When we started redoing our dining room a few weeks ago we sat down, talked it out and made plans. There was a timeline and it all seemed easy.
Those plans are now laughing at me.
When we moved into this house, 5 years ago, the dining room was the same yellowed white colors as the rest of the house. The trim, the crown molding, the built in bookcases, were all a yellowed white that was so old it looked almost tan. The only difference was the worn tan carpet.
(sorry for the horrible photo from several years ago but I had to show you that sexy drapery that was mauve and baby blue)
Three years ago I finally got around to painting the walls after painting at least 20 paint samples on the walls. The room is dark. There’s one small window that is north facing. It’s darker than dark. I was trying to make it cheery. Instead I made it look like baby shower for a little boy threw up in the room. Lesson 1 was learned. You can’t brighten a room by picking a louder than life color and hoping the dim light brings it down a few hues. That’s not how it works.
Two years ago our new dishwasher leaked while we were gone for the weekend. Three days worth of leaking straight into the dining room. The carpet was toast, which we were kinda thankful for because we always hated it. The bad news is that it was right around the time that my husband was laid off so we buckled down lived with concrete flooring in that room for almost two years.
Then a few months ago we started planning an overhaul of that room. It wasn’t working for us as a dining room. Our kids love to create and make stuff (I’m not sure where they get that from) and they need a space where an occasional mess is OK.
We need a space with workstations and a table to craft on.
The formal dining room table was too big and too formal. The built in bookcases with glass shelves (I’m shocked I haven’t broken them yet) are too fancy.
We need to convert that room to our style of living. It needs easy to clean flooring, muted paint that leads to a laid back atmosphere, and it needs the bookcases to work for us, not against us.
So we came up with a plan:
- Lay wood look tile ourselves to save money.
- Take off the picture frame molding and chair rail and replace it with board and batten.
- Wood shelving.
- Repaint the bookcases with easy to clean paint.
- Places for computers for our kid’s schoolwork (still working on this plan).
Here’s what we’ve done so far in the span of about 4 weeks:
- Tile the floors partially with wood look tile. Grout is overrated and hasn’t happened yet.
- Paint the walls a more muted color (part of them anyway).
- scrap the plan for board and batten for now and stick with the chair rail and picture frame molding.
4 weeks and that’s it.
First of all, picking a paint color was painful. It was back to the same old choices of how can we lighten that room without having to resort to white paint?
After many paint samples, and one quart of spilled Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams all over the floor at Lowes, and help from Facebook Live viewers, we settled with Silvermist by Sherwin Williams. The bad news is that the picture frame molding area wasn’t painted because I planned on tearing it out. So now I have to go back and paint that white.
Silvermist is a beautiful blue / green / gray color that is muted but still reflects a lot of light.
After that I visited about 7 different flooring stores to pick out tile for that room. Yet it was a clearance on porcelain tile at Lowes that won out and saved a few bucks in the process.
Our kids spent last week with their grandparents so Mr. Byrd took some vacation time off of work and we planned to tile that room. In my head, which is a very scary place, we would start on Monday, take a relaxing day on Tuesday, and grout on Wednesday. That would leave me Thursday and Friday to muck around before we picked up the kids on Saturday.
If you’ve ever tiled a floor before you’re laughing at me.
The tile project took days. Monday we went to Lowes and Home Depot and wound up working on a different project. Tuesday we went to Lowes twice and got started on the actual tiling but only got 1/3 of the way done.
Wednesday we went to Lowes once and got 3/4th’s of the way done.
Thursday I couldn’t feel my legs. I couldn’t even look at the tile without feeling cramps everywhere in my body. We both agreed to ignore the tile that day.
Friday we finally finished laying the tile which went quickly but we worked very sloppily because we were so tired which means that we’ve spent time this week scrubbing away extra mortar to make room for the grout.
Now we have to grout but honestly…. we’re just sick of tile.
I’m going to write a post soon about the horrors of DIY floor tile.
Summer is going by quickly. I need to get the bookcases sanded down and repainted so we can get our books back on the shelves before school starts.
Then there’s another secret project that has sprung up in the past week. It’s going to take a lot of work to get everything done for that.
It’s just starting to pile up.
So… things are going to be put to the side for now, such as the board and batten walls, which I have been drooling over for a long time.
I have one more week to pull that room together and then things need to shift to focus on our next project.
It won’t be perfect or the perfect space that I had planned in my head but it will be good for our family, and in the end that’s all that matters.
Slowly but surely we’re getting this house updated. Sometimes more slowly than surely.