Rustic Dining

I think our dining room is my favorite room in our home!  Our old dining room set was a counter height 60″ square table with an espresso finish.  In our old house it fit perfectly in our square dining room but when we bought this house I knew it wouldn’t work in our very long (20 foot) dining room so we sold it on Craigslist.

Side bar: how great is Craigslist?! We actually ended up selling quite a few furniture items before we moved and every one of our buyers was awesome, just really friendly, cool people.  I’m glad our gently used furniture could go to great homes!

I get most of our furniture from Gardiners Furniture and I had been eyeing up this particular farmhouse style rustic table for a few months.  I thought it would tie in well with our farmhouse sink and the sort of rustic/coastal/calming vibe I am trying to create in our home.  Chairs were a tougher decision.  Gavin wanted to go with wood because they wouldn’t stain easily (we do have an almost 2-yr old son) but I wanted to go with linen.   Even though the Parson’s chairs weren’t Gavin’s first pick, I think he would agree they nicely compliment the table.  I also purchased the flat-weave striped rug at Gardiners, the chandelier (a bit of a splurge but totally worth it!) and the mirror are from Pottery Barn.  The antique map print was picked up at Su Casa and then custom-framed at Michaels.  We choose to paint our dining room Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore and I really like it even though it’s a little more blue than I originally anticipated.

Since our kitchen is on the smaller side, we really needed some extra storage space.  We also wanted a server or some type of buffet in the dining room so we decided to do custom built-ins across the back wall.  The cabinet part is completed and came out beautifully, Gavin built-in a spot for our wine fridge and used butcher’s block top from Ikea to create our “buffet”.   Doors will be added to hide all our junk at some point but right now I’m just happy to have the additional storage space!  Gavin also removed a door and created an open doorway between our kitchen and dining room.

Here’s the before pictures:



Here’s our current dining room:


dining room 6514

In this shot you can see the full room with the built-in cabinetry.  At this point, without the doors, it looks really busy since you can see all of our stuff in there but once the doors are on it will be gorgeous:


Paint Colors

Choosing paint can be such a challenge – there are so many options!  A lot of people have asked me what colors we painted certain rooms so I thought I’d share with you our whole first house color scheme and then our current house pallet so far…we still have a bathroom and a basement renovation that haven’t even began so I’ll add those colors to the chart once we’ve completed all the rooms.

Our first house:  One day I’ll blog about this house renovation but for now I’ll just quickly explain that our first home we stumbled across when my father-in-law was asked to help refinish the floors to get it on the market.  He told us about it and the rest is history.  The floors were refinished but in the same warm oak they originally began. When we started our remodel, we carried the warmer tones into our two bathroom vanities and renovated the kitchen using cabinets with a medium brown finish and granite that also picked up those warm tones (Saint Cecelia).  After looking at different paint swatches, I went with Martha Stewart paint. There was a lot of paint color options that were modern but warm which would compliment our house.  I think it’s easier to select complimentary shades when using one manufacturer.  Here’s our old color palette:


In our current house: Since we refinished the floors ourselves we decided to go with a darker stain this time around. I love the way the floors came out and their darker color means I could use a cool color palette.  We decided on a kitchen and main bathroom with white cabinetry and marble tops accented with chrome & polished nickle hardware.  For paint this time I saw a Benjamin Moore shade I loved (Smoke) and so following my “rule” of using coordinating shades from the same manufacturer, all of these paints we’ve used so far are from Benjamin Moore.  Here’s our current color pallet:


Paint is the quickest & cheapest way to transform a room so take a chance and pick a color you like, if it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped you can always repaint it.  Good luck!

Brady’s Room

Brady’s nursery is one of my favorite rooms, it is just so cheerful and gets a lot of afternoon sunshine (bad for nap/bedtime but that’s why we have black-out curtains).  Before he was born in our last house, we decided on a gray/yellow color scheme with a bit of an elephant theme.  But when we moved over to this house with him being a bit older (he’ll be two in September), we wanted to update it a little bit with a theme he could carry over to his big boy room one day.  So, we replaced his old yellow/white chevron print rug for a geometric print one with a lot of blues/grays in it, and have been adding some nautical themed prints into the mix.  I love yellow in a boy’s room so we incorporated a lot of the “yellow” items of decor mixed in with blues too so now we’ve got a blue/gray/yellow color scheme with a nod towards nautical. He still has an elephant side table and some elephant blankets (as well as his much loved “Ellie” elephant lovey), but it’s starting to transition into a bigger boy’s room instead of an infant one.

The biggest renovation in this room was a closet move.  Originally (and oddly placed) his closet was on the wall currently occupied by his dresser.  The wall is shared with the bathroom so his closet took up a lot of space inside our main bathroom.  Gavin knocked out that wall in the bathroom & his closet during the bathroom renovation and then moved Brady’s closet over to the corner of the room where it is now.  It makes the room feel more open, and it gives us at two walls large enough to put a crib on one and a dresser on the other without any windows or radiators to worry about blocking.  Gavin also replaced all the baseboard and door molding so you can see in the reno pics it’s all torn off.

Here’s how the room looked before & during renovation:




Here’s Brady’s room now:




Here’s a close up of the gallery wall. Two of the three prints I made, see more about that here, along with the B from Michael’s with the elephant (a carry-over from the old theme).  The other 3 prints I purchased on Etsy.  Mirror & Sunshine plaque are from HomeGoods & the oar is from Target.  Over Brady’s crib are two prints we bought at Su Casa and had framed at Michael’s.  One is of the Baltimore harbor and the other is of Annapolis harbor.


Still on the to-do list for this room is hang Brady’s book shelves (on the empty wall to the left of his window)…his old ones don’t work in this new room due to spacing, but a Facebook friend suggested a DIY tip that I can’t wait to try and then share with you all once it’s complete.

May 2015 – Brady’s room is no longer a nursery – here’s a few pictures of his big boy room including the Ikea spice rack DIY hacks we used for bookcases (and I think they were less than $5 each!).