Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dining Room Makeover Reveal

Have I told you that the previous owners of our house rented it out?  Have I told you rented it out to people who ran a daycare out of it?  If not, these pictures explain it all:

If you can look past the crayon colored walls, play pens and changing table, you can see the circa 1986 wall paper, beige trim and brass light fixtures.

The first two things that happened in this room were tearing down the wallpaper and refinishing the wood floor.  For 2 solid days, my mom picked the wall paper off.  This was a significant contribution because the wall paper had been applied directly to the dry wall.  In other areas of our house, we tried to remove it, but would eventually tear off the paper backing on the dry wall necessitating a careful application of dry wall mud which never completely fixed the uneven wall issue.  However, my mom managed to remove most of the wall paper in this room without damaging the dry wall.

Before we moved the furniture in the house, we had the carpet in the family room replaced with hardwoods and refinished the dining and living room to match the new flooring

Mr. Palindrome then spent 3 days priming, sanding, priming and sanding the walls.  We used hard core primer to cover the crayon marks.  Before I moved after the wedding, Mr. Palindrome had all of the trim painted a bright white.  Our first project after the wedding including painting this room.  We tried using this edger and while it worked alright, it was a lot of work and sometimes we got too much paint on the cartridge:

The only other renovating work we did was hanging the curtains and installing a dimmer for the chandelier.  Here's what we ended up with after purchasing a dining set off of Craigslist and staging the room:

Mr. Palindrome bought the original art on the side wall before we were married.  It's a watercolor of the view of the the harbor when pulling into the harbor in Groton.  That's the view Mr. Palindrome got very familiar with driving his submarine into the harbor at homecomings.  I love how the painting and the porthole mirror create a little unintended vignette.

The budget breakdown is pretty simple for this room, but I'm not including the all inclusive costs of the floor refinishing and the trim painting.  I'll do an overall budget post that totals the renovations that span several rooms.

Budget Breakdown

Paint and Supplies (including primer and refill pads for the edger) - $40
Curtains (Sheers on clearance from Target) - $8
Curtain Rod (Ross) - $14
Mini Lamp Shades (I scavenged another chandelier on Craigslist for the lamp shades - after removing the shades, I donated the chandy to ReStore and got a tax credit for the same amount I had just paid for the chandy and all the shades - so I'm going to say these were free) - $0
Dining Room Furniture (bought off Craigslist for $500 and paid for with Grandma Fran's generous housewarming gift - so the cost here is for the U-Haul rental for a day) - $30
Boston fern and stand (hand-me-down from Mr. Palindrome's grandparents) - $0
China (Used wedding money to buy vintage pieces off of ebay - so cost was around $200, but to us it was free) - $0
Crystal (Inherited) - $0
White table cloth (Home Goods) - $10
White cloth napkins (Home Goods) - $10
Port Hole Mirror (Inherited) - $0
Submarine Painting by Daniel Price (previously owned) - $0
Small print from Spain (Inherited) - $0
Candleholders (Home Goods) - $14
Candles (previously owned) - $0
Crystal Vase (wedding gift) - $0
Fresh Flowers (Trader Joe's) - $7
Large Brown Glass Vase - $20
Grass Vase Filler Stuff - $8
Total: $161

We've been hosting international dinner parties organized through Mr. Palindrome's grad school program.  We've definitely gotten at least $161 of enjoyment out of this room just for those occasions!  Here's a look at the in progress and in use room for one of the dinner parties:

We also recently broke out the china and crystal for a fancy Valentine's fondue dinner with another couple.  It sure beat fighting the masses at Melting Pot for $300!

Could you see the possibilities from the before pictures? How do you feel about leaving the brass chandy?


  1. wow, i think it looks great! our dinning room is a similar color! i always love to see people's before and after and what they decide to do in their house. great job!!

  2. WOW! I can't even believe that it's the same room... it looks amazing. Seeing transformations like this is so inspiring because we're house-hunting right now, and I'm sure you know how many houses have rooms that look more like your before picture than your after. Love the yellow color with that gorgeous dark wood china cabinet, too!

  3. WOW! What a difference - looks really amazing! Awesome job! :)

  4. Very bright and cheery! It looks great!

  5. I love it!! You did a wonderful job.

  6. Thank y'all! The yellow def. makes everything seem brighter :)

  7. The updates look great!! Also, it was good to know that the edger thing isn't that great. I've never tried it, but I'm always curious about stuff like that. Anything to avoid tape!

  8. Wow wow wow! It looks absolutely amazing!!!! You guys made a total transformation. It looks so happy and so pretty.