After having a complete snafu with the table of my dreams (I went with a seller I didn't know, and it never arrived), I violated my cardinal rule and sprung for an impulse buy online without heeding the bad reviews. While I loved the look of the table, it was the flimsiest table ever. Plus, it developed a huge crack down the middle within a week — definitely NOT in keeping with the sturdy feeling I was after. I did, however, find a great etagere from Roost. Other changes were the light fixture, chairs, and drapes. ...still not having funds for a new light fixture, I simply arranged a few driftwood branches on the chandelier. Driftwood is super light, so this was doable. I scored two bentwood chairs for free, and I switched out the painters drop cloth for white linen drapes from Ikea.
If this room looks vaguely familiar, it's because you saw it in its current state last week. It's not that I'm a chronic redecorator; I generally like to get things right and let them be. However, as I shared in my house tour, the road to right is not always speedy, especially when working on a on a budget.
I will tell you that I'm not proud of this room's beginnings. There's a reason why it hasn't shown its face in blogland before now. But sometimes it's helpful to see that not every "after" was accomplished overnight with unlimited funds. And furthermore, not every "after" is a "forever after." As the needs of our families change, so will our homes, but that doesn't have to mean starting from scratch with each change.
Although I approach client projects with more of a vision and of course more of a timeline, the goal is more or less the same: developing a coherent style that can adapt and be added to or rearranged. And so even before gathering inspiration images, it's helpful to describe how a room should feel. This dining room is just a very, very, (very!), slow example of this.
Even though we didn't have the funds to buy anything new at the beginning, I had already described the feeling that I was after: "simple, natural, unfussy, sturdy." This is more or less the feeling that I wanted to accomplish on the entire main floor. Having that in mind helped guide the vision, and let me know right away whether something was working or not.
Check out the captions to learn more about the evolution of this room.
(Images: Leah Moss)