We researched tables for months, but didn't find any that was both within our budget and the right size. So we decided to go custom...which really meant, my husband got a bunch of cheap but sturdy lumber and learned how to make something awesome on the spot. It's sturdy, the perfect finish, and only $300 (plus — let's be honest — a huge ego massage for my husband). Meanwhile I scoured Craigslist for months in search of more bentwood chairs, and ended up scoring 5 for $80 — cha-ching!
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)