Friday, April 6, 2012

The Dining Room Expedition

Many months ago I emptied a storage unit -- into my dining room.  Bad idea.  But necessary.  Over the subsequent months I have been gradually digging out and sorting through in order to reclaim the dining room and beat the junk back into submission. 

The first time I ventured in to attack the heaps (picture binoculars and pith helmets) I actually got trapped in the middle of the room!  Which makes me feel pretty stupid but at least I can laugh at myself.

Tessa's 15th birthday is next Thursday (April 12th) and I want to have her birthday dinner in the full splendor of the dining room.  I also have lunch date fantasies and want to be able to have my friends over.  Ooh!  And dinner parties!  Could my life really come to include dinner parties?

So I've continuted to dig.  I unearthed the table.  And found the floor.  And shoved some stuff into the garage to be dealt with during the Great Garage Expedition. 

I'm not showing you the whole room (can you guess why?) but looky what I've uncovered thus far!

I am so happy that I built the wall-to-wall/floor-to-ceiling shelves! I used cheap laminate bookshelves and then added wood molding to make them look like built-ins -- total cost: $600 (which sounds like a lot now but is much less than it could have been)!  I have always thought that dining rooms should also be libraries.  Alas, there are only a few books in the shelves in the room but I COULD put more in. 

Meanwhile, I can store LOTS of my favorite things that I love to look at.  I'm visual, as I may have mentioned, so I like to look at things.  This proclivitiy creates clutter pretty quickly but I love shelves because shelves mean I can keep/have/display/look at more stuff without drowning in it.  I apologize to the minimalists of the world but, for the record, YOUR style makes me panicky because there's nothing to look at!

I found a set of floral barkcloth bedding several years ago (a duvet, three valances, and three pillow shams).  I adore them but haven't really gotten to take full advantage yet. 

Detail of barkcloth.

In reviving the dining room, I was able to alter (make smaller and sew the big blue satin ruffle edge to the inside) the three pillow shams into pillows for the chairs.  I used two of the valances to line the inside of the glass doors on the costume cabinet and the third valance as a table runner. 

Partial photo of costume cabinet with fabric lining.

I will probably end up using the duvet as a table cloth and make that third valance into the fourth chair pillow (I love having a limited amount of a fabric and trying to make the most of it!) but you are seeing it as it is now.

A few other trivia notes on the room:

* I was so sad when the rug I had in the room got ruined (long story) but I was able to get the same rug FOR FREE!  I am SO happy to have it back!  You can't really see it but it's a moss green damask pattern. 
* LOTS of the stuff on the shelves belonged to my mother and my grandmother and other departed relatives.
* The boxes in the bottom right shelf hold my china (darn those two boxes that don't match!).
* The brown leather suitcase on the shelf holds pow wow accessories (belts, jewelry, feathers).
* The green cabinet on the top shelf was my birthday present to myself a few years ago.
* The "plant" in the top left corner is dried greenery from out wedding flowers.

So... who's up for a dinner party?

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