Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Om nom room

"No animal should ever jump up on the dining-room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation" - Fran Lebowitz

After "having" this house for two years, we've finally checked off a second room in it's entirety (phew! Only six to go! oh, wait...). We proudly present: Our Dining Room.

Here's the major BEFORE. Things of note: the weird ceiling fan. The awesome *cough cough* cheap red paint. The awkward full length, skinny window adjacent to the back door (which yes, is an old closet door - what a winner). The super classy, dust-encrusted light fixture.
I don't know what's the best part, those great plastic blinds or the cheap fake-wood trim. Maybe it's the double light fixture thing that's going on? Either way, it was heinous.

 So we painted that sucker up (with oil-based primer, which we're not a fan of, but we really felt like we needed to "seal in" all the ick-ness.) Oh yeah, and you can't miss that awesome mega-cheapo parquet (we were disappointed it wasn't nice, alas, it had to go).

That mega-awkward window had to go, too. The end result made us very happy. 

This was November, maybe (probably) December the year we got married. As you can see, the dining room quickly became Paint Central.

But before that even, we had a really hard time choosing paint colors, then we just got "artsy":

Of course we settled on what we like to call "cardboard brown" for most of the house...

And a horrible, horrible green for the dining room. Here's the thing, we thought it looked good on the wall with the sample, got a gallon, I painted about a quarter of the wall, decided it was horrible, and we were faced with the decision of just finishing it, or picking something new. Since we were getting married in about two weeks, I just painted that sucker green. And then it stayed green for almost two years. 

Dining room right after we got married.
Pretty base boards, huh? And oh yeah, that rug is covering
a million paint stains. 
Unfortunately, after the wedding we hit a major lull in home projects (having entirely nothing to do with the fact that the two months prior to the wedding, Stephen spent 18 hours a day working on it...) so the dining room stayed as such (even with that horrible shelf - sorry Mom, it really is ugly):

Stephen's excited for cake - not for the dining room.
It was a big deal (to me - the decorator) when Stephen put up the floating shelves we inherited from my sister's old room, even if I wasn't quite sure how to decorate them.

Top left: Beautiful wedding gift from Sue (Stephen's mom).
Top right: Our wedding cake topper and a piece of our china.
Bottom-ish left: more wedding china and shot glasses from our travels
Bottom right: Unity candle, wedding picture, toasting glasses,
Stephen's boutonnière and my hair piece. 
It was also a big deal when Stephen hung the four pictures on the short wall to the right and put up the base boards and put in the pendant lights. We thought we were living the high life. (Even if we were still missing chair rail, had ugly curtains, pendant lights that cast the most obnoxious orange-glow over everything, and a green color that got more annoying with each day)

Then, this past summer I decided to take action upon the dining room. I wanted something light and airy, so I got white drapes. Total fail. They weren't all the same length (even though they came in the same packages...) and the stark white looked horrible with our house: 

Even Anya thought it looked silly. 

 Then we got serious. We were both sick of the green - it was the opposite of light and airy and the opposite of pretty. So we cleared the dining room out...

Picked a creamy color: 

Said one happy farewell to the beams on the walls and the awkward one up top (and an extra enthusiastic so-long to the ugly orange pendant lights):

 And changed it. Finally.

Tell me my husband is not just the most talented person ever. He mudded over the paneling on the top beam, shot up trim, primed, and painted those beauties. HELLO normal walkway! And don't forget to ogle the perfectly-straight chair rail and that gorgeous coat of creamy-awesomeness.

I'm obsessed with our new pendant lights. They're light, airy, and very 60's/minimalism which is what we're all about here at casa Waters. 

Stephen painted the trim around the weird midget-wall, too, even though we're not sure if we're going to leave it, tear it down, build it up, etc. Turns out that was a good choice because it makes the room feel so much more polished. I also like how the black frames pop now without that distracting green. 

And because Esteban worked so hard, let's marvel at this doorway again, because seriously, it's a work of wonder to behold: 

 It's so normal and not pre-fab-looking...it makes us giddy just sitting in the living room staring at it. (I'm not even kidding - we do this often now)

And Mama Rao was kind enough to help (and by help I mean measure, cut, and sew) us new curtains! They look so much better in a long, natural linen color, as opposed to the stark white (and too-short) ones. We put up new curtain rods and hung those babies as quick as we could.

I'm obsessed with our "new" dining room. I think it could use a plush rug underfoot, but the general populous seems to think otherwise. Guess we'll see - it all depends on if I can find the rug I'm looking for at the price I want. (I did see one rug at Crate and Barrel that I loved...but it was a tad pricey - and by a tad I mean SUPER)

I also did some re-decorating of the floating shelves. I found a cute little silvery-grey "vase" at Kmart for four dollars - it was actually a toothbrush holder, but you can't tell. I also added a framed wedding card with a "love" definition to add some height to the shot-glass travel shelf. We think it turned out nicely. 

Before and After shots? I think yes. 

BEFORE (excuse the poor lighting - we were new at this house-photo-taking-thing)


All in all, we're in love with our bright-and-shiney dining room and love to eat in it, walk through it, and generally stare at it from our living room...which will be getting its final touches shortly, and I'm sure we'll share that whole process with you sometime soon. 

Vanessa and Stephen

Monday, September 5, 2011

1700 Answers

So...it's only about a month after when we said we'd post the answers...forgive me, I've been busy with school starting and several storms with power outages and fallen trees, and did I mention starting a new job...? So hopefully you can be understanding.

As a reminder, all the pictures from the previous post were mega-zoomed in shots of pictures we had taken. Here's the big reveal:

Number One...

Number Two...
Anya's Cow

Number Three...
The Eagle on our Lamppost.

Number Four...
Dining room table decor.

Number Five...
Basement light switch

Number Six...
Lounge Chair

Number Seven...
Rick Riordan's new novel

Number Eight...
Shiny spiral notebook

Number Nine...
Audrey Hepburn poster

Number Ten...
Stephen's iPod

Number Eleven...
Guest bedroom door

Number Twelve...
Perfume bottle

Number Thirteen...
Master bathroom shower (unfinished)

Number Fourteen...
Stephen's computer case

Number Fifteen...
Lamp stand

Number Sixteen...
Ceiling fan (repeated)

Number Seventeen...
My DeLorean (hotwheels)

So, all in all...the new camera is lots of fun, as I'm sure the Junior High kids will discover soon enough. 

Stephen, Vanessa, and Anya