If I had had the opportunity to invite you to dinner at our home about a year and a half ago, we probably would’ve enjoyed a classic peanut-butter-and-jelly while perched atop five-gallon drums of paint or sheetrock mud.
But if you’d declined, and we rescheduled for a few months later, you would’ve enjoyed a much finer dining experience: something microwaved, enjoyed from the futon in our bedroom, because that was the only room with real chairs.
If you’d been smart enough to postpone once again, we would’ve greatly upgraded your quality of food (well, not that greatly – I’m still figuring out this cooking thing) and served from our couch and ottoman downstairs.
But today! Today we would feast from an actual table and actual chairs in an actual dining room, like grown-ups!
And of course, when it’s just Andy and me, we always take our meals in the dining room, and never on the couch anymore. *Cough.*
But why would we have avoided the dining room in the beginning? Because it looked like this:
Gleaming brass chandelier, wallpaper remnants clinging to the walls, unsanitary carpet underfoot, and glorious popcorn ceilings.
From mid-demo: most of the wallpaper was gone, carpeting ripped up and popcorn ceilings removed.
Shortly after: my dad helped us install and paint the picture molding around the bottom of the room and the upgraded crown molding at the top. Then everyone put the pressure on me to choose a paint color.
We already know I suffer from a debilitating inability to make any decisions when it comes to paint, so I don’t know why my husband or family expected the dining room to look any different than it does in the picture above: a virtual patchwork quilt of paint samples, as I’ve made it my personal goal to keep the local paint stores in business.
The dining room had about eight different paint colors for a few months, I think, until I finally settled on “Deep Caviar,” a dark, mysterious color that no one can define. (Some people swear its purple, others say blue or black, but I think it’s a very dark brown. You be the judge.)
Time out while we talk about this chandelier. It’s another example of internet stalking: I saw it online, LOVED it, tried hard not to love it and find an acceptable replacement, failed, and bought it. I got a fantastic deal, but honestly? I’m taking this baby with me if/when I move. I don’t know what it is about it, but I hear angels sing when I look at it.
So here’s the dining room, with everything complete!
I like a dark, cozy dining room, and this room could handle the dark paint because it gets lots of light from its two windows. I also like a dining room where you can sit for hours chatting long after the food is cold and dessert is gone, without squirming in uncomfy chairs. I snagged these chairs at (where else?) HomeGoods.
The rug came from there, too, and this is a great example of my decision-making process, when it comes to things for the house.
Most things I’ve chosen for the house have gone through these seven stages, which you’ll also recognize as the seven stages of grief:
- Shock and Denial. (What was I thinking?!)
- Pain and Guilt. (I can’t believe I spent good money on that. I should return it.)
- Anger and Bargaining. (Usually a period when I try to return the item, or decide that it’s too late to return it.)
- Depression, Reflection, Loneliness. (I isolate myself and retreat to dark, quiet place for months at a time, emerging only to go stare at the item and seethe.)
- The Upward Turn. (Who cares. It’s just a stupid rug/couch/paint color/house. And it does the job.)
- Reconstruction, and working through. (…and it might not be the WORST thing ever.)
- Acceptance and Hope. (I can’t return it anyway.)
Actually, the list of purchases I’ve made that HAVEN’T gone through various stages of regret is VERY short. The powder room vanity. The dining room chandelier. The kitchen backsplash. I think that’s it.
But back to the dining room:
I still want to add a buffet and something sparkly to the wall where the two pieces of art are now, and some more art on the other wall, and I’m still playing with the idea of painting the ceiling, but it’s definitely usable and open for that dinner party we were planning.
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