Sometimes, I get frustrated by the disconnect between the amount of photos I take on a daily basis and the amount of photos I actually have displayed somewhere in my home.
I love taking photos of our lives, and I love looking at photos we’ve taken over the years, but it’s hard to find a practical and pretty way to actually show off all of our memories. We create family yearbooks every year (which I can’t wait to spill more about next month once it’s complete!) and I try to frame a few here and there, but beyond that we just don’t have a great way to put out all of our family photos.
Ever since we added some new flooring in the dining room, Corey and I have been all about working on the room. Something about that shiny, happy new floor just makes us want to make the rest of the room pretty. If only we could get our butts in gear to get the living room done so we’d feel the same way about it. Still crossing my fingers it gets done before we go back to school!
We’ve been talking about new curtains in the dining room for months – ever since we replaced the windows on the back of the house, really, but we haven’t been able to really settle on what we wanted. We’ve got patterned curtains in the living room and I already feel like the living room is entirely too cluttered looking and was desperate for something neutral, calming, and not at all cluttered for in here. When we found these navy blue jute curtains at Target, we new we’d struck gold – they’re gorgeously textured, they flow well with the curtains in the living room, and they look amazing against our bamboo blinds. Basically, they’re perfect. We had white curtains in here before, and while we enjoyed the breezy and fresh look, when you have three dogs it’s almost impossible to keep white things clean. Add to that the fact that one of the curtain panels is right next to the doggy door and you’ve got yourself a formula for perma-dirty curtains and they had to go. I feel like this look is so much better and I love how much more polished the room feels now. We also, as I mentioned on Monday, got some new chairs at the table. We found these chairs on Craigslist and actually bought them with the intent of painting them red. Now that we have Jackson’s red high chair in here, I’ve been wanting to sprinkle in some other red accents throughout the house (which Corey is thrilled with, since it’s his favorite color), and we thought that having red chairs on either end of the table would be fun. We both love the look of the cane back on these guys, and we thought that they’d look fantastic in a bright, shiny red. And then we got them home. And we looked at them, and we looked at each other, and we both declared that there was no way we could ever even think about painting these chairs. They’re gorgeous and in amazing condition, and I will never touch a paint brush to them. I don’t even care that I swore we wouldn’t be bringing any more wood tones into this room because we already have more than enough. So now, we have a dilemma. With the addition of the (dark) blue curtains and the (dark) wood chairs, this room is feeling pretty heavy and, uh, dark. We both agree that the rest of the chairs at the table need to be white, but we also both agree that the chairs we currently have don’t really fit with the look we’re going for. We’ve got a few ideas on what we’ll do for the rest of the chairs, but it’s low on our priority list for now. We also want to replace the art on the back of the fireplace with something else (no clue what yet) and find some accessories for the table to break up all the wood. Oh, and we’re eventually going to add baseboards back into the room. Just in case you thought we were digging the exposed sheetrock look, we aren’t. The plan is to wait until we get the flooring done in the living room (since the two rooms are open to one another) and then we’ll start working on the baseboards in here and in there. And it will be a glorious day when it is complete! What do you think? Any suggestions on fun tabletop accessories that could brighten our dining room back up? What about some awesome large-scale art for the fireplace wall?
When Corey and I first moved into our current house, we loved the charming feel of it, the (manageable but significant) amount of love it clearly needed, and how fresh and clean it felt for a home that was over twenty years old.
Then, we brought in our three dogs.
And a few years later, a baby.
We were all able to co-exist with the house for a while, and we even reached a point lately where we felt good about the progress we’ve made and have been moving pretty slowly with changes to the home. There weren’t any pressing situations, and we felt good about how things were looking. But. We had a few things brewing that added up to disaster. We had…
– Decade-old (at least) carpet.
– Three dogs
– A doggy door
– A backyard. With dirt.
– Rain (an unfathomable amount of rain, it seemed).
– A baby who is getting ready to learn how to crawl.
Do you know what happens when you add all of those ingredients together? You know what, don’t guess, I’ll just tell you.
Mud. That’s what happens. All over my house. Everywhere.
I tried to clean the carpet. I really did. For what felt like hours. And then? One of the dogs needed to go outside. And it started all over.
So instead of cleaning the carpet, we decided to get rid of it.
Mmmmm. Yeah, that’s much better.
This is the same flooring we used in Jackson’s room – just plain old vinyl plank flooring. Peel and stick, y’all. And I love it. It’s durable, it’s easy to lay down, and I don’t have to stress when the dogs scratch it up because it’s cheap. And it looks fantastic, to boot.
I won’t detail the process (because I already did that here), but I will add that it was slightly different than it was upstairs, since we have concrete subfloors down here. It just meant a little more cleaning/sanding and we had to fill in some holes from the carpet tacks, but other than that it was the same basic idea!
I don’t have to stress about nasty, stained, smelly carpet in my dining room. And really, in the end, it was either the carpet or the dogs. Lucky for them, we found this stuff.
I’m so excited that I no longer have to worry that Jackson will just be rolling around in mud whenever I want to lay him on the floor, and it’s a much quicker process for me to get everything cleaned up now when the dogs inevitably track in nastiness. Another fun side effect of the new flooring is that my house instantly smells cleaner without the musty old carpet. And, it’s hard to describe it exactly, but the air even feels cleaner now!
I’m all about a solution that makes my house look, feel, and smell cleaner on a daily basis with zero extra effort on my part.
So far, I can’t recommend luxury vinyl plank flooring enough. It’s incredibly affordable, it looks fantastic, and it’s beyond simple to install. I cannot wait to bring this flooring throughout the rest of our house, and banish carpet from my life forever!
Well, when we did that, we took down all of the blinds on the windows we were replacing (obviously) and have been (very) slowly replacing them. The windows in our dining room have been on the “to update” list for a long time, but since they’re so large, they’ve been pushed back over and over. Only one of the windows has been replaced so far, so as of right now, it’s looking a little crazy in there.
It looks crazier in person, I promise.
The plan all along has been to get new blinds for both of the windows in here (because we aren’t big fans of the faux wood blinds), replace the curtain rods with the same ones we have in the living room, and change out the curtains for something a little more colorful. All of those things add up to be pretty pricey, though, so we just kept putting it off. We actually bought the curtain rods a couple of months back when they were on sale, but they’re just hanging out in the garage waiting for the curtains. So, all that to say…we’ve done nothing in here.
But! We finally reached a point where we couldn’t handle it anymore. Every evening when the sun sets, it sets right in our backyard – meaning it shines nice and bright right through this window. Guess what time it starts happening? Right around dinner.
It’s fun. You’re just sitting there, enjoying your meal, when all of the sudden you are hit by a ray of light so bright you are momentarily blinded. And it doesn’t go away until the sun goes behind the house on the other side of our backyard, which means you’re often dealing with it for a while.
It also shines into the living room and hits the couch, which means that even if we eat dinner early we’re usually having to deal with it while we try to watch television.
So, yeah. We had to do something about it.
And I’m so glad we did. We decided to go with bamboo blinds in here – which is what we’ve slowly been adding all throughout the house (we currently have them in the kitchen, our room, and Jack’s room). We went with the same color we did in Jackson’s room because we love how they work with the flooring in there, which is the same flooring that will eventually be everywhere.
We’re able to adjust them to just the right height so that they block out the sun until it goes behind the other house, so it works out perfectly. I think they look great, and they bring us one step closer to having the window treatments in here finished – we just need to buy some new curtains (we keep changing our minds about what we want, so it may be a while).
It feels good to do another house update. It’s been quite a while since we’ve actually done anything, so I’m pretty thrilled with this little change. And I’m very excited to be able to eat my dinner without worrying about blinding myself.
But up until this point, it’s still been severely lacking in color. We had to be careful with the curtains because they’re so close to the bright and heavily-patterned curtains in the living room, and we wanted a dark fabric for the chairs so that dirt and food stains don’t show. We have plans to eventually bring in a rug with some color, and of course the upholstered head chairs will help a little, but in general this room has just been lacking some fun.
Which is exactly why we were so excited when we were at Ikea this weekend and found this absolutely gorgeous, incredibly colorful, super large canvas print for only $40!
It has all of the colors we are using throughout the main floor of our house and it ties in nicely to the plates we keep on the dining room table. It’s next to impossible to find any prints or canvases this large for that good of a deal, so we were thrilled to be able to snatch it up! And once we got it in the room, we knew we had made a good decision – it looks perfect!
I’m oh so in love with how this print looks in the room, and it feels so good to have some color in here. This print is also scaled much better than the old yellow canvases were – they’re really cute, but they are so small that they really just looked silly on such a big space!
I feel like this room is one giant step closer to completion! We still need to do some much more large-scale things like upgrading to wood flooring, adding some fun texture to the fireplace with faux stone, adding a rug to bring in some more color, and several other things that I’m sure will pop up as we work. But, I feel like we’ve done a pretty good job with our progress so far, and I’m so excited about the direction this room is going in!
Have you bought any fun art lately? Anyone else have any rooms that are dying for some color?
Do you have a formal dining room? If so, do you actually use it?
Most people don’t. Growing up I had one and we really only ate in it when we had guests – the rest of the time we ate dinner in the living room. I know so many people who have turned their formal dining rooms into playrooms, offices, and extra living spaces.
I’m a sucker for a good formal dining room.
Maybe it’s because we never used ours when I was a child, but I have always loved the idea of a big table where everyone can gather each night, a beautiful chandelier, fancy place settings, and plenty of room for everyone.
Our new home has a gorgeous, huge formal dining room – there is more space in here than I ever could have imagined which gets me downright giddy with possibilities. The only problem is, we’ve had quite the saga of getting a dang table in here. The first one we wanted was backordered, then we bought one and it was too small. We finally ordered the right size and had it delivered recently.
We spent a crazy amount of time researching, reading, and looking at tables in person so I can say with confidence that, at least for us, this table is the best of the best. It’s all one big piece so there are no leaves to contend with when you have people over (which was a must for me!), and it’s the kind of table that can take a bit of wear and tear and still look beautiful
(Update March 2016: We’ve had it for nearly five years now and I’m still just as much in love! There are lots of dings and scratches from, you know, life…but they just add character and don’t detract from the beauty of the table one bit. I couldn’t possibly be more pleased with this table and I cannot recommend it enough!)
This table seats 8 perfectly, 10 comfortably, and we’ve even seated up to 12 people here with no issues at all! It’s nice and wide so there is plenty of room in the middle of the table for tons of food (or a gorgeous centerpiece) and I love the simple, clean lines and how it sturdy and well-built the table is.
Overall, we have been nothing but pleased with this table, and I’m here to tell you it’s dang near impossible to find a table this big, gorgeous, and well-made at such a good price. I promise, if you’re in the market for a new giant table (or even a not-so-giant one – there are other size options!) this is the one for you!
For the first few weeks that we lived in our new house, this is what our dining room looked like:
We had eight chairs to go around a dining room table (8 very ugly, desperately in need of a makeover, chairs) but no table to put them around.
We had ordered a table from West Elm that we were very excited about, but it was backordered and we had no hope of actually receiving it anytime soon. They had told us it would come at the end of August, but we had read many horror stories of people having their orders pushed back over and over, and we had horrible visions of not actually receiving our table until Thanksgiving. So finally, fed up with waiting, we decided to give the search one more try and see if we could find something we loved just as much as the Carroll farm table we had ordered from West Elm.
And, thankfully, Crate and Barrel came through for us in a major way. I don’t know if we just missed this table the first time around, or if it was a newer table, but when Corey found the Basque table on their website, he was in love.
I wasn’t convinced at first – the “honey” color was a bit lighter than we had originally wanted, and according to the reviews, the darker “java” color had a bad tendency to scratch. I was, however, convinced that if I didn’t get a dining room table soon I was going to go crazy, so Corey and I headed out to Crate & Barrel to check the table out in person.
Lucky for us, they had both colors on display in the store, so we could compare. We absolutely loved the rich, dark color of the “java” table, but the scratches were bad. And very, very visible. Granted, it was a floor model in the store, so it probably had a lot more wear and tear than a regular table would end up with, but we didn’t want to get a table that we had to be super careful around. So, we headed upstairs to look at the “honey” color.
It. Was. Gorgeous. We both agreed that it was a beautiful table, and the color was much closer to what we wanted in person. After talking about it a bit, we also decided that a lighter table was probably actually a better option for us, because we want dark wood floors someday, and we want the table to contrast a bit with the flooring rather than blending right in. So, our decision was made. I wasn’t completely thrilled with the choice, as I still much preferred the look of the West Elm table, but Corey was head over heels in love with this one, so I figured I could compromise. Plus, this table could be delivered a mere three days later, so that might have swayed me a little bit.
The table we had seen in the store was the larger, 104″ table, that was said to be able to seat 10. We loved how wide it was – we’ve always wanted to have a table wide enough to set food on as well as fit everyone, but thought that one might be a bit too long for our space, so we asked a salesperson about the 82″ size. She assured us that the smaller size was the same width, and the only difference was the length. We happily ordered the 82″ table and went along on our merry way.
I was at work on the day the table got delivered, so I had to spent my entire day anxiously awaiting my chance to finally see our dining room all filled up. When I got home? I found a beautiful new dining room table in my house.
But, upon further inspection, I noticed a few problems.
For one, our eight chairs were a bit…crammed…under the table.
Another problem? It looked pretty tiny in our much-larger-than-we-realized dining room.
As you can see in the above photo, it also was NOT anywhere near as wide as we were expecting it to be. In fact, if we put our placemats on the table, there was only about 5 inches of space in-between them for us to place anything else – definitely not enough room for a table full of food!
At this point, I was entirely sick of the whole table search, and I kind of wanted to just give up. We had been dealing with tracking down a table for a few months at this point, and I was not about ready to start over. But, neither of us were happy with the table, and we knew something had to be done, so I set off to do a bit more research.
I made a few calls and did some asking around, and found out that Crate & Barrel would let us exchange the too-small table for the bigger version for no extra delivery charges – all we’d have to do is pay the difference in price between the two tables. We happily agreed, and then they told us the delivery date – a day about two and a half weeks in the future.
We were pretty disappointed, since we had gotten such a quick delivery the first time around, but the new delivery day was still a good week sooner than the earliest day we could possibly get the West Elm table. Plus, now that we had both seen the table in person, we were in agreement that this table was the one for us.
We waited the two weeks, and the table finally got delivered this past Thursday. And we are in lurrrrrrve. I’ve officially been babbling on about dining room tables for almost 1,000 words now, though, so I’ll give your eyes a break and come back in a couple of days with the final table reveal.
Trust me, it’s worth the wait.
Have you ever had a super hard time getting just the right piece of furniture for your home?
Since Corey and I currently live in a two bedroom duplex and have been living away from our parents’ homes for about 4 years now, we have pretty much everything we need when it comes to moving into the new house. We definitely don’t have enough belongings to fill up the house yet (thank goodness), but our rooms aren’t going to look sparse and unfurnished.
However, there is one (pretty essential) piece of furniture we don’t yet have – a dining room table. The only dining table we own is this one, that currently sits in our kitchen.
This table is perfectly fine for us for now – we don’t have guests over very often because most of our friends have moved out of College Station, and our little duplex doesn’t have room for anything bigger than this.
But when we move (in two and a half weeks!), we’ll have a little problem. There’s a perfect little breakfast nook in the kitchen that will fit this table nicely…
But then there’s also this wonderful invention called a dining room. And we don’t have anything to put in it.
Well, that’s technically not true. We have 8 chairs.
Yup, eight dining chairs. And no dining table. In our defense, the dining chairs aren’t refinished yet and are in need of a major overhaul before we’re ready to use them, but it has become pretty clear to us that we’re going to need to fix this situation soon, or else we’re going to end up with a room full of chairs and nothing else.
We’ve gone back and forth for a while now on what we want to do for a dining room table. If we had unlimited funds and my head didn’t threaten to explode at the idea of spending almost $2,000 on a table, we’d snatch this one right up.
But, alas, we do not have unlimited funds and this table is absolutely not in the cards for us. Not even a little bit.
We also played around with the idea of Corey building a table, but we had a hard time finding plans for something that we truly loved, and it was a lot of work to add to our list of things that needed to get done – especially when we want it as soon as we can get it.
After searching for a few weeks, I was beginning to lose hope, and then I found it. The table.
The Carroll Farm table from West Elm. Drool. Corey and I immediately knew that it was the perfect table for us – simple, clean lines, dark finish, and gorgeous chunky legs. Now, a table like this isn’t hard to find – it’s pretty simple. But the key is that this table comes in two sizes – one that seats six, and one that seats 8. This was huge for us, because we really wanted a table that seats 8, but neither of us loved the idea of having a table with leaves – we wanted a solid table, no leaves. That’s a bit harder to find.
So, this table was perfect, we loved it, and we figured we were set. Since we haven’t actually moved in yet (have I mentioned that we move in two and a half weeks??!) and the table was listed as backordered until the end of August, we figured we’d wait a little while to order it and see if maybe we could catch it on a sale or something. No rush, right?
Until yesterday morning when I got a chat message on Gmail from Corey, telling me to take a deep breath. I asked why, and he told me our table was gone.
Poof. Just like that. Removed from the website.
I double checked to make sure he wasn’t just going crazy, and when I realized it was actually gone I had a minor panic attack. I immediately grabbed my phone and called up customer service at West Elm, hoping I’d be able to score a table, even though it was removed from the website.
When I finally got someone on the phone, I explained to her my dilemma, and I quickly realized that this lady had no idea what she was doing.
How did I know this?
Because she kept repeating “I have no idea how to look that up.”
Seriously? Isn’t this kind of, um, your job? She seemed a bit panicky, but I finally got her to look up the table and after insisting to me for a good five minutes that the table had just disappeared from their records, she finally managed to find it in a backorder list. She couldn’t tell me if they were going to be putting it back on the website or not, but she could tell me that they had the backorders coming at the end of August.
Okay. We were making progress. I asked if she could add me to the backorder list so that I could get one when they came in on August 25th. She said that would be fine, and started to take my information. She had just told me how much my table was going to cost me and we were about to be finished when her computer deleted my order. She started to get very nervous (she was a bit high strung) and began quickly taking my information again. I calmly gave it to her…and then she told me my total.
And it was $100 more expensive than the total she had given me 45 seconds prior.
I (naturally) questioned that and tried to understand why in the world the price had jumped, and she told me that her computer was showing the table as $100 more than it was when it was on the website.
I was a little bit confused.
They took it off the website AND raised the price $100? Call me crazy, but that does not make any sense to me. I tried to explain to her that I didn’t understand, and she began panicking once again and repeatedly told me, “it’s what the computer says, all I know is what the computer says, I can’t do anything about it.”
Well, lady, I understand that but can you at least agree with me that this is a little bit strange?!
I told her that I’d have to talk it over with my husband, thanked for her time, and got off the phone feeling extremely frustrated and sad. This table was the only table I had managed to find that I really liked after weeks of searching, and it was gone! I called Corey to explain the situation, and he said he would see what he could do.
Five minutes later he text messaged me saying that he’d ordered the table at the original price.
Yeah. He’s amazing.
Apparently when we had looked at the table a few weeks ago he had added it to his cart to see what the total cost with shipping would be, and he had never taken it out. So, he was able to just complete the transaction he had already started and get the table at the lower price. Score! And cue my GIANT sigh of relief.
So, at the end of August we have our dream table coming to us. I’m so glad that we managed to snatch one up before they were completely gone, and I can’t wait to see how it looks in our house.
Have you ever had a website take something away that you were planning on buying? Or, have you ever dealt with panicky customer service people? They always make for some interesting stories!