Posts tagged ‘Dining Room’

November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, and food. Here’s this year’s Thanksgiving tablescape.

IMG_3665 copy

IMG_3666 copy

Every year I try to change/add/improve something about the table. This year, I added gold chargers from Target. I had hoped to add a table runner made from Hmong indigo Batik fabric like these:

find on Esty


find on Etsy

And blueprinted Asian rice bowls like these:

But they were too expensive/unavailable/hard to get, etc, etc. So I did what I usually do: I made myself a runner. Using this tutorial, I cut, tied, and dyed a length of cotton duck cloth.

After all of this indigo dying, and blue printed dishes, I’m beginning to realize how much I really like the color indigo. I’m going to have to start keeping an eye out for this color.

Oh, and just in case you haven’t had enough of Thanksgiving food, here are some snapshots of the dishes I made for the holiday.

turkey brine

apple cider

broccoli salad


Happy Thanksgiving!

December 31, 2013

Christmas Craftiness

I’m racing the clock to turn in a post about the Penny Lane Christmas before the new year rings.

Every Christmas, I get the urge to be super crafty. I think it’s because crafty Christmas decorations are far more acceptable than crafty Tuesday decorations. It’s late. I don’t know what I’m saying.

This year, my craft was an Advent Calendar. I’ve been wanting to put one together for the last few years, but never had a design fully conceptualized until this year. I have Pinterest to thank for a plethora of options from the store bought to the simple DIY to the crazy design-y DIY.

Here are some of my favorites.

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

In the end, my final design was driven by circumstances and opportunity. Due to our beloved fig tree, we relocated the Christmas tree to our dining area. Opportunity came from a blank wall next to the tree that needed to be filled. Circumstances came from trying to create the calendar almost entirely from materials I already owned: a 24″x48″ canvas with layers upon layers of different paint color from its previous lives, white paint, colored construction paper, double stick tape, and gold paint. All I had to buy were the containers and velcro.

I painted the canvas white (the same white as our walls), laid out a grid for 24 boxes (yes, I was the girl who bought out all the 3 inch paper mache boxes from the metro area Hobby Lobby stores), painted gold numbers on construction paper, labeled the boxes, and attached them with vecro.

The boxes are currently empty, but over the next couple of years, I’d like to fill them with small ornaments each to symbolize a different bible verse telling the story of Christmas.

What about you? Do you get crafty during Christmas? What have you made recently? Tell me in the comments below!

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I’ve been away so long and feel a bit like I’m talking to an empty room, but I’m doing it anyway.

We just hosted our third (third?) Thanksgiving and I feel like I’m getting a little better each time. This year was all about acquiring a complete set of dinnerware. A typical table setting count for our Thanksgiving dinners has been 8, and in previous years, we have made do with glassware and flatware in sets of no larger than 6.

So what do I do when I want new flatware? I hit up Ebay for a 24k gold set, of course. I found a great, used, vintage set on Ebay called Florentine. It was much less expensive than buying new and further idealizes my Vintage-or-IKEA product selections.

And what do I do when I want new drinkware? I arrange an IKEA trip, of course. We also managed to get some additional folding chairs for when we have extra guests.

2013 Tablescape

Next year, I’ll work on a better Tablescape image. I get so caught up in getting the food ready that once it’s on the table, we all dive in. I did get talked into taking a picture of the bird in all its glory.

Bird 2013

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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.

June 3, 2012

Picture Window

One of our better decisions regarding the house on Penny Lane was placing a bird feeder in front of the picture window.

March 18, 2012

To Do List

It’s been a long while since I’ve last updated my to do list, so here goes…

Those items highlighted green are those that have been completed since I last updated the list (June 2010)

To Do List

1)  Replace carpet with wood

2) Replace existing tile

3)  Replace all light fixtures

  • Entry – pendant
  • Dining – pendant
  • Living Room – recessed
  • Kitchen – pendant
  • Master Bedroom – pendant/close to ceiling
  • Master Bathroom – pendant or sconces
  • Bedrooms – close to ceiling
  • Guest Bathroom – sconce
  • Exterior Front – sconce

4)  Demolish partial wall/cover existing opening

5)  Replace Living Room doors with windows  (I haven’t decided if I still want to do this.  Originally, I thought the door was inoperable, but the wood had just swelled the door closed.)

6)  Replace window treatments (I’m about halfway through with this one, not enough to cross it off, unfortunately.)

7)  Remove upper cabinets above peninsula in kitchen

8 ) Paint Fireplace

9)  Add Fireplace doors (crossing both 8 and 9 off my list because I’m fairly certain I’ve changed my mind about both items)

10)  Add pocket/barn door to Master Bathroom

11)  Replace Master Bathroom sink

12)  Replace toilets with dual flush toilets

13)  Paint Interior (I decided to paint the kitchen the same color as the living room and to paint the cabinets. I may treat the laundry room completely different from the rest of the house since that room is so dark and depressing.)

  • Living Room/Dining Room/ Hallway/ Kitchen – SW Pearly White
  • Kitchen Cabinets – White (which white, I don’t know.)
  • Laundry Room – ???
  • Office – SW Pearly White
  • Guest Bathroom – SW Worldly Gray
  • Master Bedroom/Master Bathroom – SW Balanced Beige

14)  Paint Exterior (In progress, yes, still.)

  • Trim – SW Black Fox
  • Field – SW Universal Khaki

15)  Replace Kitchen counter with quartz or butcher block

16)  Replace all windows (4 out of 10 of these will be replaced this year!)

I’m hoping this will be inspiring to those who feel they need to tackle everything at once. We have actually made great progress here in under 3 years, but I try not to rush myself. I’ve learned that my ideas change with time (see items 8 and 9) and almost always for the better. If I had tried to tackle my whole To Do List at one time, I would not be as happy with the (in progress) outcome as I am!

Enjoy it!

November 26, 2011

Bird Day

Thanksgiving was hosted on Friday this year. It was not my first time hosting; as you may remember my tablescape from 2009.


It’s hard to believe I pulled this off just 3 months after Rob and I moved into the house.

As I said, it was not my first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but it was my first time cooking the bird myself. I got some help from my mom and grandma to prep the bird, but I cooked up the brine and butter and roasted it myself. I put the bird in the oven at 9:30 am to allow time to roast (15 minutes per pound equals 3.75 hours), rest and carve by 2:00pm. My bird was done at 11:30am… Apparently “tenting” is an important practice.

So then it was a scramble to finish the rest of the sides. I had taken a before shot of my kitchen Thursday night. I wish I had taken a during shot Thursday afternoon. It was a sight. Luckily, Rob is a dish washing machine and we had that kitchen cleaned up in no time.

Decor around the house stayed relatively the same from Halloween – subtle and minimal.


And the tablescape was quite possibly cheaper than Thanksgiving 2009. I used small glasses and vases that I already owned – purchased during many trips to my favorite thrift store for about $.50 each and filled with yellow tulips I bought that morning for $9.


Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I’m off to nibble on some left-overs for breakfast.

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.