Feast your eyes on this beauty. The picture doesn't do it justice because you can't see that the upper portion is actually textured with sparkles. Come to our house for dinner and you may go home looking like you were at a strip club, covered in sparkles. Badly installed dental molding and floors that could not be salvaged. Don't get me started on the light fixture.
And this is what we're looking like today! I could not be happier with the result. It is a pretty good example of a high / low budget room. The table & chairs cost more than the entire room but the chairs, lights, rug, drapes and mirror are Target, Overstock, IKEA and Amazon. The built-in's are IKEA! I'll get to that in a minute.
It took a few steps to get there. Step 1 was to do something about the bad lighting. We swapped the undersized dated fixture for two of these modern farmhouse looking fixtures from Overstock.
Then Sean put his electrical engineering degree to good use and installed recessed lighting. The mirror is from Amazon. This one is a great price for the substantial size but the best part is that the rim is made of rubber, making it lighter and easier to hang.
Next up, wallpaper. I really liked this paper from Serena & Lilly but the fact that it wasn't pre-pasted and I'm a wallpaper rookie made me nix it:
Instead I chose this paper, Moroccan Blue on White, with a similar feel from Spoonflower. I had to skim coat the entire room to even out the textured walls. That was as little fun as it sounds. My awesome parents drove 300 miles to help us wallpaper this room. Wallpaper is scary but there actually isn't a ton of wall to paper due to wainscoting and the built-ins. Removing it down the line shouldn't be too terrible. I hope.
Now on to the built-ins. They were pretty time consuming but two years in they still look great and are so functional. Our house has very little storage so we have to find pockets where we can. Behind those doors is basically mud-room storage. Coats, shoes, etc. Weird for a dining room but it works. These built-ins are actually IKEA Pax cabinets hidden behind wood face frames and custom wood doors that Sean built and I painted. This picture shows the finished product on the right and the work in progress on the left.
Sean built each door front by hand, routing each piece. The picture below shows the cubby on the left with finished doors and the cubby on the right is just the IKEA guts without the doors yet.
Each kid gets a cubby. Backpacks, sweatshirts and coats on the hooks (they pull out!). My favorite part about the Pax units is that they are very changeable as our needs change. The basket up top holds seasonal items. Hats/mittens, sports uniforms, etc.
The middle ledge holds devices and each cubby has a standard and USB outlet.
Shoes and socks in the bottom drawer.
The middle section is IKEA kitchen cabinetry guts with the same face frames. The depth of the kitchen cabinets and the Pax cabinets are actually the same but we made the kitchen cabinets sit out a couple extra inches to give it some interest. This section holds actual dining room things. Imagine that. China, glassware, etc. Topped with a piece of honed marble. These look like progress shots so the drawer fronts aren't on yet.
Here you can see the drawers finished:
The hardware is from Home Depot. I love the mix of wood and metal. Just a little bit different.
The table and white end chairs are from Restoration Hardware were definitely the splurges in this room. White chairs with 3 boys and 2 dogs? I know, right? They tell me they can be bleached without discoloration. I don't see how that's possible and haven't tried it yet but so far they're holding up ok. The table is solid and weighs hundreds of pounds so here's hoping the farmhouse table looks stays in style for a long time.
So that's it! A massive improvement. I love the new look and the storage is super functional.
Table - Restoration Hardware
Gingham Chairs - Target (unfortunately discontinued)
Drapes - Ikea