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Home Projects: A Cozy Dining Room

When we moved in, there was this awful wallpaper on one wall of the dining room. The other 3 walls had off white textured wallpaper. I removed it the first weekend we were here.

Wall color before on the left was called Vintage Grapes. This is Warm Caramel.

I was brave and painted an antique mahogany cedar chest shiny black. I lightly sanded it down, primed it, painted two light coats and added a coat of polyurethane. I also did this to a small bookcase (in cherry) built by my great Uncle Ken. I then stacked the bookcase on the cedar chest. The "after" is down at the bottom.

I bought this banner from Etsy's Classicly Amber.

Sorry it is dark. It was taken at 4:30pm in upstate NY...It's quite dark out now.

I love toile. The window treatment in toile, as are my tablecloth (made from 3 yards of Waverly fabric I found at Ontario's LW Emporium for $4.50 total!) and tree skirt.

My little Christmas elves

The boys were having fun looking in their stockings already.

I bought this sign a long time ago...and now have a place where it seems to fit the "vibe" of the room. I am going to paint the shelf black and drill holes on the rack and put small glass knobs in them. I love black painted things...this wood, not so much. It needs a makeover...

Now I can put out the rest of my milkglass and put it against the black for contrast.

When we moved into the house, one room I wanted to get right to work on was the dining room.
With textured off white wallpaper on three walls and patterned wallpaper on an accent wall, I needed to change it. The light fixture also screamed, "This was once in style in the 50s!"

Over the past 5 years we've been here, I have painted the room gold, navy blue, sage, and then lavender. The lavender with crisp white trim lasted the longest at 18 months. I haven't found the right shade for the room's personality.

I loved the lavender, and it was really perfect for the late spring and summer. Since I painted the kitchen and living rooms, as well as the hallway, the lavender didn't seem right anymore.

I firmly believe that each room has a personality. It may sound silly, but it's something I truly believe. For example, the living room is a room full of lighthearted laughter. It's a room we play in, cuddle together in, read books in, write in, use the computer in, etc. It's the room where we all gather when friends come over. I wanted a cheerful, fun vibe to fit the personality of this room.

The kitchen is much the same--very fun and cheerful. I do not want you to come into my house and walk into the kitchen without feeling like you are very welcome to come in and have fun. Serious, formal decorating has a place....and it is just not in this place. I have lots of shabby chic and Paris apartment influences, but the dining room leans more on the traditional meets country side. It's just the room's personality.

The dining room has been denied its true personality for years. It is where we eat together as a family every night. That's the rule in this house--the 4 of us eat dinner together every single night unless we're out together at a resturant. It's a very warm and cozy atmosphere--extremely comforting and full of family traditions and spirit. Therefore, I wanted this to be the one room in the house that is more traditional than the others. When you sit down for a meal in here, you feel comfortable and safe and nurtured.

I painted this room in Glidden Warm Caramel which was color matched to Behr. Behr Premium Plus is what I used in every room, even though the other colors were almost all Valspar, they were colormatched to the Behr. It's low VOC, has virtually no scent at all, and is VERY washable and durable even in flat! I have used Home Depot's greenest paint upstairs in our room and the boys' room, but it is not very durable. The Behr paint also covers and applies like a dream. In fact, only one coat is needed when I use the Behr.

I painted the dining room Friday. It took about 3 hours total. I had already done the ceiling in May 2008. The trim got touched up Saturday with Ralph Lauren Picket Fence White, also colormatched to Behr.

I'll share more pictures this week from other rooms I've finally finished this fall!