Dining Room Re-Do!

Our dining room was a hodge podge of items that looked fine, but lacked cohesiveness.  We had a dining set that we loved because it belonged to Todd’s great grandmother but….it was definitely showing its age.  It was covered in scratch marks, heat and water stains and two of the chairs were broken and unusable because they were missing part of the back.  With our budget, our option was to paint it, luckily Todd’s mom didn’t want to see it painted and offered to pay to have it refinished. Yay!

We found a refurbisher online and brought it to him.  He worked out of his house and did a great job! He even had us come over to see different stain options and choose which one we liked best! His Yelp page is located here.

He even had a “guy” who repaired the broken chair pieces and we couldn’t even tell which ones were fixed when we got them back.  We love the new stain and how clean, polished, and smooth the new finish is.  Thanks Marty for your great work and thanks Tammy for funding the preservation of a family heirloom.

Once we got the newly refinished chairs, table, and buffet home we needed to recover the chairs.  Todd and I headed to one of the only fabric stores left in the area and searched for a fabric that went with out color scheme and was the right thickness.  It took a while to find one that was in stock and not special order and was also not a million dollars, but we found one! Once we got home I got to work with scissors and my trusty staple gun! Recovering the chairs was simple and the whole process took less than an hour!

We love the new look of the dining set and feel we are now honoring this family heirloom. After we redid the dining set we wanted the room itself to have more character.  We decided to add this to the room by building our own built ins around the cased opening from the dining room to the living room.  That wall was already a feature wall that was painted a peacock teal and we we inspired by this re-do we found on Young House Love that showed a dark color through the shelves.  They started with built ins and just painted the backs but we started with a painted wall and had to build the built ins!

We found a tutorial on how to use IKEA cabinets to make built ins and were sold!  We headed to Palo Alto with our measurements and a long list.  A few hours and many distractions later we barely fit everything into the car and made it home! I even had to sit in the back seat behind Todd because the boxes were so long they went all the way to the front seat.

The supplies rested in the garage for a few months before we had time to tackle this project in the fall.  First, we started by figuring out where we needed to cut the prefab cabinets and then Todd got to work on the table saw and afterward built the cabinet frames.


Once Todd built the frames we had to figure out how to make them look built in! Todd took off the baseboards (being careful to save as much as he could to reuse). Then we attached them to the wall and started to figure out the top shelves that went over the cased opening.  This part gave us a run for our money.

We had to cover the shelves on the top with some backer board and we added some trim in a Shaker design (my favorite part).  Then we had to caulk the edges to make them look built in.  To make the top look built in Todd added crown moulding to the room with the help of my dad.  Thanks Papa!

Last, we gave the crown moulding, baseboards, and shelves 2-3 coats of white paint to crisp them up and then added all kinds of fun knick knacks and momentos to personalize the shelves!


We also added some art work to the opposite wall including an art print of our favorite coffee shop in Chico, CA where went to college called Naked Coffee Lounge.  We are still working on our gallery wall over the buffet but we have a good start with some monograms and a picture from our wedding! What do you think of the shelves? We love the look and the bonus of more storage!

Next on our list of projects is one we have been pushing back, because its kind of a monster. We’ll start building a new garage in the next few weeks…ahhh! Help!



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