add some architectural detail without having to worry about issues with support or re-plumbing the baseboard heat. It was a win-win, really. I actually am glad we were able to keep the wall as it provided us some shelving on the opposite side in the living room and gave us a little bit of separation of eating and living.

Cosmetically, we painted all of the trim Dover White by Sherwin Williams. It's a nice creamy white without any yellow undertones. The walls of the entire first floor were painted with Sands of Time by Sherwin Williams. A very neutral tan. I also re-painted the sliding glass door wall white to better flow with the rest of the trim.

Our farm table was custom built by two local carpenters. The chairs were thrifted from Salvation Army (I paid $30 bucks for 5, one cracked, which is why it's missing!) and I painted them with Annie Sloane Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue.

I used the same chandelier that was originally there. I took off the lampshades, added Edison bulbs, and bought faux crystals on Amazon to hang from the arms. It was an extremely cheap update but it did the job! All of the window treatments you see are from Ikea (found here). The table runner is from Sur La Table (no longer sold) and the candle sticks are from Pottery Barn (no longer sold).

Higbie Maxon Agney

83 Kercheval Ave

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236

(o) 313--886-3400 

(c) 248-515-2201

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