Dining Room Before & After

The last and final house project on my list to tackle before baby boy arrives (well besides the office and some outdoor cushions for the patio and the master bath and the….hehe) was the dining room.
This was the before:
 Boring. Drab. I couldn’t figure out WHAT to do to make this space more appealing, more inviting, more colorful. More used. I had purchased the table when Daddy was oversees about 2 1/2 years ago. It was a floor model at Big Lots and the price for a solid, marble top, counter height table which seats 8 was too good to pass up, especially since I already had the chairs from our kitchen island/table. Well I soon found out that it was far from a kid friendly table and I was seeing more and more as the girls got a little older that a table they could climb up to on their own and work on crafts or other activities was a necessity. (Not to mention if I continue on this pattern on being pregnant every 2 years, the higher table does not lend itself to expanding bellies). Anyway, once I jumped on the Craig’s List bandwagon, I got sooo excited realizing I could completely redo the dining room, purchasing ‘new’ (well, different) furniture and it would hardly make a dent in our tight budget. So Auntie Nini came to the rescue to gladly take this off my hands (& gave a generous donation which made me feel less guilty about getting rid of it)

Then, I found a table and 4 chairs on Craigs List for $25! You heard me right…Twenty five buckaroos. All of a sudden I felt like the Big Lots $125 table was a Z Gallerie or Bloomingdale’s splurge, ha!
Eventually, I would like to get different chairs. These are um, a bit too country-ish for my liking but for now, they definitely serve the purpose! Here are the pieces all sanded and ready for some high gloss black paint.
 Another project in this room involved dressing up the bottom half of this wall…
 I had been debating on whether to paint the bottom half for a long time and then I realized I team Father-Daughter could accomplish a DIY paneling look using squares of molding pieces. So I went hunting to a contractor’s daughter’s dream store, Ganahl Lumber of course, carried and loaded the bundles of 10 foot molding strips to the fam van, brought ’em home and we went to town painting, cutting, measuring and installing.
I absolutely love the look! And can you believe the materials (we used leftover paint we already had) were only $21?!?! Of course, Super Dad made it look so amazing with his perfect 45’s and professional installation but I’m still amazed at the difference such a small amount of money can make.
The other project was a picture gallery. I have been wanting to make one for a long time now considering we had so many great pictures of the girls. Now it seems I have one on every wall! This was my inspiration picture, found at this blog:
For this, I called on Super Mom…this is definitely her domain…I had been gathering frames from all corners of the house, started picking them up here and there at the Goodwill or Thrift stores or Ross and mom also had a tub of very old vintage frames she wasn’t using and hadn’t parted with (woot!)
Then came removal of glass and the spray painting action…Originally I was going to make them all black but I ended up keeping a few natural wood to tie in the flooring and  I think it works (for now)
And the hanging…
And the most time consuming step, selecting the pictures, finding the pictures, uploading them (I used the Costco photo site), printing, picking them up, cleaning the glass, putting them back to together, etc etc. 
I like how it turned out and the girls love looking, pointing and discussing memorable moments from the pictures.

 So again, the Before:

And the After: 

I am liking the ‘cottage nook’ feel of it. Casing was also added to that opening which made a huge difference (too bad the before pic didn’t show it without).

We have already used this table/area more in the last 2 1/2 weeks than we used the other one in the past 2 1/2 years so for that reason alone, this was a huge DIY project success!

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