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Archive for the ‘Dining Room’ Category

Now that the dining room is painted, I am working on filling it with art and making it more me/us. The only wall that doesn’t have an opening or window is a pretty big one. Finding something to fill it that wasn’t expensive was proving difficult so I started thinking outside of the box and kept seeing rooms that used simple frames filled with fun patterns and colors. That was my starting point for the simple and cheap art project!

I first thought about using wallpaper samples like I’ve seen on various pictures across Pinterest but when I saw these cocktail napkins at Anthropologie, I knew they would be perfect! Conner has been asking for more color than just blue, green, grey and white so I figured he would like these as well. They are each a 10″ square and only $24 for a set of four – much cheaper than four art prints!

I saw these white wall frames from Target and knew they would be the ones. White frames look so sharp to me and the light color would help each picture stand out. The frames are 11×14″ with an 8×10″ opening in the mats. The perfect opening for each napkin!

Before attaching the napkins to the mats, I ironed them and removed the care labels so they wouldn’t create a dark spot on the pictures. I pulled each napkin tight and used six small pieces of tape on the back to secure them to the mats. It was fairly simple and quick – my favorite kind of art!

Here is a look at how they turned out – Love! It is a great punch of saturated color that definitely brightens up the space. It helps fill up this large wall and makes it feel more cozy in this room.

Now I’m on the hunt to find something fun to put above the buffet. I wanted to do a grouping of the John Derian plates but I think that would be too much with the frames above the chairs so now I’ve got to find the perfect somethin’-somethin’ to fill this part of the wall…and get our chairs recovered!

Have you tried any fun and cheap art lately? Let me know if you have done something similar or try this project, I would love to see it!

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Our new rug is here, under the table and it is wonderful!! I am so happy with what we picked out and am so happy that we went with the size, texture, pattern and color we purchased. (and for all of you who have asked about it or just lurked and creeped around hoping to see this…sneak peak of the almost finished dining room ahead…)

And here she is! All 8′ x 10′ of her beautiful sisal in a perfect Malawi sand sitting in the almost finished dining room. I love how this breaks up the floor from the rest of the furniture. When we picked out the stain of the floor, I had no clue it was so close to our buffet and chairs. Now, this rug breaks it all up and adds a lighter color and contrast. 

To pick out the right size for our rug, we measured the dining room table plus chairs to see how big that area was. We added a little bit to behind each chair so when a chair was pulled out, you wouldn’t be sitting half on the rug and half on the hardwood. Getting a 5′ x 7′ rug would have hit right under each chair when they are tucked in so getting the 8′ x 10′ was a perfect fit! The room is a pretty good size, especially now that the wall is down, so it needs a  larger rug to ground it all.

I love, love, love the pattern on this rug. It is exactly what I wanted for this room – neutral, natural and casual but still so elegant! We went with the smallest size binding available with a color that almost matched the rug. I didn’t want something standing out or contrasting so we used a binding that would blend in and help keep the rug timeless. This rug is pretty heavy too, so we didn’t have to use a rug pad. I was thrilled with that – those ‘extras’ add up quickly!

The paint in this room (including trim, yay!) is all finished so now I’m working on the chair seat covers and a fun little project for those new frames hanging on the wall. I would say my goal is to get those both finished by tomorrow but we all know how my deadlines usually go…

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We did it! My dad and I did it, people. We installed crown molding on our own! Well, we had some help, but the two people who actually did the work? My dad and me! Booyah! Here is our story on how we installed crown molding in my dining room.

This was the blah and boring room that we started with way back when. Yes, way back in Laura years is technically only two years. It feels like way back when to me, especially when I see what it looks like now! The room was in desperate need of character that would require more than paint and my dad graciously agreed to help. (read: my mom said she would help me and then suckered/substituted my dad in to help at the last-minute because she would rather go work with my brother in his yard…sometimes I do this to Conner. The apple clearly doesn’t fall far from the tree!)

This is the crown molding we used. I purchased it from Lowe’s for $11/section. (It would have been cheaper if I used the raw wood but paying a little more for the primed pieces and only having to put on real paint sounded way better!) Each section was eight feet long and we had nine of them. We really only needed eight but a practice/oopsies piece was very necessary!

I got the idea that I (we) could do this on our own thanks to Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick. She wrote a post all about how to install crown the easy way and I was hooked! I like a good challenge, my mom owns an air compressor with nail gun and my dad is great with measuring/math – it was going to be perfect and SO easy.

Oh, I am so funny people. SO funny. Projects like this are NOT easy when using the type of molding that has a curve like mine. See how the back part is flat but the top and bottom that would meet the wall and ceiling are curved? Yeah. Keep that image in your mind while you read on…

(This is my dad. Doing the manual work. Yes, I’m almost 29 and he still does stuff like this for me. The best, right?)

Sarah is definitely correct about the saw – you can use a miter box with hand saw to cut crown molding. This part was easy because the $15 investment from Home Depot has the angles ready for you and the saw fits perfectly in the holes for each angle. My dad was pretty impressed with the tool but I think after the sixth cut was over it and wished we had the fancy electric saw instead. Lets get serious – I was too and I wasn’t even doing the labor! If you have a miter saw, like the real big daddy kind, it would go MUCH faster.

We were so excited about the first two cuts. After much thought and deliberation, we decided on the angle for the first corner and just went with it. We tacked it up with three nails using my mom’s nail gun and stepped back to admire our hard work!

We cut the second piece the same way, just using the opposite angle for the inside corner of the wall. We held it up, ready to nail away and realized it didn’t fit up with the other piece. At all. What the?! We made another cut, thinking we had done it backwards, and held it up again. No dice. Seriously frustrating.

We cut the piece of trim standing up, laying down, backwards, forwards, pretty much every way you could think of but the most important one – holding it at the angle at which it would be installed. OH! Yeah, that thing. Remember the curves in the molding? Pretty crucial little detail when trying to make two corners match up.

Before we could have our Oprah-like ‘aha’ moment, we made a trip back to Lowe’s to talk to the guys in the lumber department about how we should be doing this project. (They were only semi-helpful…as is the case with pretty much every customer service experience I’ve ever had at Lowe’s. Just saying…) The only good piece of information we took away from our trip was that we needed to purchase this coping saw (shown above) to make a secondary cut.

We sort-of knew what they were saying when we came back home so we tried it but then it still didn’t work so we started making some phone calls to our friends who have installed molding before. Praise the Lord for our friend Garrett! He helped us with the very important piece of information we were missing – cut the molding while holding it at the angle it will be installed. DUH!

We ended up having to make two cuts for every corner piece to make it work for my room. Using the miter box, we made a 45 degree cut while holding the trim at the proper angle. Then using the coping saw, made another 45 degree cut while holding the trim piece flat and the saw at an angle.

After 2.5 hours, we FINALLY got one corner finished. WHEW!! We took an hour lunch break and then decided we should get up and do the other corners…which only took us two hours for all three – what a difference! Each time we made our first cuts, even after we started to feel confident, we would only tack the piece up with three nails. We would make sure both pieces fit together and then put up several more nails to make sure it was all secure.

The middle cuts where the two pieces would meet up on the wall were very easy – just as easy as Sarah made it look! All we had to do was lay the piece of trim flat in the miter box, cut a 45 degree angle and then make sure the second piece had an opposite cut to make it match up. That was how all of the cuts should have been and I will definitely pay attention to what type of molding I buy in the future!

The corners all needed a little strip of caulk, as did the top of the molding where it meets the ceiling. Thanks to the texture from the 80s, the molding wasn’t completely flush against the ceiling in all spots. In the picture above, the piece on the left looks more flush compared to the piece on the right. No need to worry about something like that though – a little help from the caulking gun and paint made it all seamless and it looks so, so, so good!! Same with the holes from the nail gun – use a little wood putty to cover those small things and they will completely disappear after you paint.

I am so happy with the results and so proud of my dad and me. It was a long project and was easy once we got the hang of it…it just took a little bit of time to get to the ‘get the hang of it’ part. I definitely recommend buying flat molding for your future projects so you can follow Sarah’s instructions easier than we could! The moldings are all now puttied, caulked and painted and as soon as I finish one more project in the dining room, I will show you the final results – I am in love with this room!!

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