Who are The Sheilas, you're no doubt asking yourself? Hang on, you'll meet them in a second.
I'm starting the After portion of the house tour with the dining room because I had started on this space in my head waaaay before we moved in...before we even bought the house, actually. I developed an obsession last year with all things Sarah Richardson. She is an amazing Canadian designer with a show called Sarah's House. Each season she buys a home, guts it and renovates it. My favorite season by far is the Farmhouse season. Words cannot describe the amazingness. One night I settled in to watch the dining room episode, and things would never be the same again. (This would all be a lot better if I could figure out how to copy and paste a picture of said dining room into this post but I am not smart like that and cannot get it. Anyone who would like to spell out this process for me in the comments gets my undying gratitude. In the meantime, feel free to click on the link above and take a look around, but make sure you come back!) I think Sarah's show is what really kicked me into a really strong interest in design, and in making my home the best it can be. Now I'll stop talking and show you my dining room!
Dining Room Before: A great room, huge, nice windows. At this stage I wasn't sure of the paint color. I think it was meant to be red but it is leaning towards pink or magenta I think. But, with everything moved in I'm not minding it.
Isn't it so pretty?! The shot above was taken from the bottom step of our stairs, and this is what I see every morning when I come down. Heaven, sheer heaven. The hutch on the right was given to us by my husband's parents. I need to ask them how long they had it, where they originally got it, all that good stuff. I love, love, love furniture that is passed through the family, and they gave us so much incredible stuff. This piece is perfect, and is where I store all my large platters and wine glasses. At some point I'd love to hang wine bottle shelving over it, and also start drinking more wine (it's important to have goals!). The previous owner had curtains in here that she took with her, and I am still deciding whether I want to put anything up or leave the windows as is (in which case I know I need to take down the hardware). My friend Kim has offered to make some curtains for me, and I have become enamored with beautiful fabrics, so I will probably go that route. In the far corner is a garage sale rocking chair (I think I paid $10 for it) and a stained glass panel that we had hanging in a huge picture window in our last house...we could not part with it, even though we have no window to hang it in here. I think it looks great as a wall hanging!)
Now standing in the room, looking toward the doorway into the kitchen (to the left of the shot). So totally love the tone of the table which...$100 FROM CRAIG'S LIST! Go me! I think we bought the table about a week after we put the offer in on this house. I didn't have a table large enough to go here, since our dining room in the old house was super tiny and functioned more as an entry way than a dining room. As you can see it seats six super comfortably, and there is another leaf that would allow us to put eight or maybe even ten here. The leaves are a little banged up; we think they were stored outside at some point. But, for $100 I so don't mind. The table is crazy heavy, which to me means quality, and I am in love with the turned legs. Craig's List is the bomb dot com.
From the opposite corner of the room, looking out into the foyer and over to the sitting room (fancy!). In the left corner is another piece from my in-laws. In here I display keepsakes like little sculptures my kids have made over the years, our dried wedding flowers, and priceless-to-me pieces handed down from our families. Yeah, I am a sentimental gal. On that note...
My parents' china. I'm not sure (Mom, correct me if I'm wrong), but I think my dad bought this when he was in Vietnam, when I was a baby. My mom and dad divorced when I was in my early 20s, and I will always be so grateful to them that they didn't do what I think many people do in that situation and get rid of all of this sort of stuff. My sisters and I all have different things from their marriage, and we all treasure it. I already loved the two built in corner cabinets in this room, and when I finally got to unpack and display this dishware, I loved them even more. The two crystal glasses are actually from my own wedding, and my mom took a great shot of us raising them at our reception.
Wow, that is blurry...almost 10 years ago now! Isn't he adorable? : )
In the opposite corner cabinet is my Fiesta Ware collection. I really like the juxtaposition of the all white china with the bright colors of these pieces. I started collecting Fiesta when my oldest daughter was little, about 16 years ago now. I've kind of lost interest in it and gave away a lot of my stuff, but every time I get it all out again, like when I unpacked it and put it away in here, I fall in love again. It really is so gorgeous, especially the vintage pieces.
Another treasured item (this is really making me realize how lucky I am!), a deacon's bench that was in our house growing up as far back as I can remember. I will never not have a place for this is any home of mine. It is so simple and beautiful, and it's perfect in the dining room. I have kicked around moving it to our mud room whenever my husband relocates the washer and dryer, but I don't know if I can risk all the wear and tear all the kids would inflict on it in there.
And finally...I'd like to introduce you to Sheila. Well, one of eight Sheilas. Isn't she adorable and awesome? These are the chairs that Sarah used in her farmhouse redesign, and I fell in love. And guess where they're from? IKEA! And guess how much they are? 79 BUCKS!!! Can you believe it?! These chairs were the second thing we bought for the new house...I had to have them, and made a special trip over an hour away to get them, only to find they were not in stock. But, they did have one on display and I got to sit in it and visit a bit. It was so crazy, I seriously felt like I was meeting a celebrity. I wish I was exaggerating. Luckily, Ikea has an inventory check tool online, and the second I saw that they were in stock I dispatched my fantastic husband to get them. Anyway, I love love love how there are so many tones in the wicker, including a reddish honey that matches my Craig's List table perfectly. I have quite a few wood tones going on in this room, and the chairs pull them all together in an awesome way. I just get so happy every time I look at them, you have no idea.
So...that's my dining room! I hope you love it as much as I do, but I am also open to suggestions. I am new to this game and want to do the best I can by my family and our home.
Next up...not sure yet! But I will see you back here soon! Thanks for coming by!
PS -- Look up over on the right hand side of this page and you'll see a "Follow Us on Facebook" button. I am way too tech-challenged to have figured this out on my own, so I once again called upon the amazing Jessica at Very Designs to help me out...and later that night, voila, the prettiest little Facebook linky thing you ever did see! So, if you're on Facebook and would like to get notices when I update this space, or other random musings that may or not be amusing or useful...click the box and follow along!