Category: dining room (page 1 of 3)

Living and Dining Room Refreshed

My client’s next project to tackle was the living and dining rooms.  The  quickest and easiest way to impact a room is by adding color to the walls.   The photo below is before the walls were painted.

I love the instant impact paint can have on a room.  It’s budget friendly and done in just a day or two.  The room looks warmer and more inviting.  A sleeker new fan was installed, a mirror was hung over the sofa and throw pillows were added to the couch.  I found a catchall basket that is under the cocktail table for the kid’s laptops and other miscellaneous items to keep the room free from clutter.

The wood furniture was hand crafted by my client’s father.

I found these lamps at an Antique show and created new lampshades to soften the look and add some visual interest on the mantle.

An arm chair and side table were added to create additional seating and to help define the living room from the dining room.   I had both pieces in my garage, waiting to be customized.

The dining room furniture was from my client’s mother.

This table was originally in the entryway but was too small for the area.  A daughter brought this handmade mirror home from France.  I am going to take a family portrait plus a photo of the girls to fill these frames when the weather becomes warmer.

The first change in the dining room was to reupholster the dining room chairs from a burgundy fabric to a multi-colored one, which pulls in the colors from both the living room and kitchen.

Pillows and placemats were made  with the seat fabric.

Another new piece of art, which hangs next to the hutch.

The client’s china and crystal items were used to create a more visually interesting display in the hutch as well as on the buffet.

My client picked out the dining room chandelier.

This is probably my favorite new piece of artwork, hangs prominently between the living room and kitchen.

The entryway was painted a light gray with a rug added to add color and depth.  This view is from the entryway into the living room.

The french provincial chair while it isn’t identical to the kitchen table set, it can be added when needed.  Otherwise it’s a great place to sit down and put on shoes.

The table was another piece I had in my garage.  It is a better size for the entryway and was painted a sage green color to match both the kitchen chair fabric and the rug.

The mirror was also in my garage.   A glass lamp and other items were added to the table for light and visual interest.

I was disappointed when this project was finished.  My clients are truly lovely people who I enjoy very much and it was great to work with them on making design changes to their living and dining rooms, entryway and kitchen.

Sassy Yet Sophisticated Table

I particularly love to help my friends with interior decorating suggestions and consulting on possible pieces of furniture to purchase and paint.  My client (obviously a friend) and her husband had been looking to purchase a small table as well as a secretary and we’ve been trading text messages when either of us come upon something of interest.  As soon as she sent me this picture from a local antique mall, I knew it was the “one!”

close up before

We met in college when going through sorority rush week.  Although I didn’t pledge her house, we remained acquintances and some 20 years later after moving back to my hometown, I ran into her at the local gym.  What great luck!  We’ve been in the same book club and she and her husband just moved into my neighborhood just one block over.

front view staged

We spent an hour or so looking over different hues of red that would complement the color in her rug but not overpower the other furniture pieces in her dining room.

Full Angle View

This table is the perfect size to go almost anywhere in a house.  My clients have it nestled against an angled wall in their dining room.

front view no staging

With such great detail, this piece was just begging to be glazed.  I love how it makes the inlays stand out.

corner leg detail

I would’ve snatched this piece up if I had spied it at the antique mall.  It’s a great signature piece that will look wonderful in any room of my client’s house.

Refreshing a Dining Room Table

We all have pieces of furniture that are in great shape but they don’t excite us anymore.  They may be outdated,  the wrong style or a plethora of other reasons.  My clients had a dining room table that was in perfect shape but they didn’t like the color of the stain.

before sanding table

I sanded the entire top of the table to expose the bare wood.  After cleaning the wood shavings, I applied a wood conditioner so that the stain would absorb evenly across the table.  At least in theory, that’s what is supposed to happen.

dark walnut

The table’s previous stain color was slightly red and my clients wanted a dark walnut stain to balance with their darker wood floors.  I applied dark walnut Danish Oil and immediately noticed that there were a few places that the stain wouldn’t absorb.  That had never happened to me before.

side shot dark walnut

My research indicated that stain not absorbing in certain areas of wood wasn’t unusual.  However, the research didn’t offer any grand breaking ideas on how to rectify the problem.  I tried adding more Danish Oil to these spots, but since it didn’t absorb the first time, it also didn’t absorb the second time.  I re-sanded these spots, followed by the Danish Oil.  That didn’t work either.  I was miffed.

dark walnut

I suggested that my clients take the table home and see if the “spotty” spots stood out.  I am delighted to report that these areas aren’t noticeable.  They have already hosted Easter dinner around the table and I’m sure it will see many more important occasions.

Elegant and Versatile Table

I drive myself batty.  Why don’t I remember to take “before” photos?  How hard can it be to remember to do so?  Argh.  Needless to say, I don’t have “before” photos for this piece.

front view

My first step was to strip, sand and stain the top.  Actually, I stripped, sanded and stained it twice because I didn’t like my original choice for stain color.  It was too orange in hue.

Side top view

After a fresh coat of paint, I used a dark wax to give more definition to the cream color.  I opted not to paint the existing bronze/gold accents on the piece but left them in their original form.  I like their imperfect quality.


I seek furniture that has versatility.  When I purchased this piece, it had been used as desk, but it could also work well as a sofa table, entry table, buffet … it would function well in nearly any room of a house.  It is for sale at The Plaid Rabbit in the Village of East Davenport.

Tantalizing Teal Buffet/Armoire

Fabulous friends and I go to an estate sale nearly every Friday morning.  A few of us go pick up “numbers,” which are handed out about an hour before the sale.  When the estate sale officially opens, you enter the house when your “number” is called and it’s best to be one of the first groups in to have a chance to discover a “find” or two.  It’s not that often that I buy furniture, since it is generally out of my price range, but I’ve gotten lucky a time or two.


I discovered this piece sitting in an attached garage at a sale a few months ago.  I can’t believe I forgot to take a “before” photo, but it looked like it had been in a garage for a number of years.

teal angle

I was immediately attracted to the wonderful details on this piece and knew that I wanted to glaze it immediately.  It was only when I started working on it that I decided to paint the trim pieces in off-white.

drawer closeup

I collect knobs and drawer pulls because they can add so much character to furniture; I call hardware jewelry for furniture.  I had these knobs in my collection and it wasn’t until I had finished the buffet that I realized they were a perfect match.

side angle

I love the size of this fun piece because it can be used in nearly any room of the house.   It measures 35″w x 13.5″d x 66″h.  It could hold linens in a bathroom, clothes in a bedroom, china in the dining room, books in a living room or cookbooks in a kitchen.  It’s for sale at the Plaid Rabbit in the Village of East Davenport.


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