Archive for ‘Dining Room’

September 3, 2012

Art, etc.

It’s funny the places art can be found.

Last Friday, my work had an office-wide summer cleaning session. No room was off limits and every corner was purged. Two hours in, a portion of a beautiful wood column was removed from the conference room and left in the building corridor as trash. I quickly marked it as not trash as I knew exactly where in my house it belonged.

August 9, 2011

Squeaky New

The chairs are in.

To recap, we used an embossed vinyl. We needed something wipeable (the previous fabric held on to cat hair for dear life), but also wanted something textural for interest (thanks to Mark for helping me figure that one out). I looked at countless samples, but one fabric stood out among the others. Unfortunately, it was expensive, so I became depressed and obsessive. Thanks to that obsession, I hunted down a similar fabric (I am still convinced it’s the same one) online at half price. As soon as I saw a sample in person, we purchased it.

Of course, I was still unsure about how the fabric would look on the chairs, but seeing them now, I am very pleased. The texture is very subtle from far away and though it has a bit of a striping effect due to repeat in the fabric, it’s not as noticible as I worried it would be.

We are so ready to host our next dinner guests and game night!

Thanks to all who gave me their opinion on fabric samples. I asked anyone who would give me a moment to pull them about of my purse (yes, I carried them with me). And thanks to Gavin who so graciously offered to pick the chairs up with me even though he could have been home playing with his new gadgets.

August 6, 2011

A Chairless Dining Room

Uncontainable excitement. The newly upholstered chairs should be back in place in a couple weeks.

May 20, 2011

So It Was.

I had resigned to the idea that I would be spending far more than I wanted to on the dining room upholstery fabric. In a nutshell (you can read the previous posts here, here and here), I found a fabric I liked, then a fabric I loved, then realized why I loved it so much ($$$). I still loved it, but tried to talk myself out of it by finding alternative fabrics- none of which compared. And so it was. Stacks of fabric memos strewn across the house, while I obsessed over the one.

Surprisingly, my obsession was productive. While googling, I found a site that sold a very similar fabric at less than half the cost. And they provided memos. I received my memo today. I jumped up and down. I squeeled. I frightened a cat out of the room because… the fabrics were nearly identical.

The larger memo is the original, the smaller is the winner.

We promptly ordered 7 yards.

March 21, 2011

The Verdict is In

… I think.

I got the dreaded call from the fabric store. The cost per yard wasn’t even on my radar of possibilities. So I spent the first half of the day trying to come up with convincing reasons why I should spend $200 more to have my favorite fabric. I almost had Rob convinced (it just meant more money saving time), when I saw an image that made me want to yak.

I will refrain from posting the aforementioned image so as not to offend the offenders, but it was a  detailed view of the very fabric I had coveted… and it was baaaaad.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the small scale of the small scale fabric is just too small. It looks great on the small sample, but I’m starting to believe that it won’t look great on my full-scale chair.

Does that mean I’ve made a final decision? Maybe. We’ll see. For now, here’s an image to cleanse my eye palate.


Ooh.. pretty cube.


March 20, 2011


Good news. My dining room will be sexy. Turns out, the way to go is faux. Faux leather makes it better. Thank you, I’m here all week.

Our dining room upholstery goals:


  • wipe-able
  • wet clean-able
  • would not catch cat hair


  • textured
  • not glossy
  • beige, black or purple in color.

I found it easy to meet my performance goals, but not the aesthetic goals and vice versa. It took a good deal of inward reflection and a conversation with a very stylish friend (thanks, Mark) to realize what I really wanted in upholstery. The woven look. Sounds easy enough. While searching through the faux leather collections of every fabric company I could imagine, the most common styles I found were alligator, snake, ostriche and basketweave.

The somewhat difficult part was that of the color. Being a faux leather, the majority of collections came in only leather-like colors – variations of congac, chocolate brown and black. No big deal, black is on my list, I just hated being bound to one color. Fortunately, I brought it home and got this vibe:

image courtesy of

The color of the walnut table was reminiscent of the rosewood on the classic Eames lounge chair. And what’s more classic than the rosewood and black leather combination? I was thrilled.

I now have two contenders. Both black herringbone basketweave vinyls. One, a medium scale Anzea vinyl at a decent cost. The other, a smaller scale Bberger vinyl at an unknown cost.

Anzea vinyl above, Bberger vinyl below

At this point, my favorite is the smaller scale Bberger vinyl. It looks extremely authentic in person. Unfortunately, its cost is bound to reflect that. I’ll be calling the fabric store tomorrow to get a yardage cost and seal the fate of my dining room chairs.


March 13, 2011

the making of a sexy dining room

My new, and dare I say, sexy dining room has me questioning my original design plan. Maybe it’s the deep purple buds on my Redbud tree, or the fact that if I had to choose an actual favorite color other than gray, white or black, it would be dark purple, but I’m really digging the original fabric on my dining room chairs. It’s too bad the fabric is torn in places, catches cat hair like nothing else and is known to cause a rash.

Rob is ready to reupholster them. Isn’t it just like me to moan and groan about those ugly chairs until we’re ready to actually do it and then, ta-da! I can’t part with them!

I’m really hoping I can find a replacement fabric that I love and won’t regret. I had originally wanted to reupholster them in a white vinyl. White because everything else is white and vinyl because it won’t stain like white. We have a pukey cat and two nephews. I want to make sure these chairs stay looking nice for a while.

But should I do something more “sexy” than white vinyl?

All sexy rooms call for purple velvet. It’s a known fact. But I don’t think I can get away with velvet in a dining room. At least not my dining room. Is purple vinyl the next best thing? I promise not to make it sparkly and slick and look like it came out of a ’72 Dodge Challenger.


March 5, 2011

Raw Linen

Last month, I wrote about hanging IKEA Enje shades in our living room. We had purchased shades for our dining room window as well, but I knew they would be far too sheer to stand alone in the front window. So when Rob made another trip to IKEA, I begged him to purchase a couple sets of their Aina linen drapes. But I had to make a quick decision as to what color: bleached or unbleached.


image courtesy of Sterin’s photostream on flickr


image courtesy of MoreWaystoWasteTime

I was drawn to the unbleached drapes more, but thought the bleached would fit in more with our existing decor. So I asked around. With mixed opinions from my virtual friends, I turned to Rob who made a great point that the unbleached drapes would work much better with our future reupholstered white dining chairs.

And so it was.

Our new front window:

June 16, 2010

Evolution of a Dining Room

In 10 months, our dining room has gone through 4 looks and it can be safely said that it will go through more.

The first look was the walk-through-look, which included the previous home-owner’s furniture, custom blinds, sage green walls, cream tile and faux patina chandelier. Do you see the potential in this space?

The next look was the move-in-look. It essentially consisted of the swapping of the previous home-owner’s furniture with our craigslist furniture. I shudder to think that this was the state of the dining room when we hosted Thanksgiving ’09.

This next look is the one most everyone who visits this blog is familiar with. It’s the I’m-cheap-therefore-I’m-crafty look. It involves the replacement of the faux-patina chandelier with the handmade string light.

Unfortunately, the handmade light fixture didn’t stay up for long and since we didn’t really want to start a fire, we decided to replace it. We also had new tile installed and painted the walls white.

And we’re still not done. Do you want to know our plans for the space? Check out our To Do List.