Julia's Before & After Photos: Final Results in the Dining Room

Julia's Before & After Photos: Final Results in the Dining Room

Julia Brenner
Aug 29, 2013

Starring: Walls in "Classic Silver", the $82 industrial-style bookcase, the $40 vintage mirror-makeover, my grandmother's art deco lamp, impulse-bought vintage milk crates, a Kurt Vonnegut print, and the same giant dining room table, but better than ever with a blue burlap table runner. Come on in!

Man, what a fantastic journey this has been. It took a village to raise this dining room, but it's officially cured and I am so very happy with the new space. It's exactly the mood and tone I was hoping for. The gray is neutral yet brighter and softer than the green. I'd like to thank AT reader "6od" for recommending Behr's "Classic Silver" in the Comments section of my paint color post - it turned out to be the perfect shade for this room. We've added in elements of the natural world, music, books, and heritage, all of which are incredibly important to us. I'm also excited to have a globe in the room for my kids; I like the idea that they can walk by, give it a spin, and get a little reminder that there's a big beautiful world waiting to be explored. *The rug was unrolled hours before the pictures, so it still had some un-rolling bumps :)

I decided to go for it, in the dining-room-rug sense, after finding a gem on Rugs USA for 50% off (although it seems like their rugs are always at least 50% off - am I right?). But fear not, I also bought a Dustbuster! I suppose if it gets hit with one too many spills I can always move it into the bedroom, but let's hope that doesn't happen.

Another great part of the Cure was working with so many nice people, such as Etsy seller, North Country Comforts who expedited shipment of the fantastic light blue burlap table runner so I could have it in time, and Rachel at Marguerite Gardens, who worked with me so graciously to find just the right flowers (PS - this is the most heavenly garden shop. I stare in their windows far too often. It's creepy).

I'm also happy to report that the saddest corner in the world is gone! It's now the happy home of a vintage suitcase record player. My husband bought this record player at a thrift store in Little Havana 10 years ago, and while we also have a new record player in our sun room, this one is near and dear to us. It's like The Little Engine That Could - it's been through a lot and keeps on keepin' on. I love playing records during dinner, so this is a treat. The Art Deco woman-figurine- lamp is a piece my grandmother had forever and my dad rewired it (in a jiffy I might add) so that it can be used as a lamp once again. I can't tell you how much I love having it up and running in my home. The Franny & Zooey and Kurt Vonnegaut prints celebrate our love of literature, as Franny & Zooey was a big book for me when I was coming of age and my husband is a Vonnegut fan.

*These are a couple "Before" mirror pictures to show what the original looked like (sorry about the unintentional selfie, I almost forgot to get a "before" and snapped these just before painting). From a distance it looks okay, but up close you can see it was covered in a dingy gold-black-silver speckled paint job. I painted it using Annie Sloan chalk paint in "Old White" and it was quickly transformed. I bought a small tube of chalk paint on Ebay for $13, which brought the total cost of the mirror to around $55.

There are a couple more projects we want to do but ran out of time for this deadline, but overall I did accomplish the major changes I was hoping to achieve from the Style Cure, which feels nice. I'd also like to thank all of you for your input and feedback along the way. It was incredibly helpful!

Resources of Note:

  • Paint: "Classic Silver" by Behr
  • Overdyed Rug: Adileh rug in Natural from Rugs USA
  • Clear acryllic dining chairs for extra seating: Craigslist (someone was moving in a hurry and we got both for $40!)
  • Warren Shelf (discontinued): World Market
  • Curtains: Belgian Sheer Linen Curtains (on sale) from Restoration Hardware
  • Burlap Table Runner: Etsy seller North Country Comforts (they have many wonderful natural fabric table linens)
  • Terrarium fixings and flowers: Marguerite Gardens
  • "Pep Talk: Kurt Vonnegut": Etsy seller Wiz Wenry. Check out her fabulous "Pep Talk" series featuring words of wisdom from the likes of Don Draper and Dolly Parton.
  • "Franny & Zooey": Nan Lawson
  • Sea Coral Fan Prints (set of 4): AlgaNet
  • Gandhi mixed media work mounted on wood: Michelle-Peterson Albandoz, Chicago artist and owner of Las Manos Gallery
  • Mirror, wire milk crate (for records) and vintage Ball jars: Brownstone Antiques in Chicago
  • Vintage wooden milk crate (we used for twinkle lights on shelf): Brimfield
  • Vintage T

    apio Wirkkala vase from Finland

    , various glass pieces, Art Deco woman-figure-lamp, copper pot from Marrakech: My Grandmother Catherine
moving--truck moving--dates moving--dolly moving--house moving--cal Created with Sketch. moving--apt