Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Room We've Never Had Before...

A Dining Room!

The great thing about this room (see house tour here)  is it's blank-slateness. Wahoo. A built in hutch, a bay window, and a chandelier. Now what? I love looking at magazines for inspiration, including two that I can see from my perch on the couch: Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn. Although I would love to recreate the beautiful pages from these magazines right here in our cottage- the whole unlimited money thing is kind of lacking these days or any day.

Here is the room I stumbled upon in the most recent Ballard Designs catalog. I am not usually a black furniture type of person, but I love this look. You can totally get the feel of the typically white/neutral tone cottage look while having bolder color accents.

So this brings us to the first of many dilemma's. How can I (and with Peter's help of course) recreate this look for a fraction of the cost? Let's start with the table, since it's the focal point of the room. The nice table above retails for about $1000. Not that bad a price for a well-made dining table that you save for over the years. But I would really like one sooner than "over the years." Pete and I are so excited to have a place to entertain and open our new home up for gatherings. Considering that I would have loved to have a nice little dinner party last week, the whole $1000 dining table wasn't really "in the cards" per say.

---Insert savvy craigslist shopper extraordinaire--- I will give you a Craigslist tour of the furniture I've snagged some other time, because I am quite proud of the steals we've gotten. I can pretty much walk around our place and tell you the deal I scored on just about any of the big furniture. Ok, back to the table. See? I just get so excited about my deals!

I looked and looked for a sturdy solid wood table that has leaves to expand (I want to keep it on the smaller size for day-to-day use) and finally stumbled upon this Ikea gem:

No, no. Don't worry. I don't think it's $300 worthy. It will, however, seat up to 10 people. We couldn't fit 10 people in our last apartment. The greatest thing about this find is the color (black) and the simplicity of the table. I am way more excited nervous  about tackling semi-DIY chairs like the Ballard "dream" dining room. So, back to Craigslist. I found this table from a gal moving out of the country from Harvard Square. Price tag, you ask? I bartered it down to $100 (she was selling ugly chairs with it). So, our semi-long term table search is over.

Now I have to recreate those beautiful chairs! At $140 a pop for the chair, 2 yards of fabric at $24/yd for the slipcover AND a whopping $90 charge to make each slipcover, we'd be looking at $278 per chair (almost $1,700 for 6...gulp!) to achieve this look. HAH! No thank you. You read in Pete's last post that we went on an adventure date to IKEA in search of parsons chairs and ended up with these beauties at $50 each!

They don't look this nice quite yet since we didn't buy the white covers. They charge $10 each for the white slipcovers. Not bad at all- just not the look I am going for. I did buy one slipcover only to tear apart and mark up with a permanent marker for a pattern using my new fabric!! I scored it for $6/yard. A little better than the Ballard Designs fabric but just as beautiful! (I went with the fabric on the right...)

I ventured out to my mom's house and used her sewing expertise to guide me in my slipcover preparations. If anyone can do it, she can. My goal was to learn everything I could in one evening and then I could return home and make the covers for the last 5 chairs.

Not everything in the sewing world goes as you plan, I am sorry to say. I was hoping to show my readers a few success stories before I hit a speed bump in the road of DIY'ing. Oh well, such is life!

Modesty is key. We want our chairs totally splitting seams, please.

The front view looks GREAT! I can't wait to see how they turn out. Unfortunately, I have to wait a few weeks to work on them again with mom-the-sewing-extraordinaire. In the meantime I will sit tight and contain my excitement to host dinner parties.

Anyone else want to make me feel better and share their DIY'ing flops?

1 comment:

  1. I loooooved that ballad photo too and ripped it out! Great work on the chairs... Making slipcovers is so hard, and you def did a way better job on yours than I did! :)


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